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Court Looks at Defendant’s Intent in Rape Charges


On March 25, 1991 The Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department in New York heard an appeal on a case of murder associated with an attempted rape. The elements of the offense are seemingly so bizarre as to warrant mention. The offender was originally convicted on May 10, 1984, with second degree murder, manslaughter in the second degree, and attempted rape in the first degree.

A New York Criminal Lawyer said he offender in this case stated that he knew the victim because he spent a good deal of time at her parents’ house. He fantasized about the victim repeatedly and became obsessed with the idea of having sex with her. Since, he knew that she would never allow him to have sex with her, he fantasized about raping her. He devised a plan to attack her and force her to have sex with him. He waited in her family home for her to come home and get into the shower. He went up the stairs and hid outside the master bedroom. He picked up a shillelagh, which is a type of knuckled walking stick. When she came out of the shower, he hit her on the head with the shillelagh. However, rather than forcing himself upon her, he became overwhelmed with the act of clubbing her. Her clubbed her repeatedly as she lay on the floor of her parents’ bedroom. He beat her until she was unconscious and covered with blood. He confessed in court to his crime.

He described to the court and the jury that he had intended to rape the victim, but once she was battered and covered with blood, he stopped. The offender filed an appeal with the Supreme court to overturn his verdict of guild to the attempted rape because the code section states that the man would be guilty of rape in the first degree if he had sexual intercourse by forcible compulsion. In order to attempt to rape, he would have had to attempt some action that would tend to further the commission of the rape. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the offender states that once he began to club the victim, he changed his mind about raping her and that none of his actions were in the effect of a rape. He contends that since the murder itself became the offense that any offense that is connected with rape should be overturned because there were no actions taken in the furtherance of that crime.

The court contends that no reasonable person could entertain the concept that the offender did not assault the victim with the intent to rape her. The fact that the offender attempts to explain his actions as an uncontrolled spasm of violence toward her that had nothing to do with the intent to rape, is not feasible. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the defendant claims that he had changed his mind about raping her before he began to club her. The evidence and his initial confession do not support this hypothesis. The court determines that he assaulted her with the intent to rape, yet when he became enthralled in his battering of her, was somehow sexually satisfied with the results of his violence to the point where he no longer could affect the rape itself. The court determined that just because he did not affect the sexual assault, does not mean that the original assault was not begun to attempt the rape. Based on the facts of this case, the majority determined that the trial court did not err in their decision and the convictions were affirmed.

One justice dissented. He felt that since the battering did not end with any type of disrobing or sexual act, that the charge of attempted rape would not be appropriate. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said that he further felt that the manslaughter in the second degree offense should be dropped because of the lack of action taken to further the offense.

At Stephen Bilkis & Associates their criminal lawyers, have convenient offices located throughout New York and Metropolitan area. Our rape Attorneys can provide you with advice to help you through difficult situations.

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