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.