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Drinking Equals Consent in Minnesota

Disclaimer: This article will be referencing a sexual assault victim and her story along with a verdict from the Minnesota court regarding her case along with future sexual assault cases. 

In May of 2017, a woman and her friend decided to have a night out on the town and stopped at a local Minneapolis bar for some drinks. The woman has said she consumed five shots of vodka followed by a prescription pill. While enjoying the night, she met a man outside of the bar that invited her and her friend to a party, which she later found out never existed. When testifying, she claims to have had no recollection of arriving at the man’s house, but she woke up on the couch while he was sexually assaulting her. 

The man who raped this woman is Francios Momolu Khalil and after 4 years, he is roaming the streets as a free man. In 2017 when this case was fresh news, he was convicted of third-degree sexual conduct which would have resulted in Khalil serving up to 5 years in prison. Recently, the Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that Khalil will not be convicted because the woman willingly got intoxicated before he had intercourse with her. This new ruling has completely wiped the previous third-degree sentence and Khalil has now been granted a new trial.

According to the Minnesota Supreme Court, an individual is deemed mentally incapacitated when the said individual is “under the influence of alcohol administered to that person without the person’s agreement.” Due to Minnesota’s definition, the officials decided that Khalil cannot be the sole perpetrator in this case because the victim did not match their definition of being mentally incapacitated. 

I struggle with this ruling made by the Minnesota Supreme Court. We live in a world where we purchase lid toppers for our drinks so that when we go out with our friends for a good time, some sleazeball won’t have the chance to drop a pill in there. We make sure to Uber home so we do not harm anyone or ourselves on the road. I was not made aware that the second I take a shot of Vodka, I am sending signals to a guy that I am consenting to him taking me home, or to his car, or behind the bar and having his way with me. 

Photo by Michelle Ding from Unsplash

If you have been a victim of sexual assault of any kind, know that it was not your fault and you did not deserve what has been done to you. It was not because of your drinking, or your nondrinking. It was not because of what you wore, or how you acted. YOU DID NOTHING WRONG. 

If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault of any kind and are looking for resources, here are a few:

“I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it”- Maya Angelou

Creative and Professional Writing Aspiring author and publisher Gemini Slytherin house
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