Rumination- the broken record of our emotions

Broken Record

I remember all too clearly what it felt like to hear a vinyl record skip on my old stereo. I’d play it loud so I could listen to music throughout the house. If I were in another room, repetition over the distance increased my discomfort. I’d dash back and dive at the needle to stop the offending sound.

Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are tortured with repeated loud music. It’s intended to derail their thought processes and break them emotionally.

So why do victims of relationship abuse do the emotional equivalent of compulsively replaying bad music in their brain? The simply answer is grief.

Regurgitating, negative, non-productive thought

Rumination will plague us during the “bargaining” stage of grief recovery. And everyone who loses a relationship needs to grieve that loss as surely as one needs to mourn the death of a loved one.

In bargaining, we tend to ask ourselves what we could or should have done to produce a different outcome. In reality, when we’ve been embroiled in a relationship hoax, nothing, other than not getting involved in the first place could have kept the bond from collapsing. Engaging with a liar builds a house of cards. Discovering that nothing you valued was real, is a devastating loss.

Typically, women ruminate over sadness, while men are more inclined to do so when angry. But both can get stuck in a wallowing cycle that puts off supporters and isolates us in our pain. Family members and friends often don’t relate to the impact of our emotional loss, as they would if someone close to us died. But the grief and mourning we experience is very similar.

depression-small

Why relieve yourself of rumination?

It robs you of problem solving and creates a vicious cycle of depression. While you perseverate to make sense of things, you dwell on the unsolvable issues….. how you got there, what you could have done differently. Instead, you need to focus on how you will reclaim your life.

We are more likely to ruminate over unfinished business….. the circumstances that occur in our lives without closure. We want validation. We need to accept that it will not come in a relationship with a predator, and move on.  Our memory rehearsals keep us connected to the source of our pain, when we truly need to let go.

How to get past rumination

In The Truth About Grief, Ruth Davis Konigsburg tells us, “Loss is forever, but acute grief is not.” If someone close to you died, you’d be encouraged to get exercise. Your friends would try to distract you by engaging you in activities you enjoy. You need to be your best friend and provide yourself with that same encouragement.

Here are some recommendations that can help you get past rumination:

  1. Don’t be bullied to change the way you feel. Allow yourself to feel your loss, the anger the disappointment. Everyone grieves at different speeds. There is no right or wrong way.
  2. Get exercise. You need to pump up your endorphins so you have a deeper emotional well to draw from.
  3. Distract yourself with activities that get you away from your constant memories. Begin to make new, positive memories for yourself.
  4. Box it up. Write your story so you can put it on the shelf. Doing so will enable you to let go of the need to hang onto it in your mind.
  5. Volunteer for an effort that makes you feel good about yourself. There is nothing more gratifying than to help someone in need. Doing so will give you a strong sense of self-reliance and can aid you in seeing that no one goes through life without a struggle, including you. It will enable you to create better perspective about your painful condition.
  6. Join a grief support group or engage in counseling. Mourning a loss is difficult. Seeking help can get you past the thoughts that keep you stuck.

The loss of a loved one throws us for a loop, whether the person deserved our caring or not. People who experience sexual misconduct and relationship abuse, resulting from being embroiled in a hoax, are no less in need of grieving than anyone else. Rumination can be a debilitating part of that process but you can heal and bring joy back into your life.

Absurd Hoopla Over #3908- NJ’s Sexual Assault by Fraud Law

 

Assembly Member Troy Singleton, Introducer of #3908, Sexual Assault by Fraud, in NJ Assembly
Assembly Member Troy Singleton who Introduced #3908, Sexual Assault by Fraud, in NJ Assembly

The fervor over this law is just plain ridiculous!

I have responded to many posts I’ve seen and wanted to share a recent one with you that appears in reaction to Joan Quigley’s article this morning in NJ.com.

Joan Quigley got it right! 

I am the author of “Carnal Abuse by Deceit.” Before you tune me out for shameless promotion, please understand that my book is about rape by fraud. It is the story of what happened to me, and makes it understandable why this is a crime. I came to the aid of the victim in NJ on her issues against Will Jordan.

But do I support a law that makes every person who tells a fib or wears perfume a rapist? Absolutely not! And my take on equating “rape by fraud” with “rape by violence” is that it grossly over reaches!

Here is what I suggested and why….

  1. The It’sOnUS pledge clearly states “Non-Consensual Sex is Sexual Assault.” It is endorsed by President Obama.
  2. Model Penal Code clearly states, in its Global Consent provision….. “Consent is INEFFECTIVE if induced by force, duress or DECEPTION.”
  3. In every type of punishable crime of fraud, the victim gave consent, but it was ineffective consent. The perpetrator knew the consent was ineffective, even though the victim did not at the time of the action.

A law on Sexual Assault by Fraud should be created to connect the dots between these three very important and legally understood premises. No one should be violated by deception in order to get into their pants! And this includes women as well as men!

When a person lies to you in order to VITIATE your KNOWING CONSENT, they are violating you, not seducing you.

So what do we call this crime? 

