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Marital rape is legal in Maryland. Here's how this new bill wants to change that

If you didn't know, in Maryland a person can not prosecute their legally married spouse for rape or sexual assault.
Credit: WUSA9
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. — New legislation will allow a person to prosecute their lawfully married spouse for rape or sexual assault in Maryland.

As interesting as this proposed bill (Senate Bill 230) sounds, under current state law, a person can not prosecute their spouse for first- or second-degree rape or third- and fourth-degree sexual offenses. 

Senate Bill 230 wants to repeal the current legislation and make it possible for married people to file claims against their legal spouse at the time of the alleged rape or sexual offense. 

In the U.S., over one in three women experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime, the Center For Disease and Control said. 

Several states in the United States treat marital rape differently, according to our partners at The Washington Post. 

There at least 23 states that make it harder for a wife to accuse her husband of rape. Some states require clear evidence of violent force. Others give married women a smaller window to report an assault. While others give small punishments to convicted husbands, The Washington Post said.

In Oklahoma, a man can have sex with his unconscious wife as long as the couple is not separated. Such an incident would be considered a punishable offense if done to a single woman. 

Lawmakers are scheduled to hear the bill on January 30 for consideration. If the bill is passed it will go in effect in October.

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