An Oklahoma court has ruled that forcing an unconscious victim to have oral sex is not rape in a case that has incited fury about how law enforcement officials and politicians define sexual assault. 

Oklahoma's criminal appeals court ruled in March that the state’s laws did not cover an “intoxication circumstance” for forced sodomy, or rape involving the mouth or anus of the victim. "We will not, in order to justify prosecution of a person for an offense, enlarge a statute beyond the fair meaning of its language," the appellate court wrote in its opinion.

The ruling comes from a 2014 case of a 17-year-old boy who allegedly forced himself on a 16-year-old girl after offering to drive her to her grandmother's house. The teens had been drinking at a park in Tulsa. Witnesses said the girl was drunk and unconscious when the boy took her home, UPI reported Thursday.

She was still out when she arrived at her grandmother's house. She was then taken to a hospital, where doctors found the boy's DNA around her mouth and on the back of her legs. The girl had a blood-alcohol content level of .341, more than four times the legal limit. 

The girl told officials she did not recall leaving with the boy, and Tulsa County prosecutors later charged him with forcible oral sodomy. The boy said the oral sex was consensual, Fusion reported Wednesday. 

County District Attorney Benjamin Fu called the court's ruling "insane," "dangerous" and "offensive." 

The opinion was unpublished, so it can't be used as legal precedent, but the ruling might lead to alleged rapists convicted under similar circumstances to seek successful appeals. It could also discourage victims from reporting sex abuse crimes.

"All this does is add to the fire," Fu said. "[Sexual assault victims'] biggest fear is that people they tell the story to won't understand or will judge them for their behavior. If they had that concern, the court of criminal appeals affirmed that, 5-0."

The decision comes as many states and higher education leaders are examining how rape is reported and prosecuted. Georgia and Florida, for example, recently passed laws requiring faster processing of rape kits, while California lawmakers are debating whether to eliminate a statute of limitations on rape cases.