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Rape by deception

Lovefraud recently received an email from a woman in Israel. She says that she was involved with a man for almost two years, and had sexual relations with him. He promised that they would marry and have children. The guy seemed to have a wife, but he claimed it was a fake marriage to get a passport. Well, he was, in fact, married and leading a double life—a con man. The woman is trying to get him prosecuted for “rape by deception.”

Yes, Israeli law includes the concept that consensual sex based on a false premise is rape. Here’s the actual law:

RAPE
345. (a) If a person had intercourse with a woman –

  • (1) without her freely given consent;
  • (2) with the woman’s consent, which was obtained by deceit in respect of the identity of the person or the nature of the act;
  • (3) when the woman is a minor below age 14, even with her consent;
  • (4) by exploiting the woman’s state of unconsciousness or other condition that prevents her from giving her free consent;
  • (5) by exploiting the fact that she is mentally ill or deficient, if – because of her illness or mental deficiency – her consent to intercourse did not constitute free consent.

then he committed rape and is liable to sixteen years imprisonment.

When I first heard of this law, I was amazed. A law like this actually exists? What a great idea! How many of us have been lured into sex through deception? My sociopathic ex-husband told me that he was a financially stable entrepreneur, a decorated war veteran and in love with me—none of which was true. I would be thrilled to have him prosecuted for his outrageous lies.

Israeli case

Only a few people have been prosecuted under the “rape by deception” provision in Israel. One case from last year was the subject of a lot of media hype.  It turned out to be a very bad case, unlikely to gather support for a law that many of us would probably like to see enacted here.

A man by the name of Saber Kushour was convicted of rape by deception because he led a Jewish woman to believe that he was a Jewish bachelor, and they had consensual sex. In fact he was a married Palestinian with two children. The woman filed a complaint.

Here is what Tzvi Segal, one of three judges in the case, said:

“The court is obliged to protect the public interest from sophisticated, smooth-tongued criminals who can deceive innocent victims at an unbearable price – the sanctity of their bodies and souls. When the very basis of trust between human beings drops, especially when the matters at hand are so intimate, sensitive and fateful, the court is required to stand firmly at the side of the victims – actual and potential – to protect their wellbeing. Otherwise, they will be used, manipulated and misled, while paying only a tolerable and symbolic price.”

You can read about the story, and the verdict, in Arab guilty of rape after consensual sex with Jew on Guardian.co.uk.

As you would think by the above headline, the story touched off international criticism that the Israeli court was racist, and the law was a ploy to inhibit interracial dating.

Once details of the case were known, it got even messier. Apparently the woman, who was not named, approached Kushour as he walked out of a convenience store. Within 10 or 15 minutes of meeting, the two went to a nearby building and had sex.

The woman told police that she had been abused by her father since she was young and forced by him to become a sex worker. She also said that the sex wasn’t consensual; she was raped and left naked and bleeding.

Then it turned out that she had filed 14 previous rape complaints.  The prosecution agreed to a plea bargain, reducing the sentence to “rape by deception,” supposedly to prevent a long cross-examination of the victim. My guess is that the prosecutors decided the woman wasn’t credible, and if they took the case to trial, they would lose. The prosecution took what it could get. But Kushour thought the sentence was too long—18 months— and he is appealing his conviction. Read:

Saber Kushour: ‘My conviction for “rape by deception” has ruined my life’, on Guardian.co.uk.

Arab rape-by-deception charge ‘was result of plea bargain’, on Guardian.co.uk.

Israeli Palestinian man to appeal rape-by-deception conviction, on CNN.com

Possible in the U.S.?

So, could there be such a law in the United States? Actually, a few states have similar laws—California, Tennessee, Alabama and Michigan. They’re called “rape by fraud” or “rape by coercion” laws.

Back in 1995, Nashville, Tennessee was all a-twitter about the case of the “Fantasy Man.” Raymond Mitchell III, a 45-year-old businessman, took to calling women late at night. In a sexy whisper, he persuaded them to unlock their doors, undress, put on a blindfold, and wait for him in bed. At least eight women thought he was their boyfriend and had sex with him.

Mitchell turned out to be a man with a double life. By day he was a churchgoer who spent time with his ailing mother and helped raise a fatherless nephew. By night he was the Fantasy Man. Mitchell was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for rape by fraud and attempted rape by fraud. Read:

Three accuse ‘Fantasy Man’ lover of rape on LATimes.com

Rape by fraud guilty verdict on NYDailyNews.com.

‘Fantasy Man’ going to prison on News.Google.com.

In a similar case in Massachusetts, the perp was not convicted. A woman lived with her boyfriend in the basement of his father’s home. Her boyfriend’s brother also lived in the house. One night, while the woman slept and her boyfriend was at work, a man came into the room. It was dark, the woman thought her boyfriend had come home, they had sex—but it was the brother.

