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California announces removing condom without consent during intercourse illegal

Lawmakers handed Gov. Gavin Newsom a measure to add the conduct to the state's civil definition of sexual battery. It makes removing the condom without verbal agreement unlawful.

California  removing condom without consent illegal gcw
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California, First Published Sep 8, 2021, 12:40 PM IST
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California legislators suggested making stealthing or removing a condom without consent during intercourse criminal. On Tuesday, lawmakers handed Gov. Gavin Newsom a measure to add the conduct to the state's civil definition of sexual battery. It makes removing the condom without verbal agreement unlawful.

However, it does not affect the criminal code. Instead, it would change the civil law to allow victims to sue perpetrators for monetary damages, including punitive penalties.
Cristina Garcia, a Democrat, has been campaigning for the measure since 2017 when Yale University researchers found that theft against both women and homosexual men was on the rise. Her initial law tried to criminalise it.

However, legislative experts at the time stated that the conduct might already be constituted misdemeanour sexual battery, even if it isn't expressly included in the penal law. However, researchers say it is seldom punished, owing to the difficulties in demonstrating that a perpetrator acted purposefully rather than accidentally. This year, analysts predicted that Garcia's bill would eliminate any uncertainty in civil law. According to Garcia, the act can inflict victims long-term bodily and mental suffering.

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Similar legislation has been proposed in New York and Wisconsin, but Garcia believes California would be the first to make it illegal. This year, her bill was unanimously passed in California. The Erotic Service Providers Legal Educational Research Project has endorsed her bill, saying it may empower sex workers to sue customers who remove condoms after otherwise consenting intercourse.

Also, on Tuesday, the state Senate voted to treat a spouse's rape the same as a non-rape. If the victim is married to the offender, the bill eliminates an exception from the rape statute. California is one of 11 states that distinguishes spousal rape from other types of sexual assault. According to the bill's proponents, the divide dates back to a time when women were supposed to follow their husbands.

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Those now convicted of spousal rape may be eligible for probation instead of prison or imprisonment, while the maximum penalties remain the same. Those convicted of marital rape are only required to register as sex offenders if the crime involves using force or violence and the spouse was sentenced to state prison. The measure was approved 36-0. It will be voted on again in the Assembly before legislators adjourn for the year on Friday.

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