Australian to stand trial for 1960s marriage 'rape'

An 81-year-old Australian man on Wednesday lost a bid to have charges that he raped his wife in the 1960s dropped on the grounds that forcing a spouse into sex was not a crime at the time.

The man, known only as PGA, had asked the High Court of Australia to dismiss the case brought by his wife, arguing that prior to 1976 in Australia a woman could not refuse sexual intercourse with her husband.

His lawyers had submitted that, at the time of the alleged rape in 1963, Australia was a "very unenlightened and socially backward country by modern standards".

They said that at the time homosexuality was a crime, there was no such thing as sexual harassment, Aborigines were not full citizens and racial discrimination was legal, with the so-called "White Australia policy" in full force.

But the High Court on Wednesday dismissed his case, ruling that "if the marital exemption to rape was ever a part of the common law of Australia, it had ceased to be so at least by... 1935".

"Local statute law, including legislation about divorce, property and voting, had removed any basis for the acceptance of (the) proposition (that rape was legal in marriage) as a part of the common law applicable in Australia in 1963," the court said.

The man separated from his wife in 1969 and they divorced in 1971. It was not clear why it took her until 2009 to take the allegations to police.

He now faces trial on charges of rape, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and carnal knowledge.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Mayweather picks off Pacquiao to join greats
    Mayweather picks off Pacquiao to join greats

    Floyd Mayweather cemented his place in the pantheon of boxing greats with an emphatic win over Manny Pacquiao which triggered an outcry in the Philippines and divided opinion amongst the legends of the sport. Feinting and dancing his way to a unanimous decision, Mayweather comfortably picked off Pacquiao over 12 rounds to extend his 19-year unbeaten record to 48-0. Yet the jeers could not obscure a clear win for the skilful Mayweather, with judges awarding him the decision by margins of …

  • Sadness, disappointment in Philippines after Pacquiao defeat
    Sadness, disappointment in Philippines after Pacquiao defeat

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Sadness and disappointment gripped Filipinos after Manny Pacquiao's defeat in his much-anticipated fight against American Floyd Mayweather Jr. but they still considered the boxing icon a national hero. …

  • Philippine rebels kill most wanted Islamist militant in south

    The Philippines' most wanted Islamist militant, who escaped after a raid in January that killed 44 police commandos, was killed on Sunday in firefight with Muslim rebels, officials said. Protracted police operations to arrest three Islamist high-value targets had become the biggest political crisis in five years for President Benigno Aquino and put at risk his government's peace efforts with Moro Islamic Liberation Front. A proposed law creating a new autonomous government for minority …

  • Disappointed Filipinos cry foul as Pacquiao loses
    Disappointed Filipinos cry foul as Pacquiao loses

    Boxing fans in the Philippines cried foul and groaned in bitter disappointment on Sunday as national hero Manny Pacquiao lost to American rival Floyd Mayweather in the "fight of the century". Filipinos filled gymnasiums, cinemas and bars as the Southeast Asian nation of 100 million people stopped for Pacquiao's battle with Mayweather in Las Vegas, which he lost in a unanimous points decision. A devastated Pacquiao said immediately afterwards that he thought he had won, and many at home agreed …

  • Steamy fight...and weather as well
    Steamy fight...and weather as well

    Filipinos who will flock to steamy public gymnasiums today to watch free live screenings of Manny Pacquiao’s fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. are advised to drink lots of water as the heat index is expected to reach as high as 40 degrees Celsius in some parts of the country. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said yesterday the forecast for heat index in Metro Manila may reach 39.8 degrees Celsius. It could go as high as 40.3 degrees …

  • POEA asks advertisers to help fight human trafficking
    POEA asks advertisers to help fight human trafficking

    The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has invited advertisers and public relations (PR) agencies to help combat illegal recruitment and human trafficking. POEA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac conveyed his invitation through his Twitter account @HansLeoCacdac posted last April 29. “Any ad agencies, PR firms or their industry associations interested in joining the campaign against illegal recruitment and human trafficking?” he said. Cacdac made the invitation to prevent …

  • Even soldiers will take a break today
    Even soldiers will take a break today

    It’s all systems go with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) live stream viewing of today’s fight between Filipino boxing icon Sarrangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao and  Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Las Vegas, Nevada. “Soldiers will take a break today,” said Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, AFP Public Affairs Office (PAO) chief, referring to military’s free-viewing event of the most awaited Pacquiao-Mayweather bout. The same preparations have already been done by the Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force, …

  • ‘No sign of Mount Bulusan’s imminent eruption’
    ‘No sign of Mount Bulusan’s imminent eruption’

    The government is on alert to ensure public safety as Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon province exploded on Friday, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said yesterday. Despite the alert, Valte said there is as yet no need to evacuate residents, with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reporting that “there is no threat of imminent eruption” and that the volcano remains at Alert Level 0. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options