TULSA, Okla. – A controversial ruling is getting a lot of attention.
It involves a teen who said she was forced to perform oral sex while she was passed out.
The court said, because she was unconscious, no law was broken.
Because of that loophole, the judge dismissed the case.
He said the law doesn’t make it a crime when the victim is so intoxicated they’re unconscious.
Our state’s highest court agreed that’s the law, at least for now.
Prosecutors said a 17-year-old boy in Tulsa forced a heavily intoxicated girl to perform oral sex on him after the two had been drinking at a park.
The boy claimed the girl consented, but she said she couldn’t remember anything after leaving the park.
A judge dismissed the case, saying, under current law, that wasn’t a crime.
“It’s opened a Pandora’s box with regard to how the court of criminal appeals is defining force,” said legal analyst David McKenzie.
Legal experts said the word ‘force’ is part of the issue here.
It’s one of the elements of the forcible oral sodomy charge prosecutors have to prove.
“Force is a use of physical contact, however slight, to gain whatever advantage you want in a situation,” McKenzie said.
Some lawmakers want to make things as clear as possible with a new bill that adds a definition of force McKenzie described.
“In my opinion, the court got caught up in some of the legal semantics and did an injustice to this victim,” said Rep. Scott Biggs.
Biggs is working on the bill.
It would add language to more closely mirror Oklahoma’s rape law, which does address unconscious or intoxicated victims.
“What happened to this victim can’t happen again,” Biggs said.
The bill could be heard early next week.
BREAKING: Lawmakers working on bill to change definition of "force" in sex crimes after court's ruling on forcible oral sodomy case @kfor
— Abby Broyles (@abbybroyles) April 28, 2016