Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick's brother-in-law did not have to register as a sex offender because his hearing officer ruled that spousal rape is not considered rape in Massachusetts, reports the Boston Herald. The decision has outraged victims' advocates calling on the governor to disavow the claim and apologize. “It's insulting to all women,” said victims' lawyer Wendy Murphy. “Gov. Deval Patrick knew this man was fighting to give his brother-in-law a discount for violence against women. You don't get a discount from rape to a pat on the rear end because the victim was your wife.”
Patrick said he fired Sex Offender Registry Board Chairwoman Saundra Edwards and put executive director Jeanne Holmes on leave last week in part because they pressured a hearing officer to keep the governor's brother-in-law, Bernard Sigh, on the registry. The hearing officer, Atillio “A.J.” Paglia, refused, quit and filed a lawsuit against the state in 2008. Sigh was convicted in California in 1993 of raping his wife, the governor's sister, then served four months in jail and was put on five years' probation.