Is Sex By Deception Considered Sexual Assault in Connecticut?

Hartford sexual assault charges defense attorneyMost people understand that forcing someone to have sex with them when they clearly do not want to is wrong. This crime is called sexual assault or rape, and it is addressed in each state’s laws, though the definitions, situations, and punishments for sexual assault differ from state to state. A fairly new issue in the laws concerning sexual misconduct is the idea of “rape by fraud.” This idea may sound far-fetched, but it has happened before — and more than once.

A Case of Sexual Deceit

In 2017, a Purdue college student fell asleep in her boyfriend’s dorm and was woken up by a person she thought was him who prompted sex from her. She soon realized that the person was not her boyfriend, but was, in fact, one of her boyfriend’s friends who had sex with her, knowing that she thought he was her boyfriend. The woman went to the police and pressed charges of sexual assault. The imposter was arrested and charged with two counts of rape, which carried a sentence of 3 to 16 years in prison. However, the state of Indiana does not specifically have laws pertaining to “rape by fraud,” and the alleged perpetrator ended up being acquitted of the charges and having his criminal record expunged.

The Issue With Consent

One of the biggest issues that can complicate cases involving sexual deceit is the fact that consent is rarely defined in sexual assault laws. Most states do not have an explicit definition of what constitutes consent, including Connecticut. The states that do have definitions for consent will typically describe it as positive cooperation in act or attitude where a person exercises their free will and has knowledge of the act that is happening. Without an explicit definition, consent is often a gray area. A person may be interpreted as having given consent in a wide variety of circumstances, ranging from a lack of physical struggle to explicit positive affirmation.

Sex By Deception in Connecticut

Though there is currently a proposed bill in the Connecticut General Assembly that would make sex obtained through fraudulent representation or concealment an act of sexual assault, the state of Connecticut does not currently have laws pertaining to sex that is obtained specifically by fraud or deceit. In addition, the state’s laws only mention consent by saying that those who are “mentally incapacitated” or “impaired because of mental disability or disease” can be incapacitated or impaired to the extent that they are unable to consent to sexual intercourse.

Connecticut law only mentions sexual conduct that is obtained by deception or false representation in a few circumstances. This includes sexual intercourse between a psychotherapist and their patient or former patient in which the intercourse occurs “by means of therapeutic deception” or sexual intercourse between a patient and a healthcare professional who “accomplishes the sexual intercourse by means of false representation that the sexual intercourse is for bona fide medical purpose.”

Contact a Connecticut Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Sex crimes are some of the most serious offenses you can be charged with. Because of the loose interpretation of many sex crimes and definitions, those accused of these crimes are often left with a sense of uncertainty about the specific charges and the options for defense. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we are here to help alleviate some of that uncertainty. Our knowledgeable Hartford sexual assault defense lawyer will make sure your rights are protected and work with you to determine your best defense strategy. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office today by calling 860-290-8690.

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/23/well/mind/is-sex-by-deception-a-form-of-rape.html

https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_952.htm#sec_53a-130

https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_952.htm#sec_53a-71

https://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Imposter-sex-would-be-rape-under-new-law-13687896.php

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