People v. John Z.
Supreme Court of CA - 2003
- 17-year-old victim, her boyfriend, and D were all at a party. Victim and D went to D's dark bedroom. D tried to convince victim to be his girlfriend.
- Victim's boyfriend entered the room and the boys asked if she ever thought about having a threesome. Victim did not leave and the threesome commenced.
- D left the room at one point and victim and her boyfriend had sex. The boyfriend then left and D came in the room.
- D and victim kissed and then had sex. After a few minutes, victim said that she needed to go home. D said to wait a minute.
- Victim became more urgent in her requests to go home, but D continued in making her stay.
- Trial court found D guilty of forcible rape.
- CA Supreme Court affirmed.
- Is the crime of forcible rape committed when the victim consents to an initial penetration and then withdraws her consent during the act of intercourse but the D continues against her will?
- The offense of forcible rape occurs when, during apparently consensual intercourse, the victim expresses an objection and attempts to stop the act and the D forcibly continues despite the objection.
- In this case, victim initially consented but then withdrew her consent and, through her actions and words, communicated that fact to D.
- Nothing in the language of the statute suggests that the D is entitled to persist in intercourse once the victim has withdrawn consent.
- D continued the sex for at least 4 or 5 minutes after victim first told him she had to go home.
- After the third time, D continued to insist that he needed more time and forced it on victim for a minute or two.
- It is not clear that victim was forcibly compelled to continue after the consent was withdrawn.
- How soon must a D desist after consent is withdrawn?
- Is persistence the same as force? The trial court should answer these questions.