question.jpgIn Criminal Law

What is rape?

Rape is a serious crime in the United States, and though the rape statutes vary to some degree from state to state, it is best defined as nonconsensual (or unwanted) intercourse by means of force or fear; rape occurs at the moment of penetration, no matter how slight.

Although the most common form of rape involves forcible penetration through means of violence or fear, rape can also occur if the victim was prevented from resisting through the use of drugs or alcohol, the rapist fraudulently poses as an authority figure and threatens to arrest the victim unless he or she agrees to sexual intercourse, or if the victim is unable to consent because of physical or mental disability.

Rape is not limited to men; a woman can also be convicted of rape, though it is less likely. Moreover, in most states, a husband can be convicted of raping his wife if the wife didn’t consent in sexual intercourse.