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Defenses to Rape of an Unconscious Person

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | Aug 02, 2020

This is a common crime nowadays that people are being either raped because they get too intoxicated and someone takes advantage of them or, what I've seen a lot of times is, alleged victims are claiming that a person raped them when they don't even know whether they were raped because they were so intoxicated. After all, they blacked out. California Penal Code 261 defines the crime of rape.

This is an exciting area of the law, and it is not always easy to decide precisely how a defendant wants to handle the case.  Because what I see happening a lot of times is that two people meet.  Maybe they met on the internet.  Perhaps they've been dating.

Usually, it's a one-night stand situation where I see this rape of an unconscious person being alleged against somebody, and maybe throughout the night everybody's getting along, there's kissing, and the defendant thinks that they have a chance to have consensual sex with the other party.

But they can't creep into that person's mind to see whether or not that person intends to have sex with them.  Sometimes people don't know whether or not they want to have sex with another person.

Both Parties are Intoxicated

So, they're both getting intoxicated, taking drugs, whatever the case may be, and they end up at someone's house, and then sexual intercourse occurs or partially occurs sometimes. The defendant is saying, hey, look, everything was going well; I don't see why this person is now accusing me.

Sometimes it's because the defendant went too far, and sometimes it's because the alleged victim is assuming that the defendant took advantage of them when in actuality, the defendant did not because both parties were drunk; both parties were consenting to kissing and touching each other, and the defendant figured that they were okay to have some sexual contact with the other party.

The other party may be taking the position; before I met with the person, I had no intention of having sex with them, but the defense may be, wait a minute, though, your actions did not bear that out.  In other words, you're drinking with the person.

You're kissing the person.  You're going back to the person's hotel, apartment, house — whatever the case may be — so that person thinks that you will engage in sexual intercourse with them, and then there ends up being some sexual intercourse.

Consensual Sexual Activity

So, we need to know what happened and look at things logically.  I've even had instances where the alleged victim — after everything is done — is taking action consistent with somebody who had consensual sex with another person.

Then, later on, for some reason, things sour, and now all of a sudden, they're accusing my client of being involved in some sexual conduct or contact that was not consensual.

So, we need to look at the surrounding circumstances. The best thing that I can get from you is an honest account of what happened and try to give me the information that might be negative toward you as to what the person is going to say you did wrong.

Sometimes you can pick that up immediately after the incident.  Sometimes you can pick it up the following day.  Sometimes you can pick it up from a conversation the next day or days later.

Close Review of the Evidence

Sometimes it will come in the form of a text message. Still, I need to know what the other party is claiming that you did wrong so we can break everything down to decide whether you did rape an unconscious person or whether the story has been blown out of proportion.

The person may not even realize that their actions appeared consensual, and they did everything that would have a person thinking that they were consensual. Now they can't remember what happened, so they believe they must have been taken advantage of when they weren't.

So, these are the things that we're going to be talking about and thinking about and making a decision on when it comes to this allegation of rape of an unconscious person.

I've defended sex crimes for many years, and I can help you get through this. Getting a criminal defense lawyer early in the case is crucial. Contact the Hedding Law Firm for a free case consultation at (213) 542-0979.

About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.

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