By Sherman Smith
February 6, 2020
The Kansas House on Thursday advanced legislation that would make it illegal for husbands to sexually batter their wives.
Kansas law contains a spousal exception for the crime of sexual battery, which is unwanted touching with the intent of arousal. House Bill 2467 would remove that exemption for any marriage.
Rep. Brett Parker, D-Overland Park, said advocacy groups have asked lawmakers to fix this issue.
“Currently, if you suffer sexual battery at the hands of your spouse, you have no recourse under the law,” Parker said. “There is literally no law to prosecute the abuser.”
Rep. Nick Hoheisel, R-Wichita, urged lawmakers to “do right today by the men and women of Kansas.”
“Let’s vote for this bill and push Kansas forward,” Hoheisel said.
Lawmakers advanced the bill on a voice vote after approving an amendment by Rep. Cindy Holscher, D-Overland Park, to require an intervention after a first offense for domestic violence. Current practice calls for an intervention after the second or third offense.
If the bill is approved on final action on a later date, it will go to the Senate for consideration.