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Former college quarterback charged with second-degree rape

A former University of North Carolina football quarterback was just released on a $103,000 bond pending multiple rape charges.

The 22-year-old athlete has a troubled past already, having left two other schools after multiple disciplinary issues. This is his first known criminal charges, but they're significant. They include three counts of second-degree forcible rape, a second-degree forcible sexual offense and cyberstalking.

He and the victim were apparently in an ongoing relationship, but under North Carolina law, that isn't considered a defense to rape charges. The victim and the defendant had had an argument that escalated into a physical confrontation, leaving the victim with bruises. The defendant also sent her messages via text threatening to kill her, which are the basis of the cyberstalking charges.

Despite their fight, the couple eventually went home together, where the situation escalated again. After another confrontation, the defendant wanted to have sex, but the victim says that she refused.

Rape, in North Carolina, is defined as vaginal intercourse only. The difference between first-degree rape and second-degree rape essentially has to do with the degree of force that was used against the victim. First-degree rape involves vaginal intercourse and either the use of a weapon (or something that the victim reasonably believes is a weapon) to intimidate the victim into compliance, infliction of serious bodily harm on the victim, or the assistance of others.

Second-degree rape, by comparison, still involves vaginal intercourse by force or a lack of consent, and a sexual offense is any sexual act other than vaginal intercourse performed by force or without consent.

It's important to understand that the victim doesn't have to be held down or restrained in order for intercourse to be considered rape. It's merely enough that he or she doesn't consent—or, in this case, verbally declines. The fact that the ex-quarterback is likely bigger and stronger than his victim could be enough to intimidate her into compliance, especially given his previous actions and physical violence toward her.

These distinctions are something that's important for anyone in a troubled relationship to understand. If you're physically able to overpower your partner, and he or she doesn't feel free to simply leave when you insist on intercourse after he or she declines, it's considered rape.

If you're charged with rape, consult with an attorney with violent crimes experience promptly in order to best preserve your defense.

Source: WBTV.com, "Former Charlotte 49ers' QB Kevin Olsen released on $103,000 bond after rape charges," Coleen Harry, Feb. 20, 2017

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