Court: Woman Can't Say No After Start Of Sex
POSTED: 9:13 am EST October 31, 2006
UPDATED: 9:30 am EST October 31, 2006
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- An appellate court said Maryland's rape law is clear -- no doesn't mean no when it follows a yes and intercourse has begun.
A three-judge panel of the Court of Special Appeals Monday threw out a rape conviction saying that a trial judge in Montgomery County erred when he refused to answer the jury's question on that very point.
The appeals court said that when the jury asked the trial judge if a woman could withdraw her consent after the start of sex, the jury should have been told she could not. The ruling said the law is not ambiguous and is a tenet of common-law.
The decision startled activists who believe people have the right to say no at any time. Jennifer Pollitt Hill of the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault called the law "insulting and dangerous."
Montgomery Delegate Jean Cryor said the Women's Caucus of the General Assembly would likely examine the decision during the next legislative session.