Thiele: Rape is Rape and the Law Must Change

Legislation redefines the law to recognize other forms of sexual assault as rape

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (I, D, WF-Sag Harbor) announced that the Assembly passed legislation to amend New York State law by removing the requirement that penetration be proven to establish a rape charge and adding oral and anal sexual conduct to the current definition of rape (A.3339-A).

“Rape is rape and the law needs to recognize that,” Assemblyman Thiele said. “Sexual predators can commit an act of sexual assault and be convicted of a crime, but not be convicted as a rapist. That’s wrong.”

Current law defines the crime of rape only in cases of vaginal penetration. This legislation would amend the law to remove the penetration requirement from the statute to bring parity between the standards for rape and what is currently defined as a “criminal sexual act.” This legislation also expands the definition of rape to include not just sexual intercourse, but oral or anal sexual conduct as well, which, under current law, is considered a criminal sexual act.

Thiele noted that under current law, a sexual predator who attacks and sexually victimizes someone is only convicted of rape if there was vaginal penetration.

“This goes against logic,” Assemblyman Thiele said. “It only adds insult to injury for these victims to have their attack classified differently from those of traditional rape victims, despite the violation that the victim feels. This legislation is a common-sense measure and it needs to swiftly be enacted into law.”