What is Rape?

According to the Washington State Rape Law (RCW Chapter 9A.44), rape is defined as: "sexual intercourse between persons without consent. The penetration can be in any form: penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth b an object or a sex organ. Either sex can be the victim or perpetrator of penetration."



In other words, the following are considered rape, when:

Someone mentally coerces or physically forces you to have sex.

There is penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth made by anything including a penis, finger(s), a bottle, or other object.

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Degrees of Rape:

1st Degree Rape: (Felony) Forcible compulsion where the perpetrator or an accessory uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon, or kidnaps the victim, or inflicts serious physical injury, or feloniously enters into the building or vehicle where the victim is situated.

2nd Degree Rape: (Felony) When first degree circumstances are not met. Forcible compulsion, or when the victim is incapable of consent by reasons of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated.

3rd Degree: (Felony) The victim did not consent to sexual intercourse with the perpetrator; and such a lack of consent was clearly expressed by the victim's words or conduct, or where there is a threat of substantial harm to property rights of the victim.

1st Degree Incest: (Felony) The victim is a known relative: ancestor, descendent, brother, sister; or stepchild, adopted child under 18.

1st Degree Rape of a Child: (Felony) The victim is less than 12 years old and the offender is at least 24 months older than the victim.

2nd Degree Rape of a Child: (Felony) The victim is 12 - 14 years old and the offender is at least 36 months older than the victim.

3rd Degree Rape of a Child: (Felony) The victim is 14 - 16 years old and the offender is at least 48 months older than the victim.

1st Degree Sexual Misconduct with a Minor: (Felony) The victim is 16 - 18 and the offender is at least 60 months older than the victim.

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Degrees of Sexual Contact:

2nd Degree Incest: (Felony) The victim is a known relative; ancestor, descendent, brother, sister; or stepchild, adopted child under 18.

Indecent Liberties: (Felony) Not married; and forcible compulsion, or victim incapable of consent, or in supervisory authority over developmentally disabled victim.

1st Degree Child Molestation: (Felony) The victim is less than 12 and the offender is at least 36 months older than the victim.

2nd Degree Child Molestation: (Felony) The victim is 12 - 14 and the offender is at least 48 months older than the victim.

3rd Degree Child Molestation: (Felony) The victim is 14 - 16 and the offender is at least 48 months older than the victim.

2nd Degree Sexual Misconduct with a Minor: (Gross Misdemeanor) The victim is 16 - 18 and the offender is at least 60 months older than the victim.

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Source: Adapted from Crime and Sexual Assault Services (CASAS) website, Student Affairs, WWU


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Page Updated 06.03.2013