Legal Definition of Rape

For purposes of rape laws, sexual intercourse occurs at the moment of sexual penetration, however slight, by the male sexual organ. However, some states have expanded the definition of rape to include nonconsensual penetration by other body parts or objects; rape statutes may also prohibit unwanted fellatio, cunnilingus, and anal intercourse.

Perhaps the best known form of rape is forcible rape, which typically involves force or threats of violence to accomplish sexual intercourse. In most states, however, rape can also occur in a number of other ways. For example, rape generally also consists of sexual intercourse where the rapist:

A. Prevents a victim from consenting by plying him or her with alcohol or drugs
B. Poses as a public official and threatens to arrest or deport the victim unless he or she agrees to sex, or
C. Acts with the knowledge that the victim has a disorder or disability that prevents him or her from legally consenting to sex.

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