Yes, genetically, rape by fraud is a sexual violation which is “rape.” But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water over semantics. It does not rise to the horrific nature of the crime of violence, to overwhelm and penetrate someone’s genitalia, that most people think of as “rape.” That’s why laws have distinctions such as “aggravated” and “degrees” of severity. I offered language to the Assemblyman to include in the legislation that would make that concept absolutely clear. Leaving it out was a huge mistake.

There are many ways a person’s knowing consent can be violated: They can be physically overwhelmed through violence, by intoxication, by dope, by deceit, by coercion, by being underage or too mentally challenged to provide such consent. Every way to deprive a person of self determination over their intimate core is a physical invasion of their body, a sexual assault.

Non-violent sexual assault should not be punished to the extent that violent sexual assault should be, but it surely should be punished!

It was and is my recommendation that non-consensual sexual assault, of this nature, be considered “sexual misconduct” rather than “sexual assault.” It should apply in cases where the offender has either conducted fraud in the factum or fraud in the inducement… legal terms you will find in my book. Again, please pardon the shameless self-promotion but I wrote it for a reason…. to help people understand this crime and why it’s a crime.

On enhancements and fibs

Rape by fraud as “sexual misconduct”, in the mainstream of its use, would not punish people for appearance enhancements. People have eyes. They see the other person’s appearance. It is either pleasing to them or not. The Spanx come off before penetration! As will the padded bra or pants that are stuffed with a tennis ball. So let’s not be ridiculous about it.

It is obvious to the observer when someone wears perfume. My favorite is Boucharon. No one in their right mind would ever think that’s what I smelled like without applying it.

This crime revolves around “false personation.” 

There are lies of intent as well as lies of identity used in “sexual misconduct” scenarios. When a person pretends to be someone other than who they actually are, the term “false personation” applies. (See FL criminal code on fraud.)

A lie of intent, “I’ll marry you in the morning,” could not be punished. The perpetrator could simply say, “I changed my mind.”

The burden of proof on any prosecution is the District Attorney’s. They cannot indict without the Grand Jury and the jury being on board. So while little white lies are CADdish behavior, (Carnal Abuse by Deceit,)  they are not the stuff of prosecution.

Cases of “false personation,” identity characteristics that transform a person from their actual identity into someone else, is the level of crime that is prosecutorial. The victim has sex with a stranger, not the person they intended. It is defiling. It happened to me for 3.5 years. It literally changed my life.

Determination of penalty

Also, keep in mind, mental health professionals will tell you that the longer the hoax persists, the more damage the victim sustains. Instead of being defiled once, they were defiled multiple times. It is devastating to know that someone you trusted treated you this way, and that they manipulated your cooperation in what they did to you. The length of the offense can be another issue in ascribing the penalty for this crime.

The press rushed to judgement that the penalty would be equivalent to violent rape, They were incorrect. Assemblyman Singleton was leaving the discussion of penalty to the law makers and process whose job is to figure it out.

Prosecution for defrauding to spread communicable disease

Here is a tremendous benefit this law will provide…. Predators who knowingly hide communicable illness can be prosecuted under this law. There will be no more free ride when they knowingly pass along HIV or any other life-altering disease.

This law is to protect against an insidious crime. It is not to incarcerate jerks. But jerks should be fully aware that when they behave like jerks, they are violating, not seducing you. Is it offensive? Absolutely! Is it punishable? Very unlikely! There is simply not sufficient proof to build a case under this or any law.

Detach from a Predator! Easier said than done!

hooked

 

This morning, I was happy to see Donna Anderson at LoveFraud pick up on a position that I’ve advocated for quite some time, and focused on in my book. And I did so because when people understand the chemical mechanics of romantic addiction, it makes it easier to cut the chord. 

How and why brain chemistry connects us

Mother nature provided us with brain chemistry to bond us to our lover. It enables us to create offspring and cohabit with the other parent in order to provide the nurture and protections needed for their development. Love, therefore, has to be a strong and binding glue because the children of homo sapiens are the slowest to develop on the entire planet. Oxytocin, a powerful neurotransmitter in the brain, that aids in trust, love and emotions, as well as other “love” chemicals, are what separates man from beasts.

Dr. Paul Zak describes the role of oxytocin  in his book, The Moral Molecule. And Scientific American refers to it as love glue.  Coupled together, with our brain’s additional chemistry, they serve us as both the bait and the hook. But when we enter a relationship with a character disordered person, instead of becoming fulfilled and loved, we become damaged and at risk. The chemicals we were provided fight with our conscious awareness to keep us embedded. They begin to function as a toxic glue.

And our code of morality, which evolves over many years, together with the influence of abundant experiences, also defines how we react in romantic situations. For many of us, we develop a code of commitment to a loved one, and we feel shame when we behave out of character with our own personal code, better known as values. A crafty emotional predator can use our own inherent value system to shame us into remaining.

