MAJ Statement in Response to State of Minnesota vs. François Momolu Khalil
The Minnesota Association for Justice
Stands in Solidarity with Victims of Sexual Abuse
March 31, 2021
Last week, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued its decision in State of Minnesota vs. François Momolu Khalil. The court understood the plain language of Minnesota Statute § 609.341 to mean that someone who is sexually assaulted while intoxicated is not “mentally incapacitated” if he or she consumed the alcohol or drugs voluntarily. In effect, the court determined that the Legislature drafted the statute so that a perpetrator cannot be convicted of felony criminal sexual conduct on the basis of the victim’s intoxication if the intoxication was voluntary. The court’s unanimous decision seems to recognize the absurdity of the result. MAJ joins in the calls that the Minnesota Legislature work urgently to amend the language in this statute – and any other similar statutes – such that no victim be faced with the knowledge that their attacker is relieved of criminal responsibility by virtue of a clear error in drafting. As is, the statute will have serious ramifications for victims of sexual violence who are preyed upon when they are intoxicated to such a degree that they are unable to give consent.
The Legislature must act now to ensure justice for future victims of sexual violence who are targeted by their attacker precisely because of obvious and extreme intoxication. House File 707 (carried by Representative Kelly Moller (DFL)) and Senate File 1683 (carried by Senator Dave Senjem (GOP) will fix this injustice, and will address other important changes to the criminal sexual conduct statutes, but it is stalled in the Minnesota Senate. The Minnesota Association for Justice calls on the leaders of the Minnesota Senate to hear Senate File 1683 when they return from the Passover/Easter break so that ALL victims of sexual violence can seek the justice they deserve.