Minnesota Supreme Court Rules It Is Not Rape If Victim Is Voluntarily Intoxicated
The Supreme Court of Minnesota has ruled that a person cannot automatically be guilty of sexual assault, if their victim consented to alcohol or drugs prior to the attack.
Understandably, the controversial ruling has sparked major concerns for people’s safety.
The decision was made after a Minneapolis man called Francois Monulu Khalil was convicted of third-degree criminal sexual misconduct because the victim was drunk and mentally incapacitated, therefore unable to consent.
A 20-year-old woman claims she had five shots of vodka and a prescribed pill before she was refused entry to a Minneapolis bar for being too drunk. Outside the bar, she was approached by Khalil, who invited her and her friend to a party, only for them to arrive at his house to discover there was no party.
As per The Washington Post, she alleges she ‘blacked out’ and woke up to him sexually assaulting her, prompting a jury to find Khalil guilty.
However, four years later, the Supreme Court has ruled that Khalil cannot be guilty of sexual assault because the victim willingly consumed alcohol prior to the alleged attack.
On Wednesday, March 24, the court overturned the 24-year-old’s conviction and granted him the right to a new trial.
On announcing the ruling, Justice Paul Thissen wrote that a potential victim can only be considered as ‘mentally incapacitated’ if they’ve consumed intoxicants without their own agreement, like being spiked, before going on to note the woman had voluntarily gotten drunk.
Unsurprisingly, the ruling has caused grave concerns for loopholes it could cause in future sexual assault cases in the state.
‘Victims who are intoxicated to the degree that they are unable to give consent are entitled to justice. Minnesotans who experience unthinkable trauma deserve to see the Legislature take action on this immediately,’ said Democratic rep for Minnesota Kelly Moller, as per USA Today.
Earlier this year, Moller introduced legislation to amend the wording of what constitutes third-degree sexual misconduct to include anyone who is intoxicated for any reason.
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