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NJ lawmaker introduces ‘rape by fraud’ bill to criminalize lying to get sex

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Assemblyman Troy Singleton (Facebook)

A New Jersey lawmaker has introduced a bill that would make lying in order to obtain sexual favors from another person “sexual assault by fraud,” the Star-Ledger reports.

According to the bill introduced by Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), the crime of “sexual assault by fraud” would be 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.”

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By way of example, he cited the case of Mischele Lewis, who had been lied to by her boyfriend, William Allen Jordan. Jordan claimed to be a British military official who needed $5,000 to obtain a security clearance, but when the prosecutors attempted to append a charge of “sexual assault by coercion,” the grand jury refused to indict him.

Jordan, Singleton said, “hadn’t threatened her. Quite the contrary. He had seduced her. But he had seduced her through a hoax, through a fraudulent means. And just like Bernie Madoff is in prison because he stole money from people by defrauding them, someone can vitiate your knowing consent by defrauding you in order to have sex.”

“I truly believe that we have to look at the issue of rape as more than sexual contact without consent,” Singleton added.

“Fraud invalidates any semblance of consent just as forcible sexual contact does. This legislation is designed to provide our state’s judiciary with another tool to assess situations where this occurs and potentially provide a legal remedy to those circumstances.”

Prominent New Jersey defense attorney Alan Zegas said that, as written, the bill is far too vague as to its definition of fraud.

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“What if a man were to say to a woman ‘I love you’ and engage in sex and he really didn’t love her? It could be as simple as that,” he told the Star-Ledger. “The definition is so broad that it doesn’t put the citizens of the state on fair notice of what it is that constitutes the crime.”

However, as Yale Law Professor Jed Rubenfeld noted in a 2013 article in the Yale Law Journal, “rape-by-deception” should not be rejected by contemporary criminal law, because it is based on an obsolete definition of rape.

“Rape law’s exclusion of almost all sex-by-deception claims followed from the fact that in such cases the woman had willingly had non-marital sex. Though deceived, she had willingly surrendered her virtue and thus could not claim rape,” he wrote.

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Trump’s Amy Coney Barrett pick for Supreme Court might backfire: analysts

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President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he would nominate Amy Coney Barrett to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s vacant Supreme Court seat. Trump made his pick official during an event at the White House Rose Garden.

“As Amy has said, being a judge takes courage. You are not there to decide cases as you may prefer, you are there to do your duty, and to follow the law, wherever it may take you. That is exactly what Judge Barrett will do on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

He continued: “No matter the issue, no matter the case before her. I am supremely confident that Judge Barrett will issue rulings based solely upon a fair reading of the law. She will defend the sacred principle of equal justice for citizens of every race, color, religion and creed.”

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2020 Election

Senate Dems blast ‘corrupt’ nomination of Amy Coney Barrett: ‘This entire process is illegitimate’

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President Donald Trump on Saturday nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the United States Supreme Court -- and Democrats were livid.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) linked the nomination to the Affordable Care Act and the COVID-19 pandemic.

"A vote for Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a vote to eliminate health care for millions in the middle of a pandemic," Schumer wrote. "Democrats are fighting for Americans' health care."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, ripped the nomination for coming so close to the election.

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Amy Coney Barrett: Religious conservative US Supreme Court pick

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Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who was nominated Saturday to the US Supreme Court, is a darling of conservatives for her religious views but detractors warn her confirmation would shift the nation's top court firmly to the right.

A practising Catholic and the mother of seven children, including two adopted from Haiti and a young son with Down's Syndrome, Barrett is personally opposed to abortion, one of the key issues dominating the cultural divide in the United States.

As a federal appeals court judge since 2017, she has taken positions backing gun rights and against migrants, women seeking abortions and former president Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform that Republicans have been trying to dismantle for years.

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