The brother was prosecuted for rape. But because Massachusetts law specifies that rape requires force, and the sex was consensual, the state supreme court ruled that no rape had been committed.

Read Does sex through fraud constitute rape? On Salon.com.

I have a feeling that we’re not going to see many rape by deception laws. Even if the laws were enacted, they wouldn’t be enforced. I mean, most prosecutors won’t go after people who commit bigamy, so they’re unlikely to go after people who are slick enough to talk themselves into other people’s pants.



90 Comments on "Rape by deception"

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  1. KatyDid says:

    Skylar,
    You may have something there. Mean girls grow up to be queen bees. And queen bees are surrounded by wannabees (minions), some of which are spawn. But again, NO loyalty so even if spawn are around, it’s to serve the immediate gratification of the queen whether that comes from spawn or wannabees makes no dif to the queen. But again, that’s narcissism and my husband’s family went way beyond narcissism. My councelor likened it to mafia style control and mindset.

    Louise,
    Mommy was the primary, but Daddy was no less a factor. I didn’t discuss him b/c I was talking about how my husband is so seductive at such a level that was seemingly instinctive. Daddy showed the boys how to be aggressors, while smiling and being a good ol guy, yet able to kill b/c it needed to be done (not. but that’s how he thought. that killing was okay if needed. farmer thinking. yes you do need to put down an animal that is suffering. that’s needing killing. but they took it further, that others were to submit or they were empowered to force them to submit.)



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  2. Louise says:

    KatyDid:

    Yeah, daddies can mess up their sons just as badly. Sounds like yours had a double whammy unfortunately 🙁



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  3. Ox Drover says:

    Skylar, MR (mental retardation) has no cure but can be the result of genetics, nutrition, diseases, head injury, or a number of other things.

    Constantine,

    I agree with your above post. The PCL-R is “circular logic”—they take the qualities of a criminal and quantify them, then say that the criminal is a criminal because he has those qualities.

    Part of the problem also, is in quantifying “empathy” which is an abstract concept. In some research that I wrote about previously the author had done this and developed a BELL CURVE on empathy or lack of it in his study of autism and other conditions where there is a lack of empathy. While an autistic person may have little or no empathy, they are however, NOT likely to abuse others, where the psychopath, does abuse and take advantage of others. So he labeled it Zero + and Zero negative with the psychopath’s lack of empathy being the latter.

    So lack of empathy is not the ONLY criteria that makes a psychopath, but it is a difficult one to quantify, much more so than number of criminal offense for which there is evidence of guilt.

    Also, how do you quantify REMORSE or lack of it? If someone SAYS they are “sorry” how do you know if it is true or not? Well, obviously if they continue to engage in that behavior you can say “well I don’t think they are truly remorseful because they keep robbing banks” but that is “mind reading” and of course we can’t do that now can we? LOL So maybe they WERE remorseful but just couldn’t sustain that remorse for very long.

    We know that some people have the genetic predisposition to become alcoholics or drug addicts, so it is now labeled a “disease” and the person is given some pity for having this terrible disease/addiction over which they have “no control”—yet the law holds them responsible for the actions they do while under the influence (like drunk driving etc). So since the psychopath probably has a genetic predisposition to lack of empathy should they be held accountable for their behavior or not?

    Lots more questions than there are answers, I think.



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  4. skylar says:

    Oxy,
    I know that you can’t cure MR. I was making a comparison about holding the mentally deficient responsible.

    I don’t understand why the law allows an insane person who commits a crime to be treated with drugs until they are “sane” and then they are tried as sane.



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  5. Ox Drover says:

    Sky, there was a Supreme court decision about being able to force a person to take medications so he would be “sane” enough to execute….though we can as adults refuse to take medication even for “our own good” though if we are “crazy” and/or dangerous because we refuse to take it we can be locked up, but even then if the person is dangerous to himself or others he can be restrained and forced to take medication to “calm” him/her. Yet, if that person is out on the street and not taking care of themselves as long as they are not actively trying to hurt someone, they have the “freedom” to live on the street under a freeway if that is what they want to do, or like my neighbor “grandpa” they can take in a con-person who uses and abuses them.

    I wish I knew the answers to all this human suffering, Sky, but I don’t even know all the questions. LOL (dark humor again!)



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  6. Constantine says:

    Oxy,

    I suppose that’s the central paradox here: the things which really constitute (for me) the essence of the disorder (lack of empathy, lack of conscience, remorselessness, pathological lying, etc) are virtually impossible to “objectively” quantify and measure; whereas the things which are more peripheral to it (“criminal versatility” and that sort of thing), are for the most part, quite easy to document. (And the moreso when you’re talking about the “dumb” criminals!)