Fear induced bonding

There is yet another strong chemically-related bond that forms in relationships where there is trauma. Misattribution Affect has been aptly described by Dr. Kristin McKinney.  When people experience heightened fear, their adrenaline starts pumping. Going through a traumatic event makes us bond with people with whom we share this circumstance. For instance, riding the roller coaster at the County Fair sparked many a relationship. If the couple wasn’t holding hands when they embarked, they were likely to be when the ride ended. As we go through the roller coaster of a relationship with an offender, even though they have caused us harm, we can feel more bonded with them.

A toxic relationship provides the pain of a constant hook. It is damaging to live with, and excruciating to walk away from.

People will often settle for the relative peace and apologetic behavior that occurs between episodes of abuse. Marriages can take place as a result of a predator’s temporary contriteness between times of turbulence. The victim can easily confuse the offer of marriage, even when made by the offender as an attempt to curtail exposure, as a sincere commitment to reform. And it is easy for a victim to be persuaded when they fall within a calm portion of the cycle of harm.

There is no way to turn, in or out of the relationship with a predator, that is not painful. Victims must surmount their fear of the pain and loss, that they associate with walking away, in order to take that necessary step.

Breaking away!

Because of the terrible pain we feel at the loss, only through consistent and repeated harm, or the discard of the offender, do morally committed people sever a romantic relationship. In cases like Reeva Steenkamp, it’s likely that she died at the hands of her lover, Oscar Pistorius, before she reached the point at which she could free herself from her emotional bond. Pistotius’s cruelty spiraled out of control prior to her reconciling the discrepancy between her “feelings” and the reality of her predicament.

The need for No Contact

Often, even once a victim pulls away, what they feel as a deep-rooted emotional appeal, can draw them back again. They go through a period of turmoil, ruminating about their circumstance, emotionally heaping blame on themselves for not being more of this or less of that. Their brain plays the “if only I had” game as if something they did made the psychopath an aggressor. They can fall into deep depression and need to grieve their loss like grieving over the death of someone close to them. While the offender did not die, their relationship with them died. Having no contact, guards against recycling the predator’s pull and helps assure separation.

When we drink alcohol, it makes our brain feel a certain way. Abstention makes us crave the way we felt to an even stronger degree. Abstaining from a toxic relationship can produce a similar result. Unless people know the chemistry behind their craving, they are susceptible to relapse, which takes the form of forgiving.

How to know we need to go….

Once we recognize that the person is devoid of emotional empathy, getting away from them is the only way to regain our life and equilibrium. Emotional empathy is the knee-jerk reaction we have to other people’s pain or circumstance. Without it, we can’t develop a conscience. A psychopath will not change. They are wired that way. And putting oneself back onto their pathway only puts us in harm’s way.

What happens if the relationship produced a child?

Unfortunately, victims who parent with miscreants will have a lifetime of toxic behaviors to deal with. Victims must do everything possible to build the oxytocin receptors in their children’s brains, early-on, because they are especially at-risk for developing without emotional empathy. They have a pre-disposition to a genetic flaw. Modern mental health professionals tell us that approximately 4% of the world’s population is comprised of psychopaths. Not everyone who is the child of a psychopath will become one. But they are seriously at-risk of doing so.  Dr. Liane Leedom constructs a pathway toward character development for children in her book, Just Like His Father. 

If you are experiencing raising a child with someone you suspect of psychopathy, minimizing your own personal interaction with the other parent should be done to the greatest extent possible. Be cognizant of the chemical pulls that could cause you to feel drawn back toward their appeal. Be sure to retain sight of the harm you were dealt and live in reality. While they can exude the charm that attracted you initially, they are toxic at their core. And when they recognize you are no longer fooled by them, they can and will try everything possible to undermine you, including alienating your children. Stay smart. Seek professional guidance.

New Jersey’s new Sexual Assault by Fraud Bill!

New Jersey- a step closer to makeing romance safer for all!
New Jersey- a step closer to making sexual relations safer for all!

 

I am sooo very pleased to announce that on November 13th, Assembly Members Troy Singleton, Gabriela Mosquera, and Pamela Lampitt introduced Legislation #3908 making it unlawful to defraud a victim of sex in the state of New Jersey!

This bill has a long way to go before passage. It will be be reviewed in committee and must be approved by both the Assembly and the state’s Senate. But it is a huge step forward in the effort to enlighten societal awareness about what actually constitutes sexual assault.

Proposed NJ Law #3908

Please note, the document appears sideways but you can rotate it clockwise in your viewer. 

 

Georgia- Land of Possibility!

Georgia

As a UGA Alum, I was particularly interested in checking on rape by fraud laws in the Peach State. And, although there’s no specific mention in their criminal code, Georgia has an interesting statute that should apply.

Back in 1962, Model Penal Code was drafted to standardize penal laws throughout the US. Its Global Consent provision states that:

Consent is ineffective if induced by force, duress, or deception.

Basically, this means that consent, obtained by deception, is not consent at all.

Georgia’s rape law clearly identifies the crime committed through the use of force or duress. And 16-6022.1, Sexual Battery, should apply in cases of deceit when the concept of “consent” is based on Model Penal Code’s Global Consent provision.

