Is Rape Law Still in the Dark Ages?

Editor’s note: Joyce M. Short is the author of a just released book, “Carnal Abuse by Deceit.” The book chronicles her life with a predator, the subsequent aftermath and her road to recovery. It also provides advice for victims and their supporters, and discusses the issues surrounding criminalization of rape-by-fraud.

By Joyce M. Short

A new case in New Jersey will soon test that concept.

Enforcers will determine whether rape law protects a person’s right to self determination over their personal sexual intimacy. They could decide that choice simply does not matter at all, or they could protect the victim’s entitlement to choice based on the same rights granted in every other human interaction.

Way back when Rome ruled the world, rape was established as a crime only when a woman who was a virgin, and not a slave, was victimized. “Harm” was allocated to the owner of her virginity, the head of her household, and our laws have not progressed much from there.

Imposter rape

Today, some states have laws to protect married women from being hoodwinked into sexual intercourse with a man who pretends to be her husband, but those same states fail to apply the same principal to an unmarried woman if a man pretends to be her boyfriend. Impostor rape, also known as rape by fraud, where biographical information is fraudulent, is the same in both situations. But it is treated as a crime against a married woman only because her husband is cheated of his wife’s purity.

The egregious concept behind this misguided mindset is that defrauding a married woman commits adultery against her husband and is, therefore, a criminal offense. Rape law fails to recognize that the woman’s marital status, and who the offender pretended to be are irrelevant. That they pretended to be a person they were not robbed the victim of the “knowing consent” they were entitled to in deciding who to engage in sex with.

The real harm in rape

Most states have yet to recognize or embrace the real harm in rape  —  the violation of one’s most intimate core, the breach of self determination regarding one’s own personal sexuality. Our laws struggle with concepts that dance around what rape really is. Instead, they focus on what penetrates, where it penetrates, how it penetrates and who it penetrates. They hark back to the origins of the laws with little concern to the real victim of the crime. They lack the simple concept that any sexual penetration without “knowing consent,” is rape.

Criminal code for invading a person’s integrity abound in every other aspect of human interaction. One can be punished for achieving personal gain through assault, coercion, fraud, deceit, theft, robbery, or any means that breaches the “covenant of good faith” or “knowing consent” between two parties. If a person lied about biographical information to consummate a business transaction, criminal code exists to recognize and penalize such wrongdoing as fraud. But to lie about biographical information to defraud a victim of sex is blithely treated as the “puffery” of seduction, as if property has more value to a person than their basic and most intimate sexual autonomy.

Punishable offenses

Rape never goes away. The victim carries a sense of defilement in their psyche for a lifetime. People who are raped are thirteen times more apt to commit suicide than people who are not. It’s time to speak out and let our lawmakers know that all types of rape — by assault, by treachery, date rape, statutory rape, rape by mental incapacity whether permanent or temporary, rape by fraud or deceit, and rape by coercion, should all be punishable offenses throughout a moral society.

We will soon know whether the laws in New Jersey protect a woman’s right to choose who they have sex with or not. Stay tuned for the results.


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52 Comments on "Is Rape Law Still in the Dark Ages?"

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I tell us wat…I was only lovebombed once. The spath was too narcissistic to bother lol
But the lovebombing was wonderful. Felt like I was 15 again lol Knew at the base something was wrong but didn’t care. Quickly saw how selfish this person was but enjoyed it anyway till it grew tiresome. Like being told and I know you would always do thus and such or I know you want me too or other stuff that I would think…you don’t tell someone their feelings! That is insecurity talking there.
So if it happens again, I will enjoy it again until I’m tired of it. This time however, I will be done when the crazy starts. When the demands outweigh the firebombing. Cuz that’s all it is…a grooming technique for abuse.

I know it’s tempting to allow yourself to “knowingly” be lovebombed! Everyone likes being treated as if they’re special.

But keep in mind, the person behind all that smoke, mirrors, and uniquely directed flattery is a sociopath. You are best advised to stay clear of them from the moment you recognize what they are.


Joyce, thanks for explaining the differences in these types of fraud. Should this one day be recognised as a crime in the legal system, I will be delighted that it will also expose psychopaths to the general public – a quick google of their name and up it comes “jailed for rape by fraud”. The psychopath I knew has done this all his life but walks the streets a free man in more than one country to carry on doing it to an endless supply of unsuspecting and trusting women.

Question for you – will this be a law that can look at cases retrospectively or will it only apply to the victims of rape by fraud from the date of implementation of the new law?

Thanks also for your kind words. I am fully recovered. I stumbled across psychopathy literature nearly two years ago but it was only about a year ago I acknowledged the “encounter” I had was with a psychopath. He ticked every box – a text book case. I didn’t want to believe it at first, even though I was over him, because I didn’t want to believe I was never loved, never adored, never special, never the girl of his dreams – I especially didn’t want to believe I was duped and just a source of his entertainment. What a waste of time and a painful experience but at least I had my answer as to why he did what he did.

