Thanks to an unintended loophole created by North Carolina’s Supreme Court in 1979, reports Mark Joseph Stern, if a man continues sexual intercourse after consent is revoked, he CANNOT be charged with rape under current state law.
“Over the last year, two North Carolina prosecutors have declined to bring rape charges in cases in which the victim withdrew consent, citing this rule,” says Stern.
This spring, Democratic state Sen. Jeff Jackson was trying to close the loophole and clarify that sex without consent does indeed constitute rape when he filed SB 553 in April. But the state’s Republican leadership is refusing to bring the bill to a vote.
“And I just don’t know that’s the way we need to respond to things when you’ve got a period of 30 years where apparently the law has been unchanged, and no one has brought this to anybody’s attention. At least, I’m not aware of it,” Republican Senate Leader Phil Berger told the Fayetteville Observer.
But Berger’s “apathy regarding rape” is especially stunning given his strong support for the state’s notorious anti-LGBTQ bill HB2 and repeated claims that “HB2 was necessary to prevent women from sexual assault by mythical bathroom predators“, Stern notes.