Rape is a crime of basic intent which means that drunkenness is no defence. This is often misunderstood by suspects who make the mistake of overstating their intake of alcohol in the mistaken belief that it will be seen as an excuse. The elements of rape are:
(A) intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis;
(B) does not consent to the penetration, and
(A) does not reasonably believe that (B) consents
Rape is only triable in the Crown Court and on conviction carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Rape cases can be difficult to prove because the evidence is frequently limited to the complainant’s word against the defendant’s. The major issue would normally be whether or not the complainant consented. Normally a prosecutor will want to see a build strong case prepared to support bringing a case. A prosecutor will only make full charging decisions in a rape case having reviewed a pre-charge report in accordance with the Directors Guidance. The only exception would be where bail is being withheld when the prosecutor will apply the threshold test. Rape is so serious that a prosecution is almost certainly required in the public interest so a prosecution will usually take place unless there are public interest factors against prosecution outweighing those tending in favour of prosecution.