US Rape Case Loophole Prompts Uproar
California lawmakers have vowed to close a loophole that allowed a man’s rape conviction to be overturned because his victim was not married.
An arcane state law says a person who gets consent for sex by pretending to be someone else is guilty of rape only if posing as the victim’s spouse.
Julio Morales was initially convicted of rape after tricking a woman into sex by pretending to be her boyfriend.
A similar loophole has already been closed in the state of Idaho.
In the California case from four years ago, Morales went into a room and had sex with an 18-year-old woman after her boyfriend, whom she had fallen asleep beside, had left.
Tricked into sex
She awoke to the sensation of having sex with Morales, a friend of her brother.
She only realised the man in her bed was not her partner when a ray of light from outside the room flashed across his face.
Defence lawyers argued that Morales believed the sex was consensual because the victim had responded to his kisses and caresses. But he was sentenced to three years in prison.
In its ruling on Wednesday, the California appeal court reluctantly decided that Morales was not guilty of rape, because he was pretending to be the woman’s boyfriend and not her husband.