The role of consent in sexual assault cases
On Behalf of Kirsch Daskas Law Group | Jun 8, 2020 | Sexual assault |
When two consenting adults engage in sexual conduct, it is legal. It happens frequently after dates, after people meet at social gatherings, in long-term relationships and in many other scenarios. In the vast majority of cases, this is fine and leads to no issues at all.
The problem, though, is that both adults do need to give their consent and approve of the conduct. When one does not, the exact same incident can become illegal and may even lead to an arrest. This can take the person who gets arrested by surprise if they did not realize that their actions were unwanted.
For instance, what if you never explicitly asked for consent? This wasn’t exactly an event that you planned out in advance, but just something that happened with a person you met at a social gathering. You got the sense, from their actions and lack of any obvious protests, that they were also interested in you romantically and that they approved of the conduct.
Afterward, though, they claim that they never gave their consent and you acted against their will. You’re stunned. You had no idea they didn’t want to engage in sexual activity with you, and you never would have done something that went against their wishes if you had simply known. You try to apologize, but they move forward with legal charges all the same.
Technically speaking, you didn’t ask for consent but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you did anything wrong. You were just reading their signals, and you don’t think that means you acted maliciously in any way. You must know what legal defense options you have right away.