Violent Crime: Crime Against a Person
The UCR defines forcible rape as "the carnal (bodily) knowledge of a female forcibly against her will. Assaults or attempts to commit rape by force or threat of force are also included; however, statutory rape (without force) . . . are excluded." Carnal knowledge means having sexual relations or intercourse with the female.
Statutory rape, mentioned in the UCR definition as rape without force and not included in UCR statistics, involves an adult and teenager under the age of consent. Each state defines the exact ages and age difference of the partners. Statutory rape occurs when sexual relations are not forced on the teenager, because the individual has apparently agreed to the act. It is a crime, however, because many teenagers are considered too young to make such a decision or to give their consent. Statutory rape cases are very difficult to prosecute since juries do not like to convict if the two individuals seemed to agree to have sex—even if the victim was quite young or there was a large age difference between the victim and adult sexual partner.
Rapes involve the offender's need to feel sexual power and power over the victim. Anger and aggression can also be part of the crime. Some rapes are committed with sudden attacks in public areas such as parks or streets. These generally occur in hidden areas like alleys under the cover of night. Other rapes occur after the offender has befriended the victim with either conversation or by offering a ride in a car. Some offenders are serial rapists, committing the crime again and again with different victims. Rapes occur at a higher rate in summer months, peaking in July since people are out more and later at night making them vulnerable as victims. Besides forcible rape where the offender is completely unknown to the victim, other forcible rapes are called "acquaintance rape," which includes date rape, marital rape (between two people who are legally married to each other), and gang rape (forced sexual relations with more than one person).
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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal LawViolent Crime: Crime Against a Person - Crimes Against Individuals, Hate Crime, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Forcible Rape, Stalking, "three Strikes" Laws