LANSING, Mich., May 17, 2022 — The Michigan House Judiciary passed House Bill 4699, which strikes the “mentally incapacitated” exemption from the state’s ban on marital rape. This bill would close a glaring loophole in Michigan’s Penal Code that permits marital rape when the perpetrator’s legal spouse is mentally incapacitated. State law currently precludes charges or convictions for criminal sexual conduct in such cases, leaving Michigan as one of the few remaining states to expressly allow marital rape in law. State Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia), sponsor of the legislation, issued the following statement:
“Passing this bill out of committee is an important step in closing this loophole once and for all. While the law this legislation addresses is outdated, it still has very modern implications for survivors of marital rape seeking justice. I’m grateful for my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee for reporting this bill unanimously to the House floor and I look forward to continuing to work on getting it signed into law.”
Michigan’s legal definition for “mentally incapacitated” includes instances where a spouse has been drugged or coerced and is unable to give consent.