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    07.31.15 Professor Cynthia Godsoe Examines Marital Rape Laws in Light of Comment by Trump’s Adviser
    photo of a professor

    Donald Trump’s adviser Michael Cohen, who is an attorney, created a media firestorm recently when he stated that marital rape is not a crime. In her op-ed “Why 20 States Treat Raping Your Wife as a Lesser Crime,” which appeared on the news website TPM, Professor Cynthia Godsoe calls the comment “both offensive and wrong on the law” and explores how this belief still informs how some states handle marital rape, which is recognized as a crime in all 50 states.

    Godsoe, an expert in Family Law, writes: “More than 20 states continue to treat marital rape differently, by more narrowly defining it than other types of rape, by placing additional hurdles on victims to prosecute the case, and/or by imposing lighter penalties.” Godsoe believes “marital rape exceptionalism reflects a broader trend to treat crimes against family members less seriously than other crimes,” and that media attention to the issue presents an opportunity to encourage reform of the laws.

    Godsoe also appeared on a HuffPost Live segment titled "Setting The Record Straight On Marital Rape" to discuss the same subject.

    Read more.