Title 11
Criminal Offenses

Chapter 37
Sexual Assault

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-37-1

§ 11-37-1. Definitions.

The following words and phrases, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings:

(1) “Accused” means a person accused of a sexual assault.

(2) “Force or coercion” means when the accused does any of the following:

(i) Uses or threatens to use a weapon, or any article used or fashioned in a manner to lead the victim to reasonably believe it to be a weapon.

(ii) Overcomes the victim through the application of physical force or physical violence.

(iii) Coerces the victim to submit by threatening to use force or violence on the victim and the victim reasonably believes that the accused has the present ability to execute these threats.

(iv) Coerces the victim to submit by threatening to at some time in the future murder, inflict serious bodily injury upon or kidnap the victim or any other person and the victim reasonably believes that the accused has the ability to execute this threat.

(3) “Intimate parts” means the genital or anal areas, groin, inner thigh, or buttock of any person or the breast of a female.

(4) “Mentally disabled” means a person who has a mental impairment which renders that person incapable of appraising the nature of the act.

(5) “Mentally incapacitated” means a person who is rendered temporarily incapable of appraising or controlling his or her conduct due to the influence of a narcotic, anesthetic, or other substance administered to that person without his or her consent, or who is mentally unable to communicate unwillingness to engage in the act.

(6) “Physically helpless” means a person who is unconscious, asleep, or for any other reason is physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act.

(7) “Sexual contact” means the intentional touching of the victim’s or accused’s intimate parts, clothed or unclothed, if that intentional touching can be reasonably construed as intended by the accused to be for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or assault.

(8) “Sexual penetration” means sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, and anal intercourse, or any other intrusion, however slight, by any part of a person’s body or by any object into the genital or anal openings of another person’s body, or the victim’s own body upon the accused’s instruction, but emission of semen is not required.

(9) “Spouse” means a person married to the accused at the time of the alleged sexual assault, except that such persons shall not be considered the spouse if the couple are living apart and a decision for divorce has been granted, whether or not a final decree has been entered.

(10) “Victim” means the person alleging to have been subjected to sexual assault.

History of Section.
P.L. 1979, ch. 302, § 2; P.L. 1980, ch. 273, § 1; P.L. 1984, ch. 152, § 1; P.L. 1986, ch. 191, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 204, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 83, § 13; P.L. 1999, ch. 130, § 13.