Criminal Law, Pages 381–383

People v. Newton

New York Court of Appeals, 2007
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I've tried to write it professionally, but be aware that you might not want to read it if you don't have to.
This was generated automatically because of the following tags: rape, sodomy


Defendant had sex with another man while defendant was intoxicated. He was then indicted for two counts of sodomy and for sexual abuse.


Intoxication is not a defense to a criminal charge but may be offered to negate an element of the crime.

Procedural History:

The court charged the jury on intoxication only with respect to first-degree sodomy because it required an intent to engage in forcible compulsion, while third-degree sodomy only required that one "in the defendant's situation would have understood the . . . alleged victim's words and acts as an expression of a lack of consent," which intoxication would not affect. The jury then acquitted defendant of first-degree sodomy and found him guilty of third-degree sodomy.


Does being intoxicated affect one's ability to rape another?


Defendant did not have to perceive the lack of consent; the victim only had to clearly express that he did not consent. Therefore, his subjective mental state is irrelevant.


No, one can rape another while too intoxicated to understand the other does not consent. Affirmed.