Georgia continues to outlaw fornication and adultery as criminal acts. So be careful, all you Hairy Dawgs!.  You can land in jail for having sex out of wedlock with either a single or married person.

“50 Brave Women” Campaign for change!

woman w flag

It’s not OK to exploit people for sex!

You can make a meaningful difference in the laws in your state! We need one person to step forward who’s been harmed by a romance scam in every jurisdiction.

Are you up for the challenge?

If so, please complete the simple form below, (which will not be published or seen on the blog,) with the following information:

  1. Write a short description of what happened to you, (please keep it under 5 paragraphs.)
  2. Send your contact information: name, phone, email, city and state (None of this information is made public.)
  3. Let me know if you’re acquainted with any of the legislators in your area, and if so, who.

 

William Allen Jordan Gets Jail Time!

William Allen Jordan is also Will Jordan and William Jordan, #WillJordan, #WilliamAllenJordan, #WilliamJordan
William Allen Jordan
Mischele and I on the steps of the courthouse in Burlington County NJ

This post initially appeared on November 14, 2014:

William Allen Jordan, who defrauded NJ resident Mischele Lewis of sex and money, took a plea deal, for 3 years behind bars, today! In addition, he’ll be required to pay $4,383 in restitution, and a $15,000 fine. He can have no contact with Lewis for the rest of his life. His sentence begins on February 6, 2015.

There’s a great deal more to the back story!

I was contacted to help Mischele because I’d authored a book about the romance scam that happened to me. Carnal Abuse by Deceit  was published 4 months prior to my learning about Mischele. I wrote it to raise awareness and help victims like her recover from Rape by Fraud or Deception. I was encouraged that, indeed, it was hitting its mark and I spent countless hours speaking with Mischele by phone, through emails, and in person in order to help her. Continue reading William Allen Jordan Gets Jail Time!

Hooray for Alabama!

OMG! When you cross the state line into Alabama, the sign should read, “Now Entering Alabama, The State of Enlightenment!”

Alabama
scores.espn.go.com

Alabama’s not just noteworthy for the successes of The Crimson Tide. The Code of Alabama punishes the unspecified use of fraud in sexual intercourse as “Sexual Misconduct,” a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $1,000 and/or up to two years in jail. The statute applies to both male and female offenders.

Here is the law:

Section 13A-6-65

Sexual misconduct.

(a) A person commits the crime of sexual misconduct if:

(1) Being a male, he engages in sexual intercourse with a female without her consent, under circumstances other than those covered by Sections 13A-6-61 and 13A-6-62; or with her consent where consent was obtained by the use of any fraud or artifice; or

(2) Being a female, she engages in sexual intercourse with a male without his consent; or

(3) He or she engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person under circumstances other than those covered by Sections 13A-6-63 and 13A-6-64. Consent is no defense to a prosecution under this subdivision.

(b) Sexual misconduct is a Class A misdemeanor.

(Acts 1977, No. 607, p. 812, §2318.)

Don’t defraud someone of sex in Alabama! What more can I say other than thank you, Alabama!

 

 

 

 

 

The Kingdom of Hawaii and the US are still in conflict

And that conflict extends to rape by fraud law!

Marcelo Dapino, My Shot
Marcelo Dapino, My Shot

 

A little history….

Way back in 1889, the US, after several failed attempts, succeeded in unilaterally annexing the Hawaiian Islands. The coupe was motivated by a desire to obtain close, direct access to Guam and the Philippines during the Spanish American War.

But conflict over the independence of the Islands is ongoing. As recently as 2001, a complaint was filed with the United Nations Security Council demanding that Hawaii’s continuity as an independent state remain intact under international law. And judging by the disparity in laws over rape by fraud, I’d come down heavily on the side of an independent Hawaiian Kingdom!

The Hawaiian Kingdom Penal Code is pretty specific about protecting unmarried women against the crime of rape by fraud in Chapter XI-6:

Whoever, by conspiracy or by willful falsehood or deceit, seduces, causes or procures any unmarried female to commit fornication, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment at hard labor not more than two years.

The only statute that comes close to penalizing rape by fraud in the Criminal Code of the State of Hawaii is 707-733, (c) Sexual Assault in the fourth degree:

The person knowingly trespasses on property for the purpose of subjecting another person to surreptitious surveillance for the sexual gratification of the actor.

The term “surreptitious” is defined in normal parlance as “stealthy, sly, and sneaky.” One would need to argue that these definitions accurately describe the actions of the offender. Although the penetration of the offender is not specifically punished, his (or her) intent to eye-ball (peep) the victim for sexual gratification is. Unless they claim their eyes were closed during the act of penetration, this statute would seem to apply. Still, enforcement would be limited to an intrusion into a victim’s home since it requires a “trespass.”

Hawaii’s statutes currently punish sexual acts of coercion and abuse of authority.

Special Dedication

Kimberly Raya’s son plays for a high school marching band that’s been given the honor of performing in the upcoming Pearl Harbor Day Memorial Parade in Hawaii. This post is dedicated to her efforts to raise funds so she can share this unique experience with him. KIm helps countless abuse victims recover their dignity on her blog, LetMeReach, and I hope you will lend support to her for this special event by clicking the “Special Dedication” link above.