    But the ones they catch and study ARE, by definition, the “dumb” ones! (Your son isn’t dumb IQ wise, but in the more general sense of the word, i.e., he got caught for the murder, what, 24 hours later?) So how can we even talk about the other types, who go through their entire lives avoiding detection? – Other than the testimony of people like myself and others, who, I often fear, represent so many “voices in the wilderness.”

    I guess what it amounts to is that when you put together certain basic indispensable factors (lack of empathy, no conscience, etc.), you do get a fairly “profileable” array of corresponding behavior patterns. (Which is why the PCL-R might well be the best tool we’re likely to get.) But out of that general pattern, there are any number of significant subtypes and variations, which are no less real for being better hidden.

    If nothing else, I can testify that there is at least ONE slithering, creeping, vile, disgusting, spiritually vacuous, cow-souled, lying, whoring, utterly fake, vapid, slightly obese and no longer attractive surgeon out there, who I’m pretty sure has never made Dr. Hare’s venerable acquaintance! And from what I see at LF, she’s represents just one of a vast multitude.

    (Incidentally, she scores between 26 and 32 on the PCL-R, depending on my mood!)



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  7. isurvived says:

    Hey,

    KatyDid- i talked to a psychologist and i read a lot of material about the effects of a rape on a person- and people think it is about the physical damage, but it never is! Rape is when u r used sexually against your will. So whether it is by deception with concent of the woman or against her physical will, it is against her will. I was never given the RIGHT TO CHOOSE whether i want this man. It is like u think u r with a person and then u find out uve been sleeping with Hitler for 2 years, but u never knew! no difference at all! my ex told me ” i lied to u because i knew u wouldnt be with me. i didnt want to give u the right to choose”!



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  8. KatyDid says:

    isurvived
    yes, it is the EFFECTS that messed me up. my first rape was bad, i screamed the entired time and later wondered how someone could tune out such screaming at the top of my teenaged lungs. but he did. yet that wasn’t as bad as finding out who betrayed me, who “sold” my virginity for $20, and what my mother did to me b/c she decided I disgraced her b/c she decided if I wasn’t such a HO, then it wouldn’t have happened. and i did a further stupid thing, telling my loving (turned out to be spath) husband not to wear a certain aftershave b/c the memory of it sickened me, somehow !? (&^%#@! husband) his mom found out and SHE piled on that I was ‘tainted’. THIRTY years later I was still being haunted NOT by the rape but by the mindfuck of it.

    your ex, like my stbx husband, STOLE our ability to choose. those were some of the same words my husband used on why he lied to me, b/c if he told the truth, i wouldn’t give him the outcome he wanted. rape of the soul, of the spirit. and then people wonder why we don’t “just move on.”

    I hope you are recovering. I have my memories but I work to choose to focus on what matters, connecting to people who fit my criteria, making new memories that affirm God’s grace, and exploring all my curiousities b/c God’s Blessings are there for us to delight and explore. (I am NOT religious, but I am spiritual.)



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  9. Ox Drover says:

    Constantine,

    Didn’t see your post of Oct 6 until this afternoon with the blog problems and me being in and out of the house this weekend…I agree with you on your take about the PCL-R maybe being the best we can do given all the variables of our society, professional psychology, and the nature of psychopathy itself.

    I do wish there was a reasonable way to educate people about what psychopathy is so that they could recognize it and defend themselves from it, but with the problems we are having now in “education” of the nation’s young—with way too many of them being functionally illiterate in basic reading, writing, and math, I’m afraid that psychological literacy is gonna wind up far down the list of “educational needs.” I read an article the other day that compared different states in US educational systems against the 25 most advanced nations in the world and many US states ended up in the 22nd percentile, meaning that 78% of other countries kids scored higher on education than our kids do, even taking out the “inner city” schools, and using the HIGHER LEVEL “BETTER” US SCHOOLS, the best any US area did was about barely over 50th percentile. DUH?!!

    So if the kids can’t read and write how can we educate them on philosophy and psychology AGAINST what the media and popular culture is telling them is COOL? Heard on NPR the other day that 6% of 12 year olds are drinking on a REGULAR basis. Well, you know they are not going into a bar with a fake ID, so they are being given the alcohol or they are stealing it from their parents or other adults. When I worked at the college for 4 years as Director of Student Health, I was amazed at the number of alcohol poisonings we had…to say nothing of the just “mainstream drinking” and drugging and this was an upscale private school with the students being the top 5% from their high school classes being the norm in IQ and achievement.

    I wish we could educate every kid about psychopaths and how to spot them….and maybe we could find a way to diagnose them more accurately for purposes of the law, but if we did that, we’d clean out congress, the senate, most of the governors, lawyers, and judges—-hey, that might be a GREAT IDEA Constantine! Glad you thought of it!



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