The Salem News reported that an eighteen year old was charged with two counts of rape, assault and battery and witness intimidation on a college student. According to the prosecutor, the pair left a party and went to the defendant's home when the incident occurred. At the arraignment it was represented that the defendant's sister and mother were home and did not hear anything. The defendant denies the charges.
In order to prove the defendant guilty of rape the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant engaged in sexual intercourse with another compelled by force and against the complainant's will or compelled by threat of bodily injury. The term “threat" only requires that the threat cause fear reasonable in the circumstances so that it was reasonable for the complainant not to resist. The force used to accomplish rape does not have to be physical force.
There is well settled case law that relates to situations when there is a question relative to whether the complainant was compelled to engage in intercourse against her will. In Massachusetts, the fact that an individual obtained intercourse via fraud in the inducement does not constitute force necessary for rape. For example, the Supreme Judicial Court recently held that a rape did not occur where the defendant impersonated the complainant's boyfriend in order to engage in sexual intercourse, and the complainant believed that she was engaging in relations with her boyfriend.