Rape Charges Reduced To Assault Due To State Loophole

State Loophole: Rape Charges Reduced To Assault

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Apparently, no doesn't always mean no in North Carolina.

A Wake County woman says she found this out the hard way when rape charges against her estranged husband were reduced to assault. WCNC doesn't normally identity victims of sexual assault, but Amy Guy wants her story to be heard.

"I hope that other women will get the protection they need," said Amy Guy.

Guy says her estranged husband, Jonathan Guy, showed up to her apartment last December intoxicated.

"He was angry," she recalled. "I thought it would be better to go ahead and agree to sex because I figured it would be the safest thing to do."

However, she says things turned violent.

"I began crying and I asked him to stop," she said.

Guy says he didn't stop. Her ex was arrested, but second-degree rape charges were reduced to an assault on a female all because of a 1979 NC Supreme Court Ruling that says a woman cannot revoke consent after the sexual act has begun.

"We fully believe Amy was raped but the law didn't help her," said her attorney, Kristopher Hilscher.

Cori Goldstein is the Director of the Sexual Trauma Center for Safe Alliance in Charlotte. She says her office spends a lot of time educating the public on consent.

"I think most us as even citizens of North Carolina recognize that if we are having a sexual encounter with someone and that person initially said yes, and midway said no, then everything should stop," Goldstein said. "But you have a law that is the opposite of that."

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Goldstein says Safe Alliance focuses on healing for survivors, but she says this law can make that process a challenge for those seeking justice.

"Knowing that it is this loophole that allows someone who by our definition has raped someone, is able to use loophole to not be held accountable for that is troubling," she declared.

Jonathan Guy pleads guilty to the lesser charge and is serving a 10-month sentence. Efforts are underway by state legislators to change the law.

Sen. Jeff Jackson (D-Meck) is the sponsor of the Revoke Consent for Intercourse Act, a bill that would close that loophole.

"We're the only state in the country, where no doesn't mean no," said Jackson.

However, the bill has failed to get a hearing since it was introduced in March. Passing this legislative session is not looking promising. Guy is not giving up.

"I hope we can change the law it's not right," she declared.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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