6

Can fully-clothed dry-humping someone without consent count as rape?

And if not, what sort of offense is it? If found guilty, what would a typical punishment be in the US?

Does it matter whether they are under-aged?

Does it matter if the perpetrator is in a position of authority? (Say he's a high school teacher and the victim is a high-school student.)

  • This reminds me of a case that's fairly recent where a woman I believe in Nevada was sent to jail for life for simply asking a teenage boy to touch her breast. How that's related to rape, I'm not sure. I'll ask my brain why it made that connection and get back to you. – user900 Oct 3 '15 at 7:10
  • @TechnikEmpire: Might it be this case? famm.org/michelle-taylor – Kenny LJ Oct 3 '15 at 13:23
  • Yessir, that's the case. I remember watching the judge render the decision and even he was stunned about the sentence he was required to hand down by law. – user900 Oct 3 '15 at 22:47
8

No.

In many states there is not such thing as rape. Which means that you can't be charged with rape. Which means that no matter what you do, including dry humping, it's not rape. In other words, you may be convicted of Criminal Sexual Assault in the first degree and honestly say that you have never been convicted of rape.

But if there is a rape offense on the books, dry-humping won't get you there. Rape requires intercourse or penetration of any body part, however slight.

Look at New York. I will use Rape in the third degree as it is the lowest felony class so is most likely to include dry humping.

N.Y. PEN. LAW § 130.25 : NY Code - Section 130.25: Rape in the third degree
A person is guilty of rape in the third degree when:
1. He or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than seventeen years old;
2. Being twenty-one years old or more, he or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person less than seventeen years old; or
3. He or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person without such person's consent where such lack of consent is by reason of some factor other than incapacity to consent.
Rape in the third degree is a class E felony.

You can look at second and first degree rape. They all require intercourse.

Staying in New York even the Criminal Sexual Acts don't cover dry-humping. These require oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct.

N.Y. PEN. LAW § 130.40 : NY Code - Section 130.40: Criminal sexual act in the third degree
A person is guilty of criminal sexual act in the third degree when:
1. He or she engages in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with a person who is incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than seventeen years old;
2. Being twenty-one years old or more, he or she engages in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with a person less than seventeen years old; or
3. He or she engages in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with another person without such person's consent where such lack of consent is by reason of some factor other than incapacity to consent.
Criminal sexual act in the third degree is a class E felony.

Maybe dry humping is Forcible touching.

N.Y. PEN. LAW § 130.52 : NY Code - Section 130.52: Forcible touching
A person is guilty of forcible touching when such person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly touches the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person; or for the purpose of gratifying the actor's sexual desire.
For the purposes of this section, forcible touching includes squeezing, grabbing or pinching.
Forcible touching is a class A misdemeanor.

This one requires contact with intimate or sexual parts. So it depends on how the humping happens.

The age of the alleged victim also matters. For example, in Nevada, if everyone is an adult sexual assault requires penetration.

NRS 200.366  Sexual assault: Definition; penalties. 1.  A person who subjects another person to sexual penetration, or who forces another person to make a sexual penetration on himself or herself or another, or on a beast, against the will of the victim or under conditions in which the perpetrator knows or should know that the victim is mentally or physically incapable of resisting or understanding the nature of his or her conduct, is guilty of sexual assault.

However, if the victim is a child under the age of 14 dry humping is probably a crime. Edit to add: this is not called rape but can get you life with parole. Second offense is life without parole.

NRS 201.230  Lewdness with child under 14 years; penalties
1.  A person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act, other than acts constituting the crime of sexual assault, upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child under the age of 14 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of that person or of that child, is guilty of lewdness with a child.

Regardless of statutory language, there are other classifications of activity which might define something as rape. One of these is the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) Summary Reporting System (SRS). This definition was updated in 2012.

Forcible rape had been defined by the UCR SRS as the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will. That definition, unchanged since 1927, was outdated and narrow. It only included forcible male penile penetration of a female vagina.

The new definition is:

The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

The International Criminal Court defines rape:

  1. The perpetrator invaded the body of a person by conduct resulting in penetration, however slight, of any part of the body of the victim or of the perpetrator with a sexual organ, or of the anal or genital opening of the victim with any object or any other part of the body.
  2. The invasion was committed by force, or by threat of force or coercion, such as that caused by fear of violence, duress, detention, psychological oppression or abuse of power, against such person or another person, or by taking advantage of a coercive environment, or the invasion was committed against a person incapable of giving genuine consent.

The World Health Organization defines rape:

...physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration of the vulva or anus with a penis, other body part or object

I did exhaust the possibilities, but I can't find anything that suggests that dry humping is rape.

6

It could definitely be considered sexual assault

Specific laws vary by state, but sexual assault generally refers to any crime in which the offender subjects the victim to sexual touching that is unwanted and offensive. These crimes can range from sexual groping or assault/battery, to attempted rape. All states prohibit sexual assault, but the exact definitions of the crimes that fall within the category of sexual assault differ from state to state. The laws share some basic elements, but the structures, wording and scope of sexual assault offenses vary considerably, so always check your local statutes for specific questions.

Rape on the other hand generally requires some form of penetration to occur.

To convict an offender for rape, some form of sexual penetration, however slight, must occur. Each instance of penetration can serve as a count of rape, as well.

It does appear in some states that any form of sexual contact for someone under aged could be considered Statutory Rape

Statutory rape refers to sexual intercourse with a minor (someone below the "age of consent"). People below the age of consent cannot legally consent to having sex. This means that sex with them, by definition of the strict liability statute, violates the law.

Statutory rape laws vary by state, with states setting the age of consent differently, as well as using different names to refer to this crime. Many states punish statutory rape under laws addressing sexual assault, rape, unlawful sexual intercourse or carnal knowledge of a child. In many states, statutory rape is a felony only if one of the participants (usually a male) is at least three years older than the other; otherwise, it is a misdemeanor. There are very few federal laws dealing with statutory rape.

3

In California, the conduct you describe is a misdemeanor called "sexual battery." It is not rape. However, if the perpetrator forcibly holds the victim in place while performing, that might amount to felony false imprisonment. If the perpetrator forces the victim to move (e.g. into a room), then that would probably be charged as kidnaping (a felony).

Additional penalties, civil and criminal, would attach if the victim was a minor and the perpetrator was an adult.

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