Rape by Impersonation Bill Update

We are looking at the progress of a rape by impersonation bill inspired by a Purdue student who said she was tricked into having sex with a man she thought was her boyfriend in a dark dorm room last year.

Posted: Dec 12, 2018 6:54 PM
Updated: Dec 12, 2018 7:40 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — We are looking at the progress of a rape by impersonation bill inspired by a Purdue student who said she was tricked into having sex with a man she thought was her boyfriend in a dark dorm room last year.

"We never want another woman to be in that situation where that rape cannot be successfully prosecuted," said State Rep. Sally Siegrist back in February. 

She was working to bring a rape by impersonation bill to the statehouse before she was voted out of office in November. However, her mission is expected to live on.

"I would definitely support the bill," said Siegrist's replacement, State Representative-Elect Chris Campbell.

She isn't authoring the bill. Republican Donna Schaibley has it now. Her press secretary said she isn't ready to release the details but Campbell hopes she can be a part of it when the time comes.

"She has the right to reject that offer," said Campbell. "But it's more important to me that a bill like this be approved."

Campbell said a rape by impersonation law would have helped her friend at Purdue 30 years ago when something similar happened to her.

"And she also took this to court and the man in question did walk free at that time also," said Campbell. "So, this continues to be an issue."

Abigail Finney's case has gained national attention since she first spoke with News 18 in February.

"I'm less protected than property in the state," said Finney back in February. "Like, my body can just be taken and used."

The man who admitted to impersonating Finney's boyfriend last year to have sex with her has since expunged his record.

Because of his expungment, Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Patrick Harrington is no longer allowed to talk about the case.

However, Harrington publicly supported a change in the rape statute before the expungment. He was helping Siegrist with the details.

Campbell thinks this bill's early attention could be a good thing.

"I would hope that also other people would come forward with their stories," said Campbell. 

We hope to learn more about this bill once it is filed this upcoming session.

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