Legislation signed into law closes a loophole that could allow individuals who commit forcible sodomy on unconscious victims to receive acquittal.
House Bill 2398, by state Rep. Scott Biggs and state Sen. A.J. Griffin, was written in response to an Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals decision upholding a lower court’s dismissal of a sodomy case on the grounds that Oklahoma’s rape law covers people who are unconscious and unable to give consent, but didn’t specifically address sodomy under such circumstances.
“It speaks well of Oklahoma that we rallied so quickly in response to the court’s ruling and immediately closed this gaping loophole,” said Biggs, R-Chickasha. “Justice will now be served in all cases of forcible sodomy and no one will get away with such a crime because of a weakness in the language of the law.”
“Sexual assault is a crime that can have a profound impact on victims for the rest of their lives,” said Griffin, R-Guthrie. “They shouldn’t be victimized a second time because a loophole prevents their assailant from being prosecuted. I’m grateful to Representative Biggs for his work on this issue, to our fellow members who supported this measure and to Governor Fallin for signing it into law.”
State Rep. John Paul Jordan also praised the legislation.
“It is unthinkable that the court of criminal appeals would rule the way they did ignoring previous case law,” said Jordan, R-Yukon. “We all know that no means no. We also know that silence means no. I am thankful for the opportunity to address this issue and proud to stand with Representative Biggs and Senator Griffin as we removed this black eye from our state.”
“It is unfortunate that a legal technicality has led to a criminal slipping through the system, but we have now closed that loophole and justice will be served going forward,” said Sanders, R-Kingfisher.
The new law takes immediate effect.