In Oklahoma, there are two types of rape: first degree rape and second degree rape. While people hear of crimes including statutory rape and date rape, these are not legal terms; rather, they describe the conditions of a first degree or second degree rape. The determination of whether a rape is charged in the first or second degree depends upon certain factors associated with the crime, but whether or not the victim was a dating partner of the perpetrator does not determine the severity of the offense.
Date rape is a commonly known term that refers to the rape of a person who is a friend, dating partner, or romantic interest of the perpetrator of the rape. Often, it occurs when a victim willingly goes out with a person who then refuses to take "no" for an answer. The attacker may use "date rape drugs" such as Rohypnol (roofies), Klonopin, or Xanax as a means of forcing submission, or he may take advantage of a heavily intoxicated and unconscious victim.
In Oklahoma, forcible rape, rape of an unconscious victim, and forcing submission through use of drugs or anesthetizing agents are considered first degree rape. First degree rape is a felony punishable by a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of life without parole. It is accompanied by mandatory lifetime sex offender registration as a Level 3 offender.
If an adult over the age of 18 has sex with a person under the age of 16, regardless of the younger person's willingness to engage in sexual activity, the adult may be charged with second degree rape. In Oklahoma, no one under the age of 16 is legally able to consent to sex. Conviction of second degree rape carries a prison sentence of 1 to 15 years, and like first degree rape, it requires lifetime registration as a Level 3 sex offender.
Many people believe that marriage bestows "marital rights" on the spouses. However, those rights should be based on mutual love and respect. The state of Oklahoma forbids forcible sex with any person who does not consent to sexual intercourse, even if that person is the spouse of the perpetrator. The state's rape definition lists 8 separate qualifiers for rape of a person who is not the spouse of the assailant, but it lists only one specific definition of spousal rape:
Rape is an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a male or female who is the spouse of the perpetrator if force or violence is used or threatened, accompanied by apparent power of execution to the victim or to another person. 21 O.S. § 1111(b)
When violence or the threat of violence is used to force sexual submission, the act is not an act of marital love, but an act of domestic violence. As forcible rape, it is charged as first degree rape, a felony punishable by a maximum of life in prison without parole and accompanied by lifetime registration as a Level 3 sex offender.
People often think of forcible sodomy as anal rape, but acts of anal penetration are charged as first degree or second degree rape. Forcible sodomy is ambiguously defined by state law as "the detestable and abominable crime against nature," but it typically refers to oral sex. Oral copulation is not charged as rape, but rather as forcible sodomy when it meets the following criteria under 21 O.S. § 888:
1. Sodomy committed by a person over eighteen (18) years of age upon a person under sixteen (16) years of age; or
2. Sodomy committed upon a person incapable through mental illness or any unsoundness of mind of giving legal consent regardless of the age of the person committing the crime; or
3. Sodomy accomplished with any person by means of force, violence, or threats of force or violence accompanied by apparent power of execution regardless of the age of the victim or the person committing the crime; or
4. Sodomy committed by a state, county, municipal or political subdivision employee or a contractor or an employee of a contractor of the state, a county, a municipality or political subdivision of this state upon a person who is under the legal custody, supervision or authority of a state agency, a county, a municipality or a political subdivision of this state; or
5. Sodomy committed upon a person who is at least sixteen (16) years of age but less than twenty (20) years of age and is a student of any public or private secondary school, junior high or high school, or public vocational school, with a person who is eighteen (18) years of age or older and is employed by the same school system.
The defining characteristics of forcible rape are similar to those of rape; however, the law makes no distinction between degrees of forcible sodomy as it does for rape. Oral sodomy committed through force carries the same penalties as a seemingly consensual sex act with a person who is statutorily prohibited from providing legal consent.
Forcible oral sodomy is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in state prison. It is a Level 3 sex offense that requires sex offender registration every 90 days for life.
Sex Crime Defense Representation in Oklahoma
If you are accused of a sex offense, it is imperative that you preserve your right to silence and hire a competent attorney who can offer you the best protection during your investigation and court proceedings. Do not talk to anyone about your case—not the police, not your alleged victim, and not your friends and family. Instead, call a qualified and successful defense lawyer who can advise you and advocate for you as you face a serious felony charge. Call (405) 418-8888 to arrange a free, confidential case analysis by an experienced sexual assault defense attorney.
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