I casually date someone. We split restaurant bills and have consensual sex. I lie about my income, health, age, name, and marital status to them. Is this lying illegal?

Already looked at When it it illegal to lie? and other answers. I've tagged as family-law but feel free to edit.

added: this is a hypothetical scenario

2 Answers 2


There is the possibility of being sued for fraud. To be fraud, the representations must be false (or facts were concealed), and you know they are false, which you admit. You also have to intend to deceive the other party, which is the case (you didn't say "I accidentally made up a name"). The representations also have to be material, and that part is hard to judge; the other party has to rely on those representations, and they have to be harmed by that reliance. I will assume that both parties are adults (you're not 16 pretending to be 21), and that neither party has HIV (disclosure of which may be required by law). Your vague mention of "health" does, however, raise a red flag: I assume you are referring to undisclosed gout, or something like that.

There are very many scenarios that we could cook up whereby you would or would not be liable for fraud. For example, you are more likely to be liable if you have falsely implied an intent to marry the other person (assuming that was a material consideration for the other party). Whether or not any harm occurred would, again, depend on the specific facts (as revealed through testimony).

In some states, "rape by fraud" is a crime, for example in Alabama where it is the class A misdemeanor crime of sexual misconduct if you

Being a male, he engages in sexual intercourse with a female without her consent, under circumstances other than those covered by Sections 13A-6-61 and 13A-6-62 ;  or with her consent where consent was obtained by the use of any fraud or artifice;  or

In Idaho, it may be unqualified rape

Where the victim submits under the belief that the person committing the act is someone other than the accused, and the belief is induced by artifice, pretense or concealment practiced by the accused, with the intent to induce such belief.

If you are actually concerned, you should talk to a lawyer and reveal the details that you don't want to talk about here.

  • 2
    I'd be surprised if either of those statutes applied to the conduct described. Have you seen any cases like that? All the rape-by-deception cases I've seen were a lot more nefarious than just being an all-around phony.
    – bdb484
    Apr 30, 2018 at 21:04
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    I'm making minimal assumptions about the conduct, which is described very minimally. I doubt very much that an Ashley Madison customer would suffer any legal consequences from the other party stemming from a made-up life.
    – user6726
    Apr 30, 2018 at 21:34
  • Wow, I'm absolutely shocked that the law explicitly calls out the gender of the assailant and the gender of the victim. It looks like Male vs Male would not be prosecutable under that law. May 2, 2018 at 0:03
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    @kbelder To my knowledge, the current Supreme Court precedent from Michael M. vs. Superior Court of Sonoma County says that gender based rape laws can be constitutional, provided they are enacted with a legitimate government interest in mind. In that particular case, it was "preventing teen pregnancy". A Cornell Law Review on the matter. May 2, 2018 at 8:45

It would usually not be rape, unless your fraud convinced the other person that you were a spouse or other regular sexual partner and they were deceived (which seems unlikely in this fact pattern), or that you were examining someone for medical or law enforcement purposes when you were not (which also doesn't appear to be implicated in this fact pattern). Representing that you would pay someone for prostitute or porn acting when you had no intent to do so would probably not constitute rape.

Sometimes lies about HIV status or similar STD exposure is actionable either civilly or due to a criminal charge.

Unless there were economic damages caused by the lie, it would not be actionable as civil fraud.

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