Rape is the legal term used when one person forces another person to engage in sexual intercourse without the person’s consent. Compelling a person to have sexual intercourse by use of physical force, threats to hurt or kill them or someone they know, or forcing them to perform sexual intercourse on yourself or another person is also considered rape.

What Does The Commonwealth Have To Prove To Sustain A Rape Conviction?

In order to convict a defendant of rape, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant engaged in sexual intercourse with the “victim” by force or threat of force and against his or her will and without his or her consent. Natural intercourse is penetration of the victim, even if the penetration is slight. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has sustained convictions in cases in which the evidence of penetration does not require the full sexual act of intercourse to meet this threshold of evidence.

What Types Of Defenses Can Be Raised In These Cases?

Depending on the circumstances of the case, there are many defenses that can be raised. For example, if the defendant did not commit the crime than a defense must focus on establishing that the defendant was misidentified. This can be done through cross-examination establishing that the lighting conditions were poor, that the alleged victim did not have a good opportunity to observe the perpetrator or that the alleged victim’s faculties were compromised by drugs, alcohol or another inebriant that compromised the person’s ability to make an identification.

There are also situations in which raising a “consent” defense may make sense. This is usually the case when the parties know one another, are dating or simply on a date.

Finally, there are scenarios in which a defendant can maintain that there was NO penetration, however slight. It is important to keep in mind that the penetration does NOT have to take place with a penis. Penetration by a finger, tongue or other object is also considered rape.

Related Offenses

Statutory rape is the charge when the victim is a minor, and date rape and spousal rape are self-explanatory. Rape is also the charge used when one person forces intercourse on a person who is drugged, not mentally capable of giving consent or unconscious.

An arrest for rape is a serious charge and if you are convicted you can be sentenced to many years in prison. If you are a resident of Massachusetts and have been arrested or believe that you are about to be charged with rape, you must contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who will work hard to defend your rights. The attorney will respond promptly to your call.

Prison sentences for a rape conviction depend on the circumstances of the crime, but always range from a term of several years to a LIFE sentence. Second and subsequent convictions are severe and parole is not easily granted. Even one conviction will result in your being listed on sex offender's lists that are available online to anyone to see and you will lose many rights and freedoms. Your name and address and the type of crime may be sent in a letter to members of your community. Your name and the nature of the conviction will be added to national government sex offender's databases, and where you travel, live, and work will all be restricted by law.

You need to immediately contact an attorney who is not going to allow wrong information or shallow accusations to be used against you. You need to contact Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer.

Sexual assaults usually take place with no witnesses, and often arrests take place when there is little evidence. Sometimes an accusation of rape is a tactic of a nasty divorce or a matter of revenge from an angry former partner. A superior sex crimes criminal defense attorney will defend you aggressively in and out of court.

The attorney is a former prosecutor and will use her knowledge of both sides of the courtroom for your best defense. She will help you navigate your way through a confusing and complicated criminal justice system. The attorney will start an investigation to make sure that all of the facts of your case are clear and not muddied by an eager prosecutor anxious to add a conviction to their resume.