ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota House has voted to eliminate a defense that prevents people who rape a spouse or domestic partner from being prosecuted for criminal sexual conduct.
Rep. Zack Stephenson, the bill’s lead author, told lawmakers before the 130-0 vote Thursday that repealing the “marital rape exception” will result in seven additional convictions per year.
The Coon Rapids Democrat paid tribute to a woman who testified in committee how her now ex-husband drugged her and made a video of himself raping her while she was unconscious, as her 4-year-old child slept nearby. Prosecutors dropped sexual assault charges after her husband raised the “voluntary relationship defense.” He served just 30 days in jail for invasion of privacy.
After the vote, lawmakers turned and applauded the woman, who was watching from the gallery.
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