A group of men who sexually assaulted and harassed women in Arizona are on trial. | ABC News
A group who sexually harassed and assaulted women in Texas are on the stand.
| NBC News article The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the men accused of assaulting and assaulting women in four states, including Arizona, have the right to a trial.
In a 5-4 decision Thursday, the justices ruled that Texas officials should not be barred from pursuing their lawsuit against the men in the men’s sexual assault and harassment case, which they say violates their constitutional rights to due process and equal protection under the law.
The case has drawn attention because it includes allegations of sexual assault by at least one man, identified only as “Mr. X.”
The four men in question deny the allegations.
In its ruling, the court said the state cannot punish a man who had consensual sex with a woman and who “suspects the woman was not consenting” to sexual intercourse, but must give him “a fair trial.”
“The defendant has not provided sufficient evidence to prove that his conduct was motivated by sexual arousal,” the court wrote.
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The decision also said that Texas can prosecute the men because “the defendants are convicted of crimes against women, not men, and because the conduct was in the process of committing a crime against women.”
In Texas, a criminal complaint alleges that Mr. X, who is a retired Marine, forced the woman to perform oral sex and made her perform other sexual acts on him, among other charges.
In court documents, the woman said she was assaulted by Mr. Y, who she described as a “loner” who was a friend of Mr. Z, who also is a former Marine.
The women are suing the state of Texas and Mr. H. for “failing to provide the women with a fair trial” and “failure to take appropriate remedial measures” in relation to the allegations of sex crimes.