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Date Rape, Acquaintance Rape and Online Dating

Date Rape and Acquaintance Rape

When people hear the word ‘rape’ they often think of the stranger lurking in the dark alley who holds his victim at knife-point and forces himself upon her. Although this does happen, it is far less common than allegations of rape following what was intended to be a completely consensual social or romantic encounter. If alcohol is involved or if two people are only recently acquainted, misunderstanding about intentions and expectations or miscommunication about what each person is comfortable with can lead to devastating criminal charges. Kansas law makes no distinction between a misunderstanding between a couple on a date or a stranger in an alley: non-consensual sexual intercourse is rape and is punishable by a term of prison ranging from 147 – 165 months even for a person with no criminal history whatsoever. Conviction requires lifetime registration on the Sex Offender Registry. If you have been accused of sexual assault or rape, contact my Overland Park Law Office at (913) 322-3265 to discuss your case today.

Tinder or Christian Mingle?

The advent of online dating has dramatically changed the landscape of Date Rape and Acquaintance Rape. This is particularly so in regard to social media that has a reputation for being more of a ‘hook-up’ site – like Tinder or ‘adultfriendfinder’ – as opposed to a dating site like eHarmony or Christian Mingle. People often meet for a first date or encounter that leads to sexual activity having never met one another before. These situations are prone to misunderstanding and miscommunication about sexual boundaries. If alcohol is involved, the risk increases.

Accused? Here is what you should NOT do!

If you have been accused of rape following what you believed to be a consensual social encounter, contact an attorney immediately. Do not have any further communication with the accuser. Do not communicate with or respond to any online dating solicitations. You do not know if someone attempting to contact you may be a friend of the alleged victim or the alleged victim using an alternate profile name and picture. Do not agree to speak with law enforcement or answer questions about what happened during the date. Do not voluntarily provide your phone or other electronic device and do not provide passwords to you dating account or profile. Contact my Johnson County Criminal Defense Law Firm immediately to protect your rights.

Effective Defense of Date Rape and Acquaintance Rape Charges.

Through and aggressive defense will require issuing a Business Records Subpoena to the dating website for all evidence associated with the complaining parties’ profile and user activity. Often times, the dialogue between the alleged victim and the defendant will be flirtatious – or outright ‘playful’ – which may contradict a claim that the encounter was not voluntary or consensual. Although past online activity may be excluded under Kansas Rape Shield Law (K.S.A. 21-5502) the Defense can file a Motion to Admit evidence that is relevant and probative to the case.

Although DNA evidence often plays a pivotal role in cases where the defense is complete denial that the alleged sexual activity occurred, DNA does not always play as significant a role in cases where both parties agree that the sexual activity happened and the only issue is whether or not the activity was consensual. In these cases, information contained in the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner’s report (S.A.N.E. Exam) may provide evidence that is inconsistent with the physiologic indices of forced sexual intercourse.

In any case involving allegations of Rape, Sodomy or Sexual Assault, thorough and effective cross-examination of the complaining victim is often the key to a successful defense. The alleged victim is frequently emotional and jurors are naturally sympathetic. In today’s “Me Too” rape culture, jurors are hesitant to support anyone accused or sexual impropriety. Creating that support through effective cross-examination and defense strategy is challenging. Not all defense lawyers are equally skilled and experienced in handling cases involving these extremely serious charges.

Contact my Overland Park Law Office today at (913) 322-3265 to begin building an effective and aggressive defense against these devastating charges.

For more information about how to strategically defend against Date Rape and Acquaintance Rape accusations, click here.

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