Brown signs Achadjian rape bill into law
September 10, 2013
California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill co-authored by Central Coast Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian Monday, which closes a loophole in state rape law.
AB 65, authored by Achadjian and Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, reverses an 1872 law that allowed men to impersonate other men while having sex with women, so long as the women were not married. The new law makes it a felony rape to coerce a person into sexual activity by impersonating anyone else.
“Today’s action by the governor concludes a nearly three year effort to close this outdated and unconscionable loophole that has denied victims the justice that they deserve,” Achadjian said Monday.
Achadjian authored a similar bill in 2011 following a case in Santa Barbara County in which a man broke into the home of woman and initiated sexual activity with the female, who believed he was her boyfriend. The Santa Barbara District Attorney could not prosecute the perpetrator for felony rape because the woman lived with her boyfriend, as opposed to her husband.
The 2011 bill stalled in the Senate. But, a similar case occurred in Los Angeles County, in which a state appellate court overturned the rape conviction of another man who had sex with a woman in a dark bedroom while impersonating her boyfriend.
Following the January ruling in the Los Angeles County case, Achadjian introduced AB 65, which passed both houses of the legislature unanimously.
“While Assembly Bill 65 cannot undo what was done to the victims in the Santa Barbara and Los Angeles County cases, it is my hope that knowing that future victims will be protected will bring them a small amount of comfort,” Achadjian said.