California News

Sep 9, 2013 7:20 PM by KSBY Staff

Governor signs AB 65, closing rape loophole

Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian has announced his bill, AB 65, was signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

AB 65 now makes it clear that if someone impersonates a rape victim's partner or spouse, they can still be found guilty of felony rape.

Before, if a victim was raped, for example, by a man who claimed he was her boyfriend, the alleged rapist, if found guilty, would get a misdemeanor charge, or it wouldn't be seen by a court at all.

Monday's approval will protect all victims of rape regardless of their marital status. Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, (R) 35th District, who introduced the bill, spoke to KSBY News last month about what the bill means. "By approving AB 65, the legislator has sent a clear message to those who will seek to use deception to sexually assault innocent Californians. these relators can no longer hide behind an outdated definition of rape from the 1800's. In other words, we're not going to allow a woman to be raped twice, once by the rapist, and second time by the law."

The bill was inspired by a case in Santa Barbara County in which a man had sex with a woman, named Courtney, while posing as her boyfriend.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley was a big supporter of the bill. On Monday, she said, "While nothing will undo what was done to her, I look forward to calling Courtney to let her know that her story has inspired the Legislature to act and that, because of her bravery, we will be able to deliver justice to victims in the future."

In 2011, Assemblyman Achadjian introduced a similar measure, but it was stalled by the senate public safety committee.



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