In People v Martz, the defendant was convicted by a jury of first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC I), MCL 750.520b (force or coercion); unlawful imprisonment, MCL 750.349b; resisting or obstructing a police officer causing serious impairment, MCL 750.81d(3); and two counts of resisting or obstructing a police officer, MCL 750.81d(1). Defendant was sentenced as a second habitual offender, MCL 769.10, to concurrent imprisonment for 15 to 40 years for CSC I, 15 to 221/2 years for unlawful imprisonment, 10 to 15 years for resisting and obstructing a police officer causing serious impairment, and 16 months to 2 years for resisting and obstructing a police officer. He appealed and the Court of Appeals upheld the convictions. One of his claims was he could not be convicted of CSC I because the victim was his wife.
Defendant’s theory of the case was generally that any relationship between himself and Stephanie was consensual, and also that she was known to make up stories and hallucinate while taking her medication. He also claimed that since she was his wife, he could do anything he wanted to her.
The defendant appealed exclusion of certain documents that he claimed would aid in his defense. The court of appeals stated that even if there were a marital relationship, marriage doesn't confer upon defendant a right to have nonconsensual sex with Stephanie. The COA also noted:
"Furthermore, absolutely none of those things in any way disprove a coercive relationship between the two of them. Indeed, a casual reading of the documents strongly suggests a controlling and coercive relationship. The barbaric notion that a person cannot rape their spouse has long since been abolished, and the existence of a caretaker relationship would seem to give rise to a greater obligation to refrain from exercising dominion over a ward, rather than constituting evidence that control is not in fact being exercised."
The published decision in People v Martz (For Publication) may be read here: Download People v Martz