Ohio bill removing spousal rape protection gets 1st hearing

Ohio Statehouse. (WDTN Photo/Paul Rodzinka)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A proposal to eliminate legal protections for Ohioans who commit sex offenses, including rape and sexual battery, against their spouse is getting its first hearing in the state Legislature.

The bill introduced by Democratic Reps. Greta Johnson, of Akron, and Kristin Boggs, of Columbus, aims to change a law that treats marital rape differently from other forms of rape. The sponsors say Ohio is one of 13 states that provide spousal exceptions for rape and other sex-related offenses.

Current state law requires there to be “force or threat of force” in order for sexual assault by a spouse to be considered rape. That language excludes from prosecution cases where a spouse may have been drugged, for example.

The legislation was before the House Criminal Justice Committee on Tuesday.

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