For the second time… the effective imprisonment of a Moroccan man accused of raping his wife and indecently assaulting her

The Moroccan judiciary has for the second time convicted a person of involvement in the rape of his wife and indecent assault with the use of violence, as the appeals court in Tetouan handed down a verdict against the husband, punishing him with an effective three-year sentence. imprisonment and payment of compensation to the complainant of 30 thousand dirhams.

In this context, “Legal Agenda” announced on its official website the day before yesterday, Friday, that on June 8, 2022, the Court of Appeal in Tetouan – in northern Morocco – issued a verdict convicting a husband of raping his wife and indecent assault with the use of violence , under articles 485 and 486 of the Penal Law, the decision published by Legal Agenda comes a few years after the issuance of a similar decision by the Court of Appeal in Tangiers criminalizing marital rape.

The chapters of the case date back to August 27, 2020, when a deaf-mute girl with special needs filed a complaint with the state attorney’s office, stating that the accused surprised her while she was in the barn and raped her, and she was given first aid and the doctor confirmed that she had a minor the wound at the level of her virginity without defloration. When the police came to the complainant’s residence, they did not find him, and after a few days, the police heard from the complainant again, who confirmed that she was giving up the complaint after the reconciliation between her and the defendant, who promised to marry her.

On October 27, 2020, the complainant submitted the marriage contract to the police and presented it to the complainant.

On April 9, 2021, the complainant again turned to the state attorney’s office to file a new complaint against her husband for defamation with violence, stating that she had given up the concession she had previously submitted in favor of the defendant. And when she was questioned, she stated that the defendant, after marrying her, did not make an effort to take her to the matrimonial home despite her insistence, so she filed a lawsuit due to the family’s negligence in dealing with him, which is why he agreed to take her with you to your home. After they had dinner, they went into a separate room and closed the door, and asked her to have anal sex with him, but she refused, and asked him why, so he told her that he didn’t want her to get pregnant from him, and he insisted on his request, while he held her hands and closed her mouth, and forcibly removed her clothes, had anal sex with her without her consent, despite her pleas, then left her in a bad mental state and left place after he threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

And during the hearing of the defendant, he stated that the complainant refused to go with him to the matrimonial home after he married her, and they came together to the sessions of the investigating judge, and on 31.03.2021, he asked the investigating judge to accompany him to his house, and had sex with her with her consent, and the next day he was surprised by her leaving the matrimonial home.

The State Attorney’s Office decided to bring the accused before the investigating judge for the criminal offense of rape and indecent assault with the use of violence, and after a preliminary and detailed interrogation, he maintained his denial and issued an arrest warrant.

The court, for its part, decided to convict the defendant of the rape of his wife and a violent attack, sentencing him to three years in prison and paying the complainant a compensation of 30,000 dirhams, since the court based its conviction on the following reasons: :

Despite the accused’s denial, crimes can be proven by any evidence, including evidence and witness statements.

– The victim’s testimony before the investigating judge, who confirmed that she filed a report of rape before the accused, and when the gendarmerie managed to stop him, he married her, but now she renounces her and refuses to move into the matrimonial home with him. And when she filed a lawsuit against him for alimony, he offered her to go with him to the family home and there he raped her, abused her and put pressure on her.

– The complainant’s statements were consistent and consistent during the investigation, investigation and court proceedings;

Examining the effects of assault on the victim by the judicial police;

Accordingly, the court assessed that all information available in the file and accurate and appropriate evidence are consistent and homogeneous in their lowest parts, and it is difficult to speculate that they are not true despite the defendant denying them. On which the court formed its emotional conviction that there are components of the criminal offense of rape and indecent assault with the use of violence against the accused and that he must be punished for it.

Comment on the verdict
This provision is considered one of the few judicial applications of marital rape cases, which the judiciary has consistently categorized as domestic violence crimes subject to Penal Code Chapter 404, rather than marital rape crimes.

The ruling raises the issue of continued impunity for rapists by resorting to marriage contracts with victims, which forces them to withdraw their statements that they were raped or drop their complaints. Although the legislator abolished the second paragraph of chapter 475 of the Penal Code, which allowed the rapist to avoid punishment if he married the victim, this marriage is still applied in the field, because the law does not protect it. Courts also allow rapists to enjoy mitigating circumstances within the framework of taking into account their social circumstances as a result of entering into a marriage contract, as long as the law does not prevent those convicted of rape from enjoying mitigating circumstances.

Despite the fact that the complainant dropped her claim after entering into a marriage contract with the “rapist”, the state attorney’s office agreed to accept her withdrawal of the waiver and reheard her.

The court relied only on the victim’s statements and considered them sufficient to convict the accused despite his constant denials, and supported those statements with evidence from the incident, such as the existence of a previous sexual assault before marriage, the existence of a dispute between the victim and the accused, and his lack of spending on her, which led to the conclusion that his goal in marrying the victim was not the desire to spend time with her, but only impunity;

The court relied on the medical evidence presented in the file and on the evidence related to the case, which indicate that the sexual relationship the defendant had with the complainant was characterized by coercion in light of the moral, material and physical violence the victim was exposed to. subjected, which constitutes the crime of rape and indecent assault against him.

It is noted that, despite the defendant’s guilty verdict, the court did not order the application of any of the protective measures provided for in the Law on Suppression of Violence against Women, such as placing the victim in a treatment facility or issuing an order to prevent the defendant from contacting her after leaving prison.

We hope that the publication of this provision will contribute to encouraging the reporting of crimes of sexual violence in general and crimes of marital rape, in order to ensure access to legal remedies for victims and to fight impunity for rapists.

It should be noted that the National Council for Human Rights in Morocco recommended, in its opinion, regarding amendments to the Penal Code to criminalize marital rape with a special provision in order to put an end to the inconsistencies in the courts in the incrimination and punishment of this act. , which leads to impunity.


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