FBI To Change Definition of Forcible Rape

The FBI is changing the definition of rape, in part to include men as victims, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III told Congress today.

Earlier this month the FBI Advisory Policy Board voted to consider changes into definition of rape that is used to track statistics used in the annual FBI Uniform Crime Report (UCR).

The current definition of rape under the UCR program defines forcible rape as, "The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will." The definition of sexual assaults has not been updated since the 1920s. The change is expected to reflect a more accurate picture of how many rapes are reported by state and local police agencies to the FBI for the annual crimes statistics.

The FBI's current guideline also notes that, "By definition, sexual attacks on males are excluded from the rape category and must be classified as assaults or other sex offenses depending on the nature of the crime and the extent of injury."

"That definition was in some ways unworkable, certainly not applicable-fully applicable to the types of crimes that…it should cover," Mueller told  the  Senate Judiciary Committee today.

The new definition approved by the FBI's policy group will define rape as, "Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim."

"I approved a change to that definition, and  my expectation is it will go into effect sometime this spring." Mueller told the Judiciary Committee.