Professor Falk Quoted in NBC News Story on Rape by Fraud

Professor Patricia J. Falk

Professor Patricia J. Falk

Professor Patricia Falk was quoted in a news story for NBC News, entitled “‘I Wanted Justice’: Con Victim Turns Focus to Changing Rape Law.”  The news story reports on the case of New Jersey resident Mischele Lewis, who was fraudulently induced to marry a con-man, “with a roster of ex-wives and children.”  In the wake of this case, a New Jersey assemblyman introduced a bill before the New Jersey legislature, which would criminalize sexual assault by fraud.

Professors Falk and Jed Rubenfeld (Yale Law School) were asked to opine about the proposed New Jersey law.  Professor Falk supports the criminalization of sexual assault by fraud, but recognizes that “[t]he biggest problem at the heart of this dilemma is drawing the line” and ask “[h]ow far down the road toward these kinds of lies should a criminal lie extend?”  Professor Rubenfeld opposes laws which attempt to criminalize sex by deception, because he worries that such laws would be overbroad, unenforceable, vague, and potentially unconstitutional.  Both Professors Falk and Rubenfeld has already engaged in an academic debate on the issue of rape-by-fraud, in a series of articles published by the Yale Law Journal Online, available here.

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