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Clifton v. Commonwealth
Virginia Court of Appeals
468 S.E.2d 155 (1996)
Roger Clifton (defendant) went to his next-door neighbor’s house one morning when his neighbor’s children were asleep and her husband was away at work. Clifton entered the house and raped the woman. She testified that she told Clifton to stop and started crying but did not struggle or resist because she was afraid for her children and did not want them to be awakened during the rape. After Clifton left the house and her husband returned home, the woman called the police. Clifton was charged with rape. Clifton admitted to having had sexual intercourse with the woman that morning but claimed that the encounter was entirely consensual. There was no other evidence presented beyond Clifton and the woman’s conflicting testimony regarding the woman’s consent or lack thereof. The jury was instructed that it could not convict Clifton of rape if the victim consented to the sexual intercourse. Clifton was convicted. Clifton appealed, alleging that the court should have instructed the jury that the prosecution was required to prove that he in fact knew or should have known that the victim did not consent.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Willis, J.)
Dissent (Benton, J.)
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