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

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Gov. Walz Signs into Law Rep. Zack Stephenson’s Bill to Repeal Minnesota’s ‘Marital Rape Exception’

Thursday, May 02, 2019

St. Paul, Minn. – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz today signed into law Rep. Zack Stephenson’s bill to repeal Minnesota’s ‘Marital Rape Exception.’ Before today’s repeal, Minnesota law shielded rapists from prosecution in certain instances if they were married to their victim at the time of the rape.

Jenny Teeson of Andover, Minnesota 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 the law that Representative Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids) has been working to repeal.

Rep. Stephenson, chief author of the bill, released the following statement after Governor Walz signed his bill into law:

“This is a historic day. We’re moving Minnesota’s laws out of the 19th century and recognizing that rape is a crime regardless of marital status. Every Minnesotan deserves justice when they are the survivor of a crime,” said Rep. Stephenson. “The repeal of this abominable law is long overdue and I’m grateful for the bipartisan support. We’re doing the right thing for courageous Minnesotans like Jenny Teeson who have shared their painful personal stories.”