Health

Utah Lawmaker Questions Whether Sex With An Unconscious Person Should Always Be Considered Rape

CREDIT: KSTU

A bill in the Utah legislature would clarify the state’s rape statute by making clear that a person who is unconscious cannot give their consent. According to local prosecutors and advocates, the ambiguity is making it difficult to pursue some rape cases and may be discouraging women from coming forward.

As the bill was considered by the Utah Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Representative Brian Greene voiced his concerns. He wasn’t sure that having sex with an unconscious person should always count as rape. Green said the sex with an unconscious person seemed like rape to him in a “first date scenario” but questioned having a bright line rule for married couples or other individuals with a prior relationship.

Greene clarified for the committee that he was “not at all trying to justify sexual activity with an unconscious person.”

Greene was not alone in his concerns. Representative LaVar Christensen said always counting sex with an unconscious person as rape would make the definition too “broad.”

Ultimately, however, Green and Christensen overcame their misgivings. The bill passed the committee unanimously and moves to the full house.

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