St. Paul, Minn. – The Minnesota House today unanimously approved legislation authored by Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids) that would help to support victims of sexual assault by getting rid of the “voluntary relationship defense,” which shields perpetrators from prosecution in certain instances if they are married to the victim.
“Courageous Minnesotans like Jenny Teeson who are coming forward to tell painful personal stories are the inspiration behind this legislation,” said Rep. Stephenson. “Repealing the state’s ‘marital rape exception’ is an example of how the Legislature is putting Minnesotans’ values into action. We care about one another, and we want to hold perpetrators accountable when they hurt the people we love.”
HF 15 has received significant coverage in the news following its introduction and several emotional public hearings. Jenny Teeson of Andover, MN shared her experience of being drugged, raped, and videotaped by her former husband. When she sought justice, the legal system said her case could not proceed because of a law that Stephenson has been working to repeal.
Rep. Stephenson can be reached by phone at 651-296-5513 or by email at email@example.com.