When Is It Rape?
In February of 2007, Time magazine published an article entitled "A Time Limit on Rape." The article reported on a Maryland case in which a boy, age 16, and a young woman, age 18, had sex in a car. The boy was accused of rape because, after the beginning of consensual sex, he didn't immediately withdraw when his female partner told him to stop. According to Time, "The accuser and the defendant agree that after he began to penetrate her and she wanted him to stop, he did so within a matter of seconds and did not climax."
When asked at trial how long the young man remained inside of her after she told him to stop, she answered, "About five or so seconds." He said he stopped immediately. Astonishingly, a jury convicted him of first-degree rape.
NCM executive director, Mel Feit, was quoted in the Time article: "At a certain point during arousal, we don't have complete control over our ability to stop. To equate that with brutal, violent rape weakens the whole concept of rape." Many people, men and women, responded to Mel's quote by sending us angry e-mails but, of course, a five second delay can't possibly be the same as a violent sexual assault. The angry e-mail and the jury's verdict revealed how a virulent victim-feminist ideology can overwhelm reason and common sense.
Our presence in Time led to dozens of other media opportunities for us, mostly on talk radio and in newspapers. In particular, Tony Nazzaro was quoted in the Baltimore Sun and Mel was a guest on the "Howard Stern Show". As a result of this media exposure a few hundred men and their families who needed help found NCM's counseling program and benefited from the guidance they probably would not have received anywhere else.
A Maryland Appeals court subsequently reversed the boy's conviction on the grounds that a rape could not occur once sexual intercourse had begun. But in April of 2008 the Maryland Supreme Court reversed the Appeals Court and reinstated the boy's conviction.
The Baltimore Sun re-interviewed NCM and reported on our position as follows: