Lincoln Memorial University Law Review Archive


Chandler Horne

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As virtual reality applications become more accessible to the general public, the opportunity for immoral user interactions has shifted from possible to probable. While although virtual reality applications have revolutionized the tech industry, they have also initiated an evolution of virtual crimes, such as virtual rape. Virtual rape refers to when a virtual user exploits their avatar to rape the avatar of another virtual user. When virtual rape occurs, user rapists are often left unpunished, and user victims are often left without recourse. This paper examines how rapes occurring within virtual reality applications can be adjudicated under real-world laws. Specifically, this paper proposes penalizing virtual rapes through the crime of attempted rape and the tort of negligent infliction of emotional distress.

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