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Indiana lawmaker from Carmel to author rape-by-impersonation bill

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — We are looking at the progress of a rape-by-impersonation bill inspired by a Purdue University student who said she was tricked into having sex with a man she thought was her boyfriend in a dark dorm room last year.

“We never want another woman to be in that situation where that rape cannot be successfully prosecuted,” said State Rep. Sally Siegrist in February. 

She was working to bring a rape-by-impersonation bill to the Statehouse before she was voted out of office in November. However, her mission is expected to live on.

“I would definitely support the bill,” said Siegrist’s replacement, State Rep.-elect Chris Campbell, a Democrat from West Lafayette.

She is not authoring the bill. Republican Donna Schaibley of Carmel has it now. Her press secretary said she isn’t ready to release the details, but Campbell hopes she can be a part of it when the time comes. 

“She has the right to reject that offer,” Campbell said. “But, it’s more important to me that a bill like this be approved.” 

Campbell said a rape-by-impersonation law would have helped her friend at Purdue 30 years ago when something similar happened to her.

“And she also took this to court and the man in question did walk free at that time also,” Campbell said. “So, this continues to be an issue.”

Abigail Finney’s case has gained national attention since she first spoke with WLFI in February.

“I’m less protected than property in the state,” said Finney in February. “Like, my body can just be taken and used.”

The man who admitted to impersonating Finney’s boyfriend last year to have sex with her has since expunged his record.

Because of his expungement, Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Patrick Harrington is no longer allowed to talk about the case.

However, Harrington publicly supported a change in the rape statute before the expungement. He was helping Siegrist with the details.

Campbell thinks this bill’s early attention could be a good thing.

“I would hope that also other people would come forward with their stories,” said Campbell said. 

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