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Originally published Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 1:50 PM

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Inslee OKs elimination of marital rape exception

Marriage will no longer be an absolute defense against allegations of some forms of rape and sexual assault in Washington state.

The Associated Press

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OLYMPIA, Wash. —

Marriage will no longer be an absolute defense against allegations of some forms of rape and sexual assault in Washington state.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill Wednesday to change state law, calling it a "very important advance." The measure removes the spousal exemption from both rape in the third degree - in which no physical force is used - and from taking indecent liberties.

Washington removed the marital exemption for first- and second-degree rape in 1983. Until the 1970s, most states considered marriage to preclude any form of rape.

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