When Gays Marry Straight Mates

Gay Marriage

Does lying about sexual preference constitute rape by fraud?

I was asked this question by a blog participant, and I believe its importance warrants a post of its own. Her question was framed in light of recent developments in penal code in New Jersey, but the answer is universal. So, here’s my response…..

Pertaining to New Jersey

First off, law in NJ has not been finalized, so it’s premature to give you a definitive answer for that specific state. Even once the statute is submitted to the Assembly, a significant amount of debate, and the submission of amendments, may alter its language.

But I’d like to answer your question from a broader perspective, that of whether pretending to be straight actually qualifies. generically, as sexual assault by fraud.

Character distortion and how it applies

There are basically two types of lies that offenders will use in fraud in the “inducement,” which is the sort of fraud where the actor pretends to be something or someone they are not. There are lies of “intent” and lies of “identity.” In the case you’re referring to, denying that someone is gay would seem to be a major character lie and, therefore, meet the definition of a lie of false identity.

Obstacles for this particular circumstance

But here’s where the line gets blurred….. All victims of lies of identity will feel defiled. And the longer the lie is perpetuated, the greater the harm they suffer. The victim is embroiled in a hoax. Unfortunately, however, when you speak of lies about a person’s sexual proclivity, there is a great deal of uncertainty as to whether the person deliberately lied to mislead you, or were they struggling through their own personal identification issues? In other words, were they lying to you, or lying to themselves? It’s only a deliberate lie if the answer is, unequivocally, they were fully aware and lying intentionally.

Another obstacle to hurdle is whether concealment is a form of lying. In some states it is. In others, it’s not.

I’m told that people who are gay know it from an early age. I’m no expert, however, and conceivably, this could differ from person to person. But certainly, if the actor knew he was gay, and intentionally pretended to be straight because attachment to you gave him “cover,” indeed, in my opinion, he would have been conducting sexual assault by fraud.

A person’s actual motivations are extremely difficult to prove in a courtroom. One would think that having had past homosexual liaisons would be a sure tip off. But we have so little concrete awareness of when and how people deem themselves to be homosexual, that I could see this type of case posing significant challenges in a courtroom.

But that should not deter the victim from coming to grips with the fact that they suffered rape by fraud. We don’t need a judge’s decision to know how we feel, but only to prosecute offenders. We would hope that offenders would be deterred by society’s penal codes, and that’s why we establish them. Also, we attempt to seek justice for the victims of crimes by enforcing those laws.

When did his actions cross the line?

If your husband had doubts when he married you, somewhere along the line, his doubts turned into conviction. And at that time, it was his responsibility to let you know. Every time he engaged in sexual contact with you under false pretenses, he was simply selfishly holding onto the perks in his life, that he valued, by denying you your inherent right to self determination over your personal sexual sanctity. And, by the way, this same principle would hold true in a relationship where the woman was gay and the man was straight.

Applying the concept of Emotional Rape

It is also my belief that you were emotionally raped. Emotional rape results when an offender steals your highest emotion, which is love, through deception. Even if he never laid a hand on you once he conceived of himself as gay, he selfishly fed the bond that kept you together by fabricating and perpetuating a hoax. In fact, part of his subterfuge was likely to have included undermining your feelings of attractiveness and desirability to cover up for his lack of sexual interest in you. Since emotional rape is not a physical act, it is unlikely you will ever see penal code to punish offenders. That should not deter victims, however, from feeling validation regarding their sense of defilement.

New Role for Elvis in Today’s Society!

A new, important role for elvis!
A new, important role for Elvis

Elvis, and the business interests that surrounded him, factored heavily in the book that is making a difference in society’s views, and laws, on sexual assault!- Carnal Abuse by Deceit.

In concert, (no pun intended), with the timing for the CMA awards, I’ve learned that November 13th is the target date for submitting a sexual assault by fraud bill in the NJ Assembly.

Please note: This is an unconfirmed but likely date. I will post again when the word becomes official.

New York State- Something for Everyone!

Lady Liberty Graces NY Harbor
Lady Liberty Graces NY Harbor

New York’s got something for every taste and interest.

No matter what your sports or cultural bent… it’s here. There’s the NY Football Giants, the Rangers, the Knicks, the Yankees, the Mets, the Nets…. Heck, we have the biggest tennis venue in the world, the US Open!

You can travel around the globe through NY’s wide assortment of international restaurants. Take your pick from the Afghan Kebab in Queens to Zoma, serving up the delights of Zimbabwe in Harlem.

Want an education?  Your choices could include Columbia, NYU, CUNY, Marymount Manhattan, The New School, St. John’s University, and on, and on. The choices seem endless!

So it should come as no surprise that New York has a wide assortment of sex offenses in its penal code. Our diverse list includes sexual misconduct, rape, criminal sexual act, forcible touching, criminal sexual abuse, persistent sexual abuse, and more. But where’s rape by fraud? Hmmm….

The answer could be buried deep within the concept of 130.20, Sexual misconduct.

