Pennsylvania Rape Laws

In Pennsylvania, rape is a crime where the defendant forcibly or under threat of force engages in sexual intercourse with another person. Rape can also occur if the defendant has substantially impaired the victim’s ability to control his/her conduct by intoxicating the victim without his/her knowledge or if the victim has a mental disability.

A person commits a felony of the first degree when the person engages in sexual intercourse with a complainant:

  1. By forcible compulsion.
  2. By threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution.
  3. Who is unconscious or where the person knows that the complainant is unaware that the sexual intercourse is occurring.
  4. Where the person has substantially impaired the complainant’s power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance.
  5. Who suffers from a mental disability which renders the complainant incapable of consent.

Rape of a Child

If the defendant rapes a child under the age of 13, the charge is called “rape of a child” and is a separate offense from rape. It is also considered a separate offense if the defendant commits a rape of a child and the child is seriously injured. This offense is called “rape of a child with serious bodily injury.”


Rape is considered a first degree felony in Pennsylvania. A first degree felony carries a sentence of up to twenty years in prison. In addition to this term, if the defendant used any type of intoxicating drug in the commission of this offense, the sentence may be extended for an additional ten years in prison. Also, a fine of up to $100,000 may be imposed as well and mandatory sex offender registration.

Questions about Pennsylvania Rape Laws? Contact Atty. Munley directly at 570-420-0620 or ask him a question by using the form below.