Spousal Rape

As women’s rights movements of the past century have pushed for increased political and legal equality among men and women, the issue of abuse and rape within a marriage has become a more widely-recognized problem in many jurisdictions. As a result, spousal rape was made illegal across the United States, starting in South Dakota in 1975 and finishing in North Carolina in 1993.

If you have been charged with spousal rape, the resulting criminal proceedings could have a severe and permanent effect upon your life, regardless of a conviction or lack thereof. For more information regarding your legal rights, contact Massachusetts sex crimes lawyer James Powderly by calling 508-343-0676 today.

Spousal Rape in Massachusetts

Spousal rape is treated differently depending on the specific approach that particular state government has taken. For some states, this can mean that spousal rape is not treated in the same light as regular rape charges. Instead, these states may apply modified charges or upgrade domestic abuse charges. However, Massachusetts uses sentencing for spousal rape that is identical to regular rape offenses. This includes the following jail sentences:

  • 5 to 7 1/2 years with no prior offenses
  • 7 to 10 1/2 years with a serious record
  • 9 to 13 1/2 years for repeat or violent offenders
  • 13 1/3 to 20 years maximum

In certain areas, these sentencing values may be changed depending on the marital state of the couple. Divorced or estranged couples are often treated as strangers in terms of these sexual offenses, increasing the possibility for higher sentencing.

Contact Us

Charges of spousal rape are extremely serious. Putting together a strong legal defense should be a priority if these allegations have been leveled against you. To learn more about your options as a defendant, contact Massachusetts sex crimes attorney James Powderly at 508-343-0676 today.


Interview with a Former DUI Client