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CA: California May End Archaic ‘Spousal Rape’ Distinction in Punishment

[ – 3/22/21]

California is one of 11 states that still distinguish between spousal rape and rape, after Minnesota most recently eliminated the exception in 2019, according to proponents.

The law currently requires anyone convicted of rape to register, but those convicted of spousal rape must register only under certain circumstances such as if the spouse was sentenced to state prison.

It wasn’t until 1979 that a husband was first prosecuted in the United States for raping his wife, Stanford University law professor and sociologist Michele Dauber said. Though all states have since made spousal rape illegal, some including California still “treat it as a far less serious crime.”

California would end what lawmakers called an archaic distinction between spousal rape and other forms of sexual assault under identical bills backed by proponents on Monday.

While there is no difference in the maximum penalties, those convicted of spousal rape currently can be eligible for probation instead of prison or jail.

They also may not have to register as a sex offender. The law currently requires anyone convicted of rape to register, but those convicted of spousal rape must register only under certain circumstances such as if the spouse was sentenced to state prison.

Read the full article


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I guess this article’s code section is probably 1 percent of this site’s audience. I know this code section that which refers to this article is definitely ,if person receives a COR , could be removed from registering for life. Otherwise, the 261 section ( for the exception (7) ) the person needs to be completely pardoned by the governor before registration is terminated, which is completely stupid and makes no sense. This adult 261 section as it refers to registering and termination of registration needs to be addressed forthwith. The 261 section under the 290 requirement needs to be a tier 2 and if the person has a COR on his/her criminal history and has no other sex beef pending that person should be able to seek 290 termination . I believe this needs to be addressed. Anyone out there with a 261 or 220 conviction feel free to chime in .

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