Kristopher Hilscher, attorney at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., appeared on CNN’s Prime Justice with Ashleigh Banfield on Thursday, May 4 to speak out against a little known North Carolina rape and consent law. The law at issue does not recognize a victim’s right to say no after a sex act has begun.
Hilscher joined his client, Amy Guy, to discuss the law as part of an 11 minute segment. Guy was the victim of a brutal rape and assault at the hands of her estranged husband, Jonathan Guy. The attack lasted in excess of one and a half hours. She initially consented to sex because “it was the safer thing for [her] to do.” Jonathan Guy become violent, and continued to engage in sexual acts despite the fact that Amy Guy said no, and ultimately begged her ex to stop repeatedly.
In the eyes of the law, Amy Guy initially consented to sex but later revoked her consent. A series of cases in North Carolina, starting with the 1979 case, provide that a victim cannot revoke consent after sex has begun.
Jonathan Guy pled guilty to two counts of misdemeanor assault on a female. Mr. Guy did not have to answer for the rape charge – it was dismissed due to the rape consent law. Mr. Guy would have received a substantially longer period of incarceration if the rape charge stood.
“What we need to do from here is draw some more attention to the issue,” Hilscher said on CNN, “and that’s actually why we’re here today.” Senate bills to address this issue have thus far been unsuccessful.
Hilscher and Ms. Guy hope that the attention they may bring to this issue will effect a change in the law. Hilscher outlined some of the grassroots efforts he and Guy are pursuing to change the law in North Carolina. “I think it’s taking hold,” he told CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield. Hilscher said that he is also working with contacts in the N.C. House to urge action in that chamber. “We are working on developing a more comprehensive plan, but that’s the next step.”
Hilscher is a family law attorney at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A.’s office in Raleigh, North Carolina. His practice focuses primarily on family law and domestic issues (such as domestic violence, complex equitable distribution, and child custody). He has achieved an AV Preeminent® rating from the prestigious Martindale Hubbell ®