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What if lying for sex were illegal?

man with black mask 200x300A couple of weeks ago, New Jersey Assemblyman Troy Singleton introduced a bill to expand the definition of sexual assault to include “rape by fraud.” This is defined as:

“An act of sexual penetration to which a person has given consent because the actor has misrepresented the purpose of the act or has represented he is someone he is not.”

Singleton is the Assemblyman for Burlington County, New Jersey, and one of his constituents is Mischele Lewis, who was seduced and defrauded by William Jordan. When Singleton read about what happened to Mischele, he reached out to her and offered to write a law to protect future victims.

Now, the story about the bill has hit the media. Unfortunately, much of the reaction is not good. Here’s a sampling:

“This law is so vague and wide-reaching that it’s easy to see how pretty much everyone could be considered a rapist, because, as any quick perusing of OkCupid can tell you, representing yourself as someone you are not is a universal behavior.”
The drastic overreach of the ‘rape by fraud’ bill, on Slate.com.

“Rape is a serious crime that can inflict lifelong physical and emotional damage, and no woman should ever fear to report it or have it taken lightly by authorities.  Falling for a line from some cad, crawling into bed, and handing over your checkbook isn’t in the same category. Not even close.”
Quigley: Is there such a thing as rape by fraud? on NJ.com.

“No no no just no: we do not need a legal remedy for people having bad judgment. Is it a shame that some people misrepresent themselves to get people to sleep with them? Sure. But not every aspect of social and sexual relationships can be a matter for government concern. What’s next, making it a misdemeanor to use outdated photos on your Tinder profile? Criminalizing push-up bras? Throwing people in jail who say they’ll call the next day but don’t?”
Lying to a lover could become ‘rape’ in New Jersey, on Reason.com.

In my opinion, the media pundits who made these comments were likely never involved with a sociopath.

Here’s what the critics don’t understand: Human predators live among us. These people hijack the natural human bonding process in order to exploit their victims.

The original story about the proposed law was written in a fairly balanced way. It told a very shortened version of Mischele’s story, and quoted Joyce Short, who contributes regularly to Lovefraud.

Rape by fraud? N.J. lawmaker introduces bill to make it a crime, on NJ.com.

The story was accompanied by a poll — Did people agree that there should be a law against rape by fraud? When I looked at the results, 57 people said yes, there should be a law — and 1,500 people said no.

Broadly drafted

So why do so many people seem to be against this law? One complaint is that it is too broadly drafted. I actually agree with that, and I’d suggest that part of its definition of sexual assault be removed:

“An act of sexual penetration to which a person has given consent because the actor has misrepresented the purpose of the act or has represented he is someone he is not.”

I spent a lot of years dating. I know guys will say that they like you, say that they’ll call, dangle the idea of a committed relationship, just to get you into bed. Women do this too. Although it can be cruel, it’s part of the dating game. You have to know your own intentions, and be able to evaluate a potential partner’s intentions.

So if a person promises to love you in the morning, and then disappears, I don’t think that should be prosecuted as a crime. I’d recommend removing the language about misrepresenting the purpose of the act.

Crime of identity

Misrepresenting who you are, however, is different. In Mischele’s case, William Jordan, an unemployed American who had been convicted of bigamy, fraud and child molestation, pretended to be Liam Allen, an employee of the British Defense Ministry who protected high-ranking public officials.

Jordan is a complete and total con man. He is also a psychopath. Lovefraud author Dr. Liane Leedom scored him at 40 out of 40 on the Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R).

This man is one of the most dangerous psychopaths I’ve ever heard of. I’ve spoken with at least four of his victims. He doesn’t just lie. He engages in total psychological manipulation in order to break his victims down and exploit them.

Mischele didn’t have “poor judgment.” She did everything she could to investigate Jordan. But right from the very beginning, Jordan gave her a false identity. He spoke to her in a British accent. He showed her fabricated documentation. He had other people call her on his behalf, although these others were likely Jordan himself, impersonating other voices.

Although Jordan took $5,000 from Mischele, from a financial perspective, she got off relatively easy. Jordan took $333,000 from Mary Turner Thomson, and probably hundreds of thousands of dollars more from his other victims.

Con artists know that if they can hook you sexually, their exploitation of you will be much more successful. So it’s not just about the sex. It’s about the damage they do to the rest of your life.

Lying about identity

How about the person who pretends to be single, but in reality is married with kids? Or the person who pretends to be a college professor, but is really a janitor? These may be lesser lies, but they’re still devastating to the person who was lied to.

I think these lies should also be considered crimes of identity, and therefore, sexual assault by fraud. Is this harsh? Perhaps. But these people lied; they should pay the price.

Here’s the bottom line, in my opinion: I think New Jersey should pass a rape by fraud law, but the bill that has been introduced is too broad.

Lying about your identity to engage in sex should be a form of sexual assault. Because anyone who lies about his or her identity is a predator.

Exposing the con artists

Will this law stop New Jersey psychopaths from lying about their identities in order to exploit their targets? I doubt it. Psychopaths don’t believe that laws apply to them, and aren’t concerned about consequences.

But a “rape by fraud” law could be useful in exposing psychopaths and protecting other victims. In my experience, exposing psychopaths is the only thing that works against them.

I would love to set up a database of everyone convicted of sexual assault by fraud. Now, that would make it hard for these predatory con artists to get a date.

So what do you think? Would a “rape by fraud” law be helpful?

 



44 Comments on "What if lying for sex were illegal?"

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  1. IMconfused says:

    I just read a depressing article that seems written with my spouse as the model. It’s depressing because it validates my experiences with him.
    Even when caught in lies, my husband refuses to take any responsibility…and assumes that life will resume as usual after a few weeks…because it always has…stupid me! That said, I wonder what will happen as I change my responses!
    The article explains that a mental deviate is a self-serving con/fraud without regard for others’ needs…and his psyche won’t change.
    If interested, you’ll find the article here:

    http://datingasociopath.com/2013/03/25/sociopath-lack-of-conscience-lack-of-remorse-guilt-or-shame/



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  2. flicka says:

    Excellent link! Thank you!



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