Rape is a usually a crime of violence. It can occur in a number of different ways, but it is usually a type of sexual assault upon a victim. Oklahoma classifies many of its crimes by degree with first degree being a more serious crime than a second-degree crime. That is true with regard to rape as well.
In Oklahoma law, rape is defined as an act of non-consensual sexual intercourse involving either vaginal or anal penetration of a male or female who is not the spouse of the perpetrator, of either the same or the opposite sex. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1111
Beyond this general definition, rape in the first degree is somewhat different than rape in the second degree. However, both are felonies and both are sex crimes.
Rape in the First Degree
This is what we normally think of when we think of rape. It is a crime of power and violence and victims are often badly injured and may be affected for life. It is treated seriously in Oklahoma, and includes any of the following acts or situations:
- rape of a child under 14 years of age by a person aged 18 or older;
- rape of a person unable to give legal consent;
- the victim is given an intoxicant to force the victim to submit;
- the perpetrator knows that the victim is unconscious at the time of the rape;
- the rape accomplished through force, violence, or the threat of force or violence accompanied by the apparent power to make good on the threat; or
- by rape by instrumentation, regardless of the age of the victim or perpetrator.
Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1114
Rape by instrumentation is defined as the penetration of another person’s anus or vagina by fingers or an inanimate object without that person’s consent. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1113
This is not the same thing as intercourse. Being married does not make the act less of a crime. The issue is penetration, even the slightest penetration, without consent. This crime is now rape of the first degree.
This crime includes all situations of forcible sexual assault. It also includes date rape and situations where a person spikes a date’s drink with a drug such as Rohypnol (a roofie), Klonopin, Xanax, or any other intoxicant. It also includes spousal rape. Marriage does not grant the right to continue with a forcible sexual act if a spouse says no.
The crime is a felony punishable by death or a prison term of at least five years, life or life without parole. If convicted, you must serve 85% of your sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
Rape in the Second Degree
Every other kind of act or situation not listed as rape in the first degree is considered to be rape in the second degree. This most often includes statutory rape. In statutory rape, the parties want to have sex together, but because of age or infirmity, cannot give legal consent to the act.
Statutory rape can occur in a number of situations. The parties to the intercourse can be of the same or opposite sex.
In Oklahoma, the legal age at which one can give consent in Oklahoma is 16. Therefore, if one of the parties is under the age of 16 (but not younger than 14), the sexual act is considered to be statutory rape. There is no legal consent if the victim cannot give consent due to unsound mind or other infirmity.
The crime also occurs:
- if the victim believes he or she is married to the perpetrator, or where the perpetrator is employed by a governmental or other agency of which the victim was under legal custody or supervision, and the perpetrator exercised authority over the victim; or
- the victim was between 16 and 20 years of age and was a student or under legal supervision of a school and the defendant was 18 years of age or older and was an employee of the victim’s school; or
- the victim was 19 years or younger and in the legal custody of a court or other state or federal agency and the defendant was either the foster parent or foster parent, applicant.
This crime is also a felony and if convicted, you could serve from 1 to 15 years in prison. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1116
The Romeo and Juliet Defense
The defense pertains to people who are at least 14 years old and younger than 19. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1112
It precludes prosecution of these persons even though one of them may be unable to give legal consent.
Rape a sex crime and as such, in Oklahoma, once a defendant is released from jail or prison, that person is required to register with the Sex Offender Registry in Oklahoma. Continual monitoring and limitations regarding housing and employment make this requirement difficult, and the requirement can be with you for years.
There may be defenses available to you if you are being charged. A primary defense is that of consent. But consent can be limited by age or other factors. Facts are important in building a strong defense. If you are facing rape charges in Oklahoma, hire a criminal lawyer Tulsa relies on for zealous defense in difficult circumstances.
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