Date Rape Law & Legal Definition


Victims of date rape were raped by an individual with whom they were acquainted. In many such cases, the establishment of guilt becomes difficult, particularly in cases where the victim displays no physical evidence of violence and there is only the testimony of the victim. Date rape studies show that there is a high incidence of under-reporting of this crime, often due to loss of memory of the victim.

There are certain "date rape" drugs that render the victim unconscious and limit memory, such as GHB and Rohypnol; using these drugs on somebody is not actually "date rape" but a federal crime with a possible 20 year sentence. In 2000, President Clinton signed a federal law banning the possession of distribution of the date rape drug called GHB. The fact that the parties knew each other or that the woman willingly accompanied the man are not legal defenses to a charge of rape.

The following is an Indiana statute dealing with date rape:

Rape

Sec. 1. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a person who knowingly or intentionally has sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex when:

  • the other person is compelled by force or imminent threat of force;
  • the other person is unaware that the sexual intercourse is occurring; or
  • the other person is so mentally disabled or deficient that consent to sexual intercourse cannot be given; commits rape, a Class B felony.

(b) An offense described in subsection (a) is a Class A felony if:

  • it is committed by using or threatening the use of deadly force;
  • it is committed while armed with a deadly weapon;
  • it results in serious bodily injury to a person other than a defendant; or
  • the commission of the offense is facilitated by furnishing the victim, without the victim's knowledge, with a drug (as defined in IC 16-42-19-2(1)) or a controlled substance (as defined in IC 35-48-1-9) or knowing that the victim was furnished with the drug or controlled substance without the victim's knowledge.