Oklahoma Marital Rape Laws

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Just like rape between strangers or acquaintances, marital rape—rape that occurs between spouses—is illegal in Oklahoma, and punished as a felony.

And other kinds of spousal abuse are also illegal in Oklahoma, and are often charged under the state’s Assault and Battery laws. To learn more, see Sexual Assault in Oklahoma.

Marital Rape

In Oklahoma, rape occurs when a defendant compels a victim to engage in sexual intercourse against the victim’s will. It also includes circumstances when the victim was mentally incapable of giving consent to sex (such as having been “drugged” by her husband, in a coma, or having passed out from other drug or alcohol use.)

The punishment for rape is the same for spouses who rape as for other offenders, although it may be more difficult for the victim to prove that she didn’t consent to her husband than it would be to prove non-consent with a stranger.

The law used to include a “marital exemption,” which allowed a husband to rape his wife without any legal consequences. While the law no longer distinguishes between married and unmarried perpetrators and victims (except for statutory rape, discussed above), the issue of proving that the crime was a rape is still harder for wives. The practical consequence is that wives often have a more difficult time gaining a conviction against their rapist husband than they would against a stranger.

(Ok. Stat. Ann. § 1111.)

Penalties

Penalties for marital rape depend on the circumstances of the crime, and can include a fine, up to life in prison, or both.

See a Lawyer

If you are facing a sexual assault charge, consider consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly practices in your area. Numerous defenses apply to charges of felony assault and a lawyer can evaluate the strength of the prosecution’s case against you and help develop any defenses that might apply to your case.

A lawyer’s skillful negotiation with the prosecutor can sometimes result in a reduction of charges or a reduction in penalties, such as less prison time, no prison time, probation, and lower fines. A local criminal defense attorney, who knows how the prosecutors and judges involved in your case typically handle such cases, can assist with these negotiations. And if you decide to go to trial, having a good lawyer on your side will be essential.

Help for Sexual Assault and Rape Survivors

If you are a victim of sexual assault or abuse contact Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) for online help and local resources.

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