4 Myths About Consent in Sexual Battery Cases

When it comes to cases involving sexual battery, the complexities of consent are often at the forefront. If you are facing a sexual battery case, you can receive guidance about the role of consent from the highly-experienced Clearwater sex crimes defense attorneys with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan.

In the following article, we address and debunk four common myths about consent in sexual battery cases, providing accurate information to foster a better understanding of this subject.



Myth #1: Consent Was Implied Due to the Alleged Victim’s Behavior

Contrary to popular belief, a person’s behavior cannot imply consent. The law mandates explicit, informed, and ongoing agreement for any sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance does not equal consent, as coercion and fear can stifle objections.


Myth #2: The Victim Didn’t Say ‘No’, So It Was Consensual

Another widespread misunderstanding is that silence or the absence of a “no” constitutes consent. An absence of refusal does not indicate agreement, particularly when power dynamics, intimidation, or fear are present. Sexual battery cases demand a careful examination of the circumstances to determine if consent was genuinely present, rather than relying solely on the absence of explicit rejection.


Myth #3: The Defendant and the Victim Were In a Relationship, So It Couldn’t Have Been Sexual Battery

A misconception often arises when the parties involved have a pre-existing relationship. Some assume that a prior connection negates the possibility of sexual battery. However, being in a relationship does not automatically imply consent to all sexual activity. Each encounter requires distinct consent. Coercion, manipulation, or force remain concerns regardless of a relationship’s existence.


Myth #4: If the Victim Lied About Their Age, It Would Not Be Considered Statutory Rape

Some believe that if a victim lies about their age or appears older, the defendant could be absolved of charges like statutory rape. However, the law places the responsibility on the adult engaging in sexual activity to verify the other person’s age. Ignorance of the victim’s true age is not a valid defense. Statutory rape laws exist to protect minors from exploitation, emphasizing the importance of informed and legal consent, regardless of appearances.

A thorough understanding of consent is crucial when dealing with sexual battery cases. As expert Clearwater sex crime attorneys with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan, we seek to dispel these common myths to better inform you of your rights and legal options.

If you or a loved one have been charged with sexual battery, request a free consultation with one of our Clearwater sex crimes defense attorneys or give us a call today at (727) 493-9386. 

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.