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Home News Updates Majority Of States’ Laws Treat Sexual Assault Perpetrators Differently If Victims Drank

Majority Of States’ Laws Treat Sexual Assault Perpetrators Differently If Victims Drank

For KiloMarie Granda, it was supposed to be a casual night out with a co-worker. It ended up being the beginning of six months of hell.

Two drinks into that night in 2013, Granda wasn’t feeling well, so she went to her co-worker’s house to sleep before driving home to the Minnesota countryside. But the night took a turn for the worse.

“I was raped by a colleague,” Granda said.

After being cornered and assaulted multiple times, Granda managed an excuse that allowed her to leave and drive herself to a hospital for a rape examination, she told USA TODAY.

“Suddenly in one night, I faced losing everything,” she said, adding that the assault strained her relationships with her partner and her colleagues. She said she was reluctant to report the assault to police but did so at the insistence of her partner, leading to a monthslong ordeal.

What Granda didn’t gain was a conviction, at least in part because she’d become mentally incapacitated by drinking alcohol by choice, a decision that was consequential in the eyes of the law. The county’s records of the case have been sealed.

In March 2021, the Minnesota Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction involving an unnamed woman who reported an assault a few years after Granda. The ruling hinged on the statutory definition of mental incapacitation during an assault. Was a victim’s mental state altered because she had consumed drugs or alcohol on her own? Or was she incapacitated against her will?

Minnesota’s felony sexual assault charges required the victim to be “mentally incapacitated,” defined as “rendered temporarily incapable of appraising or controlling his or her conduct due to the influence of a narcotic, anesthetic, or other substance administered to that person without his or her consent, or due to any other act committed upon that person without his or her consent.”

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