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Rape Crimes in Florida

In the state of Florida, the legal term for the crime of rape is sexual battery. In other states, rape might be called “or sexual assault.” In 2018 in Florida, 8,105 rape cases were reported and 331 attempted rape offenses were reported in 2018. Of those cases reported, law enforcement officers made 1,937 arrests for rape in 2018.  Of these arrests, 253 were juveniles and 1,684 were adults.

Under Florida Statute Chapter 794), the term “sexual battery” means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object committed without that person’s consent (if that person is an adult).

Rape includes either gender of victim or offender. This means that a man can be a victim of sexual violence by an offender who is a man or a woman.

Consent means intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent and does not include coerced submission. Florida law provides that consent does not mean the failure by the alleged victim to offer physical resistance to the offender.

If the victim is under 16 years of age, consent cannot be used as a defense to a sexual crime. Additionally, a 16- or 17-year-old cannot legally consent to sexual activity with a person in a position of familial or custodial authority or to a person 24 or older.

A victim of sexual battery can report the crime to law enforcement and can ask a prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office to file a criminal complaint against the offender.

A victim has the constitutional right to be informed, to be present, and to be heard at all crucial stages of a criminal or juvenile proceeding, to the extent that this right does not interfere with constitutional rights of the accused.

History of the UCR Program Definition of “Rape”

In 2013 the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) program began using a new definition of “rape” that includes incidents previously reported as sodomy. Beginning with the data from 2013, Florida began complying with that definition. That same year, Florida modified the collection of rape data to include rape, attempted rape, and sodomy.  Additionally, the 2000-2012 UCR Offense numbers include sodomy to better reflect the new rape definition.

Additional Resources

UCR Definition of Rape – Visit the website of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Florida’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) program defines the term “rape” to mean 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 or object, without the consent of the victim.  Rape also includes instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity (including due to the influence of drugs or alcohol) or because of age. Finally, the term rape, for purposes of the Uniform Crime Reports program also includes attempts to commit rape. Physical resistance is not required on the part of the victim to demonstrate lack of consent.

This article was last updated on Monday, December 23, 2019.

 

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