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State’s rape technicality is wrong

Rape is a heinous crime, period. But in some circumstances, it is legal in Ohio.

No, you did not misread that.

Though state law makes raping a spouse a crime, there is a loophole: According to a report in The Columbus Dispatch, the law “prevents rape charges from being filed when a spouse was drugged, unconscious or otherwise incapacitated.”

Members of the General Assembly’s Democratic Women’s Legislative Caucus want that changed to make raping a spouse illegal in any situation. Frankly, all members of the General Assembly should want that change.

Reportedly, the state Prosecuting Attorneys Association once opposed it. Some PAA members worried it might create problems with false claims. But the association no longer argues against eliminating the loophole, the Dispatch reports.

Good.

“No individual should ever have the ability to rape someone based on their legal status to that person,” said Rep. Kristin Boggs, D-Columbus, last week. “The fact that this still exists in our code as an exception is despicable.”

False claims can be made in any rape case. The burden of proof always rests on prosecutors.

Lawmakers should do away with the technicality, and do a better job of protecting victims of domestic violence.

Rape under any circumstances is wrong.

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