What is Date Rape?

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What is Date Rape?

Date rape is a newer term used to describe a method involved in some rape cases.  Date rape is so named because the victim and the offender often know each other and are dating or on a date together for the first time.  This is different from other types of rape wherein the victim and the offender are complete strangers.  Date rape tends to be more orchestrated and planned out by the offender, who may create conditions wherein the victim may become susceptible to rape.

For instance, the offender may plan the date in a secluded area, or they may use some form of date rape drug such as a “roofie” or other tranquilizer to make the victim unconscious.  Also, there tends to be some amount of trust between the victim and offender, and so the offender may gain access to the person’s living area or house. 

What are the Legal Issues Involved in Date Rape?

One of the main areas of contention with date rape is the concept of consent.  In many cases, the offender will claim that the person actually consented to sexual activity, thereby relieving them of liability for rape or sexual assault.  Indeed, in some cases, the line between consensual and non-consensual conduct can be very difficult to distinguish. This is true especially in cases where one or more parties is under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs.

However, some date rape cases are clearly non-consensual, such as those involving near-kidnapping conditions, or those involving date rape drugs.  In such cases, consent may not be a valid defense for the offender.  

Other legal issues may also include stalking or harassment, as this is also one of the aspects of date rape.  The offender may have been stalking the victim for a while before they began getting romantically involved.  This can happen in person or commonly through internet and online stalking.  In such cases, the offender may be planning a date rape situation long beforehand, while the victim genuinely believed they are in a true relationship (which they actually were not). 

These types of aspects can make date rape trials particularly tricky to deal with.  Criminal penalties for date rape can involve criminal fines, sentences for more than one year, and possible placement on a sex offender list.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance With Date Rape Charges?

Thus, proving date rape can sometimes be very difficult.  You may need to hire a qualified lawyer in your area if you need assistance with a date rape case.  Your attorney can provide you with legal advice so you can determine your rights in your state.  Also, your lawyer can keep you informed of any new evidence or laws that might affect the outcome of the criminal trial. 

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Last Modified: 06-17-2013 12:23 PM PDT

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