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Calif. court overturned rape conviction; now Rep. Jimmy Gomez promises to update the law (poll)

A judge's gavel rests on top of a desk in a courtroom.
A judge's gavel rests on top of a desk in a courtroom. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Newly sworn-in State Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D -Los Angeles) has pledged to introduce legislation that would alter what he called an "unfair" loophole in California's rape laws.

On Wednesday, the Court of Appeals for the Second District of California reluctantly overturned an L.A. man's rape conviction after it determined that posing as a woman's boyfriend in order to have sex with her does not violate the law. If the woman had been married, and if the man had posed aws her husband, the court said, the man's actions would have constituted rape.

Justice Thomas Willhite, who wrote the court's opinion, wrote that the legislature should seriously consider changing the law. Gomez said he'll take that up that challenge. 

In a statement, Gomez called the case "tragic" and said he "will be introducing legislation" to reform the law. 

UPDATE: California Attorney General Kamala Harris also condemned the law — but not the justice's decision — on Friday. In a statement, Harris said "the evidence is clear that this case involved a nonconsensual assault." She called the 1872 law "arcane" and pledged to work towards a fix with policymakers.

What do you think of the case? Weigh in by voting in our poll below, posting a comment and joining in the coversation on KPCC's Facebook page.

RELATED: Calif. Court: It's not rape because victim wasn't married

RELATED: Airtalk: Rape conviction voided thanks to archaic 19th-century law

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