New Laws to Help Prosecute Rape Cases - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

New Laws to Help Prosecute Rape Cases

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has signed a number of bills that aim to make it easier to prosecute rape cases and protect victims.
    
The governor signed 211 bills into law Tuesday during a ceremony at the state house. Among them was one that's become known as the "no means no" bill. The law eliminates the requirement that victims prove they tried to physically resist their assailants.

Wicomico County State's Attorney Ella Disharoon previously testified in favor of "no means no". According to Disharoon, rape was the only crime in Maryland that required some sort of stipulation that one must fight back for it to be a crime.

"Many people who find themselves in that situation," Disharoon said, "They are too fearful to resist." Adding, "If somebody breaks into your home you don't have to fight them in order for it to be burglary. If somebody assaults you, you don't have to resist them for it to be assault. With rape," she said, "there shouldn't be a resistant factor in it and there no longer is."


Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby attended the bill signing. She said the "no means no" provision is "a major victory for all victims of sexual assault."
    
Others bills signed into law expand the definition of sexual abuse to include sex trafficking and require that rape kits be kept for at least 20 years.

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