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Redefining Sexual Assault Of Intoxicated Victims As A Violent Felony

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Sonora, CA– In California, current laws classify sexual assault on incapacitated victims as non-violent crimes. Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil argues this legal framework fails to reflect the severity of the crime. Victims who are drugged or intentionally intoxicated are rendered unable to resist or consent, yet according to her the law does not treat their assaults with the gravity they deserve.

Alvarado-Gil references harrowing testimonies from survivors like Tonja Balden, who was drugged and raped by serial offender Andrew Luster. Despite his 124-year sentence, Luster may be eligible for early release under Proposition 57, which classifies rape of an incapacitated person as non-violent.

Senate Bill 268 aims to close this loophole, ensuring such crimes are recognized as violent felonies. This legislative change seeks to validate survivors’ experiences, deliver appropriate justice, and deter future offenses. As Alvarado-Gil emphasizes, rape is inherently violent, and the law must unequivocally reflect this truth. The full blog can be found here.