Thursday, October 11, 2007

Md. court considers rape suit

The Baltimore Sun paper reports:
Maryland's highest court heard arguments this morning in a closely watched case regarding whether consensual sex can become rape if a woman says no during the act. ...

Defense attorney Michael R. Malloy argued that if intercourse is consensual under existing common law it can't be rape. He argued that the jury that convicted had faulty instructions from the judge. ...

The victim, who had met Baby that night, testified at the trial that she told him that "as long as he stops when I tell him to" she would have sex with him.

As he began, she told him to stop because he was hurting her, but he kept going for five or 10 seconds, she said.

Baby, who was tried as an adult, denied any wrongdoing.

During deliberations, the jury asked Judge Louise G. Scrivener whether sex that begins consensually but continues after the woman tells the man to stop constitutes rape. The judge replied that was "a question that you as a jury must decide."
Maouloud Baby is the guy's name. He was 16 years old. She was 18.

This is just crazy. I don't know what that jury was thinking.

I think that the net of effect of convictions like this will be to de-stimatize rape. If I hear that someone served 5 years in prison for rape, I really have no idea whether he was the perpetrator of a serious violent crime, or whether it was a trivial misunderstanding or a false accusation.

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