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What Constitutes Marital Rape in Utah?

 Posted on January 10, 2023 in Sex crimes

Salt Lake County rape defense attorneyIn modern society, there is often a preconceived notion that sexual activity between a married couple is, by definition, consensual. However, you may be surprised that this is not the case. In Utah, regardless of whether you are married to someone, you can still be charged with rape if you engaged in sex through a means of force or coercion. Notably, the only instance when marriage protects against a rape charge is if someone is charged with statutory rape but was married to the underage person in question. Nevertheless, that exception only applies if the underage spouse consented to the sex.

In this blog, we will take a look at specific circumstances that often surround marital rape. It cannot be stressed enough that if you are facing charges of rape against your spouse, it is crucial that you seek out aggressive legal representation to have a chance at avoiding a conviction.

A Brief History of Marital Rape

For many years, marriage acted as a shield against accusations of rape. Spouses could not be charged with raping their spouse, even if the sex was non-consensual. It is only in the recent past that the laws acknowledging marital rape began to change on a state-by-state basis. Even today, marital rape varies on a state-by-state basis. In Utah, however, marital rape is treated as any other rape.

Understanding What Constitutes Marital Rape in Utah

Marital rape means engaging in sexual intercourse with your spouse without their consent. Circumstances where this may occur include the following:

  • Severe inebriation – If your partner is too drunk to consent to sex, but you decide to go forward and have sex with them anyway, you may be charged with marital rape. Your spouse is not required to be drunk to the point of unconsciousness for it to count as marital rape.

  • Coercion – Coercion in the context of marital rape can be very tricky to decipher. This is because it is not entirely unusual for loving married couples to “bargain” with each other for sex. However, if this bargaining turns into emotional or psychological manipulation or even threats, you can then be charged with marital rape.

  • Force – For instance, holding your partner down as they protest against having sex constitutes marital rape. Any forcible action to force your spouse into having sex with you counts as marital rape.

Contact a Salt Lake City Rape Defense Attorney

If you are facing rape charges, understand that you are in serious legal jeopardy. Your very freedom may be at stake. At Collins Rupp, P.C., our skilled Davis County rape defense lawyers will work with you to ensure your rights remain protected as they provide you with dedicated legal representation. Call 385-777-2753 today for a free consultation.


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