Oklahoma Legislature Closes Loophole On Sex Crimes

Oklahoma, sex crimes, legislature
An Oklahoma court has ruled that, according to state law, forcing oral sex on a person who is unconscious from drinking too much is not rape. But the Oklahoma Senate and House this week passed a law to close that loophole. Photo by sebra/Shutterstock

OKLAHOMA CITY, May 24 (UPI) — Oklahoma’s Senate has sent a bill to the governor that closes a loophole in the state’s laws to include sodomy victims who are unconscious.

Last month, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that oral sex with an unconscious victim is not rape. The ruling stems from a 2014 case of a 17-year-old boy who allegedly assaulted a 16-year-old girl after offering to drive the girl — who witnesses said was drunk and unconscious — to her grandmother’s house.

The rape law covers unconscious people, but the existing sodomy law doesn’t grant the same protection, according to the ruling.

The Republican-dominated House and Senate approved a bill that imposes a punishment of up to 20 years in prison.

The Senate passed the measure 39-5 Monday.

“If someone is unconscious, they obviously cannot give consent,” said state Sen. A.J. Griffin, a Republican.

“While we strongly disagreed with the court’s conclusion, the issue we were faced with was how to make sure this never happens again. This legislation adds specificity to our statutes and closes the loophole that prevented justice from being done. With the governor’s signature, this legislation will make sure those who commit such crimes can be prosecuted and held accountable instead of walking away because of a technicality.”

The House on Wednesday approved the measure 86-0.

“It is simply not acceptable to allow sexual predators to get away with forcible sodomy simply because the victim is unconscious,” said state Rep. Scott Biggs, also a Republican. “We have been swift in our response to closing up this new loophole and I am grateful for the support.


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