In Texas, A Grim Question of Survival

An accused rapist insists an offered condom implied consent

IT SEEMED THE CLASSIC CATCH-22 OF RAPE, WITH AN age of AIDS twist: a woman who protects her life by cooperating with her assailant -- in this case by offering him a condom -- risks the charge that she invited the assault. In Austin, Texas, the first grand jury that heard the case against Joel Rene Valdez may have concluded just that, refusing to bring charges against Valdez, who wielded a knife during the attack. Valdez apparently told the police -- and the local media -- that because his alleged victim had the presence of mind to provide him with a...

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