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What should I do if I am being accused of date rape in Kansas by someone I met on an online dating app?

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Answered by: Paul D. Cramm

Located in Overland Park, KSPaul D. Cramm, Chtd.

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If you meet someone on a social media “hookup’ site, the possibility of a terrible misunderstanding concerning sexual boundaries is very real and is increased by alcohol consumption. After your encounter, the person you were with may claim to have been sexually assaulted. If you are in this situation, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney on your side.

Kansas law does not distinguish between a misunderstanding between a couple on a first date and a random attack by a stranger. If sexual intercourse is not consensual, it is considered rape and a conviction can result in a prison sentence of 12 or more years – even with no prior criminal history. A rape conviction will also require lifetime registration on the Kansas Sex Offender Registry.

Defining Date Rape

The word “rape” is an emotionally charged term. But there are also detailed legal definitions for specific criminal offenses.

In Kansas, these offenses include not only rape but also criminal sodomy and sexual battery. Rape is sexual intercourse without consent. Sodomy is oral contact with genitalia or anal penetration without consent. Sexual battery is unlawful touching without consent to arouse or satisfy sexual desire.

Given these definitions, the concept of “consent” is crucial. With rape allegations, the law applies the same label of “rape” to an encounter between dating partners who have a miscommunication about consent as it does to a sudden violent attack by a stranger.

 Get An Effective Attorney On Your Side

If you are facing allegations of date rape, it is critically important to get an experienced and effective criminal defense attorney on your side as soon as possible. Protecting your legal rights must be paramount when you are facing such serious charges.

Gathering Evidence To Use In Your Defense

Your attorney may decide to use a subpoena to obtain records from the dating website about your accuser’s profile and user history. Kansas Rape Shield Law (KSA 21-5502) may prevent you from admitting some of this information during the trial of your case.  But it may be possible to show that a flirtatious exchange preceded the sexual encounter. This may discredit the accuser’s claim that she did not consent to any sexual activities that may have occurred.

Using The Right To Remain Silent

Exercising your right to remain silent is also very important. This includes not only verbal statements that could be used against you, but also online interactions you might have with your accuser or others.

Your attorney can also provide counsel about how to respond to requests or demands from law enforcement for your electronic devices and passwords to your online accounts.

Effective Cross-Examination

Jurors naturally tend to respond to the emotional testimony of people who say they were victimized. Thorough and effective cross-examination of the accuser is therefore often the key to successful defense against a rape or other sex offense allegation

In today’s “Me Too”-influenced culture, jurors can be suspicious of anyone accused of sexual impropriety. That is why cross-examination of an accuser must be done with great care. Finding an attorney with the skills, experience and sensitivity to do manage your case is worth the time and the investment as you seek to protect your future and your freedom against such serious charges.

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