A person is guilty of sexual misconduct when:

  1. He or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person without such person`s consent; or
  1. He or she engages in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with another person without such person’s consent;

Sexual misconduct is a class A misdemeanor.

Rape in the third degree contains more language by which a case of rape by fraud should prevail. However, further legal interpretation by the state seems to have restrained this application to cases they have deemed to be date rape. In fact, most cases of rape by fraud are, indeed, cases of date rape. Instead of intoxicating or doping the victim, the offender vitiates their victim’s consent through duplicity.

130.25 Rape in the third degree. A person is guilty of rape in the third degree when: . . . . . 3. He or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person without such person’s consent where such lack of consent is by reason of some factor other than incapacity to consent.

 § 130.25 Rape in the third degree.
    A person is guilty of rape in the third degree when:
    1.  He or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is
  incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than
  seventeen years old;
    2. Being twenty-one years old or more, he or  she  engages  in  sexual
  intercourse with another person less than seventeen years old; or
    3. He or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person without
  such  person's  consent  where such lack of consent is by reason of some
  factor other than incapacity to consent.
    Rape in the third degree is a class E felony.

Both criminal acts depend on the definition of “consent.” In all fraud law, including New York State’s, only “knowing consent” is legally valid consent. Therefore, if a victim is defrauded of their knowing consent in NY State, sexual misconduct or third degree rape should apply. If my case didn’t go back 40 years, I’d file a complaint.

Some of the most learned commentary on rape by fraud law comes out of NY State. A comprehensive treatise by Patricia J. Falk, Law Professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, was published in 1998 in the Brooklyn Law Review. More recently, Daniel J. Slomnicki published his findings in NYSBA’s Law Student Connection.  Mr. Slomnicki has interned with both the Queens District Attorney and the Kings County District Attorney.

NY is the state in which I was personally defrauded of sex for three and a half years. That defilement had an extraordinary and permanent affect on my life. I intend to make a difference in this state so it doesn’t happen to anyone else. Stay tuned!

Massachusetts missed the boat on defending women!

Massachusetts

While the pilgrims suffered countless obstacles to navigate uncharted waters, their descendants surely failed to rise above the sea of legal rhetoric on rape by fraud back in 2008. It was a tragically lost opportunity.

In Suliveres v. Commonwealth, 449 Mass. 112 (2007), the court deemed the defendant not guilty in a case in which he disguised himself as his brother to have sex with the brother’s girlfriend. Another MA case of rape by fraud was similarly dismissed when a lab technician passed himself off as a doctor.

Then Representative, Peter J. Koutoujian, currently the Sheriff of Middlesex County, proposed a law to make rape by fraud a crime. The law was considered “too broad,” and was voted down. The principle behind what defines “too broad” is that the law could be carried out if a man poses as single when, in fact, he’s married.

The following is a quote from CBS News at the time:

Rape by deception is just as damaging and illegal as rape by force, said Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone. If the law passes here, a common concern is that the legislation’s vague language regarding deception will result in women who have been seduced by men posing as someone else or claiming to be unmarried filing rape charges.

So let’s examine the concept by which the law was rejected….

Joe Hitched, (sorry guys but this occurs far more frequently with men fooling women than women fooling men,) is on his own for a week. His wife is out of town to care for her father who just had heart surgery. Joe’s feeling bored and decides to go hang out at the neighborhood watering hole, the one with the loud music, pool table, and pretty women.

As Joe approaches the door, he takes off his wedding band, surveying his hand to see if he can detect a faint line where the ring normally sits. Content that his deception won’t be noticed, he finds a seat at the crowded bar and orders a beer.

Susie Single, fresh from a recent breakup with her boyfriend, is standing next to him. He offers to buy her a drink and they begin a chatting, friendly banter. He challenges her to a game of pool and before you know it, they’re kicking it up on the dance floor. When the beat turns to a slow simmer, he puts an arm around her waist and they sway seductively to the music.

Susie’s impressed with his good looks. She’s an intelligent woman, a nurse. He’s well spoken, seems like an educated guy, and he has a fun loving disposition. She’s not one to succumb to the flirting of the moment, but she gives him her number. When she gets home, she “Googles” him. He works where he said he did. Nothing negative appears on the internet.

Joe calls the very next day. “What a catch,” Susie thinks, “someone who’s not a game player!” She accepts his invitation for dinner. He makes a reservation for a romantic dinner cruise, and he tells her all about his divorce and the two kids he’s estranged from, since his terrible ex is giving him a hard time.

Susie’s heart melts. She feels an instant chemistry with Joe. He seems like the perfect guy… interested in his children, easy to talk to, hard-working. When he walks her to the door, and kisses her good-night, she’s caught up in the passion and invites him in. They have totally consensual, so she thinks, sex, that night, the next, and the next.

When his wife returns, Joe covers up his marriage by saying he needs to travel for business. Susie understands that his job takes him away, until she runs into him shopping with his wife at the local mall.

So, was their sex consensual? She agreed to it, right?  Or was she defrauded into it?

