Rape is an abhorrent crime regardless of the circumstances under which it occurs. But when someone rapes their spouse, it is more than simply a violation of the dignity and basic rights of the victim; it is a violation of the sacred trust between married partners. Despite its criminalization, marital rape continues to be a problem in the U.S. today. Unfortunately, it can be extremely difficult for a victim of this despicable crime to prove their accusations in court.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of marital rape, an understanding and compassionate attorney may be able to help, especially if you are undergoing divorce proceedings. Contact the Raleigh divorce lawyers of Marshall & Taylor PLLC, today at 919-833-1040 to discuss your situation with an experienced legal professional.
Penalties for Marital Rape
Until 1993, North Carolina law prohibited a spouse from being prosecuted for raping their partner. However, new legislation removed this exemption, and now spousal rape is treated the same as rape of a stranger by North Carolina law. Among other things, the penalties for this crime include:
- If the rape was forcible and caused serious injury (including mental injuries), the crime is a Class B1 felony and may be punished with life in prison.
- If no serious injury occurred, the crime is a Class C felony and may be punished with prison sentences of more than 20 years.
Though spousal rape can be difficult to criminally prosecute, especially without physical evidence, a victim of spousal rape may have a strong case for fault in divorce proceedings.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of marital rape and is considering divorce, contact the Raleigh divorce attorneys of Marshall & Taylor PLLC, today at 919-833-1040 to learn more about your rights and options.