Why wasn't this prosecuted as a rape?
It turns out that this is another anachronism of Alabama's sexual assault laws: For something to be considered "rape," it has to involve "sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex by forcible compulsion." Originally, the language was even more gendered, said Colquitt; it was a crime of a man against a woman. Some time after 1980, the concept of female rape was incorporated, but as it stands, it's legally impossible for a man to get convicted of raping another man. Instead, the word that's still used is "sodomy," also called "non-rape sexual battery."
This is a significant linguistic choice: In one short phrase, it discounts the weight of male-on-male sexual assault and uses a loaded, emotional, and often pejorative term.