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Rape Committed by Joint Enterprise

Rape committed by a joint enterprise is aggravated rape under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 22 (a). A joint enterprise to commit rape is a rape in which more than one person participates.

To convict a person of rape committed by a joint enterprise, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. The defendant committed acts that constitute rape. To satisfy this element, the prosecutor must prove both that: (a.) the defendant had sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with a person.“Sexual intercourse” means penetration of the female organ. “Unnatural sexual intercourse” includes oral and anal intercourse and other intrusions of a person’s body part or an object into the genital or anal opening of another person’s body. (b.) the defendant compelled that person to submit to the intercourse by force and against that person’s will or by threat of bodily injury. Force may be physical force, but it does not need to be. The conduct, appearance or words of a defendant as he presented himself to the alleged victim may also establish force. A threat of bodily harm may be explicit, but it may also be implicit in the defendant’s acts or words when the victim reasonably interpreted the acts or words to be threats.; and
  2. The defendant committed those acts knowing that others were present at the scene and that, pursuant to a verbal or non-verbal agreement or understanding, the others present were willing and available to assist in the commission of the acts that constitute rape.
  • OR
  1. The defendant did not commit the acts that constitute rape;
  2. That defendant was present at the scene of the rape;
  3. The defendant was present at the scene with knowledge that another person intended to commit acts that constitute rape; and
  4. Pursuant to a verbal or non-verbal agreement or understanding, the defendant was willing and available to assist in the commission of the acts that constitute rape.
What if I Didn't Participate in the Rape? Can I Still be Convicted?

Legally, this depends on your intent and the jury’s ability to apply the four elements listed above. But as a practical matter, even if you were merely standing by watching the act without actual participation you are going to get charged with this crime. I have never seen a case where someone was “present only” while someone he knew was committing a rape and that person was not charged. It just doesn’t happen. The district attorney will assume that you were a joint venture and you will get prosecuted.

Hire a Lawyer Immediately to Defend You. The Risk is too Great to Wait

If you are convicted of aggravated rape, you face imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years.

Aggravated rape is an extremely serious charge that requires a hard-hitting, solid defense. The Law Office of Stephen Neyman, P.C. is more than qualified to provide such a defense. Our talented attorneys have more than 20 years experience protecting the rights of the accused. If you have been charged or would like to learn more about this crime, call our office today at 617-263-6800 or contact us online.

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