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California Lawmakers Want to Close Rape Law Loophole

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, January 14, 2013

The court case involved a man who raped a woman while she was sleeping by impersonating her boyfriend.

An old statute says he could be found guilty of rape only if the victim was married and the rapist was impersonating her spouse.

Legislators are introducing two bills, one in the Assembly and one in the Senate, that would change that law.

Similar legislation expanding the definition of rape failed in the Senate in 2011 because it would have increased the prison population without a way to fund it.

But Democratic Senator Noreen Evans - who is authoring a Senate bill - says she believes this time around the legislation has a better chance of passing.

Evans: "I think there is widespread horror that in this day and age that a court would have to overturn a rape conviction because of the victims marital status. I think the public is justifiably outraged, and also our financial situation at the state is a lot better than it was last year."

Evan's bill would also broaden the statute to cover cases involving same-sex partners.

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