Susie was raised by her mother after her father made off with his secretary. She was adamant that she would never do to a family what her father had done to hers. Had she known Joe was married, she would not have gotten involved with him. Joe not only broke his marriage vows, he embroiled Susie in adultery and sexually assaulted her by fraud.

Why do our laws insist in protecting offenders who do this to women all the time? Why would a state deliberately turn its back on protecting a woman against assault by someone pretending to be her boyfriend or her doctor, in order to give Joe Hitched carte blanche to defile Susie Single? Is it because so many people do this that our Legislators are concerned they won’t get re-elected if they stand for the right thing?

Divorce is rampart in our country. Often, marriages crumble because it’s so easy to step out and hook up in another relationship. While people will argue that our courts will be inundated with charges against offenders, I’d argue that the volume of divorce is likely to diminish when offenders realize there are real and meaningful consequences to this behavior.

And the very simple response to the concept that our courts will be overrun with rape by fraud claims is: people should stop taking off their rings to defraud others of sex. But even if they don’t, cases of “he said, she said,” are unlikely to meet the burden of proof required for prosecution. Prosecuting a “rape by fraud” case would take “proofs” that will hold up in a courtroom, not the unsupported lies that are common in hook-ups. For that reason, even though Joe committed what we can see, generically, as “rape by fraud,” will he be prosecuted? Probably no.

If we’d like to live in a moral society, our laws must conform with morality. Sexually assaulting someone by fraud is both morally reprehensible and a crime. Just because Joe Hitched won’t be charged, does not make it less so.

Sadly, the Sheriff’s efforts, from the town where I was born, failed to acknowledge that duplicity invalidates consent in all things, including sex. I take this one personally.

Florida- protects their wildlife better than their women!

Using false personation to obtain a seaport security ID can get you a five year stint in Florida State Prison. The Sunshine State’s statuteFloridas on fraudulent practices is so huge, it’s divided into four separate parts. Making false statements to merchants, on real estate transactions, and in communications are just a few of the many defrauding acts that are covered.

Florida identifies the following as their legislative intent regarding using communications systems to carry out false personation:

Schemes to defraud have proliferated in the US in recent years and many operators of schemes to defraud use communications technology to solicit victims and thereby conceal their identities and overcome a victim’s normal resistance to sales pressure by delivering a personalized sales message.

Hmmm…. sounds just like what happens on e-dating sites, but it’s directed at advertisers who are selling products, not at sexual predators trolling for new victims. Seems false advertisements about hair products are far more important in Florida than defrauding you to undermine your sexual sanctity!

Florida identifies what most states call rape or sexual assault as sexual battery. One of the most important determinations in all such cases is the concept of consent. Their definition of consent is contained in 794.011 (a):

“Consent” means intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent and does not include coerced submission.

According to this definition, a rape by fraud victim should be able to press charges based on the fact that their consent was neither intelligent nor knowing.  Other positive signs for the possibility of a rape by fraud charge are conveyed by the following:

794.011 (c): “Mentally incapacitated” means temporarily incapable of appraising or controlling a person’s own conduct due to the influence of a narcotic, anesthetic, or intoxicating substance administered without his or her consent or due to any other act committed upon that person without his or her consent.

So, how about lying? Doesn’t that qualify as “any other act” committed without his or her consent? Sure should be!

Other than the ambiguous language quoted, there is no specific law in Florida’s statutes that prohibits rape by fraud: neither in the factum, nor in the inducement. But the literal interpretation of their language supports a victim bringing a case to the authorities, and if they fail to act, turning to their legislators to enact such a law.

LOUISIANA- Weak Code for Rape by Fraud Down on the Bayou!

Seems like an over abundance of swamp water drowns out the need to protect victims in Louisiana. The Bayou State has several statutes on rape, but none measure up on rape by fraud! There is aggravated rape, forcible rape, and simple rape. The construct that comes closest to rape by fraud, in Louisiana’s negligent criminal code, is simple rape, 43(a)(1).

In statute 43(a)(1), one example of simple rape is defined as sexual intercourse without the lawful consent of the victim when the victim is incapable of resisting or of understanding the nature of the act by reason of a stupor or abnormal condition of mind produced by an intoxicating agent or any cause and the offender knew or should have known of the victim’s incapacity.

The argument that could support a rape by fraud claim under this statute is that the victim was as unaware of the nature of the act as an intoxicated or drugged victim would be. Their consent, in any of the related cases, would not be freely given and knowing consent, because the offender duped them, (any cause,) into the act, and knew they were doing so at the time.

The ambiguity of this law could be cleared up by simply inserting the words “or duplicity” after “intoxicating agent.”

Protecting Wives Against Rape by Fraud

Louisiana’s statutes do contain one specific act of rape by fraud; (in the inducement,) that of impersonating the husband of the victim.

§43.3  When the female victim submits under the belief that the person committing the act is her husband and such belief is intentionally induced by any artifice, pretense, or concealment practiced by the offender.

