Bill would make “stealthing” a form of rape

Assemblyman Francisco Moya has introduced a bill that would recognize “stealthing,” or the covert removal or damaging of a condom during or before sex, as a form of rape.

Bill A.8069 establishes stealthing as a lack of consent, making it an act of rape. It says that if one person agrees to have sex with someone only if there is a protective device being used, the secret removal of the device is eliminating the consent that was given.

It also defines a sexually protective device as a male or female condom, spermicide, diaphragm, cervical cup, contraceptive sponge, dental dam, or any other physical device intended to prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection.

This bill is in response to a publication in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, which outlined the dangers and emotional trauma stealthing victims have been exposed to. The article also notes the lack of legislation that surrounds the issue.

Assemblyman Moya

Moya said while he hasn’t heard of any stealthing incidents within his district, the national media attention the issue has gained gave him the motivation to introduce this legislation.

“I think many victims share that confusion and anxiety, and now that an actual dialogue is being held on stealthing, they’re empowered to speak out about their own experience,” he said.

Robin Chappelle Golston, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, issued a statement about the bill. “We applaud Assemblyman Moya for bringing attention to this issue and working to ensure this act has consequences. This is a dangerous trend that needs to be discussed and brought to light to curb this unacceptable betrayal of trust.”

The bill would charge those accused of stealthing with rape in the third degree, identical to sexual contact without consent. This is considered a class E felony with a range of one to four years in prison.

This is a new bill that would be amending the state Penal Law. If passed, the bill would take effect immediately.

The bill was referred to the Codes Committee.