A woman who was tricked into having sex with her boyfriend’s friend has exposed an alarming loophole in rape laws.
A 20-year-old’s traumatic story has exposed legal loopholes across the United States where fraudulent sex does not count as rape.
The incident took place in 2017 when Abigail Finney fell asleep in her boyfriend’s bed in their dorm rooms at Indiana’s Purdue University.
He had originally fallen asleep next to her so she didn’t think anything of it when she felt him reach from behind and start touching her.
She went along with it and still facing away, and had what she thought was consensual sex with him.
Then after getting up to use the bathroom, Abigail climbed back into her boyfriend’s bed, that’s when it hit her.
Staring back at her was a face that was not her boyfriend’s.
She raced back to her own university room where she found her boyfriend had been sleeping for hours and her worst fears were confirmed — she’d just unknowingly had sex with Grant, one of his friends.
Now Abigail’s story has exposed legal loopholes across the United States.
“I remember him grinning at me. It was a freaky image,” she told Buzzfeed News.
“I was just kind of — I was frantic. I didn’t know what was going on.
“I was like, ‘I feel violated. This feels wrong. But I don’t know if it’s illegal’.”
After Abigail’s boyfriend confronted Grant whose real name is Donald Grant Ward, and the couple went to the police.
In an interrogation, Grant admitted he believed that Abigail thought he was her boyfriend because she got “very close” to him.
Police charged him with two counts of rape in February 2017.
However, Grant’s defence lawyer Kirk Freeman said he never should have been charged with that and police should have prosecuted for what they knew they could.
Mr Freeman argued that while Grant’s conduct was “ungentlemanly” it wasn’t illegal under Indiana law.
In Indiana, and 40 other states including New York, rape is legally defined as sex compelled through force or threats or if the victim can’t consent or is unaware that the sex is occurring. Consent isn’t expressly defined in the statute.
Abigail said she felt like she wasted a year of her life.
“They told me the specific charges and I didn’t think to question them, which in hindsight I should have,” she said.