By having implemented this law, Louisiana clearly shows that the use of fraud in seduction breaches knowing consent, but reserves their remedy solely for married women. This concept comes from the notion that a wife is a husband’s property. Defiling her is punishable because it is an offense against the husband. Unmarried women, therefore, are unprotected.
Idaho case tested the practice for single women
If a man posed as a boyfriend or fiancee, the charge would not apply. In a 2011 case in Idaho, against Zachary McGraw, the case was in fact dismissed because the victim was unmarried. The Judge on the case, the Hon. Cheri Copsey, found the disparity in the law “despicable”, but never-the-less, it still stands in Idaho and Louisiana.  (Refer to pg. 184 of Carnal Abuse by Deceit.) 

Louisiana’s statute on fraud as it relates to Theft, is crystal clear!

Theft is the misappropriation or taking of anything of value which belongs to another, either without the consent of the other to the misappropriation or taking, or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations.

The degrees of damage under this statute vary according to the monetary value of the loss. It appears that losing your most precious asset, your sexual sanctity, does not measure up to consideration since it has no quantifiable monetary value. Take a man’s money, off to jail you go. Defile a woman, (or anybody for that matter,) no problem!

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ItsOnUs

The frequency of sexual assaults on college campuses has become so epidemic, that preventing attacks inspired a nationwide campaign, winning the endorsement of President Barack Obama. This effort, entitled, It’sOnUs, calls attention to the many perilous ways students can be raped, but does not include rape by fraud, the crime of duplicitous sex that harms many unsuspecting victims.

In addition to the obvious benefits for college students, why is this effort so important for us to address?

First and foremost, it establishes that “Non-consensual sex is sexual assault,” dispelling the long held notion, by many states, that rape by extreme violence is the only sexual assault that rises to a criminal level.

There are several legal myths that must be dispelled in order to create legal sanctions against rape by fraud. The simple truth is that duplicity invalidates consent in all things. That’s why fraudsters, like Bernie Madoff, are punished when they make off with your money. Like Madoff, rapists who use fraud secure the consent of their victims. In Madoff’s case, his targets even ordered their brokers and bankers to transfer funds into his investment schemes. When viewed in light of recent California legislation on sexual assault, in which “yes” means “yes”, the actions of Madoff’s victims pretty clearly indicated that they had agreed.

But, here’s the catch…… when “consent” is achieved by duplicity, even “yes” means “no.” “Yes” requires legally valid, knowing consent. When consent is not freely and knowingly given, in other words, not coerced through duplicity, “yes”, indeed, means “no.” Even though the victim did not know that a crime was being committed against them at the time, the offender knew.

What we’re fighting against, in the effort to create sanctions against rape by fraud, is the ironic concept that “knowing consent” is important in every other human interaction, but when it sexually violates us, it’s okay. Could the fact that the overwhelming majority of our law makers are men, and that the vast majority of rape by fraud victims are women have something to do with it? And even though the protection would likely help far more women than men, the men who are targeted by female fraudsters deserve the same protections that women are being deprived of.

The concept “Non-consensual sex is sexual assault” is an important first step in ridding state laws of their onerous doctrines of “force.” Once achieved, the next hurdle is to establish that lies of identity engage you in having sex with a stranger. For instance, when someone removes their wedding band to sidle up to you, they are not only breaking their wedding vows, embroiling you in adultery and fornication, but they are also raping you through their use of fraud. Their knowing act of duplicity deprived you of your self-determination over your choice of a sexual partner, defiling you at your most intimate core.

  • Rape by violence undermines your knowing consent. If the attack did not penetrate you sexually, it would be “assault”, not “sexual assault” or “rape.”
  • Rape by doping you undermines your knowing consent.
  • Rape by intoxicating you undermines your knowing consent.
  • Rape by coercion, the threat of harm, undermines your knowing consent.
  • Statutory rape of an underage minor undermines their knowing consent because they have yet to attain the age of consent.
  • Sex with a mentally challenged person is rape when the victim is considered unable to provide “knowing consent.”

Why then is rape by fraud, the deliberate act of depriving someone of their “knowing consent” to penetrate them sexually, not punishable in the vast majority of states?

The state of Tennessee has the most appropriate language in the nation to penalize rape by fraud. Their statutes prohibit intercourse “induced by deception, accomplished by fraud and obtained by ruse.” I am currently seeking a rape by fraud victim in the state of Tennessee who is willing to come forward to seek justice through criminal prosecution of the offender. Doing so can raise awareness throughout the country and help knock down the barriers that prevent wider implementation of rape by fraud laws.

Mischele Lewis recently came forward to arrest William Allen Jordan for defrauding her of sex in New Jersey. I had helped her address the authorities in NJ to file her claim. Jordan was arrested for 2nd degree sexual assault. Although the Grand Jury failed to indict Jordan on the charge, her efforts brought about awareness by a state lawmaker who is considering language to submit in New Jersey to protect its residents from such a crime. And Jordan faces additional charges the Prosecutor filed against him for other damage to Mischele.

Could you be the next person who stands up to make a difference in your state? Write me. I’ll research the criminal statutes in your jurisdiction and let you know if you have a case.

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