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Law

#MeToo Forces NC Lawmakers Out Of The Dark Ages

Illustration of a diverse group of women and one man on a North Carolina outline.
Illustration by Mariano Santillan
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Courtesy of Carolina Public Press
Once SB 199 is signed by Governor Cooper, it will be legal for someone to revoke consent after sex has begun.

North Carolina seeks to close antiquated loopholes in sexual assault laws and add more protections for child abuse victims.

SB 199, which passed the Senate and House last week and currently awaits Governor Roy Cooper’s signature, undoes 40-year-old Supreme Court decision that declared a victim can not revoke consent after sex has begun. The bill also changes the definition of "mentally incapacitated" in regards to sex and makes drugging someone’s drink illegal. Though this new bill received unanimous bipartisan support, that was not the case five years ago when Senator Jeff Jackson (D-Mecklenburg) introduced an early version of it.

Carolina Public Press Lead Investigative Reporter Kate Martin has taken a deep dive into sexual assault laws and convictions in North Carolina for the series “Seeking Conviction." In conjunction with 11 other local news outlets, Martin was part of a team that went county by county talking to victims, prosecutors, police and medical staff. She joins host Anita Rao to share what the research reveals about rape convictions in North Carolina and how SB 199 may change outcomes for victims.

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