California must change its definition of ‘rape’

California must change its definition of ‘rape’

California Judge Aaron Persky’s controversial decision to sentence Brock Turner to merely six months in prison for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman at a party in January last year triggered debate on how to improve the system to let the punishment match the offense.

Many legal experts argue that California’s justice system disappointed the survivor long before Judge Persky sentenced Turner, a former Stanford University athlete. The system apparently failed when rape charges slapped on Turner were tossed out.

Some other legal experts are of the view that California’s judicial system failed when the state’s law failed to define rape as rape, which shielded Turner and many others from serious rape charges.

A study found that only 33 per cent of total rapes are reported to police in the U.S, and the attackers are arrested in only 18 per cent of reported rape cases. Only 6 out of 1,000 reported rape cases lead to prison time.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines the act of rape as, “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

But, California’s law defines rape as “an act of sexual intercourse,” we leaves a big loophole in the system that has allowed many rapists to dupe the system and get releases or serve negligible sentence, as we have seen in the case of Turner.