27.7.07

Disturbing

She was cool when I met her, but I think I like her better dead...

Apparently, necrophilia is legal in the state of Wisconsin. You know, in case anyone was wondering.

-Three men who dug up a young woman's corpse to have sex with it after seeing her obituary photo cannot be charged with attempted sexual assault because Wisconsin has no law against necrophilia, an appeals court ruled Thursday.

The three men went to a cemetery in Cassville in southwestern Wisconsin on Sept. 2 to remove the body of Laura Tennessen, 20, who had been killed the week before in a motorcycle crash. They said the men had seen an obituary of Tennessen with her photo and wanted to dig up her body to have sexual intercourse.- Yahoo news via Reddit

I realize I should have just been disgusted and then forgotten about this. But I decided to look into why it would be and why it should be illegal to have sex with a dead body.

Rape is charged when sex is performed and the victim is unable to consent to it. This applies if the victim is unconsciousness, or in a coma. I suppose it does not if the victim is dead, as then they are not legally recognized as a person.

The article notes that WI does have a provision in the sexual assault law saying criminal penalties apply "whether a victim is dead or alive at the time of the sexual contact or sexual intercourse." I would think this clearly makes it illegal to have sex with a dead body, particularly the part where it says criminal penalties apply "whether a victim is dead or alive at the time of the sexual contact or sexual intercourse."

-The appeals court ruled that the most reasonable interpretation was that it does not ban necrophilia. Instead, the court said, the law was meant to make sure prosecutors could bring sexual assault charges in rape-murder cases in which the victim ends up dead.-

This is what I dislike about legislatures, judges, and lawyers. That the "intent" of a law is more important than what the law itself actually says. Laws should be written to clearly say what is intended. If cases come up that aren't covered by the law, then it should be amended. And no one should infer or interpret anything else. But that is another issue...

But do we need a law explicitly banning sex with corpses? State Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, introduced legislation Wednesday that would make having sex with a corpse a felony with punishment of up to 6 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. I can understand the desire to protect dead bodies, but I thought we already had laws against disturbing burial sites and buried human bodies, and I think that should be enough. Sure, sexual assault on a living person causes harm, both physical and psychological, but that doesn't apply if the person has vacated the body. I certainly wouldn't want to be put in an oven and incinerated while I am alive, but if I were dead, I don't think I would care. I hope everyone agrees, though, that it is rather sad that this topic even comes up for debate.

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