An Oklahoma lawmaker has proposed a new bill that could alter the definition of rape in the state, essentially making it illegal for church employees or volunteers to engage in sexual activity with church members under the age of 20. It is likely that the proposed measure was at least partly influenced by the recent …
An Oklahoma lawmaker has proposed a new bill that could alter the definition of rape in the state, essentially making it illegal for church employees or volunteers to engage in sexual activity with church members under the age of 20. It is likely that the proposed measure was at least partly influenced by the recent case in which a former employee of the Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma was charged with sex crimes (including rape) against three young girls who attended the megachurch. If you have been charged with rape or another serious sex crime in Oklahoma, don’t hesitate to protect your legal rights. Consult our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center to build a strong defense in your case.
Oklahoma Rape and Sex Crime Laws
“The child advocacy community has identified churches and places of worship as areas where predators tend to seek employment to gain easy access to adolescents,” said State Senator AJ Griffin, who introduced the legislation, called Senate Bill 175. “It’s also an area where parents tend to be a little more trusting.” According to Griffin, her work as a child advocate with victims of sexual assault perpetrated by individuals with their church convinced her to push for the expanded legislation. Currently, rape is defined by Oklahoma law as the act of sexual intercourse or anal or vaginal penetration of another person who has not consented to the act, or a person who is legally unable to consent.
Understanding the Complexities of Legal Consent
State Rep. Chuck Hoskin has been trying to get a bill similar to Griffin’s passed by the House for the past three years, although his legislation deals specifically with individuals in a “ministerial role.” The measure is expected to face some significant challenges however, similar to those involving student-teacher relationships. According to Oklahoma law, statutory rape can be charged against a person who engages in sexual activity with a person under the age of 16, a person whose mental illness or unsoundness of mind prevents him or her from giving legal consent, or a person who is under the supervision or custody of a local or state agency, when the sex act involves an employee or authority of that agency – i.e. a sexual relationship involving a student and teacher.
Contact Our Criminal Defense Attorneys Today
It is extremely important for Oklahomans to be aware of any changes in laws involving the definition of sex crimes, as rape and other sex offenses are punished harshly in Oklahoma. If you have been accused of a sex crime in Oklahoma City, or elsewhere in Oklahoma, contact our reputable defense lawyers at Oklahoma Legal Center today. Our team of attorneys has extensive experience protecting the legal rights of individuals charged with sex offenses throughout the state of Oklahoma, and we will work hard to help you defend yourself against the charges brought against you. With our team of criminal defense lawyers on your side, you can significantly improve your chances of having your charges reduced to a lesser offense, or possibly even dismissed altogether.