RAPE UNDER WASHINGTON LAW
Washington defines rape as forcible sexual intercourse without the other person’s consent. Sexual intercourse is defined as penetration (anal, oral, or vaginal) by a penis, tongue, finger, or an inanimate object, however slight. Note that the force used in the “forcible sexual intercourse” can be physical or emotional. Some examples of emotional force include threats, intimidation, and coercion.
There are three different degrees of rape under Washington Law – first, second and third.
Rape in the First Degree is when a person commits a rape, and in doing so, either:
- Uses a weapon or threatens with a weapon;
- Kidnaps the victim;
- Inflicts serious physical injury; or,
- Enters a building or car where the victim is located
Rape in the First Degree is a Class A felony that is punishable by up to life in prison, and/or a $50,000 fine.
Rape in the Second Degree is when a person commits rape and either:
- The defendant uses “forcible compulsion;” or,
- The victim is incapable of consent because he or she is physically helpless, mentally incapacitated or developmentally disabled.
“Forcible compulsion” means physical force which overcomes resistance, or a threat, (express or implied) that places a person in fear: of death or physical injury to herself or himself or another person; or, in fear that she or he or another person will be kidnapped.
Rape in the Second Degree is a Class A felony that is punishable by up to life in prison, and/or a $50,000 fine.
Rape in the Third Degree is when a person commits rape and either:
- The victim’s lack of consent was expressed by words or conduct; or,
- The defendant threatened substantial harm to the victim’s property.
Rape in the Third Degree is a Class C felony punishable by five years in prison, and/or a $10,000 fine.