Vicky Spratt | Deputy Editor | Thursday, 28 April 2016

An Oklahoma Court Has Ruled That Oral Sex Isn\'t Rape If The Victim Is Drunk

An Oklahoma Court Has Ruled That Oral Sex Isn't Rape If The Victim Is Drunk

The Debrief: An Oklahoma court has ruled that oral sex doesn't count as rape if the victim is unconscious from drinking. Wait, what?! Yes, you read that right.

The ruling of an Oklahoma court has, quite rightly, sparked total outrage. Why? Well, they ruled that oral sex is not rape if the victim is unconscious from drinking. Wait, what?! Yes, you read that right.

The court stunned people by declaring that state law in Oklahoma doesn’t actually deem oral sex with a victim who is completely unconscious to be a crime. Police, prosecutors and the general public alike are shocked by the verdict.

The case which has sparked debate and highlighted the archaic, out of date, victim-blaming and down-right ridiculous nature of law in the Midwestern US state involved allegations that a 17-year-old boy had assault a 16-year-old girl. The two teens had been drinking in a park in Tulsa with a group of friends when it became clear that the girl was intoxicated. Witnesses say that they recall her body being carried into the defendant’s car, with one, who rode in the car with them for a while, recalled her coming in and out of consciousness.

The girl was then eventually taken back, by the defendant, to her grandmother’s house where she remained unconscious. She woke up, in hospital, while doctors were performing a sexual assault examination on her. They found the defendant’s DNA on her legs and around her mouth.

The boy in question claimed that she consented to performing oral sex. She, however, said she didn’t have any memories of what had happened after leaving the park. As a result the boy was charged with ‘forcible oral sodomy’.

When the case got to Tulsa Country District Court, however, the judge in charge of the trial dismissed the case outright. At the appeals court later ruled that the law could not be applied to a victim who was drunk.

The decision read ‘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 lead prosecutor in the case for Tulsa county, Benjamin Fu, said that the ruling had left him ‘completely gobsmacked’. He also told local paper, Oklahoma Watch, that he and police officials would push for new legislation to close what he referred to as the ‘insane’ and ‘offensive’ legal loophole which meant this case could not go ahead.

Fu said that such legal focus on why the victim was unable to consent puts the victim at fault, when the emphasis should be on the attacker and the crime they have committed.

It’s somewhat troubling, to say the very least, that in 2016 such an archaic law could still exist anywhere in the world which puts such emphasis on the victim in any case of rape or sexual assault. Consent isn’t complicated and you can’t consent if you’re not conscious.

You might also be interested in:

Why Is The Issue Of Consent At University So Difficult To Grasp?

Met Police Might End Policy Of 'Automatic Belief' In Victims In Sexual Abuse Cases

Is This How Much It Costs To Get Away With Rape In Croatia?

Follow Vicky on Twitter @Victoria_Spratt

Tags: WTF News, Sexual Assault, Rape