Albany, New York, USA.- New York State will expand its definition of rape to include various forms of non-consensual sexual contact, according to legislation signed into law Tuesday by Governor Kathy Hochul.
The limited definition used until now was a factor in the sexual abuse and defamation lawsuit filed by writer E. Jean Carroll against former President Donald Trump. The jury, using that definition, determined in May of last year that Trump did not rape her during the meeting they held in the 1990s, but determined that the former president was responsible for sexual abuse, a less serious that accusation rather than rape.
The current version of the law defines rape as forced penetration of the genitals. The new version expands the definition to include anal, oral or vaginal contact. Highlighting Carroll’s case at a bill-signing ceremony in Albany, the Democratic governor said the new version would make it easier for rape victims to file complaints to bring their attackers to justice. The law applies to sexual assaults committed on or after September 1.
“The problem is that rape is a very difficult thing to prosecute,” Hochul said. “Physical technicalities confuse jurors and embarrass survivors and create a gray area of jurisprudence that defendants exploit.”
In signing the bill Tuesday, state Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal, who sponsored the law, said the new changes would also make it easier for members of the LGBTQ community to hold perpetrators accountable. sex crimes.
“We cannot allow our laws to ignore the reality that many New Yorkers experience, especially LGBTQ New Yorkers, and others,” the Democrat said.
“Prior to now, many of these assaults could not be classified as rape in New York State. But now we’re fixing that language,” he said.