SEDUCTION. The act or crime of per suading a female, by flattery or deception, to surrender her chastity. Webster.
The corrupting, deceiving and drawing aside from the path of virtue which she was pursuing of a virtuous woman, by such acts and wiles, in connection with a promise of marriage, as were calculated to operate upon a virtuous woman. State v. Eckler, 106 Mo. 585, 17 S. W. 814, 27 Am. St. Rep. 372.
The wrong of inducing a female to con sent to unlawful sexual intercourse, by en ticements and persuasions overcoming her re luctance and scruples. Hood v. Sudderth, 111 N. C. 215, 16 S. E. 397. And seduction may occur whether the woman is conscious or not ; Marshall v. Taylor, 98 Cal. 55, 32 Pac. 867, 35 Am. St. Rep. 144. In civil cases, seduction and debauching are generally used as substantially similar terms ; Stoudt v. Shepherd, 73 Mich. 588, 41 N. W. 696.
Mere illicit intercourse is not seduction, although a promise of marriage be made ; People v. Clark, 33 Mich. 112 ; there must be some promise, deception, art, or influence of the seducer whereby chastity is surrender ed ; Dinkey v. Com., 17 Pa. 126, 55 Am. Dec. 542 ; State v. Reeves, 97 Mo. 668, 10 S. W. 841, 10 Am. St. Rep. 349. Force is not an element of seduction, although force is used after consent is obtained ; People v. De Fore, 64 Mich. 693, 31 N. W..585, 8 Am. St. Rep. 863. That force was used makes no differ ence ; Velthouse v, Alderink, 153 Mich. 217, 117 N. W. 76, 18 L. R. A. (N. S.) 587, 15 Ann. Cas. 1111.
The complainant must be chaste at the time of the seduction, and a reasonable doubt as to such fact is fatal to a recovery; State v. Deitrick, 51 Ia. 467, 1 N. W. 732. Chastity, in the civil or criminal action, means actual personal virtue, and not reputation; Andre v. State, 5 Ia. 389, 68 Am. Dec. 708; and re quires specific acts of lewdness for impeach ment; Kenyon v. People, 26 N. Y. 203, 84 Am. Dec. 177. Previous chastity is presumed ; State v. Wenz, 41 Minn. 1V6, 42 N. W. 933;
Mills v. Corn., 93 Va. 815, 22 S. E. 863. As to what may be shown to establish lack of chas tity, see State v. Wheeler, 94 Mo. 252, 7 S. W. 103; State v. Primm, 98 Mo. 368, 11 S. W. 732; State v. Patterson, 88 Mo. 88, 57 Am. Rep. 374. Chastity must be affirmatively shown where the statute requires that the person seduced be of good repute; Oliver v. Corn., 101 Pa. 215, 47 Am. Rep. 704. Although a woman may have fallen, if she repent and reform, she is the object of seduction; State v. Carron, 18 Ia. 372, 87 Am. Dec. 401; Wil son v. State, 73 Ala. 527.
Most states have enacted statutes making a crime. What allurements are sufficient to constitute seduction, is for the jury to determine; State v. Higdon, 32 Ia. 262; and the courts allow considerable lati tude in the evidence; Lewis v. People, 37 Mich. 518; State v. Thompson, 79 Ia. 703, 45 W. 293.
The indictment should allege the essential elements of the crime as defined by stat ute; Wilson v. State, 73 Ala. 527. Where there are several counts the prosecution can not be compelled to elect ; Armstrong v. Peo ple, 70 N. Y. 38.
The statutes generally require:—that se duction be accomplished by promise of mar riage; Rice v. Com., 102 Pa. 408; which need not be valid; Callahan T. State, 63 Ind. 198, 30 Am. Rep. 211; provided the seduced was ignorant of its invalidity ; Kelley v. Riley, 106 Mass. 339, 8 Am. Rep. 336, and it may have been made some time prior to the seduction; Armstrong v. People, 70 N. Y. 38; and the de fendant may have intended to fulfil it; State v. Bierce, 27 Conn. 319; and he need not be of lawful age to marry; Polk v. State, 40 Ark. 482, 48 Am. Rep. 17. The previous character of the prosecutrix is to be deter mined by the jury; State v. Carron, 18 Ia. 372, 87 Am. Dec. 401. Chastity is always an issue ; Hussey v. State, 86 Ala. 34, 5 South. 484; but is always presumed, and the burden of impeaching it is on the defendant; State v. McClintic, 73 Ia. 663, 35 N. W. 696.