Why oral sex is not rape

Posted at 01/30/2014 2:41 AM | Updated as of 01/30/2014 11:00 AM

MANILA -- Former Sandiganbayan Justice and law professor Edilberto Sandoval on Wednesday explained the different elements of the criminal charge filed by model Deniece Cornejo against actor-host Vhong Navarro, who allegedly raped her inside her condominium unit in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig last week.

"Sa Republic Act 8353, bagong batas ito, an individual can be charged with rape through sexual intercourse, na iyung lalaki lang puwedeng ihabla, yung babae lang ang puwedeng maghabla, at ginamit nung lalaki ang kaniyang penis sa pag-penetrate sa vagina through force, threat or intimidation, or the woman is below 12 years old or is demented," Sandoval said in a phone interview with Ted Failon on dzMM.

Sexual assault, on the other hand, can be slapped against an individual regardless of sex or gender.

"Ang babae ang complainant, lalake ang accused. O kaya lalake ang complainant, babae ang accused. Maari ding a man accusing another man of sexual assault," Sandoval said.

He added that a person can be charged with sexual assault even without sexual intercourse or penetration, or even if the accused used his or her fingers, or another object.

Unlike rape, sexual assault is bailable.

According to Sandoval, if a person forces another to perform oral sex, it is only considered grave coercion, not rape or sexual assault.

"Kung ang babae ay magkakaso, there should be threat or intimidation, she should be unconscious, below 12 years old, or is demented."

He added that a medical certificate is also not necessary for conviction in a rape case, although it is easier to convince the court if a medical certificate is presented.

Sandoval also explained the elements constituting serious illegal detention, serious physical injuries, grave threats, grave coercion, and blackmail.

The criminal charges were filed by Navarro against businessman Cedric Lee, model Deniece Cornejo, and their companions who allegedly attacked the actor last week.

According to Sandoval, serious illegal detention occurs when a private individual kidnaps or detains another without legal grounds. It also becomes serious when the detention lasted for more than three days.

Serious illegal detention can also be used as a criminal charge when the accused simulated a public authority, inflicted serious physical injuries, or threatened to kill the victim, who may be a minor, a woman, or a public official, regardless of how long the victim was detained.

He added that if more than one person is involved in the crime, the other persons can be considered accomplices, accessories, or a principal suspect to the crime.

"This crime is punishable by reclusion perpetua to death. Kapag accomplice o accessory, bailable yun."

Serious physical injuries, on the other hand, occurs when a person wounds, assaults or beats another without any intent to kill. It is considered serious if the act causes the victim to become insane, imbecile, impotent or blind.

"If a person is incapacitated from 31 days to 90 days, serious physical injuries 'yun. From 10 days to 30 days, less serious. Kapag nine days below, slight physical injuries," said Sandoval.

He explained that grave threats and blackmail are similar, in that both crimes involve threatening another person with the infliction of harm constituting a crime upon the person, property, or honor of another.

"Ang blackmail, parang grave threat pero ginagamit natin ito for ordinary conversation, at may condition na binibigay."

As a criminal law practitioner, Sandoval said that in case a person faces all these charges, the court usually looks for connections between the crimes.

"If serious illegal detention leads to serious physical injuries, it will be absorbed," he said.