Experts: People should agree to written or video consent before having sex so they don’t get arrested

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COLUMBUS, OH- A private practice criminal defense attorney out of Columbus, Brad Koffel, tells his clients to obtain some kind of proof of consent prior to engaging in sexual intercourse or acts with other people. 

“If they don’t,” he said, “in this climate, then they’re going to suffer some consequences.”

He says any verifiable proof will suffice, whether that’s video, audio, written, or even just a text message.

It sounds extreme, but Koffel is not the only attorney suggesting this method, as it is also given as advice to Hollywood stars.

Even Harvey Weinstein’s attorney, Donna Rotunno, agrees.

On a podcast, Rotunno said:

“If I was a man in today’s world, before I was engaging in sexual behavior with any woman today, I would ask them to sign a consent form.”

However, another Columbus criminal defense attorney, Dan Sabol, said he disagrees.

“That’d be a red flag,” Sabol said. “It might look as though they’re trying to cover their tracks.  Just because someone says it’s consensual on video doesn’t make it so.”

He said that while the proof could debunk a false claim or rape or abuse, but he said it could also make the accused look even more guilty if there is other “compelling evidence” against him.

Compelling evidence, of course, would basically be anything the female alleged victim says.  You know, because #metoo.

The debate has been sparked following last week’s arrest of two Ohio State University football players.  Amir Riep and Jahsen Wint, both 21-years-old, were accused of kidnapping and raping a 19-year-old woman. 

The two had obtained her consent on video prior to any sexual activity.

Now, it’s being argued that the woman was forced to say she consented on the video, because Riep reportedly told her to say it.

Brandon Shroy is also a criminal defense attorney in Columbus.  He said that even if consent is recorded, the jury will still ultimately have to decide whether the video or audio is genuine.

“It’s something that defense attorneys … would love to see, but it’s something a group of jurors would choose to believe or disbelieve,” Shroy said.

Of course, sexual assault and prevention advocates say they don’t agree with getting “proof” of consent.

The communication director for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, Laura Palumbo, said:

“It should be taken as a red flag that a person would have enough doubts about whether or not consent was established to … request this type of agreement before or after an encounter. 

Because in reality, one of the most important things for people to know about consent is that if you have any doubts … then the interaction should not move forward with your partner.”

The thing is, it’s not about the person seeking consent having doubts.  It’s about people who choose to engage in sexual activity with a person and then either regret it or want something from it so they retract their implied consent and cry rape.

Sorry, feminists, but it’s true.

I’m not saying that there aren’t actual acts of rape and sexual assault.  Of course there are.  There are many and it’s disgusting and offenders should absolutely be punished to the full extent of the law, and even more so than that I would argue.

But.

Our society is seeing an increase of claims of rape and assault by women and a lot of times it’s them wanting money or attention, and it’s taking away from those victims who are actually victims and deserve reparations and justice.

So it’s a consensual encounter but the girl changes her mind after, the dude has no proof, and he’s in trouble.

It’s a consensual encounter but the girl changes her mind after the dude does have proof, and he’s in trouble.

What’s a testosterone-filled young athlete or a fame-loving actor to do?

The only valid argument against recorded consent I have read so far comes from OhioHealth’s Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio’s campus advocacy coordinator, Emily Gemar.  She pointed out that consent can be revoked at any time, so even obtaining proof may not help an accused suspect.

She said:

“If someone consents on a recording one time, it doesn’t simply [mean] blanket consent for everything after that.”

What’s the solution?  I say record the entire encounter.  Screw it.  If these boys are going to have sex with someone they’re not in a relationship with, the only way to completely prove their innocence is to capture the entire thing on video. 

Wouldn’t the “victims” love that to be shown in court.

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Of course I don’t actually think this should happen.  Especially with the cloud.  I’m not a feminist, but I’m also not a monster.

Gemar, mentioned above, tells people to use the “FRIES” model regarding consent.   

Freely given.

Reversible.

Informed.

Enthusiastic.

Specific.

Seriously.  What have we come to?

Gemar said:

“A good consensual act or series of events should be active communication the whole time and checking in with their partner.  They should consent and enthusiastically agree the whole time.”

I can just hear it now.  The two are about to have sex.  The man looks into the woman’s eyes with so much lust, she is enthusiastic about what’s about to occur. 

Then he says:

“Do you want fries with that?”

Riep and Wint were dismissed from their football team by Coach Ryan Day following the accusations.

Day said in a statement:

“I have dismissed Amir Riep and Jahsen Wint from our football program.  I am not making any statement on the criminal charges, but it is clear they did not live up to our standards and my expectations.

The athletics department will make sure they both continue to have access to the health and well-being resources available to students and student-athletes. Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, I will not be commenting further.”

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