SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Lawmakers are moving to make California the first to outlaw “stealthing,” or the non-consensual act of removing a condom during intercourse.
Legislators on Tuesday sent Gov. Gavin Newsom a bill adding the act to the state’s civil definition of sexual battery.
It makes it illegal to remove the condom without obtaining verbal consent, but it doesn’t change the criminal code.
Instead, it would amend the civil code so that a victim could sue the perpetrator for damages, including punitive damages.
A Yale University study in 2017 said acts of stealthing were increasing against both women and gay men. Since then, Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia has been at the forefront of the legislation.
According to The Associated Press, Garcia originally sought to make stealthing a crime. However, legislative analysts have said that the act can already be considered misdemeanor sexual battery — although it is rarely prosecuted because it is difficult to prove whether a perpetrator intentionally removed a condom during sex.