« Interesting global drug use data via new study in The Lancet | Main | Interesting new data on operation of death penalty in Connecticut »

January 7, 2012

Will new federal definition of rape significantly impact approaches to sex crimes and punishments?

The question in the title of this post is prompted by this past week's news that the feds have officially adopted a new rape definition for FBI crime reporting purposes.  The basics are well covered in this entry, headlined "Holder Makes It Official: New FBI Rape Definition Approved," coming from the folks at The Crime Report:

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today announced revisions to the Uniform Crime Report’s definition of rape, which the Justice Department says will lead to a more comprehensive statistical reporting of rape nationwide.

Holder said the new definition is more inclusive, better reflects state criminal codes, and focuses on the various forms of sexual penetration understood to be rape. The revision had been urged by women's advocacy groups and was approved by an FBI advisory committee. FBI Director Robert Mueller approved the new official definition on Dec. 21, 2011....

The change has been almost a decade in the making, as The Crime Report previously reported, with a series of advisory and listening meetings on a new definition. The old definition, which was proposed in 1927 and signed into law in 1929, defined rape as "the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will." The new definition is: “The 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.” This new definition now includes men and boys to provide a fuller picture of rape in America.

A recent Centers for Disease Control Study reported that as many as 1 in 3 women have experienced rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetimes, and about 1 in 10 men.

In 2010, the FBI reported 84,767 rapes. The complete numbers for 2011 Uniform Crime Report have not yet been reported, but the FBI issued a preliminary report showing a 6.4 decrease in violent crimes during the first six months of 2011. In addition to forcible rape, violent crimes reported by the UCR also include murder, robbery, and aggravated assault. Experts expect the numbers of reported rape to increase over the next few years once the new tools are fully implemented.

January 7, 2012 at 02:26 PM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451574769e201676023d4d2970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Will new federal definition of rape significantly impact approaches to sex crimes and punishments?:

Comments

when i saw this i just had to laugh!

"“The 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.” This new definition now includes men and boys to provide a fuller picture of rape in America."

Guess we will be seeing a lot of arrests of TSA agents! since they do this on a REGULAR BASIS DAILY!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jan 7, 2012 3:22:42 PM

The big question is how one defines consent. What makes a rape a rape is lack of consent. Is there any attempt to define consent.

Posted by: Jardinero1 | Jan 7, 2012 3:49:23 PM

I am going after any TSA Agent that touches me inappropriately. I will digitally record every encounter I have with them.

I think it more probable that I will be detained indefinitely by this gubermint. No one will hear from me again.

Also, does consent mean a signed agreement like in the Assange case?

Posted by: albeed | Jan 7, 2012 4:13:45 PM

Bill:

This definition means full employment for the FBI and DOJ.

Everybody who has changed a diaper properly, in the good old USofA is now a child rapist!

Posted by: albeed | Jan 7, 2012 5:29:02 PM

A Harvard Law School Crim Law exam had the following question, in essence. Should a sexual encounter be Mirandized? Before undressing or even touching the female, every male would have to pull out a card with a standard Miranda warning about sex, and the female would have to formally give consent, by signing the Miranda warning card. When I sent in my brief answer to this criminal law exam question with a sample of a sex Miranda warning card, and asked if there was a model answer, the professor demanded to know how I got a hold of the exam. Soon thereafter, all Harvard Law exams required a school password. This professor was a member of the ALI, and I predicted this development five years ago. My answer also included the legal advice to do nothing in that back seat encounter until lawyers for both sides could arrive, then sex could begin. The Harvard Law professor did not think I was funny. Legal Zoom printouts will not be accepted as valid, and any touching without written consent will counted as rape, including in the context of marriage.

Here come the feminists and their male running dogs. I have patience. When the public has had enough, I will be ready with the statutes needed to round up this lawyer hierarchy, try it, and execute it summarily. I will have the Constitutional Amendment excluding the lawyer from all benches, legislative seats and responsible policy positions in the executive.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 7, 2012 9:28:37 PM

SC:

Until the stupidity stops, (LAW SCHOOL (and justice) IS AN ABSOLUTE JOKE), I hope you succeed.

Doug: Please, please comment!

Posted by: albeed | Jan 7, 2012 10:53:04 PM

Prof. Berman likely had this professor in 1L, and found nothing anomalous. He was young, was subjected to intense cult indoctrination, and had no prior intellectual training to protect him from these what...? It goes beyond falsity. I do not have a word that combines delusions (firmly held false beliefs) and scamming (lying for money). Cult is the closest that comes to accurate characterization of what goes on in law school. Nuts and evil.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 8, 2012 1:50:20 AM

A good reason to video the Miranda AND the coitus.

