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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL)

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Minnesota House Unanimously Approves Bill to Repeal “Marital Rape Exception”

Thursday, February 21, 2019

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.

Bill language for HF 15 is available here. Audio of Rep. Stephenson commenting on his bill after it passed is available here.

“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