California rape conviction overturned due to 1872 law

California rape conviction overturned due to 1872 law

Women’s groups in California were outraged by the appellate court ruling that overturned a rape conviction on Friday.  According to a state law from the 1870s, a victim of rape has to either be married or the perpetrator must pose as the spouse in order for a rape conviction to be upheld.

According to the Huffington Post an 18-year-old female was raped by Julio Morales when she mistook him for her boyfriend.

The night of the rape, the victim and her boyfriend were partying with Morales.  The victim and her boyfriend agreed not to have sex that night because they didn’t have a condom.  After the victim fell asleep, her boyfriend left the room and Morales entered.

The victim awoke to Morales kissing and caressing her and she believed him to be her boyfriend.  The two started having sex, but it wasn’t until she saw his face in the light that she realized she was having sex with Morales.

Californians were outraged that the 1872 law held up in court.  The court ruled that Morales had not raped the victim due to the loophole in the old law.

State Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, said that he would introduce a new bill after the court urged the Legislature to make a change.

“Californians are justifiably outraged by this court ruling, and it is important that the Legislature join together to close whatever loopholes may exist in the law and uphold justice for rape victims,” said Achadjian.


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Image adapted from divinenephron photo on Flickr

This Article Was Written By

Ashley Dale Editor-in-Chief

Ashley is the Editor-in-Chief of Bonfire Impact. She is currently pursing a B.A. in Human Rights Journalism from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and plans to get her master's degree in Human Rights Studies from Columbia University. She works full time for a consulting firm in Upstate New York and is a freelance writer and photographer. Her passions include human rights, advocacy, journalism, and photography.

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