Posted by: Docile Jim Brady | Jan 8, 2012 5:33:36 AM

while I do find the overreactions from some people here somewhat entertaining, you seem to ignore that its already been the law pretty much since rape was defined as a property crime (see, because women and girls were legally property of men a rape deprived men of their property in having a chaste wife or daughter) that any penetration "however slight" constituted rape. I mean, there is probably no state in the U.S. whose criminal code is more tied to the Common Law than Virginia (there are many crimes where the statute merely lists the penalty) - and there are all sorts of old early 19th Century cases from the Virginia Supreme Court (which was actually called somewhat redundantly the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals at the time).

OF course, the old Common Law definition of rape only meant of the penis in the vagina only. But everything else was just still crimes. All this does is remove the statistical distinction between to use the Virginia (which is to say Common Law) terms - and its rather notable that in every case in Virginia the penalty (5 to Life, 25 year mandatory minimum for repeat crimes against children under 13, or crimes that result in serious injury to a child under 13) is exactly the same for all of these crimes - rape (penis in vagina only), Animate Object Sexual Penetration (body parts - generally fingers in vagina or anus), Inanimate Object Sexual Penetration (any object which isn't living in vagina or anus), and Forcible Sodomy (oral or anal sex without consent). And yes, in every case "only slight" penetration was required for a conviction. Many states have removed the distinction and just have a crime entitled something like sexual assault which covers any sort of assaults. Other states have expanded from the Common LAw definition of rape.

In other words, don't be thrown off by the use of the term "rape" - this is merely unifying all forcible sex offenses under one phrase rather than have different names. Everything covered has already been illegal for centuries - if not milenium. All this does is remove the ancient distinction between various forcible sex acts to have them listed as one offense. And the definition does not make anything additionally illegal - everything covered was already illegal for centuries!

I'm not sure if I like the fact that they retained the somewhat misleading phrase "rape" rather than the more accurate "Forcible Sexual Assaults" - especially since there are several states which have totally gotten rid of the term "rape" from their legal code and for the other states that retain the ancient distinctions between various sex acts, it is still a more accurate umbrella phrase.

But the point remains, don't freak out about this because there are no new crimes here - its merely consolidating all forcible sexual assaults for statistical purposes only. Everything covered was already illegal for centuries.

Erika :)

Posted by: virginia | Jan 8, 2012 8:05:21 AM

From the somewhat better coverage by the NY Times:
"Many states have long since adopted a more expansive definition of rapes in their criminal laws, and officials said that local police departments had been breaking down their numbers and sending only a fraction of the reported rapes to the F.B.I. to comply with outdated federal standards.
"For example, the New York Police Department reported 1,369 rapes in 2010, but only 1,036 were entered in the federal figures. However, the police department in Chicago, which had nearly 1,400 reported sexual assaults in 2010, refused to discard cases that did not fit the narrower federal definition when reporting its crime statistics; as a result, the F.B.I.’s uniform crime report — which reported 84,767 forcible rapes that year — did not include any rapes from that city.
"The revision to the definition of rape is only for the purposes of deciding what kinds of incidents will be included in the “rape” category of the F.B.I.’s compilation of national crime statistics. It does not change the underlying criminal codes governing the prosecution of sexual assaults."

Amazing that people are so threatened by a SLIGHTLY more accurate count of the amount of sexual violence there is - including against men.

Posted by: Paul | Jan 8, 2012 10:12:01 AM

Commenter Virginia was very enlightening thankyou. But what about the definition of consent. The problem I see, going forward, is that the idea of consent varies from one jurisdiction to the next. Is there any attempt to address the issue of consent.

Posted by: Jardinero1 | Jan 8, 2012 12:26:06 PM

nice virginia!

"In other words, don't be thrown off by the use of the term "rape" - this is merely unifying all forcible sex offenses under one phrase rather than have different names. Everything covered has already been illegal for centuries - if not milenium. All this does is remove the ancient distinction between various forcible sex acts to have them listed as one offense. And the definition does not make anything additionally illegal - everything covered was already illegal for centuries!"

