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Minnesota Supreme Court Rules It Is Not Rape If Victim Is Voluntarily Intoxicated

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 28 Mar 2021 16:56
Minnesota Supreme Court Rules It Is Not Rape If Victim Is Voluntarily IntoxicatedPA Images

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.

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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.

Minnesota Supreme Court Rules It Is Not Rape If Victim Is Voluntarily IntoxicatedPA Images

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.

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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.

Minnesota Supreme Court Rules It Is Not Rape If Victim Is Voluntarily IntoxicatedPA Images
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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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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing on to UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: News, Legal, Minnesota, Now, US

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USA Today
  1. USA Today

    Minnesota Supreme Court throws out rape conviction because intoxicated woman willingly consumed alcohol