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Doctrines/Defenses/Theories in Rape Cases

1. Consent - It has been pointed out in various jurisprudence that the gravamen of the crime
of rape is ...sexual congress with a woman by force and without consent. (People v.
Rivera) One of the defenses that can be mounted in a rape case is the fact that the woman
fully consented to the sexual congress. In the case of People v. Rivera (GR 200508), the
Supreme Court laid out the guidelines for determining whether or not an act is consensual
or not: ...whether or not the act was consensual and that no force of any kind and degree
was employed, circumstances as to the age, size and strength of both parties must also be
looked into because force in rape is relative.
2. Alibi - Alibi is one of the defenses in most criminal cases where one claims that he is in
another place when the crime happened. In the case of People v. Piosang G.R. No. 200329,
the Court reiterated the frequent pronouncements regarding denial and alibi in this
manner: Both denial and alibi are inherently weak defenses which cannot prevail over the
positive and credible testimony of the prosecution witness that the accused committed the
crime. Thus, as between a categorical testimony which has a ring of truth on one hand, and
a mere denial and alibi on the other, the former is generally held to prevail. Moreover, for
the defense of alibi to prosper, the appellant must prove that he was somewhere else when
the offense was committed and that he was so far away that it was not possible for him to
have been physically present at the place of the crime or at its immediate vicinity at the
time of its commission.

3. Insanity defense - Insanity is often used as a defense in rape cases, however, the fact of
insanity must be clearly proven because there is a standing presumption that acts penalized
by law are voluntarily made. It is worthy to note that the insanity pertained here is disease
of the mind totally depriving a person of his faculties of reason, and not only lack of reason,
failure to exercise good judgment, or what is often called moral insanity. People v. Medina
G.R. No. 113691 and People v. Isla G.R. No. 199875 are some cases tackling such defense
and its proper appreciation.
4. Denial - The rule is settled that against the positive identification by the private
complainant, the mere denials of an accused cannot prevail to overcome conviction by the
trial court.
1. To be believed, denial must be buttressed by strong evidence of non-culpability;
for alibi to prosper, it must be proven that during the commission of the crime, the
accused was in another place and that it physically impossible for him to be at the
locus criminis.
2. Verily, an affirmative testimony is far stronger than a negative testimony,
especially so when it comes from the mouth of a credible witness

3. The rape victims positive identification of the accused prevails over the inherently
weak defenses of denial and alibi.
4. While denial is a legitimate defense in rape cases, bare assertions to this effect
cannot overcome the categorical testimony of the victim. It is an established rule
that an affirmative testimony is far stronger than a negative testimony, especially
so when it comes from a credible witness. It is hornbook doctrine that the positive
and categorical testimony of a rape victim-daughter, identifying her own father as
the one who sexually attacked her, prevails over his bare denial.
5. Rape - When consummated - For the consummation of the crime of rape, it is not essential
that there be a complete penetration of the female organ; neither is it essential that there be a
rupture of the hymen.
It is enough that the labia of the female organ was penetrated. The slightest penetration of the
labia consummates the crime of rape (People v Oscar, 48 Phil 527; People v Hernandez, 49
Phil 980)
The absence of spermatozoa does not disprove the consummation of the rape, the important
consideration being, not the emission of semen, but the penetration (People v Jose, 35 SCRA
Other Doctrines:
1. It is well-entrenched in our case law that the rape victims pregnancy and resultant childbirth
are irrelevant in determining whether or not she was rapedpregnancy is not an essential
element of the crime of rape, and whether the child which the rape victim bore was fathered
by the accused, or by some unknown individual, is of no moment.
2. In determining the quilt or innocence of the accused in cases of rape, the victims testimony is
crucial in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime in which only two persons are normally
1. The rule is that when a rape victims testimony is straightforward and candid, unshaken
by grid cross-examinations and unflawed by inconsistencies or contradictions in its
material points, the same must be given full faith and credit. People vs. Mangubat, 529
SCRA 377.
2. In rape cases, the credibility of the victim is almost always the single most important
3. The crying of a victim during her testimony is eloquent evidence of the credibility of
the rape charge with the verity borne out of human nature and experience. People vs.
Aguilar, 540 SCRA 509.

4. We have held in several cases that the lone uncorroborated testimony of the
complainant is sufficient to warrant a conviction, provided that such is credible, natural,
convincing and consistent with human nature and the normal course of
things. However, we have also held that the testimony of the complainant should not
be received with precipitate credulity but with utmost caution. The test for determining
the credibility of complainants testimony is whether it is in conformity with common
knowledge and consistent with the experience of mankind. Whatever is repugnant to
these standards becomes incredible and lies outside judicial cognizance.
3. A six month delay in reporting the rape to the authorities does not impair the credibility of the
private complainant or indicate a fabricated charge if satisfactorily explained.
It is not unusual for a rape victim to conceal the incident at least momentarily.
1. The hesitance of the victim in reporting the crime to the authorities is not necessarily
an indication of a fabricated charge, and this is especially true where the delay can be
attributed to the pattern of fear instilled by the threats of bodily harm made by a person
who exercises moral ascendancy over the victim.
2. The filing of complaints for rape months, even years, after their commission may or
may not dent the credibility of witness and of testimony, depending on the
circumstances attendant thereto.
4. The victims character in rape is immaterial.Moral character is immaterial in the prosecution
and conviction of persons accused of rape, as even prostitutes can be the victims of rape.
5. Failure of the victim to shout or offer tenacious resistance does not make voluntary the
victims submission to the criminal acts of the accusedthere is no standard form of reaction
for a woman, much more a minor, when facing a shocking and horrifying experience such as
a sexual assault. There is no uniform behavior that can be expected from those who had the
misfortune of being sexually molested.
1. The law does not impose a burden on the rape victim to prove resistance.
2. To be sure, the law does not impose burden on the rape victim to prove resistance. It is
enough if the intercourse takes place against the victim's will. Tenacious resistance
against rape is not required; neither is a determined nor a persistent physical struggle
on the part of the victim necessary.