R.C. 2927.01 the Abuse-Of-A-Corpse Statute

In State v. Collins (1990), 66 Ohio App.3d 438, 585 N.E.2d 532. to be compelling, the defendant and his companions had viciously beaten, choked, and raped the victim, who died at some point during the assault. the defendant, relying on R.C. 2927.01, the abuse-of-a-corpse statute, argued that his rape conviction was against the manifest weight of the evidence because the victim had been dead at the time of the rape. the court rejected that argument. The court began by examining the evidence and concluding that the state had failed to prove that the victim was alive at the time of the sexual conduct. It pointed out that the rape statute does not explicitly require a living victim. It went on to state that "more important, we conclude that the existence of the abuse of corpse statute does not indicate that the legislature intended conduct like defendant's and his companions' to fall outside the scope of the rape statute. Even though the victim died during the incident in the present case, defendant's conduct, when viewed in its entirety, involved 'indignities' to the living,' unlike the conduct that R.C. 2927.01 contemplates." The court noted that the defendant had engaged in sexual conduct with the victim only after he had compelled the still-living victim to submit by force. "The fact the force was sufficient to kill the victim does not lessen the seriousness of the defendant's actions." It pointed out that the case before it differed "fundamentally from a case in which one happens upon the corpse of a female and engages in sexual intercourse with it." Finally, the court held that "the fact that the victim may have been dead when the sexual conduct occurred does not, in itself, lessen defendant's culpability herein, nor does the state have to prove in this case, as an element of the offense of rape, that the victim was alive when the sexual conduct occurred."