OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin signed 26 bills into law Tuesday with two of them regarding sexual assault crimes.
The first bill, HB 1005, would elevate the crime of rape by instrumentation to rape in the first degree.
Currently, state law views the crime as rape in the second degree.
The second bill, HB 1127, would require a court to instruct the jury on the definition of “consent” in any criminal jury trial that involves sexual assault.
Although juries are currently required to follow the legal definition of “consent,” the understanding can change among each jury member.
Both measures were authored by Rep. Scott Biggs (R-Chickasha).
“For the majority of Oklahomans, these laws will mean and do very little, but for the men and women who have been affected by sexual assault or have been preyed upon by sexual predators, these pieces of legislation are life changing. They are the difference between having to see your assailant walk free and getting the justice that both you and your assailant deserve. I want to thank the victims and advocates that pushed for this legislation. I am proud to be a part of a state that is willing to stand up and fight for the rights of victims.” -Rep. Biggs.