Legally Defining Rape

Working Definition of Rape:

forced, unwanted intercourse; a violation of a person’s body; an act of violence

In the State of Indiana, rape is defined as:

“A person who knowingly or intentionally has sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex when:

  1. the other person is compelled by force or imminent threat of force; or
  2. the other person is unaware that the sexual intercourse is occurring; or
  3. the other person is so mentally disabled or deficient that consent cannot be given.”
  • Rape is a Class B felony. It is a Class A felony with the use of deadly force or weapon.
  • Forced, unwanted oral or anal sex is also considered a criminal offense and is covered by other state laws.

Statute of Limitations in the state of Indiana:

A victim has the following time limitations in Indiana to file with the court an intention to pursue prosecution or litigation. The time frame begins at the time of the incident.

  • Felony criminal case (rape): 5 years
  • Misdemeanor or criminal case (sexual assault): 2 years
  • Criminal deviate conduct (oral or anal rape): 5 years
  • Civil litigation (rape or sexual assault): 2 years