While there are a number of different types of defenses in rape cases there are three common defenses that show up frequently in defending charges of rape
So, what are these three common defenses?
Responsibility, Regret, and Revenge.
I call these the three "R's" of rape defense.
The first is " Responsibility."
This means the person accused of rape denies they are responsible for the crime.
Rape cases tend to fall into two main categories. The first is stranger rape. This is where the woman states she never met her attacker prior to the rape.
For stranger rapes, frequent defense by the person accused is they are not the person who committed the crime. This is often coupled with an Alibi defense, in other words, they were somewhere else at the time of the crime. This is usually coupled with a challenge of how reliable or unreliable is the testimony that puts the accused at the scene.
The most common type is not stranger rapes but “acquaintance rapes. “
Here the person claiming to be the victim knows and had prior acquaintance with whoever she is accusing rape. It might be an ex-boyfriend, a coworker or a friend.
Here again, the accused may deny responsibility for the rape, however, the defense usually is not based upon identity. It said the accused person is in some manner deny they are responsible for having committed the crime. The denial can take place in many shapes and forms. For example, sometimes this the accused might admit sexual intercourse but claims the sex was consensual.
Other times, the accused may deny any actual intercourse occurred. For example, I defended a former police officer accused of raping a woman while he was on duty as office. Medical records established the woman told her doctor that the accused person had never penetrated her. To put it another way, the train never got to the station.
This was my client had not committed the crime of rape. He certainly was acting inappropriately as a law enforcement officer but, under Alabama law he had not committed rape. You see, Alabama rape law requires some penetration, however slight of the male organ to the females for the crime to be rape. Because the evidence was that there was no penetration, under Alabama law rape had never occurred.
There is more to this story but I'm just explaining what is required for a rape to have occurred.
The second R of the 3R's of rape defenses is “Regret”.
It's not uncommon for people to regret some consensual sexual relations. But regret is not rape.
Here's an example: I defended a rape case where the woman claimed she was too intoxicated to consent to intercourse. Fortunately for my client, her claim was contradicted by her audiotaped statement to the police, where she said she was too intoxicated to remember if she was actively participating in sex with my client. Drunken consent, or sometimes regrettable, is still consent. Because of her advances and behavior towards my client, we were able to this was not a case of rape but a case of regret.
But you need to be aware that it is possible for a woman to be so intoxicated as to be unable to give consent- for example, if she is completely passed out, and under those circumstances, since she couldn't give consent, it would be rape.
The third “R” of rape defenses is revenge.
Unfortunately, some women falsely claim rape as a means of revenge against a man.
Here's a real-life example of that kind of case:
My client had consensual sex with his girlfriend. Afterward, they had an argument. My client stupidly but truthfully told his soon to be an ex-girlfriend, he recently had sex with her best friend. Of course, he didn't put it in such polite terms.
Not long after this argument, as now ex-girlfriend filed rape charges
I was able to establish through cross-examination that her behavior was inconsistent with that of a true rape victim.
It went something like this:
After you left the bedroom you went to the kitchen.
There was a phone in the kitchen.
Knives on the knife rack.
Your car keys.
A door to the outside.
You didn't use the phone.
You didn't grab a knife.
You didn't go out the door.
You opened the refrigerator.
Made him a sandwich.
Cut the sandwiches into diagonal slices.
Put it on a plate.
Folded a napkin.
Got him a soda.
Put it in a glass.
Put all this on a tray.
Brought it to him in the bedroom.
Back to the man you told us had just raped you.
My client was not guilty of and not convicted of rape.
Of course, a rape accusation doesn't mean a person is a rapist. But the accusation itself is devastating and dangerous
What do you do if you or someone you love is accused of rape?
If you're smart, contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
Not only can conviction for rape subject person to years upon years in prison it will also require registration as a sexual offender.
Anyone accused should get the best legal representation possible.
If you'd like or help, give us a call at the phone number below.