Rape is a criminal offense in Washington that encompasses any act of sexual intercourse without a person’s consent. Rape occurs when an act is committed with the use of force, the threat of force, or the use of a position of authority over a person, a person’s disability, or a person’s impaired condition. The standard of proof for the state in a rape prosecution is the same as it is in any other criminal case, but a rape case has significant consequences for the defendant. In this essay, we’ll look at the three types of rape, as well as the punishments and defenses for second-degree rape (statutory rape).
What Is Second Degree Rape?
Second-degree rape also known as statutory rape is rape committed when anal, oral, or vaginal sexual intercourse is found to be without the victim’s lawful permission because it occurs under one or more of the following conditions:
- When the victim is prevented from resisting the act by force or threats of physical violence, the victim has a reasonable belief that such resistance would not prevent the rape.
- When the victim is incapable of resisting or comprehending the nature of the act due to stupor or an abnormal state of mind caused by a narcotic or anesthetic agent or other restricted dangerous substance provided by the offender without the victim’s knowledge.
Whoever commits second-degree rape will be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than five years nor more than forty years, without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.
“Forcible rape” and “second-degree rape” mean the offense defined by the provisions of this Section for all purposes, and any reference to the crime of forcible rape is the same as a reference to the crime of second-degree rape. So, any act done in contravention of the provisions of this Section on or after August 1, 2015, is referred to as “second-degree rape (statutory rape).”
Definitions from the Washington Criminal Code
Several phrases found in Washington’s criminal laws are crucial in a rape case. “Sexual intercourse” has a traditional definition, but it can also apply to any penetration of a person’s private areas, regardless of gender.
- The most serious rape claims involve allegations of “forcible compulsion,” which often refers to the use of overwhelming force or the threat of overwhelming force. Threats to injure or kidnap the alleged victim or a third person are included.
- “Mental incapacity” refers to any mental condition that prohibits a person from knowing the “nature or consequences” of sexual intercourse at the time the accused violation occurs. Such a person is considered legally incapable of consent.
- “Physically helpless” refers to any condition, including loss of consciousness, that prohibits a person from communicating permission or lack thereof. This could apply to someone who has been injured or is blacked out as a result of alcohol or drugs.
- “Consent” refers to a person’s agreement to engage in sexual intercourse, expressed or implied through words or actions.
The Onus of Proof in Rape Cases
The state must demonstrate that sexual intercourse occurred between the defendant and the putative victim and that the claimed victim did not consent or was unable to consent. It must also demonstrate the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense that support the degree charged by the state. Rape is defined in Washington as a degree in the first, second, and third degrees.
First Degree Rape
First-degree rape entails forcible compulsion and may involve the use or threat of a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, substantial bodily injury to the alleged victim, or burglary. It is a class A crime punishable by up to life in prison.
Second Degree Rape
Second-degree rape happens when there is a violent compulsion but the conduct does not rise to the level of a first-degree offense. It can also happen when an alleged victim is mentally or physically incompetent, or when the defendant has control over the alleged victim, such as at a hospital or eldercare institution. It is also a felony of the first degree. As a defense to the prosecution, a defendant may present proof of a reasonable belief that the claimed victim was neither mentally incapable nor physically helpless at the time of the alleged conduct.
Third Degree Rape
If an alleged offense does not match the definitions of first or second-degree rape but still involves a “clearly-expressed” lack of consent or a danger to the alleged victim’s property, the state may charge it as third-degree rape. This is a class C felony punishable by up to five years in jail.
Statutes of Oklahoma
OKLA. STAT. tit. 21 1114 states that “rape in the Second Degree is rape committed by a person over eighteen (18) years of age upon a person under fourteen (14) years of age; or rape committed upon a person incapable of giving legal consent due to mental illness or any unsoundness of mind, regardless of the age of the person committing the crime; or rape accomplished where the victim is intoxicated by a narcotic. Hence, rape or rape by instruments is rape in the second degree in all other instances.”
The Crime’s Elements
In Oklahoma, the prosecution must establish each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to be convicted of Second Degree Rape. Cannon & Associates’ criminal defense attorneys are FIERCE ADVOCATES for every client and will hold the government accountable in your case. The government must prove the following in order to be convicted of this crime:
- sexual encounters;
- with someone who is not the defendant’s spouse;
- In cases where the victim was under the age of sixteen. OR
- Where the victim was led to believe by the defendant that he or she was having sexual relations with his or her spouse. OR
- the location of the victim’s legal custody/supervision;
- of a (state/federal agency)/county/municipality/political subdivision;
- The defendant was an employee / (employee of a contractor for)/the (state/federal agency)/county/municipality/(political subdivision) with jurisdiction over the victim;]. OR
- where the victim was between the ages of sixteen and twenty;
- The victim was a student/(under legal custody/supervision) at a/an (elementary/secondary school)/(junior high)/high/(public vocational) school.
