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The State

September 23, 1985

A California appeal court ruled that a 14-year-old girl who consented to sex but asked the man to stop during intercourse had not been raped. The 5th District Court of Appeal in Fresno overturned the forcible rape conviction handed down in Kern County against David Herberto Vela, then 19, and ordered a new trial. Vela was accused of forcibly continuing intercourse against the girl's will. Justice Hollis Best, who wrote the opinion, noted that the state's rape law and court decisions elsewhere hinge on the moment of penetration. "The presence or absence of consent at the moment of initial penetration appears to be the crucial point in the crime of rape," Best wrote.

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