Minnesota Supreme Court She ruled recently The felony rape charge does not apply if the victim is voluntarily drunk.
The decision stems from a case involving a Minneapolis man convicted of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The defendant accused Francius Momolo Khalil of taking a drunk woman to his home and sexually assaulting her.
The decision unanimously overturned the lower court’s ruling rejecting the lower court’s definition of “mentally incapacitated person,” stating that he “unreasonably strains and extends unreasonably over the simple text of the statue.” To meet the definition set by law, the court stated, alcohol must be administered without a person’s consent.
Minnesota is one of many states that do not treat poisoning as a barrier to consent if the victim is drunk voluntarily. This means that if a person chooses to get drunk, under Minnesota law, they will not be considered incapable of giving consent.
The law specifically states that a person is not considered “mentally disabled” and is incapable of consent if “he is given alcohol or other substances against his will.”
Rape by poisoning
In general, rape is defined as non-consensual sexual intercourse. It can be committed by threatening to harm, using actual physical force, or under any other form of coercion. Involuntary sex can be in any situation where the victim has not said “yes”. So, rape by botulism refers to a situation where the victim is so drunk that she cannot refuse even if she does not want sex.
However, states differ on how they deal with situations in which the victim chooses to consume alcohol or drugs. As of 2016, 40 states do not cover situations where someone chooses to use drugs or alcohol, according to Brooklyn Law Review.
The role of the courts
The role of the court in the judicial system is to interpret the law. Therefore, if there is a clear law defining what constitutes consent, then courts are obligated to apply this definition. The case we are dealing with is a good example of that.
In this case, the Minnesota Supreme Court confirmed the fact that the courts had no mandate to enact the law. This authority rests with the legislature. Judge Paul Thyssen, writing to the court unanimously wrote, “If the intended meaning of the statute is clear from the text of the statute, then we apply that meaning and not what we might wish the law to be or what we think it should be.”
Laws of the meaning of consent
A few states have passed legislation to fill loopholes related to toxic rape. These laws make voluntary poisoning a barrier to consent. California, for example, It criminalizes sexual intercourse With a drunken person if the accused “knew, or was reasonable to know” that the victim was too drunk for consent. Other states like New York are working on Passing legislation That would sue fully for sexual assaults even if the victim voluntarily consumed alcohol or drugs.