You may often hear stories of people in Hennepin County being accused of sexual assault and summarily dismiss the potential of ever finding yourself in such a situation. Yet in any scenario in which you attempt to engage in a romantic encounter with another, the question of consent presents the possibility of their being disagreements over it. Many have come to us here at the Bauer Law Office after being accused of sexual assault claiming that the encounter from which the charges arose was consensual. If you find yourself in a similar scenario, understanding exactly what qualifies as consent can go far in answering the charges against you.
Fortunately, the law clearly defines what consent is in order to eliminate the potential for confusion. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, the Minnesota statute defining consent says that words or actions conveyed to you that a particular sexual activity is permissible can be viewed as consent. While the exact meaning of words may be difficult to misinterpret, actions seemingly present a grey area. Thus, the law goes further by designated situations where consent is not implied. If, for example, you are (or have been in the past been) in a relationship with the person with whom you are acting, that fact alone does not imply consent. The same is true if you have previously engaged in sexual activity with that person.
Furthermore, a person who is deemed to be mentally incapacitated cannot consent to sexual activity, nor can one who would be powerless to stop your advances. In these scenarios, explaining your point of view is vital to determining if an encounter was indeed consensual. More information on responding to accusations of sexual assault can be found throughout our site.