SC affirms conviction of hubby for raping wife

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Friday, May 16, 2014


HUSBANDS cannot force their wives to have sex with them.

The Supreme Court (SC) pointed this out in resolving the first marital rape case in the country that reached the high court.

The SC decision promulgated on April 21 affirmed the conviction of a man from Cagayan de Oro City for raping his wife in 1998.

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“Husbands are once again reminded that marriage is not a license to forcibly rape their wives,” read the SC decision penned by Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes.

Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Lucas Bersamin, Martin Villarama, Jr., and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno concurred.

The High Court reviewed the decision of the Court of Appeals in 2008, which affirmed the judgment of the Regional Trial Court in Cagayan de Oro City convicting Edgar Jumawan of two counts of rape.

Juana (real name withheld) accused Jumawan of raping her inside their residence in December 1998.

The convict punched her shoulder for refusing to have sex with him.

‘Brutal in bed’

Juana testified that Jumawan started to be “brutal in bed” in 1997. He resorted to “sexual ambush” by evading lovemaking before intercourse.

She said that Jumawan forced her to have sex with him even if she had a headache and abdominal pain due to menstruation.

Jumawan denied raping his wife in October 1998, saying he was in Bukidnon province when the incident reportedly happened.

He said his wife fabricated the rape charges after he took over their businesses.

Jumawan said he was forced to take over their businesses when his wife failed to account for their bank deposits and business earnings.

He said his wife concocted the rape charges to cover up her extra-marital affairs.

In 2002, the trial court convicted Jumawan. The appeals court affirmed Jumawan’s conviction after finding the “straightforward” testimony of the wife.

In the decision, the justices affirmed the appeals court’s decision convicting Jumawan of two counts of rape.

He was also ordered to pay his wife P130,000 as damages.

“A husband aggrieved by his wife’s unremitting refusal to engage in sexual intercourse cannot resort to felonious force or coercion to make her yield,” the justices said.

The justices reminded “aggrieved” husbands to seek relief before the Family Courts, which can determine if her refusal constitutes psychological incapacity and if it justifies an annulment of the marriage.

“Sexual intimacy is an integral part of marriage because it is the spiritual and biological communion that achieves the marital purpose of procreation,” read the SC ruling.

The justices also warned “menacing personalities” not to use their recent ruling as a tool to harass “innocent husbands.”

“In this regard, let it be stressed that safeguards in the criminal justice system are in place to spot and scrutinize fabricated or false marital rape complaints and any person who institutes untrue and malicious charges will be made answerable.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 17, 2014.

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