This PDF says that if a minor rapes an adult it is statutory rape.

The case is Henyard v. State.

It goes on showing a sample of a 15-year-old man using a gun to rape a mother in front of her 2 daughters.

The case ended badly. The mother is shot. The 2 daughters are also murdered.

The PDF argues that the mother, if she survived somehow, would still be guilty of statutory rape. However, I cannot find any info whether she is actually charged for that or not. It seems that no sane DA would charge her with that. I may be wrong.

Imagine a similar case.

A 15-year-old male pulls gun in front of a 21-year-old woman. They have sex.

Now, the rapist is guilty of many things of course. But under the law, both are guilty of rape. The rapist for well, rape. The woman for having sex with an underage rapist.

Are there any actual cases that are like this?

Are there cases like this where the rape victim does not report the crime knowing that she will be found guilty too?

  • The referent of "this" and the associated PDF is not obvious to the reader.
    – user6726
    Mar 24, 2018 at 17:39
  • How would anyone know if there are cases that were never reported? Mar 24, 2018 at 20:55
  • fixed. I do not think the woman victim is ever charged with a crime. The pdf simply says that technically she is guilty.
    – user4951
    Mar 25, 2018 at 7:16
  • By what sick and twisted chain of logic does the victim become liable? A woman being raped at gunpoint is not "having sex" any more than me punching you in the nose makes you guilty of assaulting my fist with your face. There is an element of forceful violence, and a missing element of willfulness that cannot be ignored. Sep 30, 2022 at 15:17
  • This might be one I would choose to prosecute: skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/37566/… Sep 30, 2022 at 18:20

2 Answers 2


Laws vary by state, of course. In Wisconsin, according to the 1993 case State v. Neumann:

the offense of second-degree sexual assault by sexual intercourse does not require proof of intent

and therefore someone who claimed to be too drunk to know what he was doing was still guilty. Although that was a case involving adults and therefore a different statute, I think the statutes are similar enough to produce a similar result in a case involving a minor.

But even though intent isn't required, according to the 2007 case State v. Lackershire she's still be not guilty in Wisconsin. It flat out says that:

If the defendant was raped, the act of having sexual intercourse with a child does not constitute a crime.

Additionally, in your case, there was a gun to her head. Under Wisconsin law, the woman could not be guilty of statutory rape, because of this law:

939.46  Coercion.
(1) A threat by a person other than the actor's coconspirator which causes the actor reasonably to believe that his or her act is the only means of preventing imminent death or great bodily harm to the actor or another and which causes him or her so to act is a defense to a prosecution for any crime based on that act, except that if the prosecution is for first-degree intentional homicide, the degree of the crime is reduced to 2nd-degree intentional homicide.

The paper you link to mentions several possible defenses like coercion, and how each defense is not applicable in some states. I don't think it ever clearly establishes that there is a state where there is no defense. The example you (and the paper) give occurred in Florida. I couldn't find an applicable statute in Florida law, but that appears to be because it's in common law instead of a statute. According to the 1981 Florida case Wright v. State:

Florida has recognized the common law defense of duress as a defense to crimes other than homicide

so I don't think the woman would have been guilty under Florida law, either. The paper states that she was in fear for her life and that of her daughters, and it is extremely apparent in hindsight that her fear was reasonable.

I imagine that if the author was able to find an actual case where a victim was prosecuted under similar circumstances (or even one where the victim clearly could have been prosecuted under the law of that state) he would have used that case as his example instead. It seems that he couldn't... and that might tell you something. He probably used this example because it was sensational, but it doesn't seem that the woman was guilty under applicable law.


IANAL. I live in Michigan, so I just looked up the Michigan law on statutory rape. Interestingly enough, the law says, "(1) A person is guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree if he or she engages in sexual penetration with another person and if any of the following circumstances exists: (a) That other person is under 13 years of age. (b) That other person is at least 13 but less than 16 years of age and any of the following: ..." and goes on to list various conditions.

So by a strict reading of the text of the law, it is not necessary for the accused person to have engaged in sex with the underage person voluntarily, just that they engaged in sex.

That said, I would be very, very surprised if any court in the US listened for 10 seconds to an argument that a rape victim should be prosecuted for statutory rape because the rapist was underage. Our courts can be pretty stupid, but I don't think they're THAT stupid. I've never heard of such a case. Of course I don't study every reported case of rape in the country. On the other hand, you'd think if there WAS such a case, something that outrageous would likely make national news.

There might be a realistic scenario here where an underage person rapes an older person, and then claims that he (or she) was the victim. Like, "She says I forced her at gunpoint? But I don't even own a gun! She told me that if I didn't have sex with her she'd give me a failing grade in her math class ..." etc. But then the argument would be over what really happened, not a blind application of statutory rape laws.

Addendum several years later:

Note that the linked paper is spinning a hypothetical case based on a very literal interpretation of a statute. Once could spin many such insane hypotheticals. Like, suppose a maniac with a gun takes hostages. At some point he gets tired and puts down the gun, and one of the hostages grabs the gun. Can the hostage be prosecuted for theft? After all, he took the maniac's gun, i.e. he took someone else's property without permission. This might technically meet a definition of theft but I sincerely doubt a prosecutor would actually charge the person.

Etc. I'm sure if you went through law books you could come up with many other such hypothetical technicalities.

That said, sometimes people in authority do indeed impose stupid rules. When my kids were in school, the school had a policy that if two students were in a fight, both would be suspended, regardless of who started the fight. So ... if a student is just walking down the hall minding his own business, and some bully walks up to him and punches him in the face for no reason, both the bully and the victim will be suspended. My guess is that they made this rule because sometimes it is difficult to figure out who really started the fight and what it was all about. Personally I thought it was a stupid and totally unjust rule. (Lest you wonder, it never affected any of my children. But.)

  • 1
    Michigan appears to have a common law duress defense. See People v. Lemons, 562 N.W.2d 447 (Mich. 1997). A couple was accused of sexual contact with their children. The court didn't allow the wife a duress defense (claiming her husband made her do it) because she testified that the sexual contact with her children never occurred, and she can't simultaneously claim that it never happened and that she was forced to do it - but if not for the contradiction, she may have been able to raise that defense.
    – D M
    Mar 25, 2018 at 6:37
  • 2
    "I would be very, very surprised if any court in the US listened for 10 seconds to an argument that a rape victim should be prosecuted for statutory rape because the rapist was underage." - Well, the paper cites Commonwealth v. Knap, 592 N.E.2d 747, 748 (Mass.1992), where the man claimed someone entered his bed and touched him sexually and he thought it was his girlfriend so he reciprocated, but it was the underage babysitter. Arguably that's rape by fraud by the babysitter, but the court said it didn't matter and he'd still be guilty even if his version of events was believed.
    – D M
    Mar 25, 2018 at 6:52
  • Also, in Dubai, a rape victim does go to jail
    – user4951
    Mar 25, 2018 at 10:19
  • 1
    DM, that is an answer.
    – user4951
    Mar 25, 2018 at 10:22
  • 1
    @J.Chang It's kind of an answer. But the first comment pretty much repeats something I mentioned in my answer (that there's a common law duress defense in some states). And the second one doesn't say anything that isn't already in the paper, and likely doesn't apply to a gun-to-the-head situation - Massachusetts also has a common law duress defense. (Also, I only considered US law since that's what the paper was about.)
    – D M
    Mar 25, 2018 at 13:28

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