LANSING, Mich, Dec. 7, 2022 — State Rep. Padma Kuppa introduced House Bill 6553 today to repeal a sexual consent loophole. Under current Michigan law, if a person becomes impaired by intoxication and is sexually assaulted, it is not considered a crime. It is only considered a crime if the consumed intoxicant is given to that person without their consent. In over 50% of sexual assault cases, alcohol is involved, with nearly 90% of these sexual assault cases occurring in college.

“Many women and men alike have become victims of sexual assault, and many of these cases go unreported due to feelings of shame, fear of not being believed, or the belief that it was their own fault,” Kuppa said. “Once survivors report the assault against them, they often learn that, due to Michigan’s archaic law on sexual assault, a crime was not technically committed against them and they cannot receive justice. This cannot be allowed to continue. Sexual assault is always a crime, and it should be treated as such.”

Many sexual assault cases cannot be considered a crime under Michigan law due to the current definition of “‘mentally incapacitated.” Under current law, mental incapacitation refers to a state in which an individual is “temporarily incapable of appraising or controlling his or her conduct due to the influence of … substance(s) administered to that person without his or her consent, or due to any other act committed upon that person without his or her consent.” Kuppa’s bill would change the current definition by eliminating the “without consent” qualifier.

“By updating the Michigan definition, we will guarantee all cases of sexual assault are treated as the crimes they truly are, ensure all perpetrators are rightfully punished for their heinous actions, and allow survivors to receive the justice they deserve. I appreciate college students and constituents Aditi Jain, Izzi Nguyen and Andrew Panter for bringing this issue to my attention and all the stakeholders who worked with us on introducing this legislation.”

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