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Senator Brian Frosh plans to introduce legislation to protect victims from fraudulent Internet "rape me" solicitations

12.05.2013

Senator Brian Frosh plans to introduce legislation to protect victims from fraudulent Internet "rape me" solicitations. Senator Frosh and Delegate Kathleen Dumais will sponsor the legislation, which will characterize the use of another person's identity when posting solicitations to rape and assault that person as a criminal act, and impose a 20-year penalty. "Senator Frosh and I believe that online solicitation of sexual assault is a crime, and this legislation will protect victims from incidents of sexual violence in Maryland," Delegate Dumais said.

According to The Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA), the act of placing a false "rape me" ad is a growing crime, seen around the country. In one of the cases the victim was a resident of PG County. "Today, we stand with Senator Frosh and Delegate Dumais in support of this legislation," Executive Director and Counsel Lisae C. Jordan said on behalf of MCASA. "Across the country, there is a trend of perpetrators placing false ads to trick others into committing sexual assaults.

Victims in these cases have been terrorized by multiple strangers, coming to their homes expecting to participate in rape fantasies. We are grateful that Senator Frosh and Delegate Dumais are introducing legislation to respond to these false solicitations and to help prevent sexual violence." In the cases of these ads, typically an ex-spouse or former partner will post an online ad, posing as the victim, soliciting acts of sexual violence as a fetish or fantasy that is welcomed by the victim.

"Internet solicitations of sexual assault cause serious harm to innocent people," Senator Frosh said. "We need to protect unsuspecting Marylanders from this emerging threat. Individuals should not be allowed to use the Internet as a tool to provoke sexual violence. For people thinking about posting these bogus ads, the message needs to be loud and clear: this behavior is a crime in Maryland, and it will be harshly punished."

Senator Frosh plans to introduce legislation in the upcoming 2014 session of the Maryland General Assembly.