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State v. Moorman

Supreme Court of North Carolina
358 S.E.2d 502 (N.C. 1987)


According to her testimony, the victim was asleep and dreaming that she was having sexual intercourse when she awoke to find Moorman (defendant) on top her having sex with her. She tried to get up, but Moorman pushed her down and continued. At that point, the victim did not resist any further, testifying that she was scared for her safety. Moorman claimed that it was dark in the room and he had thought the victim was someone else. The trial court convicted Moorman, but the court of appeals reversed. The court of appeals noted that under North Carolina law there were two theories of rape: (1) by force and against the will of the victim, and (2) by the victim’s physical helplessness and being unable to resist. The court of appeals held that there was a disconnect with the case because the prosecution proceeded on theory (1), but the victim was asleep, so the case should have been tried under theory (2). As a result, the court of appeals arrested the judgment. The prosecution appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Exum, C.J.)

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