In the outset, rape has been categorized as a common crime. Initially, rape is committed when a man or a woman forcefully perform sexual intercourse with another against the latter’s will.
Before the passage of modern laws, a married man cannot be held responsible for raping his spouse. It was then believed that there could be no rape between the spouses.
However, these old laws were rendered to be imperfect and lacking. Due to the flaws and deficiency in the old laws, new laws were then passed to broaden the protection given not only to women but also to men and homosexuals.
Today, rape and other laws against sexually related offences have encompassing scopes which penalized the following acts: bestiality, sodomy, adultery, concubinage, sexual assault, homosexuality, indecent exposure, prostitution, incest, pornography and voyeurism.
The new laws, aside from being broader in scope, are also gender neutral. This only means that all citizens are given equal protection by the state against all forms of sexual abuse.
The penalty to be imposed on sexual offenders also varies depending on the nature and circumstances of each case. First-degree rape, even if not punishable by death, merits the application of harsh sentences which includes 20 years of imprisonment to life imprisonment.
In contrast, indecent exposure is only considered as a simple misdemeanour and is only punishable by light imprisonment or fine or both depending on the discretion of the judge.
States have also come up with methods to reform sexual offenders. These include the compulsory behavioural therapy and counselling, medication and adverse conditioning. The latter two processes gave more favourable results than the others.
Some states also implemented the recording of the residences of sex offenders in the police stations. The police, on the other hand, are tasked to inform the residents that there was a sexual offender living in the area. These acts have been proven to be constitutional and lawful.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.