The nonconsensual removal of a condom during sex could be considered sexual battery under a bill introduced by California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) on Monday.
“California’s Civil Code currently characterizes sexual battery as someone who acts with the intent to cause a harmful or offensive contact with an intimate body part of another, and as a result, commits a sexually offensive act. The perpetrator is liable for damages,” KTLA reported.
Bill AB 453 would add a provision saying an individual commits sexual battery if that person causes “contact between a penis, from which a condom has been removed, and the intimate part of another who did not verbally consent to the condom being removed.”
Garcia has pursued the legal amendment for several years, arguing that “stealthing” is an offense that burdens victims with physical and emotional harm, the Sacramento Bee reported.
In a press release Monday, Garcia said she has been working on the issue since 2017:
And I won’t stop until there is some accountability for those who perpetrate the act. Sexual assaults, especially those on women of color, are perpetually swept under the rug. So much stigma is attached to this issue, that even after every critic lauded Micheala Coel’s, I May Destroy for its compelling depiction of the horrors of sexual abuse including of ‘stealthing,’ it got zero Golden Globe nominations. That doesn’t seem like an accident or coincidence to me.
Garcia’s initial attempt to restrict the practice was struck down in a key committee amid opposition from groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the California Right to Life Committee, the Bee report said.
“It’s disgusting that there are online communities that defend and encourage stealthing and give advice on how to get away with removing the condom without the consent of their partner, but there is nothing in law that makes it clear that this is a crime,” Garcia concluded.