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An archaic clause in a state law justified that a California woman who was sexually assaulted was not technically raped because she isn’t married.

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The court overturned the rape conviction of Julio Morales, who was accused of raping an 18-year-old woman who has not been identified.

In February 2009, Morales snuck into the woman’s bedroom when she was asleep, posing as her boyfriend, to have sex with her. It was not until a beam of light from a window illuminated his face that she realized that Morales was not her boyfriend, according to prosecutors.

“Has the man committed rape? Because of historical anomalies in the law and the statutory definition of rape, the answer is no, even though, if the woman had been married and the man had impersonated her husband, the answer would be yes,” Judge Thomas L. Willhite Jr. wrote in the court’s decision.

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The 1872 law, which California leaders had over a century to amend, rules that an impersonator who tricks someone into having sex with him can only be found guilty of rape if he is pretending to be that woman’s husband. 

According to ABC:

The court found that the woman consented, even though she was tricked. Had she been married the law defines such a deception as rape, but as an unmarried woman it does not.

The court ruled unanimously, if reluctantly, and sent the case back for retrial.

The news of the rape comes in the wake of two other high profile rape cases, one in Ohio and another in India

We just don’t understand how “rape” can be justified. We shouldn’t tolerate this at all!