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Top court recognizes marital rape as crime for first time
SEOUL, May 16 (Yonhap) -- The nation's top court ruled Thursday that forced sex with a spouse constitutes rape, recognizing marital rape as a crime for the first time.

   Upholding a lower court's verdict, the Supreme Court sentenced a 45-year-old man, whose identity has been withheld, to three years and six months in prison for forcing his wife to have sex with him by threatening her with a lethal weapon.

   Spousal rape has not been seen as a crime in South Korea since the Supreme Court denied such a crime in the 1970s, except for in special cases, such as when divorce was pending.

   The court also upheld the lower court's order that the husband wear an electronic anklet for 10 years as well as have his profile publicly disclosed for seven years upon his release from prison.
In many countries such as the United States, Britain, Germany and France, marital rape constitutes a crime. The United Nations said in 2006 that marital rape is a prosecutable offense in over 104 countries.

   khj@yna.co.kr
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