New Maryland law changes the way rapes are investigated, prosecuted

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Governor Larry Hogan signed a new bill into law that will change the way rapes are investigated and prosecuted in the state of Maryland.

The “No Means No” Law is co-sponsored by Delegate Kathleen Dumais, D-Montgomery County.  The law is something some lawmakers and advocates have been fighting for for years.

“It is an enormous change for survivors, it means for the first time, no means no,” Lisae Jordan, Executive Director and Counselor for Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault says the passing of this bill is long over due.

Jordan says prior to Governor Hogan signing the bill, in some jurisdictions in Maryland, police would not investigate and prosecutors refused to take on rape cases unless there were proof that the victim physically fought back.

“These were horrible cases to read.  Women who had said, ‘No, please stop,’ begging people not to continue and the officers were saying, ‘Did you fight back?  Did you hit him?  Did you kick him?  Well, then the law will not help you.’”

The law will go into effect this October.