- the defendant was at least eighteen years old; and
- The defendant worked for the victim’s school district]. OR
- the victim was nineteen years old or younger;
- in the care of a (state/federal agency)/(tribal court); and
- The defendant was a (foster parent/adoptive parent) (foster parent applicant). OR
- where the victim was at least sixteen years old but under the age of eighteen; and
- The defendant was a person in charge of the victim’s health, safety, or well-being.
*A person responsible for a child’s health, safety, or welfare includes, but is not limited to, a/an parent/(legal guardian)/custodian/(foster parent)/(person living with the child’s parent and is eighteen years of age or older)/(adult residing in the child’s home)/(agent/employee of a public/private (residential home/institution/facility)/
What Are the Sentencing Guidelines for 2nd Degree Rape?
Rape in the second degree is a class A felony in the state of Washington. The maximum sentence is life in prison and/or a $50,000 fine.
What Happens If You’re Charged with Second-Degree Rape?
Being accused of rape to whatever degree is unquestionably life-changing. Because second-degree rape might involve power relations in certain organizations, an accusation can jeopardize your employment (at the very least). So, if charged, the defendant faces jail, lifetime community custody, lifetime sex offense registration, and other penalties.
#1. Look for a Lawyer
If you have been charged, do not speak to police authorities (or anybody else) without an attorney present. Instead, seek the assistance of a reputable second-degree rape criminal defense attorney to help you prepare your defense. They can also educate you on the complexities of the law, assist you in developing a chronology, compiling a witness list, or assisting you in arranging scientific tests and expert testimony to aid in your defense. It’s critical to be absolutely honest about what happened (or didn’t happen), because the more information your lawyer has, the better they can defend you.
#2. Budget for Expenses
If you are charged with a crime such as child abuse, rape, or domestic violence, you may be subjected to a slew of specialized psychiatric tests at your own expense. The testing and evaluations differ depending on the charge(s). Other expenditures to anticipate include the price of procuring records or evidence, expert fees, and their prospective testimony at trial. Most experts demand a fee to appear in court and testify. It is best to try to budget for these expenses.
How Do I Defend Against a Second Degree Rape Charge?
Seek reliable legal counsel to assist you in constructing your second-degree rape defense. That being said, here are a few common sexual defenses that may or may not apply in each case:
With a basic defense claim of real innocence, a defendant expresses universal denial over the alleged crime(s). An alibi at the alleged time of the intercourse may be presented by a defendant. In this case, the defendant must be able to provide solid proof to prove that they were not there when the crime occurred.
A defendant admits to the alleged action but claims that the victim’s consent at the time eliminates the charges. One aspect of this allegation is that the crime was committed against the victim’s will. Consent by the victim, on the other hand, is difficult to prove in most circumstances.
#3. Insanity or Mental Incapacity:
A defendant argues they had a mental disorder or defect at the time of the intercourse, arguing that their conduct should be excused or reduced. Individuals who are deemed to be insane as a result of an evaluation are considered insane. It does not necessarily mean that they are no longer liable, as they may be compelled to go through restoration, be civilly committed, and so on. If you’re referring to someone who is developmentally challenged to the point where they can’t defend themselves, mental incapacity could be the same. However, unlike with an insanity defense, there would be no possibility for restoration in that case. Diminished capacity means that the individual was unable to form the necessary mental state to perform the crime in question.
A defendant committed a crime under duress and would not have done so if not under duress. The defendant had “a gun to their head,” in layman’s words.
Second Degree Rape Frequently Asked Questions
What is the distinction between first and second-degree rape?
First-degree rape is defined as non-consensual sexual intercourse, which is often performed with the threat of damage or force. It can also happen when a person is disabled or unable to agree. Second-degree rape is referred to as “statutory rape.” Second-degree rape is typically defined as legally non-consensual intercourse.
What is 2nd-degree rape in New York?
If you are at least 18 years old and have sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 15, or if you have sexual intercourse with someone who is unable to consent, you will be charged with rape in the second degree under New York Penal Code section 130.30.
What is 2nd-degree rape in Kentucky?
Violent rape in the second degree (1) A person is guilty of second-degree rape if he: (a) is eighteen (18) years old or older and engages in sexual intercourse with another person under fourteen (14) years old; or. (b) He engages in sexual intercourse with another mentally impaired individual.