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Man gets prison in rape impersonation case that sparked new state law

L.A. man gets prison in rape case that sparked outrage, prompted new law
L.A.-area rape case led to new state law protecting victims
Man whose rape conviction was overturned gets three years in prison in new trial

A Norwalk man was sentenced to prison Thursday for raping a sleeping woman after his previous rape conviction was overturned by an appellate court in an action that sparked outrage and prompted a new state law to protect victims.

Julio Morales, 24, was sentenced to three years in state prison after he was found guilty on March 21 of the 2009 rape, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said. 

The woman was initially in bed with her boyfriend while Morales and several others were partying in the living room, prosecutors said. 

The boyfriend left the darkened bedroom, and Morales "entered the room, got in bed with the victim and began having sex with her," officials with the district attorney's office said in a statement. 

"The victim woke and initially thought the man having sex with her was her boyfriend, but then realized it was someone else," officials said. "The victim began screaming and crying and then Morales fled the home."

Morales was convicted of raping the woman in December 2010. During the trial, prosecutors said, Morales testified that the woman initially believed he was her boyfriend. 

But the conviction was overturned by the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles because of an 1872 state law that said obtaining sex by trickery is rape only if the victim is married and if the man pretends to be her husband.

The decision angered victims advocates and state lawmakers, who changed the archaic law in September 2013 to protect "unmarried women who are defrauded into having sex with a person," the district attorney's office said.

As part of his sentence, Morales will also have to register as a sex offender.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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