Can You Be Accused of a Sex Crime If There Was ''no Force Involved'' ?
Can a Defendant be Found Guilty of Sexual Assault if the Victim Testifies Presence of Force and Continuance of Sexual Acts Despite Continual Verbal Protests ?
In People v. Carlson, 278 Ill. App. 3d 515, 663 N.E.2d 32, 215 Ill. Dec. 282 (1996), the defendant was found guilty of criminal sexual assault for events that transpired between him and a 30-year-old victim after they began kissing in the defendant's vehicle. Carlson, 278 Ill. App. 3d at 516.
The victim testified that, after kissing her, the defendant reclined her seat, put his hands in her pants, pulled her pants down, positioned himself over her, and inserted his penis into her vagina. Carlson, 278 Ill. App. 3d at 517.
When asked by defense counsel whether she cooperated in taking off her pants, the victim testified that she was terrified and just "laid there like a dead fish." Carlson, 278 Ill. App. 3d at 517.
However, the victim also testified that she repeatedly said, "No," and repeatedly asked the defendant to stop. Carlson, 278 Ill. App. 3d at 517-18.
On appeal, the defendant argued that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction for criminal sexual assault because there was "no force involved" in the sexual act with the victim. Carlson, 278 Ill. App. 3d at 520.
The Carlson court concluded that "the trial court properly found the presence of force based on the victim's testimony, which it found to be credible, that she was caused involuntarily to go 'flying back in the seat' when the defendant pressed the seat recliner; that 'the defendant's whole body' was 'over' her; that she received a bruise on her vagina ; and that the defendant continued to engage in sexual acts despite her continual verbal protests." Carlson, 278 Ill. App. 3d at 520.