RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A Raleigh student says she was raped, but can’t pursue criminal charges because of a state law on the books for more than 30 years. The law deals with consent and stems from a state Supreme Court decision more than 30 years ago.
CBS North Carolina does not usually identify rape victims, but Aaliyah Palmer wanted to share her story. She says a change being proposed in the legislature, which would change that law is important to her.
It’s a battle 19-year-old Aaliyah Palmer’s been fighting for six months.
“I could feel strands of my hair being literally pulled from my scalp and so I told him you’re hurting me,” said Palmer.
She admits she initially consented to having sex with a man she met at a party that night, but says things turned violent and she told him to stop. She says it went on for two hours, despite her repeatedly telling the man to stop.
“I’m fully aware of what rape is,” Palmer said. “I’m a woman and I know that no means no and when someone doesn’t listen to no that is rape no matter what occurred beforehand.”
But that’s not what the law in North Carolina says. The state Supreme Court ruled in 1979 that if a woman consents to sex, she can’t take it back after sexual intercourse begins.
After the incident Palmer says she fell into depression and battled with anxiety, which led to her dropping out of college and losing a scholarship. She says she reported the rape, but the prosecutor told her there wasn’t enough evidence to arrest the man she accused.
“I’m not gonna be a silent victim, and if part of that is advocating and getting stuff done so other people don’t have to deal with not getting the justice they deserve then I’m fine with not getting justice for my case in particular,” said Palmer. “If it still means that other people are gonna have the justice that they deserve cause it doesn’t make sense for people to go through this. Being raped is hard enough and the after effects emotionally are hard enough.”