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What is Rape?

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Rape includes penal/vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse without consent.

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By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer, Harrisburg, PA

Rape is a felony of the first degree, and the essence of the criminal act of rape is the involuntary submission to sexual intercourse, brought about by the perpetrator by force or upon persons who are physically or mentally incapable of consent.  In particular, a person commits a felony of the first degree when the person engages in sexual intercourse with a complainant:

  • (1) by forcible compulsion;
  • (2) by threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution;
  • (3) who is unconscious or where the person knows that the complainant is unaware that the sexual intercourse is occurring;
  • (4) where the person has substantially impaired the complainant's power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance; or
  • (5) who suffers from a mental disability which renders the complainant incapable of consent.

At present, there are no mandatory penalties for rape.  See Com. v. Alleyne and Apprendi.  (Link to blogs).

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