Pennsylvania's definition of rape

You have probably seen, read or heard reports of someone being accused of a sex crime in Pennsylvania many times. However, have you ever stopped to think about just what a particular criminal charge really means. There are very clear definitions that the law uses when identifying a particular offense. When it comes to rape, the Pennsylvania General Assembly indicates that actual sexual intercourse is involved.

In Pennsylvania, rape is classified as a first-degree felony offense. Regarding the intercourse that occurs in a situation resulting in a rape charge, the act is said to have been done against the will of the other party either via direct physical force or by threatening the person with potential force to the point that they quit resisting and give in to the act.

A rape charge may also result if the other party is said to have limited mental capabilities that would classify them as mentally disabled in some way. A defendant might be charged with rape if the other person was allegedly under the influence of some impairment that prevented them from either granting consent or refusing the sexual contact. Similarly, a person could be accused of raping another if the latter was unconscious or unable to know something was happening at the time. 

If you would like to learn more about the state's laws and definitions of things related to sexually related criminal offenses, please feel free to visit the rape and sex crime charge page of our Pennsylvania criminal defense website.

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