Rape by fraud

New Jersey state Assemblyman Troy Singleton introduced a bill that would make it illegal to use deception to obtain sex. The bill defines the act as “an act of sexual penetration to which a person has given consent because the actor has misrepresented the purpose of the act or has represented he is someone he is not.” Note the gendered language used in the bill. This would make the law only apply to men as the aggressors.

Singleton created the bill due to a recent case:

Singleton decided to introduce the legislation after talking to Florence resident Mischele Lewis, who had been duped into paying $5,000 to her boyfriend, Cherry Hill resident William Allen Jordan, for what he claimed was a security clearance. Jordan said he was a British military official, but it turned out he was a serial bigamist and scam artist who pleaded guilty to defrauding Lewis on Nov. 10.

Prosecutors had initially tried to charge Jordan with sexual assault by coercion, but a grand jury refused to indict him on that charge.

“I truly believe that we have to look at the issue of rape as more than sexual contact without consent,” Singleton said. “Fraud invalidates any semblance of consent just as forcible sexual contact does. This legislation is designed to provide our state’s judiciary with another tool to assess situations where this occurs and potentially provide a legal remedy to those circumstances.”

Accordingly, the charges resulting from the law could be the same as first degree rape charges, with potential sentences ranging from 5 to 20 years in prison. Singleton attempted to justify this:

“The punishment aspect, that part we didn’t touch. The prosecutors and the judges and the jurors would be able to use discretion,” Singleton said.

Singleton said that he’s open to refining the bill so it’s not abused.

“It’s my intention, as the bill is moved through the amendment process, to ensure that while we allow for judicial discretion we don’t want unintended consequences,” he said

Apparently “unintended consequences” does not include arresting, charging, and imprisoning someone for lying about themselves in order to have sex.

One would think a feminist like Amanda Marcotte would love this bill. However, she takes issue with it. She admits the language is so vague that anyone could face charges. Yet her concern has nothing to do with the constitutionality of the law. She does not like the law because:

[…]it gives those who oppose any legislation attempting to address sexual abuse (affirmative consent laws, for instance) the ability to point and say: Look, those crazies think everything is rape, even fibbing!

Rape is a fairly straightforward crime. It’s a matter of having sex with someone who does not want to have sex at that moment in time. Despite claims to the contrary, affirmative consent supporters don’t actually want to make it legal to retroactively retract consent. But this law would open the door to allowing people to do so, which actually does muddy the definition and understanding of rape. Jerks who exploit people’s desire to be loved in order to defraud them can be convicted under other laws. Otherwise, relationship fouls are simply not criminal offenses.

The reason to oppose the law is not because of its clear problems, but solely because it would give proof to feminist critics that feminists truly do think everything is rape, as if critics needed more evidence.

Affirmative consent supporters do want to make it legal to retroactively retract consent. That is the point of allowing someone who regrets a sexual encounter to file charges on the grounds that the so-called aggressor never asked for “affirmative consent.” What the latter means is that the man never specifically asked, “Can I have sex with you?” and the woman never specifically stated, “Yes, you can.” If the man asks the question but the woman only nods her head or says nothing or kisses him instead, all of those fail to meet the standard of affirmative consent. The kiss would not count because the woman could argue she felt compelled to do it to protect herself.

This scenario would result in a expulsion if it occurred on a Californian college campus. The law is so vague that it is unclear what constitutes affirmative consent.

The claim that the criticism against Singleton’s bill would “muddy the definition and understanding of rape” is ridiculous. The bill itself muddies the definition, as does feminists’ warped definition, which rarely includes males as potential victims and females as potential rapists.

Yet the broader issue is whether any of this rises to the level of criminal prosecution. Lying about your identity is terrible, particularly if done to trick someone into having a relationship with you. However, how does one justify imprisonment for such an act? This is not the same as someone tricking a person out of their money. This is a case of someone saying, “I normally wouldn’t even look at you, but since I believed you were rich I fucked you. But you’re not rich, so you should go to jail for lying.”

I do not think that is a proper use of police resources and time.

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6 thoughts on “Rape by fraud

  1. The fraud in the original case was *monetary* not sexual. The recourse is to sue him for it. If he was a prostitute, however, representing himself as something he wasn’t in order to obtain the $5,000 for his services, then perhaps a discount is in order. However, since prostitution isn’t legal, perhaps she’s the one who ought to be arrested, under “the Swedish Model”.

  2. this is the result of one gender that only thinks with their genitals.

    everything women do revolves around their golden uteri.

  3. There is actually a legal precedent for this in Latin America. It is a crime called “estupro”, but often is limited to a female under 18, because at that age she has no “agency”.

    The law states
    -Any sex with a female less than 14 is a crime,
    -Any sex with a female less than 18 but more than 14 is crime is the woman is mentally incapable of giving consent, even temporarily.
    -Lastly, if the female is less than 18 and more than 14, if fraud or deceit was used, then a crime was committed.

    The second clause covers the use of alcohol or drugs, And I read where the third clause is an old usage where if the male told the young female he would marry her, then after having sex with her, then he reneged, then he has committed a crime.

    But given that the limits of law expire when a female reaches 18 assumes that at that age the woman has “agency”, sort of a “buyer beware” sense of adult responsibility. So to enter a situation with a male involving alcohol or drugs is a choice based on agency. Also to not perform due diligence concerning claims or promises is also a matter of agency.

    In essence, this shifts the agency of the adult female from herself to the state.

  4. But I also think Ms Manjaw is worried that this statute could work both ways. Men could claim deceit on the part of women in the man giving consent.

    Ms Manjaw may not voice that concern outright in her claim that it “trivializes” assault, but women are just as guilty, if not more, in using deceit in forming and building relationships with men.

    Imagine this could lead to a man charging a woman with rape if she states she is using contraception when she was not. Or that a woman claimed she was in a non-fertile part of her ovulation cycle, when in fact she was ovulating.

    The proposed statute infers some sort of material capacity or status that the man conveys in the act of the “seduction” that, in fact, does not exist. But same holds true for men in that a potential material costs to him does exist when, in fact, the woman claimed that it did not.

    The reality of such a threat to women is possibly a far greater to them than some guy who embellishes his “prospects” or outright fabricates them.

    I would actually favor this law if it contained this “two way” sort of fairness, that the woman was as bound by the law to convey jeopardy of pregnancy with the same level that the man was bound to “truth” about his material prospects and life situation.

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