In Govan v. State, 913 N.E.2d.237 (Indiana Appeals Court 2009), the defendant (Govan) was convicted of both assault and battery, based on a BDSM incident in which he “punished” the victim (A.H.) by branding her with a hot knife and whipping her with an electrical extension cord. The appellate court rejected Govan’s argument that A.H.’s consent was a defense to his conduct. First, it ruled that consent could not be a defense to the assault charge. Second, although the court acknowledged that consent was a valid defense in a battery case having “sexual overtones”, it found that the use by Govan of a knife invalidated the defense:
Turning to the case at hand it is undisputed that it involves sexual overtones. Notwithstanding those overtones, A.H.’s consent is not a defense to the crime because Govan’s actions involved a deadly weapon,...namely a knife, and therefore A.H.’s consent is not available as a defense to battery. Govan, 913 N.E.2d at 242-243.