The Rape Laws Against Sex

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Beginning in the 10th century, “a man who raped a virgin was sentenced to death, and his land and money were given to the victim” (Richards & Marcum, 2015, p. 16). However, since times were different, if the victim decided to marry her attacker, he would ultimately evade the legal repercussion of his heinous actions. During the 12th and 13th-century laws against sex, crimes began to change. The first law change assisted virgins that were raped. They were able to file a civil suit against the perpetrator. Therefore, this process would evolve into a trail by a jury. Finally, during the 13th century the criminal definition of rape changed, yet again due to society changing. This new law stated that “the rape of matrons, nuns, widows, concubines, and prostitutes, as well as the statutory rape of children” (Richards & Marcum, 2015, p. 16) was now considered a criminal act.

Taking a look at the United States, the rape law here consisted of five elements that must be met before it was considered rape in a court of law. “The act had to be criminal, involve carnal knowledge, victimize a woman, and be committed using force, and the force has to be against the will of the victim” (Richards & Marcum, 2015, p. 17). The United States’ law had many restrictions that did not consider rape against spouses. This common law definition of rape was used until the mid-1900’s. It was not until 1962 when the Model Penal Code established a broader definition of rape. This definition was an updated

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