Obscure 1872 California Law Overturns Rape Conviction


gavel (Photo credit: SalFalko)

I recently read a Huffington Post article about a Californian appellate court overturning a rape conviction because the rape victim wasn’t married at the time.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The HP writes:

“In its ruling, California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal reluctantly concluded that Julio Morales hadn’t raped an 18-year-old because a state law crafted in the 1870s says a person who gets consent for sex by pretending to be someone else is only guilty of rape if the victim is married and the perpetrator is pretending to be the spouse.  In this case, Morales apparently pretended to be the teen’s boyfriend, and she didn’t recognize otherwise until seeing him in the light.”

The victim said she had been to a party with her boyfriend and friends.  She fell asleep after the couple opted not to have sex that night because the boyfriend didn’t have a condom.  After he left, the assailant (Julio Morales) entered her room and began to have sex with the girl.  It wasn’t until a ray of light from outside the room illuminated Morales’ face that the woman realized it wasn’t her boyfriend.  Defense attorneys argued Morales believed the sex was consensual because the victim responded to his kisses and caresses.

The appellate ruling said Morales gave conflicting testimony about whether he tried to identify himself. The court, which remanded the case back for retrial, noted prosecutors had argued two theories and it wasn’t clear which the jury used for the conviction that led to a three-year prison sentence: that Morales “tricked, lied to, or concealed information” from the victim, or because he had sex with the woman while she slept. The latter is already defined as rape under state law.”

The alleged rape happened in February 2009.  Morales already served his three-year sentence.  Morales admitted that he thought she may have been sleeping when he began to have sex with the victim.  That simple admission should make him guilty of rape.  The flaw in the 1872 statue was actually brought to the Legislature’s attention 30 YEARS AGO, but they failed to amend it.  They were probably too busy planning their vacations.

Here’s my take:

The first thing that caught my attention besides the headline is the sentence itself.  3 years!  Are you kidding me?!  Our judicial system really does have a warped sense of appropriate term sentences.

I think this guy will end up being once again convicted of rape because she was sleeping.  He impersonated her boyfriend.

This law should finally be amended.

And this alleged (only because he hasn’t be once again convicted) rapist should be imprisoned for a long time.

This is yet another example of failure from our political representatives.

Sadly our judicial system doesn’t deem rape to be as serious as a criminal offense as I do.

What do you think?

Email: realtalkdebate2012@gmail.com

Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate

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About adrakontaidis

A conservative who doesn't pander to the GOP.

6 responses to “Obscure 1872 California Law Overturns Rape Conviction”

  1. JF Owen says :

    I can’t add anything of importance to your comments. This is a ludicrous failure of the California legislature that goes back years. If, after this case, it’s not fixed in short order then the voters in California need to consider recalls.

  2. thelimberlawyer says :

    I can’t help but think how the woman must feel today. I agree that he deserves a healthy sentence for such a despicable crime. What’s going on India right now should be an example of how important it is to punish sex crimes and try to minimize any stigma in reporting them.

    • realtalkrealdebate says :

      Thank you for the comment!

      I completely agree with you. There should be a clear precedent that not only is it ok to report these despicable people but that they will be in jail for a long time.

  3. reasoningpolitics says :

    How in the world can they this happen? Where is the judicial discretion here?

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