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Can You Be Convicted of Sexual Assault If You Were in a Romantic Relationship With the Accuser?


Not all sexual assault cases involve strangers. It is possible for someone to accuse you of sexual assault even if the accuser acknowledges that, on an occasion other than the alleged assault, they had consensual sex with you. 

The law considers consent to sexual activity to refer to an individual instance of an individual sexual act. In general, courts decide whether a sexual act constitutes sexual assault based on the actions of the defendant and the accuser during and immediately before and after the sexual act. The same events could meet the court’s definition of sexual assault if the parties are complete strangers, acquaintances, boyfriend and girlfriend, exes, friends with benefits, or even husband and wife. 

In the case of sexual assault, the determining factor is lack of consent. In the case of aggravated sexual assault, the determining factor is physical coercion or the threat of physical coercion. A Texas sex crime attorney at the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, can help you if you are being accused of non-consensual sex with your current or former romantic partner.

How Do Alcohol and Drugs Affect Date Rape Cases?

Texas sexual assault law defines sexual assault as contact of one person’s sexual organ with another person’s sexual organ, mouth, or anus without the consent of one of the parties to the sexual contact. In some instances, the accuser claims that they verbally or physically tried to resist the defendant. That is not the only way lack of consent can play out. The following can all count as a lack of consent in sexual assault and indecent assault cases:

● Physically resisting or trying to push the defendant away

● Saying “no” or verbally indicating a lack of consent

● Being unaware that the sexual encounter is happening because the accuser is under the influence of alcohol or drugs

● Being younger than 17, unless one party to the sexual encounter is in their mid-teens and the other one is less than three years older

● Having a disability severe enough that the law considers the accuser legally unable to make other decisions, such as financial transactions

In the case of intoxication, it is not a valid defense to say that you did not know which drugs the accuser took or in what dose. “Date rape” cases had led to sexual assault convictions when accusers tested positive for alcohol, GHB, and Rohypnol, among other drugs. 

What matters is whether the defendant knew that the victim was unable to consent. In theory, the court could even convict a husband of sexual assault if he had sex with his wife the day she came home from the hospital or outpatient surgery center. If she still had anesthesia in her system, she would not be of sound mind. Likewise, if, after taking her pain medication as directed, she was unaware that the encounter was happening or was aware but too impaired by drugs to voice her lack of consent, then her husband could face criminal charges.

Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, About Sexual Assault Allegations

You should hire a Dallas criminal defense lawyer if you are being accused of sexual assault against your partner or ex. Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, to discuss your case.