Lawmakers will likely change the state's rape statute so a victim of a sexual attack doesn't have to "earnestly" resist the attacker.
A Senate committee Monday gave unanimous approval to a bill removing the earnest resist language and replacing it with "against the will" of the victim.One woman recounted her rape 19 years ago. "I was afraid. I pleaded with the man, I cried, but he raped me anyway. When I went to the police they asked if I had blood and skin under my fingernails from scratching him. They asked if I was bruised where he had hit me for fighting him. I didn't fight. He was too big. I was too frightened. They refused to prosecute him because I didn't earnestly resist him."
Another woman, a law student who helped draft the bill, said one rapist was acquitted by a jury because the rapist threatened to "cut off the woman's head" with a small knife. She didn't resist and did what he said. But the jury found that the knife was too small to cut off her head, so she should have earnestly resisted. Another woman was raped by an elderly man. "She could have run away from him - earnestly resisted - but was afraid to leave her two sleeping children in the next room in the same house with him. The Utah Supreme Court overturned his conviction, saying she didn't earnestly resist," said law student Mary Woodhead.