Consent Counts: The Model Penal Code on Sexual Assault
NCSF provided input to the American Law Institute (ALI) on the revised Model Penal Code on Sexual Assault that was approved in June 2021. NCSF’s Consent Counts campaign will help educate our allies such as victim advocacy agencies, LGBTQIA and sex worker advocacy organizations, the alt-sex communities, and media outlets. This will lead to lobbying state legislators to adopt the MPC: SA.
Why is it important?
Over 20 states have no definition of consent in their sexual assault law, and there is no uniform legal definition of consent according to RAINN.
Outdated moralistic preconceptions of consent in the law do not accommodate modern understandings and practices of consent.
Consent is a more complex issue than “yes means yes” (so-called “affirmative consent”) or “no means no,” which is an issue that has divided defense attorneys and prosecutors and has made for much confusion in the law. The new MPC on SA avoids this divisive issue by taking the logical and practical position that whether consent was given, whether expressly or by behavior, is a fact to be determined “in the context of all the circumstances.”
The new MPC on SA explicitly recognizes that the absence of consent is a necessary fact that the prosecutor must show beyond a reasonable doubt if the matter pertains to the use of force/restraint or simulated non-consent.
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