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What’s Wrong with Massachusetts? (Or Lie To Get Laid and...

In our ongoing coverage of what is wrong with the United States (soon to be expanded to cover wrong headed laws being enacted or pushed to be enacted in foreign countries), we include Massachusetts. A proposed bill would allow individuals who obtain sex by lying to be charged with a felony which would, you know, probably implicate 75% of bar patrons and one night stands.

Whoever has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with a person having obtained that person’s consent by the use of fraud, concealment or artifice, and who thereby intentionally deceived such person so that a reasonable person would not have consented but for the deception, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or any term of years. As used in this statute, ‘fraud’ or ‘artifice’ shall not be construed to mean a promise of future consideration.

As Eugene Volokh states, its probably not the intent of the drafters of the law, but the language essentially makes the elements of the rape by fraud act as follows:

Any time someone has consensual sex (1) having gotten the consent through (a) lying or (b) concealment, and (2) a jury (or perhaps a judge) concludes that “a reasonable person would not have consented but for the deception,” that’s a felony, labeled as a form of rape. Promises (“I’ll marry you”) are excluded, but other statements -‘ or silences -‘ are not.

I wonder, since it is a sex crime case, whether the offender would have to register as a sex offender.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Vicky
    May 05, 2008 @ 17:00:09

    I’m afraid to ask how they define “unnatural sexual intercourse”.

  2. (Jān)
    May 05, 2008 @ 18:05:37

    Maybe I’m being dim here, but what could possibly be the reasoning behind needing such a broad law? The one thing this might cover that should be punishable would be if a person swore they didn’t have an STD and gave it to the person they had sex with. But cripes, say that instead of making it possible for a woman to be able to get a guy arrested for wearing a toupee to help him get laid for crying out loud.

  3. Sherry Thomas
    May 05, 2008 @ 19:25:48

    What about a woman telling a guy she’s never had work done when she’s had plenty? :-)

  4. (Jān)
    May 05, 2008 @ 19:32:58

    What about a woman telling a guy she's never had work done when she's had plenty? :-)

    He only has the right to complain if it falls off. And if he doesn’t have Viagra in his pocket. ;P

  5. Ann Bruce
    May 05, 2008 @ 19:38:54

    Dear God. Who comes up with these bills?!?

  6. limecello
    May 05, 2008 @ 23:58:17

    MA est funneh

  7. stephanie feagan
    May 06, 2008 @ 02:21:58

    People are starving. People are homeless. And millions are living in fear because they have no medical insurance.
    But by God, they can all sleep better tonight, knowing some son of a bitch can’t say, “Let’s play doctor,” when he’s only a nurse. I know I feel all warm and happy now.

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