Depending on how the case is charged out by the prosecution, the defense of consent may be available to criminal defendants charged with rape. Consent is defined under Minnesota law as a person’s words or overt actions that indicate a freely given present agreement to perform a particular sexual act. Consent does not exist simply because of a prior or current social relationship between a defendant and the alleged victim. Consent also does not exist where the victim failed to resist a sexual assault.
I recently obtained a not guilty verdict in a rape case in Hennepin County, Minnesota using the consent defense. In that case, we focused the jury’s attention on the victim’s state of mind prior to the alleged offense in order to prove consent. For example, there was testimony that she was making arrangements for a booty call that fell through. The alleged victim asked the defendant’s girlfriend if he had ever cheated on her. She kept bumping into the defendant in a sexual manner including rubbing her breast against his body. She sat close to the defendant on the floor facing him with her legs spread wide open. While walking down an apartment hallway, she slapped his butt numerous times and placed her hand down his pants. Our theory of the case was that the alleged victim seduced her friend’s boyfriend in an apartment stairwell and then attempted to save face by crying rape. The only problem was that she never screamed, delayed reporting the matter, and there were no visible marks on her body.
If you have been charged with the crime of rape, the defense of consent may be available to set you free. Call Minneapolis sexual assault defense attorney Robert J. Shane now for a free phone consultation at (612) 339-1024.