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What is "Date Rape?"

“Date Rape” has evolved in meaning over the past 50 years.

By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, co-author of Defending Sexual Offenses, a Non-Lawyer’s Guide to Understanding the Criminal Process in Pennsylvania

In the past, the crime of “date rape,” usually meant that a young woman went out on a date with a young man that she had just met or has known only for a few dates. The young, mistaking his place would make advances on the date claiming that “if you loved me, you’d do it.” By force or shear emotional/psychological will, the young man forced himself upon the young lady in the backseat of his car. At least, this is the few of “date rape” that a baby-boomer may have when you say the phrase. However, over the past few decades, this crime has evolved based upon our technology, pharmacology, and simple notions about how we behave in society.

Let’s not kid ourselves either, the “#metoo” type of thinking has set the women’s movement back decades. Women had earned a position of power and respect in society since the 1990’s when many corporate CEO’s and CFO’s were women for the first time. The #metoo-type of thinking that every woman can now rely upon victimhood to assert their power undercuts the significant strides in society that women had made since the late 1950’s. However, the #metoo movement has brought along something with it that is simultaneously eroding the justice system. The view that every man is a criminal if he is labeled an alleged rapist or sexual offender.

In this new era of social media, when photographs are displayed instantly all over the planet, it plays a cascading effect on the call to claim men as rapists. Don’t get me wrong, some men are rapists, child predators, and psychologically demented perverts that need prosecuted and locked up away from society. But, is every man? Every member of a college campus? Or, every member of a lacrosse team?

For instance, what happens to the guy that gets too drunk at a party? He’s among friends and there’s a young lady there that catches his eye. They talk a bit. They are both attracted to one another. The guy is in a fraternity and they both decide to go back to his room at the fraternity house. They have consensual sex. However, unbeknown to the young lady, friends of hers take photos with their phones and put them up on their Twitter accounts. (They also think he’s cute and they’re drunk too). The young lady’s boyfriend sees the photos of the social interaction with a guy that is cuter than he is. Instantly, she’s a whore in his mind. To keep him at bay, however, the young lady claims that she was raped by this “frat boy” and that he must have “roofied” (Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol)) her beer. You can see how an episode of mere consensual sex at a college campus can change quickly to allegations of rape. Especially in a high-tech, #metoo society.

If you’ve been implicated by someone in “date rape,” read the excerpt from our book and see if it doesn’t strike a chord about your own situation. We’re always available for a free initial consultation. Or, if you’re interested, call or email for a free copy of the 140 page book. (717) 545-3032; elisabeth@shafferengle.com.

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