Definitions of Rape and Sexual Assault

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Sexual Assault: the sexual exploitation, forcible penetration, or an act of sexual contact on the body of another person, male or female, without his or her consent.

Rape is an act of power and control, in which the victim is humiliated, degraded, and left with feelings of shame, guilt, and anger. If you are forced against your will to have sex with someone, that is rape.

NC General Statute 14-27 defines rape and sexual assault as the following:

First Degree Rape - a person is guilty of rape in the first degree if the person engages in vaginal intercourse:

  1. With a victim who is a child under the age of 13 years and the defendant is at least 12 years old and is at least 4 years older than the victim;
  2. With another person by force and against the will of the other person and; employs a dangerous or deadly weapon or an article which the other person reasonably believes to be a dangerous or deadly weapon; or inflicts serious personal injury upon the victim or another, by one or more other persons.

Second Degree Rape - a person is guilty of rape in the second degree if the person engages in vaginal intercourse with another person:

  1. By force and against the will of the other person; or
  2. Who is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless, and the person performing the act knows or should reasonably know the other person is mentally, or physically helpless.

First Degree Sexual Assault - a person is guilty of a sexual offense in the first degree if the person engages in a sexual act:

  1. With a victim who is a child under the age of 13 years and the defendant is at least 12 years old and is at least 4 years older than the victim.
  2. With another person by force and against the will of the other person, and: (a) employs a dangerous or deadly weapon or an article which the other person reasonably believes to be a dangerous or deadly weapon, or (b) inflicts serious personal injury upon the victim or another, by one or more other persons, or (c) the person commits the offense aided and abetted by one or more other persons.

Second Degree Sexual Assault - a person is guilty of a sexual offense in the second degree if the person engages in a sexual act:

  1. By force and against the will of the other person, or;
  2. Who is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless, and the person performing the act knows or should reasonably know the other person is mentally, or physically helpless.

Statutory Rape

Statutory Rape is a crime in which a minor is manipulated to engage in intercourse with someone older. Many victims do not understand this is a crime because statutory rape considers age difference and not the consent of the individuals.

NC General Statute 14-27 defines statutory rape as:

Statutory Rape - a person is guilty of statutory rape if the person engages in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act with another person:

  1. Who is 13, 14, or 15 years old and the defendant is at least six years older than the person except when the defendant is lawfully married to the person.
  2. Who is 13, 14, or 15 years old and the defendant is more than four but less than six years older than the person except when the defendant is lawfully married to the person.

The Counseling Center offers after-hours on-campus emergency coverage (when school is in session) for trauma and life-threatening situations such as suicide and sexual assault. To activate the system, call the Campus Police Department at 262-2150.


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