Middlesex Rep. Kate Hogan submitted a new sexual assault by fraud bill to the MA House of Representative in January. The House floor debate takes place this Fall.
Hogan sponsored the bill, #H2289, at the urging of District Attorney Marian Ryan who’d passed up the opportunity to prosecute Dr. Roger Hardy a few months back, claiming that MA law didn’t give her the ability to do so. Hardy had been accused of multiple acts of unlawful sexual behavior. Ryan said that the MA law gave doctors a loophole. She intends to close the gap. But she’s overlooking the most powerful concepts she’ll need in order to do so…..
Concept #1: Improper use of the term “consent”
Both Hogan and Ryan are to be commended for their efforts to bring sex scammers to justice. But they need to stop incorrectly using the term “consent.” It’s their claim that the patients are giving “consent” when they are agreeing to the contact that is induced by fraud. Indeed THEY ARE NOT…. they are simply giving their agreement. Calling defrauded agreement “consent” is an oxymoron.
21 (a) A person who is, or holds themselves out to be, a medical or health care 22 professional, and who knowingly induces a patient or client to engage in natural or unnatural 23 sexual intercourse during the course of diagnosis, counseling, or treatment, where -consent to the 24 intercourse was procured by a false representation that the act was for a bona fide medical 25 purpose, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 20 years
In the above passage, the word “consent” should be substituted with the word, “agreement,” or the word “assent.” “Consent” should never be used for defrauded agreement in this or any other law.
Consent is “freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement.”
They should add this definition to the bill in order to make this point abundantly clear!
Concept #2- Bill #H2289 limits sexual fraud to the medical profession
Medical professionals are not the only ones who establish and misuse trust to undermine a victim’s right to self determination over their reproductive organs. By directing the law to lock up doctors who abuse trust, they’re ignoring the lawyers, plumbers, hockey players, financial analysts, sales reps, programmers, pianists, dog groomers, real estate agents- have I made my point yet? – who do exactly the same thing to a great many people. Sexual predators come in all shapes, sizes and professions!
Why limit this bill?
Several years ago, then Representative Peter Koutoutian, now the Sheriff of Middlesex County, attempted to pass a bill to outlaw sexual assault by fraud in MA. His bill was rejected for being “too broad.” #H2289 attempts to limit offenders to get past the objectors who think regulating rape by fraud would flood the state’s courts……….
But isn’t that the point? This crime happens to scores of victims….. not just doctor’s patients! It’s about time to make it stop and protect society! We don’t fail to prosecute murderers because there are too many of them. Why do we determine whether or not we’ll hold rapists accountable for their crimes?
Laws work to change the behavior of society. We no longer find slavery acceptable because laws prohibit the behavior. People will stop thinking it’s okay to deceive victims into sex when we create laws to lock up offenders. Courts would only be overrun if offenders were stupid enough to continue defiling their targets this deceitful way.
Don’t want to call it rape? Don’t! Call it Sexual Misconduct! But call it something and get it on record that lying to get laid, or get any other form of sexual contact, is a despicable crime!
This bill is a start….
I truly hope #H2289 passes! But no one, regardless of their profession, should ever defraud another person of sex. When they do, they are sexually assaulting, not seducing the victim.
You can make a difference!
Particularly if you live in Massachusetts, please write to Rep. Kate Hogan: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to thank her for shining light on this issue and ask her to change the word “consent” to the word “agreement” in her bill. Enlighten her that she is creating an oxymoron by her use of “consent,” and that it impedes the public from understanding that consent is freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement, not just agreement.
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