An 18-year-old woman who was raped by her brother’s friend, who pretended to be the victim’s own boyfriend, has had her rape conviction overturned by a California appeals court because of a 1872 law that says unmarried women are not legally protected from sexual assault by “impostors.”

As the UK’s Independent describes, Julio Morales sexually assaulted the sleeping victim in 2009 after she fell asleep alongside her boyfriend in a bed. The boyfriend then got up out of bed and left the apartment; Morales witnessed him leave. Later on that night, Morales entered the room and began raping the victim (while she was still asleep, as he was convicted of “rape of an unconscious person,” according to USA Today). During the rape, the victim thought Morales was her boyfriend — until light from outside the bedroom door revealed his face. The victim “pushed him away” and “began to cry and yell.”

 

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