“A woman falls asleep in her sitting room after watching television with friends; her nightdress has ridden up around her hips. She is seen, through her window, by a man whom she had never met before, who was walking down her street after having taken ecstasy and consumed beer. He let himself in through the unlocked front door of her house, and while she is asleep performed oral sex (including penetration) on her – when she woke up he digitally penetrated her vagina.”
In my lecture there were 200+ people, all of whom unanimously said that this was rape (and they weren’t necessarily unanimous for all the scenarios we were given).
Of the responses I received on Tumblr, all, as you can see below, are vehemently in support of labelling this scenario as rape, and “serious” rape (if it is even possible to make such a distinction - I don’t believe it is).
Victorian law regarding rape can be found in sections 35-38 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic).
Believe it or not, Victorian legislation regarding rape really tries its hardest to protect rape victims. Read it for yourself and you can see that it has come a long way from the definition of rape that existed in 1980 (that it is when a man penetrates a woman who is not his wife’s vagina with his penis while knowing or suspecting that she does not consent).
The problem is that the law is far more progressive than community attitudes.
As a result, the merits of our current legislation are not reflected in judgements.
In this case, the judge did not feel that this case deserved to be prosecuted.
He stated that the man’s actions were “a spontaneous response to an unusual situation.”
He then went on to “wish [him] well in [his] future endeavours.”
In case you were wondering, that was when I started crying.
The convicted rapist received a wholly suspended two year community sentence.
The rapist’s name is David Leslie Sims.
The case citation is Director of Public Prosecutions v Sims  VSCA 129.
A copy of the case can be downloaded here.