Married couples take vows to love, honor and cherish. Unfortunately, there are many ways that the bonds of trust can be broken. One way that can occur is when a person falsely accuses their Maryland spouse of marital rape; this is what to know if you’ve been accused.
Understanding marital rape
There are many different sex crimes, but marital rape wasn’t considered one until the 1970s. Sadly, spouses were exempt from sexual assault laws in many states. However, it is currently recognized as a crime in Maryland and all other states.
Like other forms of rape, marital rape involves forced sex onto a victim. In this case, the victim is the perpetrator’s spouse. The crime is committed when a person forces any type of sexual penetration against their spouse when they have not consented to it. Marital rape can happen when a person is conscious, unconscious due to intoxication or even asleep.
Possible defenses to marital rape
If a person faces charges of marital rape, they can present evidence that they did not commit the crime. One of the most common defenses is that the defendant’s spouse consented to the act; for example, a history of rape fantasy within the relationship could show that no actual rape occurred.
Another possible defense is to prove that the alleged victim had false motivations when claiming marital rape occurred. The most common situation involving such false allegations is a separation or impending divorce. Sometimes, a spouse makes false marital rape accusations because they want to hurt the other person or prevent them from getting custody of their children.
Insufficient evidence is another defense. Without physical evidence that a rape occurred, the charges might be dropped; the victim’s testimony alone isn’t sufficient to prove the crime happened.