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  1. #1
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    Default What is the Legal Definition of Sexual Assault

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: United States Federal Law

    https://www.justice.gov/ovw/sexual-assault

    Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.
    Is that definition from Congress, or made up administratively?
    What is the jurisdiction of the definition? Does it apply to universities funded by the federal government?

    What is meant by explicit consent? I would interpret it to mean a person must ask for and get permission before every touch.
    Does "Falling under" mean this is a complete list, or possibly a partial list? Might kissing be included?
    What is included under "behavior?"
    Do two people who are dating each other or flirting with each other or who have been kissing need explicit permission to "fondle" each other? Fondling is pretty common in those situations. I don't think most people explicitly ask permission to fondle the other's buttox before doing so.

    I think this definition is overly broad in the first sentence, and needs clarification of the second sentence. But does this definition carry any weight ever? When?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What is the Significance of This Definition Posted by Us Department of Justice

    Quote Quoting MikeSmith321
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    Is that definition from Congress, or made up administratively?
    It is simply a general definition of the term, akin to a dictionary definition, basically.

    What matters in a criminal prosecution is the what actions the particular statute prohibits, and as most rape and sexual assault crimes are state offenses, the law that matters in most cases is state law. It is not the case, even with the DOJ definition, that explicit consent means the person must ask for and get verbal consent for every touch, unlike some college campus rules (including the college rule that got you worked up in that other thread.)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What is the Significance of This Definition Posted by Us Department of Justice

    How do they get to just make up a definition? I'm pretty sure no state in the country says you must get explicit consent before every touch or else it is sexual assault.

    I never said it says you must get verbal consent. But just because it says non-verbal is OK, what counts as non-verbal consent for each act? Would a guy be asked how he got consent, or would the plaintiff be allowed to say, "I never gave consent, verbal or non-verbal"? In almost every welcome sexual interaction, people don't get consent first. They start doing stuff gradually, testing the waters, and the other person says no if they want. This definition looks to me like it is saying that is sexual assault.

    I the issue is not verbal versus non-verbal. It is that the person must get explicit consent before they make the touch. Testing the waters is sexual assault.


    Is that just advice to the states? Does it just apply to the military? Who else is under that definition? Or do they just make up whatever they feel like with no significance?

    Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What is the Significance of This Definition Posted by Us Department of Justice

    Have you ever used a dictionary? Does it bother you that somebody "made up" all of the definitions it contains?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What is the Significance of This Definition Posted by Us Department of Justice

    If you want to know what constitutes a sexual assault in your state, check out your state's penal code. I am sure you can find the appropriate sections to cover fondling, penetration, rape, etc.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: What is the Significance of This Definition Posted by Us Department of Justice

    I want to know, what the significance is if the department of justice definition. Specifically where it applies. It closely resembles many university definitions, which makes me wonder if they are following "guidance". My schools Title 9 officer told me much of their policy is mandated by the violence against women act.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What is the Significance of This Definition Posted by Us Department of Justice

    As has already been explained, if you are charged with a crime you look at the definition applicable to the statute under which you have been charged. A definition from a document that discusses sex crimes in general is not relevant.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What is the Significance of This Definition Posted by Us Department of Justice

    Quote Quoting MikeSmith321
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    I want to know, what the significance is if the department of justice definition.
    The definition on the page you linked is simply a general, dictionary type definition of the term to provide education on the topic. That’s it.

    I realize that the issue of campus sex policies seems to be a big deal to you, but I think you are making more of it than is really there. Your school made a decision to adopt a particular policy. It is one that I think is ridiculous, but in any event, it was the school administration that adopted it. You don’t really need to look much further than that to understand what your school has done.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What is the Significance of This Definition Posted by Us Department of Justice

    They need to strike the word explicit from that definition. Looks to me like the far left infiltrated the DOJ and got that slipped in there to try and set legal precedent or climate.

    In Canada and in United Kingdom, affirmative consent is the law for everyone. I don't want to let it take root in the United States. Striking it down in college sounds like a good fight back. I wish I could include DOJ in a freedom of expression chill injunction to make them strike that word from that definition. It is not a law, and only state law matters, but it is believable someone googling the definition could stumble on their website and feel chilled.

    Sex is expression, though expression is not an absolute right. My argument would be that there is no compelling public interest in such a strict standard that outlaws many types of expression for no benefit to society. As such, the imposition on expression is unconstitutional.

    If there is something in the Violence Against Women Act I can take a swipe at, I'd like to know about it. I read it, and it is just a bunch of monetary appropriations to many groups, basically paying administrators to do studies and come up with rules. Who knows where the rules are published.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What is the Significance of This Definition Posted by Us Department of Justice

    Sex is an "expression"? No, sex is an act between two consenting adults. Consent is the issue, not sex. It is not an art show or a theatrical production.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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