October 27, 2013

People v. Evans - 85 Misc. 2d 1088, 379 N.Y.S. 2d 912 (1975) - Supreme Court, New York County, Trial Term

FACTS: Defendant went to the airport and saw a young woman arriving.  The defendant struck up a conversation with the woman and presented himself as a psychiatrist.  He said he was doing an experiment and wanted to observe her reactions and the reactions of males in a singles bar.  After they went to the singles bar they went up to his apartment where he made advances on her.  When she said no he said that she had failed the test and was disappointed.  She began to get more frightened but the defendant did not hit her or anything else but say "I could kill you; I could rape you."  The defendant then told a story of his lost love at which time she reached out for the defendant and they proceed to have intercourse after he grabbed her.

ISSUE: Is the sexual conquest by a predatory male of a resisting female constitutes rape or seduction?

HOLDING: No

RATIONALE: The essential element of rape in the first degree is forcible compulsion.  The prevailing view is that there cannot be rape by fraud or trick.  Provided there is consent there is not actual rape.  In some jurisdictions seduction has been made criminal by statute.  Here the question is whether the threats muttered by the defendant paralyzed her capacity to resist and undermined her will.   The court determined that the controlling mind must be that of the speaker and there is no way to tell if he had any intent or was serious.  Court cannot find forcible compulsion or threat beyond a reasonable doubt.

DISPOSITION: Cannot be adjudicated criminal.