Spousal Rape: Even Spouses cannot Force Themselves on One Another

For centuries until 1979, it was believed that man could never be held guilty of raping his own wife. This was because common law interpreted marriage as an expression of implied permanent consent which can never be retracted.

The change in belief was due to two different cases: one of these involved a bartender in Salem, Mass., who broke into the house that he used to share with his estranged wife and then forced himself on her. The man was charged with marital rape since the incident involved invasion and sexual abuse while in the middle of a divorce. This case is said to have been the precedent of so many other spousal rape convictions during the 1980s and the 1990s; it is also the major reason why today, spouses are no longer excluded in state criminal codes’ definition of “rape,” why spousal rape is declared illegal in every state in the U.S., and why saying “no” to one’s husband is no longer an accepted ground for divorce.

In a website with the address, criminalattorneysnashville.com, it is said that married individuals may be charged with spousal rape if they engage in sexual penetration that is unlawful because it is alleged that the defendant was armed with a weapon, caused serious bodily harm, or the couple has been separated and at least one partner has filed for either divorce or separate maintenance. A charge of spousal rape can be elevated to aggravated sexual assault if the defendant was particularly vile, cruel, or otherwise inhumane and either caused serious bodily harm or was armed with a weapon.

Simply being accused of a crime can change your life. The penalties of a conviction can haunt you for years after you’ve served your sentence and may affect what kinds of jobs you’re able to obtain and even where you’re allowed to live. However, it’s important to remember that an accusation is just that: an accusation. You still have a real chance to defend your rights and protect your future from the challenges that would come with a conviction. You still have a real chance to defend your rights and protect your future from the challenges that would come with a conviction, such as jail time, fines, or having to register as a sex offender.

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