The State of Nebraska (plaintiff) charged David Koperski (defendant) with first-degree sexual assault, also known as rape. A state statute defined the offense as sexual penetration when a person overcomes the victim by force; threat of force, express or implied; or coercion. Koperski introduced evidence related to whether the victim consented to sex, and he requested a jury instruction on the defense of consent. The trial court denied the request but permitted Koperski’s attorney to argue the issue of consent during closing arguments. The jury convicted Koperski, and he appealed. The court of appeals affirmed, and Koperski appealed to the Nebraska Supreme Court.