A marriage contract? I have been told the wife can claim that her husband has raped her.

A signed document stating that she is having sex willingly? I have been told she can claim later that she asked the man to stop.

  • Some answers and comments mentioned videos but note that both sides can deny the authenticity of the video due to the availability of AI reface technology.
    – High GPA
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 23:57

3 Answers 3


A woman can always accuse you of rape. In the U.S., at least theoretically, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty, so unless there is actual evidence you raped her, odds are you won't be convicted. If you are wrongly and maliciously accused, you can probably win a defamation suit as well.

There is nothing you can legally do to prevent being accused - only principles which protect the innocent against conviction (e.g., presumption of innocence) and means for being made whole (e.g., civil suits).

  • 6
    The one caveat I would mention is that if you're a university student (especially a male one), many universities are violating the rights of the accused in misguided attempts to reduce sexual assaults on their campuses. There are many stories of accused students being denied due process before being deprived of their rights, not being given access to legal counsel, and treated as guilty without proof. Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 0:55
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    I suppose the man could record the whole thing on multiple camera angles to make it clear what is happening is consensual...
    – Mr. A
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 20:08
  • @Mr.A That still wouldn't prevent an accusation, though. Of course, while evidence isn't needed to prove innocence, it might be a good idea to take extra precautions to make sure it can't be made to look like what it isn't.
    – Patrick87
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 20:12
  • @soong university disciplinary hearings are not criminal trials and guarantees of due process do not apply.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 20:47
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    When it comes to recording the act with a camera that itself might be illegal without consent.
    – Christian
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 12:02

You've built quite a few caveats into the hypothetical.

I'm left with two suggestions, which I will offer here aware that this might constitute legal advice. So I make the disclaimer that these are general suggestions and do not apply to a specific situation.

  1. Film the entire sex act. You should keep each video until the statute of limitations has expired. The videos should be time and date stamped and stored in a away that metadata is preserved. The video should be uncut and begin with a clear scene showing both (or all, see below) participants providing verbal consent, both to the act of filming and to the sex act itself.

  2. Have a third party present during the sex act. This person can act as a witness in the event of allegations. If you are concerned about the witness' credibility or willingness to testify, you might consider having a few extra participants. I might ask a notary to fill this role, but I'm not sure they offer that professional service.

Of course, a victim still could allege that he or she was under duress or incapacitated (drugs, alcohol, star-struck, whatever) so you really take on an amount of risk no matter the precautions. If this is a concern you should have the agreement made well in advance of the sex act as this will dispel the likelihood of temporary incapacitation or duress.

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    If you record without consent have you possibly broken any privacy or pornography laws?
    – paparazzo
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 21:00
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    -1 "Film the entire sex act". Extremely dangerous advice, unless you clarify that you need your partner's consent. Otherwise you risk running afoul of privacy laws, such as StGB § 201a - Verletzung des höchstpersönlichen Lebensbereichs durch Bildaufnahmen in Germany (up to two years in prison).
    – sleske
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 9:00
  • @sleske like I said, "The video should be uncut and begin with a clear scene showing both (or all, see below) participants providing verbal consent." But that might be beside the point. How many years in prison for rape?
    – jqning
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 21:07
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    @jqning: Yes, however you should clarify that you need the other party's consent to both the filming and the sexual acts. I'll edit to add this if you don't mind. At any rate, as Daniel Griscom's answer points out, consent beforehand is of limited value because consent can always be withdrawn, but it's something.
    – sleske
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 6:49
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    Not all jurisdictions have a statute of limitations for rape (for example, New York - which was the first one I checked). Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 9:53

You could use one of the sexual consent apps on the market. For instance, We Consent is an app that records both partners of the potential encounter saying "Yes, I consent" (there doesn't seem to be provisions for three- or more-somes); the video is stored "privately" and "securely" in case there is a later dispute.

Note that all approaches to documenting consent have the same flaws: even after clearly documented consent, that consent can be withdrawn at any time. The above app has a provision that lets you document that you withdraw consent, but it would be easy to argue in court that you couldn't get to the app after you changed your mind. So, unless you film the entire encounter (with permission) there is going to have to be some trust involved. And that may not be a bad thing; one could argue that you should never have sex with someone you can't trust.

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