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Proposed Legislation Would Make 'Rape By Fraud' A Crime In New Jersey

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A New Jersey lawmaker has a plan that would make it a crime to lie in order to sleep with someone.

As CBS2's Jessica Schneider reported, Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Mount Laurel) calls it "rape by fraud."

Women and even men have been lured into relationships with people who aren't who they say they are.

"You probably would not consent to someone who purported to be a million different things other than they are," Singleton said.

The assemblyman has introduced a bill that would make lying to get someone to have sex equal to rape.

"We think it is important to folks to be protected and this is just another way to provide that protection," he said.

Under the bill, it would require more than a little white lie to land you in jail. The lies would have to be continuous and rise to a high level of deceit.

"When you are told lies of identity, you're basically having a sexual relationship with a person who is a total stranger," Joyce Short said.

Short supports the bill. She claims she was deceived for years by her now ex-husband.

"He lied about his marital status, he lied about his education. He said he had a bachelor's in accounting from NYU and was, in fact, a high school dropout," Short said.

At least five states already make it a crime to have sex by fraud, but some make it a lesser offense than rape.

But some say it should be a matter of personal responsibility, not a case for the prosecutor.

"She or he should do their due diligence and check the guy out. If he or she isn't what they say they are, then move on," Mark Harris said.

If the bill becomes law, major cases of lying and deception for sex could result in 10 to 20 years in prison.

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