Armed with some knowledge of psychopathy, it was then easy to ignore his “out of the blue” texts that started to bombard me last year. Luckily I had also read somewhere previously that psychopaths tend to come back like an old boomerang when seeking to maintain a dominance bond, or simply for entertainment because they are bored. All I got was the “shakes” when the texts started to arrive – especially when the tone became angry because I wouldn’t respond.

Therefore I’m on this site to share experiences that may help others. Also to learn from everyone. Although I’m healed, I think this site is a great source of help for those who are at the stage of healing.

Aintgonna, thanks for your earlier message. My encounter with the psychopath didn’t end when I first discovered his deceit. It should have done, but that was just the beginning of even more drama. I will give my experiences from time to time when a topic comes up. I now cannot believe how I was manipulated and my strings pulled like a puppet. I never considered him intelligent and so it bewildered me how he could cunningly do that to me. I guess the answer is that it wasn’t intelligence, it was the psychopath’s in-built behaviours that come naturally to him.


Yes it’s not intelligence, it’s sickness. The npd I was with is just NOT smart. The spath is prob. Interestingly, I believed the npd much more. But regardless, WE are normal. They are sick outcasts. WE have nothing to feel bad for. Including our ability to be bamboozled. I am so far from naive but I don’t think that’s a good thing even. Regardless, I still was entangled in such cognitive dissonance. Even my native cynicism didn’t save me. Feel bewildered? No, don’t go there…you ARE a smart, strong, capable,WORTHY woman. He is scum, pure n simple.

Aintgonna, thank you for your kind words and I’m sorry to hear that you have had more than one bad experience. I note that you have done quite a bit of research on these disordered people to distinguish between them.

It is beneficial for us all to do some exploring to identify our possible vulnerabilities. In my case, the psychopath unwittingly told them to me during conversations. It was only on reflection that I recalled those conversations. I recently asked my mum and a close friend what they thought they might be – they identified them to be the same as the psychopath had noticed, only he was more thorough with his observations/study of me. Scary that he was even more accurate than my mum. And scary he knew what I didn’t even know then about myself.


Remember ANYone can know things about ourselves we dont. The spath is not gifted. He is fine-tuned into ways of manipulation and deception, he’s studied the craft of conning for yrs most likely. He can carry out his heinous methods becuz he has no empathy, no human response at all, to others. He makes a lifestyle out of using ppl while feeling nothing for their ensuing hurt.
Give him no special powers, no special traits except those you would give any living entity trying to survive. A virus drills itself into a cell and then takes over its nucleus; the result is the cell-identity vanishes and the virus lives on. Now, in a one-celled creature we can’t call this evil–but in a person, most definitely pure EVIL. Nothing special, just twisted and sadistic. Thank God you are out of his slimy grasp.

Dear Aint,
Can ya feel me through the screen? I’m the one shouting, YES YES YES. Oh this is a GREAT post! Thank YOU for writing it.

My ex-husband used shame, that was his M.O. I watched him emasculate men, implying that if they wanted to consult with their wives about a decision, it meant they were weak, not men. He shamed me: what kind of woman says she loves her husband and then questions his motives. My ex’s skill at using shame was well honed, Fine Tuned, heinous. It worked especially well on people of honor and decency, and on our children (and worked like magic on narcissists,which he used as abusers by proxy).

My ex-virus does not have an admirable gift, he’s just twisted and sadistic.

Woah, what did he say to the Narcissits?? I never heard of that! My ex used guilt. My mother is a Narcicisst. Nothing happened.

Infinity: Narcissists were easy for my ex to manipulate. He just fed their greed, about themselves, about what other people thought of them, about status and having the right “things”. He gave them approval for being cruel. Not caring about others? Was rewarded. Narcissists LOVE this.

About guilt.
Guilt is a good thing. It’s a gauge to let you know you were unkind, thoughtless, etc. It’s proof you have a conscience. I USED to think I had a guilt problem. I didn’t. I had a SHAME problem. That I wasn’t enough. Guilt did not make me feel less than, SHAME did. Guilt means someone did something bad (why guilt is used as a legal term), SHAME means you, as a person/a being, are bad, as defined by a predator.

I can’t tell you how wonderfully freeing it was when I “got it” (I have a thick skull), that shame was the carp that was done TO ME, not BY me… it’s was never MY burden to carry, it was dumped on me by an abuser.

Brene Brown does a very good job explaining the difference. Find her talks on Youtube.

Guilt can only be felt by people who have a conscience.

I used to be an executive recruiter for firms in the field of finance. One Sunday, I picked up my NY Times to see the face of a young man I’d just placed with Bache and Company (no longer in business), staring back at me. He had pummeled a little girl’s head in with a rock and was arrested for murder.

Back when he started with Bache, it was in the era that all brokerage firms gave their back office personnel lie-detector tests. Even though one of the first questions he was asked was, “have you ever committed a crime,” he passed the test with flying colors.


You’d asked me if rape by fraud laws can be retroactively invoked.
Unfortunately, I doubt that any criminal law could be implemented retroactively, but there may be laws on the books in your state that protect against rape by fraud.

