Thursday, February 5, 2015

Utah lawmakers debate whether sex with unconscious person is rape

Utah Rep. Brian Greene

Utah Rep. Angela Romero, a Democrat from Salt Lake City, proposed a change to Utah’s criminal code for sexual assault that would make having sex with an unconscious person a crime. If a person can't give consent, how can it be consensual? Her proposal would close a loophole in the law.
“At the end of the day, when we took out that language, if somebody is unconscious you probably shouldn’t attempt to try to have sexual relations with them,” Romero said.
Well, that presented a dilemma for Rep. Brian Greene:
“It looks to me now like sex with an unconscious person is by definition rape,” Greene said. “I hope this wouldn’t happen, but this opens the door to it — a individual has sex with their wife while she is unconscious, or the other way around if that is possible, but uh a prosecutor could then charge that spouse with rape.”

Fortunately, common sense prevailed and the committee voted to send it on to the House:
Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, applauded HB74 for making it clear that when an individual has sex with a victim that the individual knows is unconscious, unaware that the act is occurring or physically unable to resist, “and the state can prove that beyond a reasonable doubt, that’s rape, period, end of story.”
Romero’s bill now advances to the House for its consideration. Sen. Todd  Weiler, R-Woods Cross, is sponsoring HB74 in the Senate.
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