Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul Thissen said the initial third-degree criminal sexual conduct ruling did not count in this case. Photo: Marlin Levison/Star Tribune via Getty Images

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a man who had sex with a woman while she was passed out on his couch cannot be found guilty of felony rape because the victim got herself drunk beforehand.

The big picture: Minnesota is one of the many states that says that for a victim to be too mentally incapacitated to give consent, they must have become intoxicated against their will, such as if a person secretly drugged someone's drink, The Washington Post reports.

Context: Francios Momolu Khalil in 2017 picked up a woman from a Minneapolis bar and took her back to his home. The woman "blacked out" on Khalil's couch and woke up to find him allegedly sexually assaulting her, per The Post.

  • A jury in 2019 convicted Khalil of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. His lawyers appealed the decision saying that the charge was not applicable because that statute applies when the victim took drugs or alcohol without their consent, while the woman in this case had taken five vodka shots herself prior to meeting Khalil.
  • If a person is convicted of the third-degree charge, they could face up to 15 years in prison, pay a fine of no more than $30,000, or both.

The state Supreme Court overturned the conviction and gave Khalil a new trial, arguing that the prosecution's explanation of the charge "unreasonably strains and stretches the plain text of the statute," state Justice Paul Thissen wrote, per the Duluth News Tribune.

  • The court said that Khalil could be charged with fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct, a gross misdemeanor. If convicted, he would face up to one year in prison, a fine of no more than $3,000 or both.

Worth noting: The Minnesota House of Representatives is currently considering a bill that would change the language of the third-degree criminal sexual conduct statute, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

  • It would make it a crime to have sex with someone who is too incapacitated to give consent, regardless of how they got to that state.

Our thought bubble, via Axios’ Torey Van Oot: Expect lawmakers in the divided Legislature to face growing public pressure to fix the statute before they adjourn in May.

Editor's note: This story and headline have been updated to clarify that the accused cannot be charged with felony rape.

Go deeper

Biden admin grants Colonial waiver to ease fuel shortages

Fuel tanks at Colonial Pipeline Baltimore Delivery in Baltimore, Maryland on Monday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration approved a temporary waiver of shipping requirements late Wednesday to help Colonial Pipeline transport fuel, as service resumes across the U.S. following a ransomware attack that that took it offline last week.

Why it matters: The century-old Jones Act requires ships to be built in the U.S. and crewed by American workers, but the waiver means foreign companies can transport gasoline and diesel to areas where there are fuel shortages.

Updated 42 mins ago - World

Over 70 dead in worst bombardments between Israel and Hamas for years

Smoke and flames rise after Israeli fighter jets conducted airstrikes in Gaza on May 13, 2021. Israeli forces said on May 12 they had killed a senior Hamas commander and bombed several buildings. Gaza's health ministry has said children are among the dead. Photo: Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

At least 67 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed in fighting between Israel's military and Hamas since Monday, per Reuters.

The big picture: The worst aerial exchanges of fire between Israel and Hamas since 2014 continued into early Thursday. It come days after escalating violence in Jerusalem that injured hundreds of Palestinians and several Israeli police officers during protests over the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Don McGahn agrees to closed-door interview with House panel on Russia report

Former White House counsel Don McGahn during a discussion at the NYU Global Academic Center in Washington, D.C., in 2019. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former White House counsel Don McGahn agreed Wednesday to speak with the House Judiciary Committee about former President Trump's alleged attempts to obstruct the Russia investigation — with certain conditions, per a court filing.

Why it matters: The agreement ends a two-year standoff after McGahn, a key player in former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, repeatedly refused to agree to a subpoena for testimony — resulting in the matter being taken to court.