State Legislature
4:21 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

State Senate OKs removal of marital rape exception

The Senate has approved a measure that would no longer allow marriage to remain an absolute defense against allegations of some forms of rape and sexual assault.

The measure that was passed on an unanimous vote on Monday would remove the spousal exemption from both rape in the third degree — in which no physical force is used — and from taking indecent liberties.

Until the 1970s, most states considered marriage to preclude any form of rape. Washington removed the marital exemption for first- and second-degree rape in 1983. The House passed the measure earlier this month and it now heads to the desk of Gov. Jay Inslee.