Calif. Lawmakers Seek Expanded Definition of Rape - NBC 7 San Diego

Calif. Lawmakers Seek Expanded Definition of Rape

Many states have adopted a more inclusive FBI definition



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    Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, via AP
    These two booking photos released by the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office shows Brock Turner (left, January 2015; right, undated). The former Stanford University swimmer was sentenced to six months in jail and three years' probation for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, sparking outrage from critics who say Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky was too lenient on a privileged athlete from a top-tier swimming program.

    Two California lawmakers are pushing for an expanded definition of rape under state law in response to the Stanford University case that has drawn national attention.

    California law now describes rape as "an act of sexual intercourse.'' Under this definition, ex-Stanford swimmer Brock Turner was instead convicted of sexual assault.

    Many states have adopted the more inclusive FBI definition, which labels rape as penetration with any body part or object.

    Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia of Bell Gardens calls this gap a "loophole'' in the criminal code. She introduced legislation Monday to change the definition.

    Members of the California Senate women's caucus also voiced their support for the victim Monday, reading portions of her letter to Turner aloud.