In re John Z.

29 Cal. 4th 756, 128 Cal. Rptr. 2d 783, 60 P.3d 183 (2003)



While outrage of the victim may be the cause for criminalizing and severely punishing forcible rape, outrage by the victim is not an element of forcible rape. Pursuant to Cal. Penal Code § 261(a)(2), forcible rape occurs when the act of sexual intercourse is accomplished against the will of the victim by force or threat of bodily injury and it is immaterial at what point the victim withdraws her consent, so long as that withdrawal is communicated to the male and he thereafter ignores it. 


The 17-year-old female victim allegedly indicated initial consent to engage in sexual intercourse with defendant but withdrew her consent during the act of intercourse. Defendant continued intercourse forcibly against her will. The juvenile court, after holding a contested jurisdictional hearing on a unitary petition filed on behalf of defendant juvenile, found that he committed forcible rape, that his previous juvenile court disposition had been ineffective, and committed him to a boys ranch. Defendant appealed, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. The defendant contended that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the finding that he committed forcible rape. On review, the court again affirmed.


Was there substantial evidence that the victim withdrew her consent to engage in sexual intercourse?




 The California Supreme Court held that: (1) a withdrawal of consent by the victim effectively nullified any earlier consent and subjected the male to forcible rape charges when he persisted in what had become nonconsensual intercourse; (2) the offense of forcible rape occurred when, during apparently consensual intercourse, the victim expressed an objection and attempted to stop the act, and the defendant forcibly continued despite the objection; and (3) the evidence was sufficient to show that the victim withdrew her consent, communicated that fact to defendant, and defendant used force to resist the victim's attempt to stop the act.

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