If you’ve been watching the news about William Allen Jordan, the laws in New Jersey state that “affirmative permission” must be granted in order for legally sanctioned sexual conduct to take place. Donna and I were both present when Mischele Lewis gave her statement to the police. The man had lied about specific identity characteristics which could only be seen as having vitiated her “knowing consent.” Without “knowing consent” how could one possibly provide the offender with “affirmative permission?” And Jordan had to know that a) he lied, and b)in doing so he defrauded her of her “knowing consent.”

If anyone else has had a recent run-in with an impostor, please contact me. There may be other cases such as Mischele’s that can be pursued and I will look at the statutes in that state, as I did in Mischele’s, and let you know.

People who have been told lies of intent are just as “raped” as people who have been told lies of biographical information. Unfortunately, because lack of intent is much more difficult to prove, it would be harder to get the authorities to act. But if you were told lies of identity information; age, marital status, education, communicable disease, etc., please contact me.


Joyce, thank you for your response and more useful information. If you can spare a moment, I was wondering if you could list a few more examples of lies of intent and lies of biographical info. The psychopath said he was single and spent his time alone when not with me while he had two other women “on the go” that I know of. When he was abroad he would say he sat at the table of dinner gala events all alone while everyone were coupled and how people felt sorry for him….while in reality his other girlfriend was with him. He even had a professional photographer take photos of him holding his written messages of love saying he would wait alone for me forever. All methods to pretend he was single. All to fraudulently seduce me. All over-the-top yet I fell for it as I really believed he was madly in love with me. Although I’m healed this still makes me really retch.

What a CAD!

Here’s an example of lies of biographical information: Will Jordan allegedly claimed he was never married, went by a different name, and his age was incorrect. His employment was also a lie. He claimed he had no children. There are 13 known children he has fathered.

My ex stated his age, religion, marital status, education, military service and a host of other identity characteristics incorrectly.

“Intent” could be about their deep desire to marry you and convince you that you’re the only woman in the world for them.

Your guy defrauded you. He lied to induce you to have a sexual relationship with him, plain and simple. He was not “alone” and had no intent to be “alone” or monogamous.

Justice is not about truth. It’s about proof. And unfortunately, proving that he did not “intend” to be alone and monogamous when he professed to be, is difficult to prove. If he lied about his physical characteristics, and the laws are realistically out of the dark ages in your state, that’s another matter.

A single guy is “single” even if he has other girlfriends. He’s not married. A “monogamous” guy is not monogamous if he has other girlfriends, but his intent in the matter has too much wiggle room for a case to be built.

So, it’s no wonder you feel so distressed over this relationship, but could the law be brought down on his lying, scheming head? Probably not.

Wish I had better news for you!

Joyce, thank you so, so much for taking the time once again to explain this with more examples. It was really useful to me.

Yes, I’m a lies by intent case. I have those “waiting alone” photos he sent me (date of emails etc) on an old laptop as he emailed them to me as well as his old emails about being alone/monogamous – would it be proof that he did not intend to be alone and monogamous when he professed to be if the other two women were willing to be the evidence of that? One of them knew it was a just a sexual relationship with him only and knew of his other women, while the other lady thought she was in an exclusive relationship with him (she was a lies by intent case like me).

To all my friends on LF,

Last night, I went to see the movie “The Other Woman”. It’s a comedy, but the base story is one most of us have lived. It could have easily been written directly from my life. I think others will find it very relatable also.

What I wanted to share is how this movie brings to light the Spath without a mask, and has the ability to start the ball rolling for protection of people from LoveFraud. The story accurately portrays this cheating manipulative man as a Spath. They actually use the word Sociopath. He is the worst of the worst and if you see it, you will recognize love bombing, gas lighting, hoovering. He even pitches a big baby tantrum at the end. Something we are accustomed to, right?

It is a light hearted movie about a sad serious subject. They do touch on the wife’s pain, but not deeply since the movie is suppose to be funny. I will say the retaliation methods these women use were humorous. I felt validated when I left the theatre.

Of course, the movie didn’t contain any real help or advice for victims, but I do think that the subject covered is very relevant and will expose many people to the reality of the manipulation a of the Spath predator and the damaged lives left behind by their destruction.

Awareness is the first step. And hey, I spent a couple of hours laughing as I watched. That’s a good thing.


i do want to see that movie! thanx for the review 🙂


I also had one more piece of advice. We may want to buy stock in the companies that make index cards. I’ve been using them in my Jesus prayer box and I can already see that these companies will need to boost manufacturing to meet the growing retail sales of index cards. :). I can see myself using a pack or two a week with all the messages I’m sending up and letting go of. Laugh, laugh. I really do love the box idea. Who was it that posted that?


IDK lol
but its a good idea!
if only our problems could vanish like that…
i am tired of “opportunities” and “growth” and “all things happen for a reason”. they can happen to someone else for a change and im as big as i wanna get HA

I’m right there with you:)

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