FBI Changes Definition Of Rape

Central Michigan Life news reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Uniform Crime Unit has recently changed its definition of forcible rape to include males as victims, updating the definition and bringing it more in line with Michigan’s model law.

The new law does not distinguish between genders and defines rape as: “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

Previously, the FBI had defined rape as only a crime against women, classifying rape as the “carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.”

Since 1975 however, Michigan has had a more broader model law and recognizes various types of sexual conduct as criminal, including touching or other contact, as well as penetration with a breast, genital or buttock as a sex crime. The FBI’s new definition is more narrowly focused than Michigan’s, making only penetration a sex crime.

If you have been charged in Michigan with any form of sexual contact, it is important to speak with a Michigan sex crimes defense attorney immediately to begin preparing your defense. Because Michigan’s law is so broad many situations involving sexual conduct may lead to a sex crimes investigation and charges being filed. Consulting with a sex crimes defense lawyer in Michigan right away may be a crucial first step in protecting your future.


The FBI believes that this change in definition will allow more victims to come forward and report rape as a crime and that the law will recognize the reality that sexual assault occurs regardless of gender.

Any type of sexual assault or sex crime charges can be devastating. As a sex crimes defense attorney I have seen too many innocent people facing these serious charges based on a lack of evidence, misunderstanding and improper motives. In the fight to protect victims of sexual assault it is equally important not to charge innocent people of sexual misconduct with little evidence and questionable claims.

For more information about sex crimes in Michigan or if you have been charged with any type of Michigan criminal sexual conduct, contact the aggressive Michigan sex crimes law firm Grabel & Associates for a free, immediate consultation.