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National

MN: What last week’s Supreme Court ruling actually said — and didn’t say — about sexual assault and drinking in Minnesota

[minnpost.com – 4/1/21]

A 20-year-old woman was standing outside a Dinkytown bar in May 2017 when a man, along with his male cousin and another male friend, invited her and her friend to a party. They agreed, and the man drove them to a house. But when they arrived, there was no party.

After arriving at the house, the woman — who had been denied entrance from the bar earlier for being overly intoxicated — passed out on a couch. She later woke up to the man, Francois Monulu Khalil, allegedly raping her. Khalil was later arrested and convicted of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, a conviction that in Minnesota has a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and typically requires registry on a sex offender list.

Last week, the Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Khalil’s case would be sent back to district court for a retrial because the original prosecution incorrectly used a statute in his case that defined the victim as “mentally incapacitated.”

The decision sparked outrage on social media, and the story was picked up by outlets around the country inferring that in Minnesota, someone cannot be raped if they voluntarily consumed alcohol before being sexually assaulted. But what Khalil did in this situation was still sexual assault, and still a crime under Minnesota law. The Supreme Court ordered a retrial under a different statute.

Read the full article

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So let me get this straight. If a woman gets drunk voluntarily and chooses to accompany a stranger which eventually leads to sex (which she may or may not have instigated), it’s still considered rape. She has no liability for her own actions if she regrets them when she sobers up, correct?

Wouldn’t the same logic also demand that if she drove while intoxicated and killed someone in a wreck, she should also be relieved of all liability? Why should she be allowed to avoid responsibility for some drunken acts but not others?

Last edited 2 months ago by Dustin

That’ a great analogy!

@Dustin

How’d do you then look at someone who took their meds as prescribed (voluntarily) then had something involuntarily happen due to a bad side effect, e.g. Ambien? Should they too be held accountable for the bad event or are prescription/over the counter meds in a different category than other mind/body altering items, e.g. alcohol, cocaine, heroin, etc? Should there be two different categories then? A lot of meds have bad side effects which are possible.

@ TS:

In my line of thinking, if voluntarily being under the influence of ANY drug – be it alcohol, prescription meds, or whatever else – cannot be a defense if a crime is committed, then it can’t be used to establish victimhood either.

People need to return to being responsible for their own safety. Screaming for someone else to be held accountable for their own stupidity is just idiotic.

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