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Jones v. State

    Brief Fact Summary. Defendant lived in the same house as Victim. Defendant verbally asked that Victim engage in sexual intercourse with him. After asking three times, the victim had sexual intercourse with Defendant. The State prosecuted Defendant on a charge of rape.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. Although force and threats of force can be conveyed through something other than words, there must be some evidence of force or the threat of force to substantiate a charge of rape.

    Facts. Victim was 26 years old and lived in the same house with Defendant Jones, Defendant’s family and Victim’s foster mother. Victim testified that Defendant knocked on her bedroom door and asked her to have intercourse with him. She refused twice, but the third time he asked; she did not say no but did not resist intercourse in any way. The trial court found Defendant guilty of rape.

    Issue. Whether there is substantial evidence to uphold a conviction of rape.

    Held. The evidence does not constitute substantial evidence showing Defendant had intercourse with Victim by force or imminent threat of force.
    Force or threat of force can be conveyed through something other than menacing words.

    Without evidence of previous threats, of force against Victim by Defendant that would allow a jury to infer fear of force or threats on the occasion in question.


    Discussion. The Court ruling focused on the lack of any evidence that demonstrate a past violent encounter between Defendant and Victim. Further the court noted that Victim testified that she just “let him have it”, which was insufficient to show any resistance on her part. Although there is not formal requirement that a victim resist, the court seems to imply one here by citing to cases that demonstrated that a victim had at least offered verbal resistance by screaming for help or honking car horn to get aid.


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