What is rape?

That may sound like a stupid question, and I used to think I knew what it was, but reading a story as twisted as this has left me feeling very confused:

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The attorney for former Central Catholic High School tutor Abigail Simon is looking to turn the tables on the prosecution of his client by claiming she is the one who is the victim of sexual assault by a 15-year-old student.

Flint-based attorney Michael Manley questioned the now 16-year-old boy in Grand Rapids District Court on Thursday, Sept. 19, and while the teen said he never physically intimidated Simon, he still forced her to have sex after she repeatedly rebuffed him.

Manley made sure to make a point that the teen athlete is 6-foot-3 and weighs about 220 pounds, a clear contrast to the petite 33-year-old former tutor and school aide.

Under questioning by Chief Assistant Kent County Prosecutor Christopher Becker, the teen’s most frequent response was “I don’t remember” and the boy admitted that he had no desire to see this case come to trial.

“I didn’t want anything to happen,” the teen said as his parents watched. “I don’t believe anything should happen.”

The tutor is facing life in prison for raping the boy. But if the boy admits he forced her to have sex with him, isn’t that rape too?

It is according to this definition:

Unwanted sexual touch or sexual use of someone through force or coercion is rape. To coerce someone sexually is to get them to engage in a sexual activity they do not want through guilt-trips or nagging, threats, bribes, intimidation or some other kind of emotional pressure or force.

Can there be such a thing as mutual rape?

Part of my confusion stems from a plethora of cases I’ve read about involving sex between college students. Typically, if the girl decides that she really didn’t want to have sex, or had sex while drunk, she can get the guy in a lot of trouble. Actual physical force or violence is not required.

I find myself forced to wonder whether it might be now possible to be a rapist and a victim of rape at the same time. Especially if the rapist is also a drunken victim, unable to consent.

Funny how something once so simple has been rendered so utterly confusing.