SAN FRANCISCO – The California Supreme Court defined rape Monday as continued sexual intercourse by a man after his female partner demands that it stop.
The 7-0 decision reverses a 1985 ruling by a lower court.
"This opinion is significant. It appears the California Supreme Court has clearly rejected an opportunity to revisit past barriers to rape convictions," said Douglas Beloof, an attorney with the National Crime Victim Law Institute.
The 2000 case involved two 17-year-olds who had sex in a bedroom during a party. The boy testified that the sex was consensual and that he stopped when the girl demanded. She testified the boy kept having sex with her for about a "minute and a half" after she called it off.
The boy was convicted of rape and served about six months in a juvenile facility. The high court affirmed that conviction Monday.
Justice Janice Rogers Brown, while agreeing with the majority on what constitutes rape, dissented on whether the boy was guilty. She wrote that the girl never clearly said stop, instead saying "I should be going now" and "I need to go home."
Brown also wondered how much time a man has to stop once a woman says stop.
"Ten seconds? Thirty?" she wrote.