Nonconsensual sexual activity is prohibited by law. Not every sex crime involves physical contact—indecent exposure or soliciting minors, for example—but of the offenses involving sexual contact, rape is probably the most well-known.
Rape is nonconsensual sex, or sexual penetration without the legal consent of the victim. Despite this seemingly clear definition, rape is actually a much misunderstood charge. Many people are unaware of the legal conditions which must be met in order for a person to consent to sex, and therefore may find themselves charged with statutory rape after engaging in sex they believed to be consensual.
Others hear the term “rape” and automatically think of forcible rape. However, even first degree rape may be perpetrated without violence.
The mere allegation of rape can bring devastating personal consequences for the person accused. If convicted of a felony sex crime, the defendant faces not only prison, but also lifelong registration as a sex offender.
One of the most important things anyone accused of rape should keep in mind is that it is never a good idea to speak about your case with anyone but your attorney. In some cases, particularly in statutory rape cases, things that you believe mitigate your crime only serve to solidify the prosecution’s case against you.
If you are accused of rape, do not speak to police or social workers without your attorney’s counsel. Do not attempt to “clear things up” with your accuser. Immediately contact a lawyer who can protect you during an investigation and any subsequent court proceedings.
Rape is defined in 21 O.S. § 1111 as “sexual intercourse involving vaginal or anal pentetration” under one or more of a prescribed set of circumstances, including force, threat, or deception, or the victim’s inability to provide legal consent due to age, intoxication, mental illness or disability, or custodial status.
Technically, there are only three types of rape charges in Oklahoma: First Degree Rape, Second Degree Rape, and Rape by Instrumentation. However, there are a number of acts that fall into these categories of nonconsensual sex:
Another criminal charge often associated with rape cases is forcible sodomy. Forcible sodomy typically refers to forcible oral sex or oral sex with a person statutorily unable to provide legal consent.
First degree rape includes child rape, forcible rape, and nonconsensual sex under the following circumstances:
By statute, first degree rape in Oklahoma is punishable by death; however, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that capital punishment is unconstitutional in all but certain homicide cases. In practice, first degree rape carries a life sentence as a maximum penalty, with a minimum sentence of 5 years.
Second degree rape is more commonly known as statutory rape. It includes all acts of rape defined in 21 O.S. § 1111 that are not specified as first degree rape. For example, second degree rape involves sex with a person who is under the age of 16—the legal age of consent in Oklahoma—or who is unable to provide legal consent as a student or a ward of the state. Second degree rape is a felony punishable by 1 to 15 years in prison.
While there seem to be significant differences between the acts of first degree rape and second degree rape, the two are equivalent when it comes to sex offender registration. Rape—whether first degree or second degree—is considered a Level 3 sex offense, the highest risk level assessment for sex crimes. Upon release from prison, anyone convicted of rape must register as a sex offender for life, providing address verification ever 90 days.
If you have been accused of rape, you may feel that the world is against you. Maybe you took advantage of a situation you shouldn’t have. Maybe you were accused of rape after a consensual sexual encounter. Maybe you didn’t realize that your willing “victim” was too young to provide legal consent. Maybe you were falsely accused by a vindictive partner, ex-partner, or child. Regardless of the situation that brings you to our office, we work carefully to protect your rights and bring your case to its optimal resolution.
Call today to find out how we can help you fight your rape charge. Act quickly to secure quality legal representation.