An Oklahoma criminal appeals court ruled on Wednesday that current state law does not make it illegal to force someone into having oral sex if the person is unconscious. Wait … what?
The ruling came after a 17-year-old boy was charged with forced oral sodomy for having oral sex with a 16-year-old girl who was unconscious from drinking. DNA evidence confirmed the act occurred, but the boy claims the girl consented to it; the girl says she has no memory whatsoever of the incident. But apparently under Oklahoma law, that’s not rape. According to The Guardian:
“Forcible sodomy cannot occur where a victim is so intoxicated as to be completely unconscious at the time of the sexual act of oral copulation,” the decision read. Its reasoning, the court said, was that the statute listed several circumstances that constitute force, and yet was silent on incapacitation due to the victim drinking alcohol. “We will not, in order to justify prosecution of a person for an offense, enlarge a statute beyond the fair meaning of its language.”
Let’s hope rulings like this will trigger Oklahoma — and other states — to enact some sexual-assault legislation reform.