Friday, 22 February, 2019

North Carolina Legal Loophole Prevents Women From Withdrawing Consent to Sex

North Carolina Legal Loophole Prevents Women From Withdrawing Consent to Sex North Carolina Legal Loophole Prevents Women From Withdrawing Consent to Sex
Stacy Diaz | 26 June, 2017, 01:44

Thanks to a 1979 state Supreme Court case ruling, North Carolina is the only state where women can't withdraw consent during intercourse if it's already underway and they've given previous consent.

The Fayetteville Observer recently posted a story about a teenage girl who said she was at a party when a man pulled her into a bathroom to have sex. At first, Palmer consented, but then told the man to stop once he began pulling violently on her hair. The issue is under renewed scrutiny after two North Carolina women in the past two months shared accounts of withdrawing consent during sex and then discovering their alleged attackers wouldn't be charged with sexual assault.

"It's really stupid", Palmer told The Fayetteville Observer about the North Carolina law. She had initially consented, and the state Supreme Court found that: "If the actual penetration is accomplished with the woman's consent, the accused is not guilty of rape, although he may be guilty of another crime because of his subsequent actions". Way (1979) and it's why women in NC can't revoke consent for sex - and why I'm trying to pass a bill to fix this. State senator Jeff Jackson, who has introduced legislation to amend the law, encountered a similar case when he was a criminal prosecutor.

"A defendant who continues the act of vaginal intercourse after consent is withdrawn is deemed to have committed the act of vaginal intercourse by force and against the will of the other person".

In most jurisdictions, "no means no" and continuing to have intercourse with another person after that person withdraws their initial consent constitutes the offence of rape. "[Jackson] said it will probably be dead for the rest of the two-year legislative session". That means there are women in the USA right now who don't have the right to decide they don't want to have sex. She was told there was nothing they could do. Another case made local news in 2010 after the lawyer for the defendant in a sexual assault case used State v. Way to argue that a teenager had given consent before a sexual encounter with his client - meaning his client couldn't have raped the teen in the eyes of the law, even if she had withdrawn consent later.

But Jonathan Wayne Guy also became violent during sex, she said, and he refused to listen to her pleas to stop. "North Carolina is the only state in the country where no doesn't really mean no", he tells Allure in an email.

"There's no reason for this to be partisan", Jackson told the Observer. Her husband had been violent in the past, Guy said, so she consented.

Palmer said she repeated her demand several more times, but he never relented. On a Saturday in January, according to Palmer and court documents, she and a friend went to Fort Bragg to connect with men they met on Tinder Social. Between the time she reported a crime and the time investigators entered the apartment where she says the attack took place, she said, a week elapsed.

Ever since that 1977 case, North Carolina has said that once a woman says yes to sex, she can't change her mind once it's started.

The following Monday, Palmer submitted to a rape kit and gave police the clothes she had worn that night.