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What Actually Is Date Rape?

When people hear the term “rape,” they often think of a dangerous stranger lurking in a dark alley, holding his victims at knifepoint and physically forcing himself upon them. While those circumstances have happened, far and away the most common scenario is an encounter between two people who know each other. Rape is oftentimes sexual activity that occurs between two folks who are acquainted or in the course of an informal or a formal date. But from a sexual standpoint, the encounter goes further than one of the two persons wants it to.

So, What Criminal Charges Will I Be Facing If I Am Accused Of Date Rape?

In terms of criminal charges, Kansas law does not make a distinction between sexual offenses committed between acquaintances and sexual offenses committed between strangers. The criminal charge of date rape is a level one felony offense. Even with no criminal history at all, you would be facing 147 to 165 months in prison upon conviction.

What Type Of Date Rape Cases Do You Commonly See In Kansas?

I’ve seen several cases that involved acquaintances (often at the college level) who went out to a function together, and then woke up in the morning with a sense of regret over something that happened. This is becoming even more frequent now due to online dating. People will often meet online and become sexually active on their very first encounter, which often creates serious problems.

How Common Are Online-Related Date Rape Charges?

Unfortunately, online-related date rape charges have become very prevalent, particularly in the last 12 to 18 months with the advent of so many social websites. Some of these websites have developed reputations as “hook-up” sites, like ‘Tinder’ rather than sites for people who are looking for long-term relationships, such as ‘eHarmony’ or ‘Christian Mingle.’ We’ve had several cases come through the office that involved gentlemen who met someone online with whom they shared a physical or sexual first encounter. Within days of such encounters, many clients are contacted by law enforcement because the individuals who they met filed charges of rape against them.

What Are Some Unique Aspects Of Date Rape Allegations?

From the prosecution’s perspective, these are cases where the complainant or the victim did in fact participate actively in the online courtship. Because of this, there will be a string of digital communication between the alleged victim and the defendant. Oftentimes the alleged victim was quite forward or even flirtatious in the communications leading up to the first meeting. It can be difficult for the prosecutor to present the alleged victim to the jury as a true and genuine victim when there is evidence that the person was being flirtatious and participated voluntarily – at least initially – in the sexual activity.

From the defense’s perspective, the social view of what has been called the “rape culture” has made things more difficult. Now there is the “Me Too” movement, where many alleged ‘victims’ are coming forward saying, “Yes, I was subject to sexual harassment and I felt compelled to stay silent and do nothing about it.” It’s very unpopular for someone to take a stance that would seem to be in favor or in defense of the person who is accused of sexual misconduct. As defense lawyers, we have to essentially ask our jurors to defend a client who has been accused of something quite heinous.

For more information on Date Rape Cases In Kansas City, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (913) 322-3265 today.

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