Rape and recent statutes


Rapeand recent statutes

Rapeand recent statutes

Commonlaw defines rape as an unlawful intercourse with a woman against herconsent. To start with, rape under common law, the offender usesforce and threats of violence to force the victim into sexualintercourse and thus causing injury to the person. Secondly, Commonlaw includes acts of forcible unnatural sexual intercourse thatinclude acts of oral sex. Common law identifies rape as a crime, andhence the proof of mental state is not mandatory for conviction ofrape (Estrich,2012).One is convicted of first degree rape if he inflicts physicalinjuries to the victim. Additionally, a suspect is guilty of seconddegree if no serious injuries are inflicted.

Commonlaw exempts spousal rape because the wife is viewed as a property ofthe husband, and therefore a husband cannot be convicted of rape.This law was adopted in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries bythe American colonies. Since then, most states have extended sexualassault law that covers the spousal sexual assaults (Estrich,2012).This has been achieved through the removal of marriage as a defenseto these assaults and prohibiting sexual assault on the spouse.

Onthe other hand, recent statutes definesexual assault as gender neutral where both male and female arevictims of sexual assaults.It also explains rape in a phenomenon where the husband can becharged on grounds of assault and battery. (Schmalleger&amp Hall, 2014).Under the recent statutes, sexual assault is explained as anythingthat forces one to indulge into unwanted sexual activities thatviolate the victim’s sexual integrity. Further, recent statutesexpand sexual assault to cover other forms of non-consensual sexualacts that occur between people of any sex and gender. For instance,it covers involuntary sexual contacts occurring between two women,two children or two men. Most states have classified sexual assaultunder the umbrella term comprising an extensive range of acts such asrape or criminal acts with sexual motivation (Estrich,2012).


Schmalleger,F., &amp Hall, D. (2014). Criminallaw today.Boston: Prentice Hall.

Estrich,S. (2012). Realrape.Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.