Georgia Rape Laws

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If you or a loved one is the victim of a sexual offense, please seek help and contact your local law enforcement. There are many resources for support such as the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE.

As mandated by O.C.G.A. § 16-6-1, the offense of rape occurs when there is any penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ of:

  • a female forcibly and against her will, or
  • a female who is less than ten years of age.

Georgia does not recognize martial status as a defense to rape. The victim may be the wife of the accused; however, rape can still occur between spouses. This state law makes the distinction between male and female, making the assertion as if a man cannot be the victim of rape. It also asserts that a woman could not commit rape. However, the Supreme Court of the United States said this distinction is reasonable and a “physiological reality,” having unique biological functions between a man and woman.[1] The public-serving purpose of this statute is to prevent sexual attacks against women. Instead of the charge of rape, any sexual offense against a man or woman by another woman may still be charged as Aggravated Sodomy, O.C.G.A. § 16-6-2, or Sexual Battery, O.C.G.A. § 16-6-22.1.

Rape is a felony. If there is a conviction, the punishment for rape may include life imprisonment, a life sentence with the possibility of parole, or imprisonment for at least twenty-five years followed by probation for life. Although the offense of rape includes death as a possible punishment, it would be in violation of the Eighth Amendment, which protects against cruel and unusual punishment. For example, in Coker v. Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a sentence of death upon the conviction of rape, where the victim was not killed, is unconstitutional and must be set aside.[2]

It is imperative for those facing the criminal charge of Rape to contact an experienced attorney, who can explore all possible defenses. Often, the verdicts in these cases depend on whether there was consent. Here at Bixon Law, we skillfully endeavor to get our clients the best possible results. Remember, while this accusation may produce unfavorable backlash, simply being accused does not mean automatic jail time. Give us a call at (404) 551-5684 to see how we can best serve your needs.

[1] Lamar v. State, 243 Ga. 401 (1979).

[2] Coker v. GA, 433 U.S. 584 (1977).

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