In a unanimous decision by Justice Paul Thissen, the Minnesota Supreme Court overturned Francois Momulu Khalil’s 2019 conviction for third-degree criminal behavior after allegedly raping a drunk woman.
A person who is sexually assaulted or raped while drunk is not considered “ mentally retarded ” if he or she has only used drugs or alcohol, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
The opinion stems from the case of Francois Momulu Khalil, a Minneapolis man who picked up a drunk woman outside a bar after she was denied entry in 2017.
The woman testified that Khalil took her back to a home and raped her after she passed out on a sofa.
In 2019, Khalil was convicted of third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a disabled victim.
But unanimously decision written by Justice Paul Thissen, the state Supreme Court said the legal definition of “mentally retarded” does not apply to someone who has voluntarily become drunk.
To meet the definition, the alcohol must be administered to the person against his or her will.
As a result of this ruling, Khalil’s conviction has been quashed and he has received a retrial.
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court said that the legal definition of “ mentally retarded ” does not apply to a person who voluntarily became intoxicated and to meet the definition, it must be against his or her will. Thanks to KSTP
According to Minnesota Public RadioKhalil met the victim not long after drinking five shots of vodka and a prescription narcotic outside a bar in Minneapolis’s Dinkytown neighborhood in May 2017.
The woman was reportedly refused entry for being too drunk, and Khalil invited her and a friend to a party.
According to court documents, Khalil and two men took the women to a house in Minneapolis, but there was no party.
The woman testified that she blacked out on a couch in the house and woke up when Khalil was raping her, Minnesota Public Radio reported.
In 2019, Khalil was convicted of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and sentenced to five years in prison.
But the Minnesota Supreme Court said the state’s definition of mentally incapacitated in this case is “ unreasonable tension and extends to the plain text of the statute ” because the victim was drunk before meeting her attacker.
Writing for the court’s 6-0 decision, thissen said the meaning of the statute is clear and ‘we are applying that meaning and not what we wish the law was or what we think the law should be’.
Thissen noted in the opinion that the Minnesota Legislature is “ institutionally better positioned than courts ” to change the statute.
Some officials say they are concerned about the implications of the ruling.
State Representative Kelly Moller (pictured) has introduced a bill to change the sexual behavior statute to include anyone who has voluntarily or voluntarily used drugs or alcohol
Democratic state representative Kelly Moller told the Associated Press that it demonstrates the urgent need to update Minnesota’s statute of criminal sexual behavior, including by shutting down what she calls drunkenness.
She has introduced a bill to amend the statute to include anyone who is intoxicated, whether or not they voluntarily use drugs or alcohol.
“Victims who are so intoxicated that they cannot give consent are entitled to justice,” Moller said.
“Minnesotas experiencing unimaginable trauma deserve to see the legislature take immediate action.”
According to the background of the advisory report, “nearly half of all women in the United States have experienced sexual assault in their lifetime – including an estimated 10 million women who were raped while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”
Khalil’s attorney, Will Walker, told Minnesota Public Radio that he was satisfied with the Supreme Court’s decision.
“They adopted our arguments,” Walker said.
They took the opinion of the 30-page dissent of the Court of Appeal and my arguments from the court and came up with the correct verdict. And we are very happy with that. ‘
Khalil, now 24, is serving his sentence in Faribault State Penitentiary, but Walker expects to be released soon.