Top New York prosecutor to renew effort to get ‘rape is rape’ bill passed
One of New York’s top prosecutors will renew the push for our campaign to strengthen New York State’s rape laws.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, who now heads the state district attorneys association, said it is “a huge priority” to pass the so-called rape is rape law, which is being championed by victim Lydia Cuomo with the Stop Abuse Campaign.
“Prosecutors want clearer, stronger rape laws and so do victims,” Kathleen Rice said. “I feel very confident that we’ll be able to … come up with something that is comprehensive.”
Cuomo, a Bronx kindergarten teacher who is not related to the governor, began her campaign in 2012, months after she sexually brutalized at gunpoint by drunken off-duty cop Michael Pena.
Cuomo was raped vaginally, orally and anally — but under current law, only the vaginal penetration is classified as rape.
The latter two crimes are dubbed “criminal sex acts.” They carry the same criminal penalties as rape, but not actually calling them “rape,” reduces their perceived severity.
This year, the “rape is rape” bill failed in the Legislature after the state DAs’ association, then headed by Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr., argued that such legislation would make it difficult for prosecutors to win consecutive prison terms for rapists.
So the state Senate proposed three different crimes: rape, oral rape and anal rape – but the Stop Abuse Campaign, the bill’s Assembly sponsor and Cuomo are still pushing for recognition that “rape is rape.”
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/effort-pass-rape-rape-bill-renewed-article-1.1443093#ixzz2irEndmqi