Thousands sign petition to change NC rape law

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – In two days, a petition to change a North Carolina law that deals with consent has thousands of signatures from people around the world.

Nineteen-year-old Aaliyah Palmer says it’s a law that has blocked her from getting justice against the man she says raped her.

“I’m not going to be a silent victim,” Palmer told CBS North Carolina in an earlier interview. “It doesn’t make sense for people to go through this. Being raped is hard enough and the after effects emotionally are hard enough.”

RELATED: Woman wants NC rape law loophole fixed

Palmer says she initially consented to having sex with a man last January.

She says she told him to stop when things turned violent. Palmer also claims he did not stop.

The state Supreme Court ruled in 1979 that if a woman consents to sex, she can’t take it back after sexual intercourse begins.


“Rape charges aren’t being prosecuted or are being dismissed in North Carolina because of this dumb old law that needs to be overturned,” said Sen. Jeff Jackson (D-Mecklenburg).

Jackson has twice filed a bill to change the law.

CBS North Carolina’s Kelly Kennedy went to the General Assembly to ask him why it’s taking so long.

“I genuinely don’t understand why it has taken several years to accomplish this,” said Jackson. “We are talking about closing a very obvious and indefensible loophole in our rape law.”

Megan Zehnder started the petition.

She says she’s disappointed Jackson’s bill won’t pass this session.

“This state has been in the spotlight for backwards rulings a couple times now and it’s just upsetting,” said Zehnder.

Kelly Kennedy spoke with Palmer by phone on Thursday. She says she’s grateful her story and the petition are putting this law in the spotlight.

“Oh wow,” said Palmer. “I mean, that’s great. I think it’s important that the word is spreading and this petition is out there.”

Jackson says the bill won’t pass this session, but he does plan on filing it again, for a third time, next year.

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