Alcohol or drug facilitated sexual assault is any act of sexual assault that occurs when a victim is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Alcohol or drug facilitated sexual assaults can occur in one of two ways:

  • A perpetrator gives a victim a drug with the express intention of assaulting that individual.
  • A perpetrator takes advantage of a victim that is already intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

For the purposes of this article, sexual assaults facilitated by alcohol or other drugs will be comprehensively referred to as drug facilitated sexual assault of DFSA. (Bear in mind that alcohol is a drug.) Through this article, you are provided an overview of drug facilitated sexual assault.

What Legally Constitutes Sexual Assault

Sexual assault, as defined by law in California and other states, includes not only rape. Sexual assaults can also include:

  • Touching or grabbing that is not wanted or invited
  • Sexual penetration with objects
  • Oral sex
  • Anal sex

Essential Facts About Perpetrators of Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault

The majority of perpetrators of drug facilitated sexual assaults are men. The majority of victims of DFSA are women, being victimized by men.

The next largest cohort of perpetrators and victims of drug facilitated sexual assault are men on men in the LGBTQ community. There are instances in which female on female assaults of this nature also occur, although in a much smaller number than men on men in the LGBTQ community.

In most cases, the victim of a drug facilitated sexual assault knows the perpetrator. Four out of five victims of drug facilitated sexual assault are perpetrated by:

  • Spouse
  • Other significant other
  • Family member
  • Friend
  • Other acquittance

There are a notable number of cases in which a perpetrator utilizes a mind-altering substance of some type to victimize a person in a setting like a nightclub.

Mind-Altering Substances Commonly Used in Drug Facilitated Sexual Assaults

Alcohol is the drug of choice in a significant number of DFSA cases. Other drugs that are utilized with regularity in drug facilitated sexual assaults are:

  • GHB
  • Ketamine
  • Roofies
  • Ecstasy

In many cases, the use of alcohol together with one or another of these drugs is utilized by a perpetrator to commit a drug facilitated sexual assault. This is particularly the case when the victimization commences in a bar or nightclub setting.

Common Emotional Reactions Following a Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault

Victims of drug facilitated sexual assaults commonly experience a similar set of emotions. The emotions most frequently experienced by DFSA victims include:

  • Shock
  • Denial of the event
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Confusion
  • Numbness
  • Intrusive memories

Why a Significant Percentage of Drug Facilitated Sexual Assaults Go Unreported

A significant, indeed alarming, percentage of drug facilitated assaults go unreported. The most common underlying reasons DFSA victims don’t report include:

  • Feelings of shame or embarrassment
  • Fear of the perpetrator causing further harm to the victim or the victim’s family
  • Fear of being blamed for the assault
  • Lack of certainty on what constitutes sexual assault
  • Lack of knowledge on how to report an assault
  • Pressure from loved ones to not report the assault

There are also victims of drug facilitated sexual assaults that incorrectly assume that they were not victims of sexual assault because they were under the influence of mind-altering substances at the time of the incident. This absolutely is a false assumption. A person who is intoxicated by drugs or alcohol and cannot and does not give consent to participate in any type of sexual activity is in fact a victim of assault.

The Infamous Case of Max Factor Heir Andrew Luster

A truly infamous case of alcohol facilitated sexual assaults involves Max Factor heir Andrew Luster. Andrew Luster was the great-grandson of Max Factor, the man who created the modern cosmetic industries.

Over the course of a number of years Luster was engaging in the drug facilitated sexual assault of an ever-increasing number of women. He spiked their drinks with GHB as part of his scheme to engage in drug facilitated sexual assault. Without the knowledge, let alone permission, of these women, Luster also videotaped the sexual assaults.

Many of the women victimized by Luster had little or no recollection of the incidents. Others were afraid or too embarrassed to come forward. Eventually, one of Luster’s victims went to the police, which ultimately resulted in his arrest and prosecution. He ultimately was charged with drugging and sexually assaulting this woman and two others.

During the course of his prosecution, Luster was allowed to be on home detention. Whilst the case was underway, Luster fled to Mexico. He was tried in abstentia, convicted, and sentenced to 124 years in prison. Eventually, his sentence was cut to 50 years. Luster was captured in Mexico by reality TV bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman.


Emily Kil

Co-Owner of Eco Bear Biohazard Cleaning Company

Together with her husband, Emily Kil is co-owner of Eco Bear, a leading biohazard remediation company in Southern California. An experienced entrepreneur, Emily assisted in founding Eco Bear as a means of combining her business experience with her desire to provide assistance to people facing challenging circumstances. Emily regularly writes about her first-hand experiences providing services like biohazard cleanup, suicide cleanup, crime scene cleanup, unattended death cleanup, and other types of difficult remediations in homes and businesses.