Guess this means the TSA is GUILTY of 10's of THOUSANDS of forcable sexual assaults a year! after all if it's been illegal for a MILENIUM! it SURELY MSUT include GOVT OFFICALS!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jan 8, 2012 12:26:22 PM

"So what do you want to do, now? Come up for a cup of coffee? Do you understand? You have a right to refuse any sexual contact, including holding hands in the elevator, kissing, and any arm over the shoulder. The taking of a shower, dressing properly, going to dinner, friendly banter, pretending to be listening to you, all for one purpose, to unduly influence your decision making. Do you understand? You have a right to have an attorney present? Do you understand? If you cannot afford one, one can be rousted out of bed to attend any sexual encounter. Do you understand? I really like you, and my tongue may penetrate your mouth by accident. Do you understand? Sign here. I have 1:48 AM as the time." "If you do not understand, I can have this sex encounter Miranda warning read to you in Spanish or Vietnamese, or any other language you prefer.""Thanks for signing. Excuse me. I have to call my lawyer, now. He is on call for this date and will be here in 20 minutes." "His advice is to say and do nothing until he gets here."

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 8, 2012 1:09:06 PM

There is a movement to enact statutes to allow breast feeding in public places, of which I approve if the mother is younger than 30, or older than 30 and has passed a nudity license examination.

From genius Holder, "...oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

Babies do not give consent. Is there going to be a conflict of laws problem here?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 8, 2012 1:14:55 PM

I would support a mirror image statute and statistical compilation, same definitions, same penalties, but for false allegations. In addition, all investigation costs should be assessed to the assets of the false accuser and to the inevitable false feminist lawyer coming along. If these are in the context of a divorce or tort litigation, there should be a presumption of bad faith, and enhanced penalties.

Thorough investigations, including polygraph testing, indicate almost half of the allegations are false.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 8, 2012 6:21:43 PM

Supremacy Claus, rodsmith, albeed, etc. - much as it would be nice for Erika's Icky Perv Solutions, Inc. to get more potential profit centers for Erika's Icky Perv Island (see the thread about the guy who was living in the monks for the full details of this exciting proposal), the state statutes require specific intent in order to make such contact a crime. Thus, changing diapers, breast feeding, TSA agent searches, rectal thermonotures, etc. are not criminal acts.

Now, I believe that one can make a reasonable argument given the statute includes the intent "to humiliate" that spanking children qualifies as aggravated sexual battery in Virginia (and likely other states) which would brand every parent who ever spanked a child an icky perv - but I've never seen any evidence that any such case has ever been prosecuted. But I tend to think that the entire idea of spanking children is rather sick and icky anyway.

Erika :)

Posted by: virginia | Jan 9, 2012 7:46:36 AM

LOL

whops wrong again virginia!

"Thus, changing diapers, breast feeding, TSA agent searches, rectal thermonotures, etc. are not criminal acts."

Tell that to the man who was required to register as a sex offender for the ULTIMATE crime of grabbing a dumb girl by the arm and dragging her BACK to the sidewalk after almost HITTING HER WITH HIS CAR when she ran out into the road.

or the ones taken to trial for old bathtub photo's of thier children.

sorry INTENT went out a long time ago in this country as far as sex crimes go..which means the TSA nazi's get the same treatment!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jan 9, 2012 11:07:33 AM

What frustrates me to no end, is this phrase "every three minutes a woman is raped," or "one in three women have been raped!" I say BS. I am 76 years old, have sisters, daughters, neices, sister-in-laws, daughter-in-laws, and so on, and many friends over the years. I have never known one woman in my life who had been raped. I do believe that there are some who are. But, the studies which saturate...everything....everywhere, worse than any propaganda I have ever heard of, are the above phrases. It is such a preposterous lie, somebody needs to get to the bottom of it.

Posted by: Dana | Jan 9, 2012 6:45:53 PM

Dana:

I hate to say it, but as an engineer and mathematician, our WHOLE government is based on public indoctrination, er I mean education, that is lies!

Posted by: albeed | Jan 9, 2012 11:03:30 PM

yep dana that whopper is right up there with the jokers about sex crimes!

we have 100,000 missing offenders. bull crap they have no clue HOW MANY they even have since they count them multiple times in many many jurisdictions. especialy since each namem on the LIST gets the state "X" amount of dollars.

then there is sex offenders have a "HIGH REOFFENCE RATE" sorry 4% to 15% is NOT high

EVERY study done over the last 10-12 years show the same thing. 95% of all SEX CRIMES are FIRST TIME OFFENDERS!

doesn't take a rocket scientist or even a RETARD politician that with numbers like that there is no way in HELL that a MILLION sex offenders on the LIST are reoffending ....wouldn't be room for ANYTHING in the NEWS BUT THEM! if that was even CLOSE TO TRUE!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jan 10, 2012 2:20:07 AM

Virginia: I would still get that baby with a dirty diaper formal consent with a footprint on a Miranda sex warning card.

