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All Press Releases for January 11, 2014 »
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Philadelphia college works to reduce rape, but what about false accusations?

Although sexual assault is an issue that needs to be addressed in the United States, false accusations are also a problem. Those who are falsely accused need to take the accusations seriously, as they can lead to harsh penalties.
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    January 11, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Instances of sexual assault continue to be a problem throughout the United States. In Pennsylvania, The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia is working to help reduce the risk of violence against women. The educational institute recently participated in a consortium grant, providing various services throughout the community. These services included education opportunities, providing basic tips on what to do after sexually assaulted. Efforts also extended to include workshops, providing training to prepare volunteers to work with victims, survivors, police groups or outreach programs.

These efforts are important. The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) reports that current trends project one in three women will be sexually assaulted. Within this group, the vast majority are attacked by people they know. Estimates range from 64 to 84 percent of rapes and sexual assaults are committed by offenders that are known to the victim. This includes instances of date rape.

Date rape basics

Date rape is non-consensual sex with a friend or acquaintance. Although forced sexual intercourse is included in this definition, it is important to note that force is not required. Instead, the definition hinges on whether or not both involved parties consented to the sexual act. Rape can occur if one does not consent, perhaps because he or she had too much to drink or voluntarily consumed some form of drug.

As a result, anyone who was unable to consent to a sexual act while under the influence of this or similar drug or even alcohol may qualify as a victim of date rape. Difficulties can arise in determining whether or not the alcohol or drug was voluntarily consumed.

Those who are charged with rape have a variety of defenses, including consent. In order for a prosecutor to establish that an individual was raped, it must be proven that there was a lack of consent. It is important to pursue these defenses, as the penalties associated with a rape conviction are harsh.

Harsh penalties associated with rape convictions in Pennsylvania

A person accused of rape faces first degree felony charges in Pennsylvania. This can lead to up to twenty years in prison. Additional penalties, including an additional ten years imprisonment and a fine of $100,000, can also be imposed if the court determines a substance was used specifically to inhibit the victim's ability to consent.

In addition to these criminal penalties, having a criminal record can impact all parts of one's life. This record can make it difficult to find employment and even housing. As a result, those charged with these crimes should contact an experienced Philadelphia sexual assault defense lawyer to discuss the facts of the case. This legal professional will be able to explore the various defenses available and help better ensure your legal rights are protected.

Article provided by Randolph L. Goldman
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