MCASA E-lert: Tell JPR- Don’t Gut the Consent Bill- Stop Victim Blaming

Mar 20th, 2024

Ask Senate Judicial Proceedings (JPR) Committee Members to support SB758

The House of Delegates passed the Consent bill and now it's up to the Senate Judicial Proceeding Committee to pass the bill.

Criminal Defense Attorneys want to strip the most important part of the bill and continue to require juries to blame victims.

Maryland needs to stand with survivors

Ask the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to conform SB758 to the House Bill.

Sex without consent is rape, but Maryland's law does not reflect this. We need your calls to change Maryland's rape law by repealing language that focuses on whether a victim resisted.

Right now, when one person has sex with someone without consent, Maryland’s rape law requires

Force or Threat of Force.

Force or Threat of Force is proven by focusing on the survivor/victim and whether they resist.

Senate Bill 758 would repeal the archaic and victim blaming statute requiring proof of "force or threat of force". Compromise amendments in the House responded to concerns about removing "force or threat of force." This amendment requires that in cases involving fear, threat, or coercion, the defendant must have known their actions would cause the victim to submit. This is fair and balanced language that would recognize rape without requiring that anyone read someone else's mind.

Ask the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to conform SB758 to the House Bill.

JPR heard testimony - here's who is left out if they decide to keep the "force or threat of force" in the law:

KC was 17 years old.  She submitted testimony:

“'C' and I went to a room and proceeded to have consensual sex. After a few minutes, he left the room. The room was pitch black with only the hallway light on. At this point, I was asleep but woke up to the door opening again a
few minutes later. I felt a naked body lay on top of me. Thinking it was male 'C,' I then proceeded to get under the covers and have sex. What I did not know was that the naked body was not 'C,' it was 'R.' A boy I had never met. A boy I had not ever spoken with, let alone permitted him or given him any indication that I wanted to have sex. (which we did, full penis penetration)."

KC went to the hospital and had a rape kit performed. She reported what happened to the police. The prosecutors wanted to seek justice for KC, but KC didn't fight back, she didn't resist - she thought she was in a room with the boy she knew.  

The law failed KC because  - even though she did not consent to sex with the boy penetrating her - there was no "force." She didn't resist. The law says to the victim: you didn't respond, you didn't resist. The law failed KC.

Don't let this happen again. Repeal the force requirement.

Ask the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to conform SB758 to the House Bill.

Sponsored by Senator Ariana Kelly, SB 758 strikes “force or threat of force” from the statute, leaving “without the consent of the other” and provides a definition of “consent.” This is NOT affirmative consent.

Please call the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee today and ask them to adopt the same amendments as the House and issue 
a favorable report on SB 758!


Will Smith, Jr., Chair (District 20, Montgomery)
Phone: 410-841-3634 | 301-858-3634
[email protected]

Jeff Waldstreicher, Vice Chair (District 18, Montgomery)
Phone: 410-841-3137 | 301-858-3137
[email protected]

Baltimore City
Jill Carter (District 41, Baltimore City)
Phone: 410-841-3697 | 301-858-3697
[email protected]

Baltimore County
Charles Sydnor, III (District 44, Baltimore County)
Phone: 410-841-3612 | 301-858-3612
[email protected]

Baltimore & Carroll Counties
Chris West (District 42, Baltimore & Carroll)
Phone: 410-841-3648 | 301-858-3648
[email protected]

Frederick County
William Folden (District 4, Frederick)
Phone: 410-841-3704 | 301-858-3704
[email protected]

Garrett, Allegany, & Washington Counties
Mike McKay (District 1, Garrett, Allegany, & Washington)
Phone: 410-841-3565 | 301-858-3565
[email protected]

Harford County
Mary-Dulaney James (District 34, Harford)
Phone: 410-841-3158 | 301-858-3158
[email protected]

Montgomery County
Ariana Kelly (District 16, Montgomery)
Phone: 410-841-3124 | 301-858-3124
[email protected]

Prince George's County
Nick Charles (District 25, Prince George's)
Phone: 410-841-3127 | 301-858-3127
[email protected]

Anthony Muse (District 26, Prince George's)
Phone: 410-841-3092 | 301-858-3092
[email protected]

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