And as to spanking, do not judge it until you have experienced receiving your just desserts as such a bad girl. Naturally, it will be after signing the Miranda sex warning card, and being repeatedly asked, "Do you understand?" in English and other languages you speak, and having your lawyer present. Come to think of it, the lawyer may enhance the effect of such a situation, especially if she is also hot, and you know, already close to being in the mood to be Mirandized too, after being repeatedly asked, "Do you understand?"

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 10, 2012 4:16:02 AM

dana: "I am 76 years old"

me: so, that would mean that you were born in 1935 by my calculations and would have spent the first 30 years in your life prior to what Bill Otis has previously noted was an explosion in rape cases in 1965. Now whatever the reason why there was an explosion in rape cases beginning in 1965, one possible explanation is that with the lowering of societal stigma of sex, women were more likely to report being raped. That would especially be the case in so called "date rape" situations where in the 1950s, a woman would mark herself as a "slut" by even getting in a situation where she might be date raped. Also remember that until very recently it was actually legal for a husband to rape his wife - so obviously none of those cases were likely to be reported. Now a more reasonable person aware of the social history would suspect that the evolving societal view of rape has made a difference in the number of women reporting that they have been raped.

I mean, even today, a stigma remains about being raped especially in the "date rape" situations where studies have actually proven that women are actually worse than men about blaming the victim (that is the reason why prosecutors seek to remove women from juries in rape cases). Thus, it is extremely likely that several of the women you know have been raped - but they have never told you because especially among older women the stigma of being a rape victim is so great. I mean, if I was your granddaughter, I wouldn't report being raped to you because I know that you would not believe me.

Now, I think that you are right that the 1 in 3 women will be raped during their lifetime is a bit misleading because it is based upon the number of rapes multiplied by the average lifespan of a woman. Obviously a case like several reported where a girl is raped hundreds of times by her father will skew such statistics. But if you do the math, you will see that yes, when you multiply the number of reported rapes per year by the average lifespan of women and divide that number by the female population of the U.S., the answer is about 3.

Recently you might have noticed that there has been a dramatic increase on the number of sexual abuse cases involving boys being abused being reported - that is likely because some prominent professional athletes have reported childhood sexual abuse which has lowered the stigma among men of being sexual abused.

Erika :)

Posted by: virginia | Jan 10, 2012 7:42:19 AM

mr. claus: "And as to spanking, do not judge it until you have experienced receiving your just desserts as such a bad girl."

me: objection, your honor - assumes facts not in evidence.

your assumption that I am a bad girl is accurate - its your other assumption which is wrong ;)

Erika :)

Posted by: virginia | Jan 10, 2012 7:50:01 AM

Erika. Say we like each other. Won't the repetition of "do you understand?" Start to annoy you after the fifth time?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 10, 2012 10:18:48 AM

mr. claus: "Say we like each other. Won't the repetition of "do you understand?" Start to annoy you after the fifth time?"

me: of course, and then since I am a bad girl, I would start giving annoying answers which would make you think that I'm a bad girl who needs a spanking so you would then ask "do you understand?" again and again and finally I will get so frustrated that you just will not get the message that I want you to spank me, I would get so annoyed that I leave.

so obviously it will never work out :P

Erika :)

Posted by: virginia | Jan 11, 2012 7:15:02 AM

This is The Laugh of the Day. It is even funnier than Holder's definition.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 11, 2012 4:28:48 PM

I welcome Virginia's comments here over the childish ridicule and speaking of "Holder's definition" for what the "FBI advisory committee" and "FBI Director Robert Mueller approved." I don't see much helpful to determine what the "impact approaches to sex crimes and punishments" will be.

Posted by: Joe | Jan 12, 2012 12:18:34 PM

Virginia (or Erika or whatever you wish to be called)
I do not believe there was any "explosion" in the 60's of rape. I believe there was the beginning of women and girls "reporting" rape, due to the "women's movement." What they now report as rape is more often that they changed their mind one third of the way through intercourse, or that the court systems began defining rape as being touched or even imagining being touched where you didn't want to be touched. Even at that, I KNOW those statistics are wrong. I have lived in a very small rural town my whole life, and everyone knows what happens to everyone else. My daughter and grandaughter certainly would have let me know if they had actually be REALLY RAPED. These new harsh feminists have ruined society. They are a bunch of men haters. They dont even want men to exist any more. They want to go to a sperm bank, and conceive, but they better conceive themself a female child, because what good is it going to do if they get a boy? What are boys for any more"

Posted by: Dana | Jan 14, 2012 2:22:45 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB