Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Rape in Maryland

Has an odd interpretation. Happy Feminist sums a recent case very well:

The case is Baby v. Maryland, __ A.2d ___ (Md.App. 2006). According to the young woman's testimony, the defendant asked to have sex with her and she consented on the condition that he would stop when she told him to. She testified that the penetration hurt "so I said stop and that's when he kept pushing it in and I was pushing his knees to get off me." After she told him to stop, he continued to "keep pushing it in" for about "five or so seconds."


The jury convicted the defendant and the defendant appealed. The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland held that the trial court erred by failing to answer the jury's question. The court further held that there is no rape under Maryland law if the woman consents to sex prior to penetration and then withdraws the consent after penetration. I should note that this interpretation of the law would apply regardless of whether the man kept thrusting for five seconds or ten minutes after the woman said to stop. (Sorry to be graphic, but it's necessary.)


The court elucidates further the reasons for the law in effect TODAY in Maryland in footnote 6 of the opinion:

The cultural mores undergirding the notion that the crime of rape was complete upon penetration may be traced to Biblical and Middle, Assyrian Laws: Under MAL, the rape of a virgin was presumed to be an illegal trespass upon the father's property with the rapist required to "give the (extra) third in silver to her father as the value of a virgin (and) her ravisher shall marry her (and) not cast her off." The woman was required to marry her rapist without hope of divorce. If the rapist was married, the virgin still had to marry her rapist; however, the rapist's property, his wife, was also factored into the compensation. The rapist's wife was to be given to the father "to be ravished . . .not to return her to her husband (but) to take her."

It is the Maryland law which is the problem here. Or so most commenters argue. But Happy Feminist noted that cases like this serve to remind us that feminism of a fairly basic type is still needed. Things like rewriting bad laws.

Jessica at summed it all more succinctly:

Holy shit. Holy shit. Holy shit.

So ladies, once it's in, it's in. Ain't nothing you can do about it. Changed your mind? Suck it up. He's hurting you? Oh, sorry--should have thought of that before. After all, it's not like your body is yours or anything. Jeez.

I immediately thought of a reversal. Suppose that you, a man, agree to let me give you a blowjob. You are not aware of the viper fangs I have, but their presence becomes all too obvious once I start. So you scream and you scream. But you agreed, right? Heh.