Archaic Calif. Law Frees Man of Rape Charge

Pretending to be a woman's partner in order to have sex with her is only considered rape if she is married


A California appeals court has overturned the rape conviction of a man charged with raping a sleeping woman, basing the decision on an 1872 law that does not protect unmarried women the same protections as those who are married. According to the LA Weekly blog, the court found in favor of Julio Morales, who was convicted of rape after he slipped into bed with a sleeping 18-year-old woman and initiated sex with her, pretending to be her boyfriend.

The assault took place in 2009 at the unnamed victim's home. She and her boyfriend had fallen asleep together after a night of drinking, agreeing not to have sex that night. The boyfriend, who had an appointment early the next morning, got up and left during the night.

Julio Morales, a friend of the 18-year-old victim's brother, climbed into bed with the woman and began to have sex with her. Thinking she was with her boyfriend, still, the victim reciprocated, but when a flash of light from the doorway revealed Morales' identity, she cried out, pushed him away and began to cry.