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Use of Lethal Force to Stop Sexual Assault or Rape

February 12, 2009 AZ CCW Laws, Legal Issues, Use of Force Issues No Comments

Question:  I understood in the AZ CCW class I took that a child being sexually assaulted or raped by an adult could be stopped by even killing the adult.  True?  If so, what is the specific statute in Arizona law?

Answer: That is correct.  The specific statute is:  ARS 13-411.  If you read the statute, it does not limit the sexual assault or rape to a child.  The statute refers to any sexual assault or rape.  There is also a provision for sexual misconduct with a minor which specifically deals with sexual relationship between someone who is not above the age of consent (16) and someone who is over 18.  This statute applies whether the sex is consensual or not.

The specific law reads as follow:

13-411. Justification; use of force in crime prevention; applicability
A. A person is justified in threatening or using both physical force and deadly physical force against another if and to the extent the person reasonably believes that physical force or deadly physical force is immediately necessary to prevent the other’s commission of arson of an occupied structure under section 13-1704, burglary in the second or first degree under section 13-1507 or 13-1508, kidnapping under section 13-1304, manslaughter under section 13-1103, second or first degree murder under section 13-1104 or 13-1105, sexual conduct with a minor under section 13-1405, sexual assault under section 13-1406, child molestation under section 13-1410, armed robbery under section 13-1904 or aggravated assault under section 13-1204, subsection A, paragraphs 1 and 2.
B. There is no duty to retreat before threatening or using physical force or deadly physical force justified by subsection A of this section.
C. A person is presumed to be acting reasonably for the purposes of this section if the person is acting to prevent the commission of any of the offenses listed in subsection A of this section.
D. This section is not limited to the use or threatened use of physical or deadly physical force in a person’s home, residence, place of business, land the person owns or leases, conveyance of any kind, or any other place in this state where a person has a right to be.

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