The 24-year-old Tennessee man would force his wife to have sex despite her protests. That was allowed until Tennessee passed a law in 2005 treating spousal rape the same as any other rape, reports the Tennessean. The husband was given an eight-year suspended prison sentence yesterday after pleading guilty to raping his wife, marking the first conviction in Nashville’s Davidson County since the elimination of spousal exemptions for rape. The Tennessean is not identifying the man because he is married to his victim and the newspaper does not identify victims of sex-related crimes.
“This law is important,” the victim said. “When you are intimidated, sexually, and forced to do it, it’s not fair. It’s not just. You are not a possession. It has to be mutual.” Victims advocates and police say this case highlights what the law intended to do – give equal rights to spouses and protect them. Lawmakers had the right idea in passing the law, said police Det. Robert Carrigan. “A husband has no right to force sex,” he said. “And the wife has the right to say, ‘No.’ Period. They have to protect themselves and they need to report it.”