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Rape Defense

Rape is a felony governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 22(b). There are two elements that a prosecutor is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt before a defendant can be convicted of this offense:

  1. The defendant had sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with another person.“Sexual intercourse” means penetration. The prosecutor can satisfy this element by proving that there was an intrusion into the vagina or that the labia or vulva was touched by the male organ. Proof of penetration by an inanimate object is enough to satisfy this element. “Unnatural sexual intercourse” includes oral and anal sex.
  2. The defendant compelled that person to submit by force and against her will or by threat of bodily injury. This issue of consent is the crux of most rape cases. “Force” includes physical force, but physical force is not required. The defendant’s acts, words, appearance and the overall way in which he presented himself to the victim can also constitute force. Fraud in the inducement does not constitute force. So, for example, a doctor would not be guilty of rape if he told a victim that he had to have intercourse with her to cure her of an illness and she consented. Even though in that scenario, the woman’s consent is based on a lie, there would be no rape because the core of the crime is the emotional and physical injury to the victim brought about by forceful penetration.

    When consent is the disputed issue, the defendant’s actions will be judged by an objective standard. If the jury determines that he had a reasonable, good faith belief that the victim consented, then he will not be guilty.

Sexual or unnatural sexual intercourse by a person with another person who is compelled to submit by force and against her will or by threat of bodily injury is rape regardless of whether the persons are dating or even married.


Rape is punishable by up to 20 years in state prison. A second or subsequent offense is punishable by life or any term of years in prison. There is a mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentence for rape committed while armed with a gun.

Sex Crime Defense Representation at the Greater Boston Law Firm of Altman & Altman

For over four decades, the Greater Boston Law Firm of Altman & Altman, LLP has been providing outstanding criminal defense legal representation to clients throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Our MA Criminal Defense Lawyers have been featured as legal analysts on MSNBC, The Fox News Channel, The BBC Network and CourtTV. Through our firm's collective knowledge and courtroom expertise, we have the ability to provide our clients with legal representation of the highest quality. Our Greater Boston Criminal Defense Lawyers will stand by your side throughout the entire process and will fully explain your legal rights in order to help you navigate these difficult waters.

If you have been charged with rape or any other crime in Massachusetts, call the criminal defense attorneys of Altman & Altman at 617.492.3000 or 800.481.6199 toll-free, or contact us online for a free consultation. We handle all types of Rape charges in MA, including:

We are available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week - including nights and weekends. Please Contact Us to schedule your Free Initial Consultation with one of our experienced Greater Boston Rape Defense Attorneys. All consultations are completely confidential.

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