Student Who Tricked A Woman Into Having Sex With Him Found Not Guilty Of Rape

Donald Ward claimed that he got into bed with the victim when her boyfriend left the room.

December 06, 2018

Donald Grant Ward [Provided / Tippecanoe County Jail]

Donald Grant Ward [Provided / Tippecanoe County Jail]

By: Catherine Townsend

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN — A Purdue student has been acquitted of rape charges – even though he admitted that he did have sex with a woman who believed that he was someone else.

A jury in Tippecanoe County found Donald Ward, 20, not guilty of the crime last week.

In Indiana, a person charged with rape had to knowingly or intentionally cause another person to perform or submit to sexual conduct by force, or because the victim is mentally disabled, or because the victim was unaware that they were having sex.

This incident took place in February 2017 in a Purdue dorm room. Ward claimed that he got into bed with the victim when her boyfriend left the room.

Prosecutors claimed that the victim, who is also Purdue student, was unaware that the man who'd joined her in bed was not her boyfriend returning. So, when he initated sexual contact, she believed she was having sex with her boyfriend.

"She unzipped my boy's pants and knew what she was doing; she wasn't unaware of the sex," Ward's attorney, Kirk Freeman said.

When a News 18 reporter pointed out during an interview with Freeman that the victim had believed she was having an intimate encounter with her own boyfriend, Freeman replied: “That’s not rape. That's not rape just in the fact that lots of women this weekend are going to have sex with Navy Seals, going to have sex with football heroes, going to have sex with guys that rescue kittens from the middle of the interstate, and are going to have sex with men who tell them, 'I love you and I'm ready for a commitment.'”

“Just because they are lying or being deceptive doesn't make it rape," he added.

Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Patrick Harrington said, "Even though Indiana does not have a rape by deception law, the victim was brave in coming forward and testifying in court, knowing the legal obstacles with Indiana's current statute, and in bringing attention to this morally wrong act. I will reach out to our state legislators to improve the law."

Not surprisingly, Freeman said that he is against a rape by deception law. "So, every time a guy lies and says, "honey, I love you," you're going to prosecute him for rape? Insanity," he attested.

Read more: WFLI, JC Online

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