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Lawmakers target loopholes for spouses who drug, rape their partners

Statehouse reporters Julie Smyth, Columbus, Ohio, and Steve Karnowski, St. Paul, Minnesota, for a distinctive and deeply reported legislative story on the so-called “marital rape exemption” or “spousal defense,” a legal loophole in many states that allows spouses to escape criminal prosecution for raping partners who are drugged, unconscious or otherwise incapacitated. Smyth and Karnowski reported that previous state legislative attempts to remove those exemptions have a mixed record, but that’s starting to change.

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