• Bill to change North Carolina rape law pushed to 2018

    By: Brittney Johnson

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A Charlotte lawmaker will have to wait months before he can file another bill to close a controversial loophole in the state's rape law.

    The General Assembly's work session ended early Friday morning, but Sen. Jeff Jackson said the state is stuck with a critical piece of unfinished business.

    "It's frustrating," Jackson said.

    He's been pushing to change the state's rape law with Senate Bill 553. If passed, it would allow a person to withdraw their consent, including in the middle of sex. A 1979 state Supreme Court ruling said a woman can't revoke consent once sex has started.

    [READ MORE: Senate Bill 553]

    "It was kind of obvious people were going to be outraged about this because this was an outrageous dumb old law," Jackson said.

    The topic gained momentum online. More than 43,000 people have signed a petition supporting the bill.

    "If you change your mind, you should have the right to change your mind," said bill supporter Brielle Fuchs.

    Jackson said he even received support from a Republican lawmaker but then was told they didn't have enough time to work on it.

    "I was told on the last day that we needed more deliberation," Jackson said.

    Now, he'll have to wait until next year. In the meantime, he plans to continue communicating with women's and victims' advocates from across the nation. He said they're discussing ways to keep the law in the spotlight until it is changed. 

    "We have another year with this dumb old law on the books that can result in some grotesque injustice," Jackson said.

    Jackson plans to file the bill for the third time next spring. He hopes by then, he'll have some Republican co-sponsors.

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