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Marital rape is illegal in Michigan. But there's a loophole.

Three-quarter view of the state House gleaming in muted sunlight with bare winter trees and a large evergreen in the foreground
Carlos Osorio/AP
The Michigan State House in Lansing, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013.

A Michigan House committee is holding a hearing tomorrow on a bill to revise the law.

(WMUK) Rape in a marriage — just as in any other relationship — is against the law in Michigan. But there's an exception. Someone cannot face charges purely because their spouse was mentally incapacitated at the time of the rape.

A bill to close that loophole is set for a committee hearing Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.

Democratic Representative Laurie Pohutsky said lawmakers need to be more proactive in removing outdated laws.

“I think we have a tendency to look back on things like this and say, ‘Oh, well, they’re not being enforced so there’s no urgency.’ And that’s...not the case. Things like this do very much impact people in the here and now," she said.

"The language in this law is not gender specific but it’s important to note laws like these were originally created because at that time, women were viewed as the property of their husbands," she added.

Pohutsky said there have been "instances where people were not charged for assaulting their spouse because this law was still on the books, both in this state and in others."

"So, it’s important to close it up," she said.

Similar legislation unanimously passed the state House last year but stalled in the state Senate.