What is Rape Shield Law and What are its Punishments in Louisiana?
Rape is a heinous type of sexual violence. It implies an unwanted kind of sexual activity. It not only harms the person physically but mentally and emotionally as well. In some cases, the victim even dies. The legal definition of Rape is:
The legal definition of rape is 'penetration with a penis to the vagina, mouth or anus of another person without their consent'.
People who get raped traumatize and often develop different types of stress disorders. The case becomes more critical at times. In case of rape with serious injuries, the person may die due to the infections. Moreover, the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases are always there. Even after getting raped, the person faces violence or threats from the rapist. There are some cultures where such sort of violence may come from society and even from their own family and relatives.
There are so many laws made to punish the rapists. With the time and things getting brutal, the laws are also getting stringent so that the punishment becomes a lesson and such crimes don’t get repeated.
In the last few years, there have been 46 amendments made in an effort to protect the victims of rape from public disclosure of sexual activities done with them. The latest amendment resulted in Rape Shield Law in Louisiana.
What is Rape Shield Law?
A rape shield law is a law made to restrict the ability to produce the evidence or cross-examination of the rape victims, including their past sexual behavior. This term is also a reference to the law that restricts the identity revelation of an alleged rape victim.
However, the verbiage of Louisiana's rape shield law" is much like an inflexible and overly-protective rule that is not aligned with the valid needs of an needs of an accused and hence is most vulnerable to the attacks made by defendants out of their frustration due to failed attempts of presenting the relevant evidence subject to their defense.
Sex-Crimes: Punishments in Louisiana
There are different punishments for sex-crimes in Louisiana depending upon the degree of harassment done to the victim.
- For First Degree Rape (Committed on a person of 65 years of age or older)
Punishments would be:
- Life imprisonment at hard labor thereafter the person will not be liable to any benefit including probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
- If the victim was minor:
- The offender shall be punished by Sentence to death or
- Life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence, in accordance with the decision of the jury; or
- For Second Degree Rape (Without the lawful consent of the victim, doing anal, oral, or vaginal sexual intercourse)
Punishment would be:
- Imprisonment at hard labor for not less than five nor more than forty years. At least two years of the sentence imposed shall be without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.
- For Second Degree Rape (Without the lawful consent of the victim, doing anal, oral, or vaginal sexual intercourse and within the near relationship including the husband)
Punishment would be:
- Imprisonment with or without hard labor, without the benefit of parole, probation, or sentence suspension, for twenty-five years.
In addition to the above categories, six other rape categories include bodily injuries. Those categories are Sexual Battery, Misdemeanor Sexual Battery, Second Degree Sexual Battery, Oral Sexual Battery, Statutory Rape, Sodomy.
Each of these categories includes punishing by death and life imprisonment of up to 99 years. Please refer to the next post to get more details about other categories of Rape and their punishments.