Wednesday, July 27 , 2016, 8:04 pm | Fair 70º

  • Follow Noozhawk on LinkedIn
  • Follow Noozhawk on Pinterest
  • Follow Noozhawk on YouTube
 
 
 
 
Posted on January 4, 2013 | 11:08 p.m.

In Response to Ruling, Assemblyman to Reintroduce Proposal to Protect Rape Victims

Source: Craig Swaim for Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian

Responding to a troubling ruling this week by the state Court of Appeals invalidating a rape conviction, Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian of San Luis Obispo announced Friday that he will reintroduce legislation to close this loophole and expand the definition of rape to include cases where a perpetrator deceives a victim into sexual activity by impersonating the person’s boyfriend or girlfriend.

“Californians are justifiably outraged by this court ruling, and it is important that the Legislature join together to close whatever loopholes may exist in the law and uphold justice for rape victims,” Achadjian said. “Passing this legislation is my top legislative priority, and it is my hope that our coalition of crime victim advocates and law enforcement can convince my colleagues to pass this essential public safety measure without delay.”

This week, the Court of Appeals ruled in a February 2009 case in Los Angeles County where a woman, her boyfriend, her brother and his friends returned to the woman’s house after a party. The woman and her non-live-in boyfriend went to bed, but did not have sex, and later the woman fell asleep. After the boyfriend left, one of her brother’s friends entered her bedroom and started having sex with her. When she woke up and realized he was not her boyfriend, she began to scream and resist.

The court this week overturned the initial conviction, ruling that a person who impersonates someone is guilty of rape only if the victim was married and the person was pretending to be their spouse.

Last year, Achadjian introduced Assembly Bill 765 in response to another case in Santa Barbara County, in which the accused broke into the home of a female victim and instigated sexual activity with her while she was asleep in her bedroom. At first, the victim assumed that the attacker was her live-in boyfriend and consented to sex. Upon realizing that the attacker was not her boyfriend, the woman resisted and her attacker fled.

Frustrated with her inability to prosecute that attacker for felony rape, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley turned to Assemblyman Achadjian for help. The measure won unanimous State Assembly approval, but was held in the Senate Public Safety Committee.

Achadjian will reintroduce the legislation early next week and plans to expand the legislation to include cases where the boyfriend or girlfriend did not live together.

“The Appeals Court this week said that that there was a ‘historical anomaly’ in state law when it came to the definition of rape. Californians know that rape is rape, regardless of who the perpetrator is,” Dudley said. “It is imperative that we now change the law to prevent a grave injustice for future rape victims. All of us in public safety deeply appreciate the extraordinary efforts made on the part of Assemblyman Achadjian to seek this minor change in the law that will have a tremendous effect on future victims.”

— Craig Swaim represents Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, who represents all of San Luis Obispo County and part of Santa Barbara County, including the cities of Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Paso Robles, Grover Beach, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria and surrounding communities.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

 

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >