Governor Walz today signed a bill into law repealing the pre-existing relationship defense in criminal sexual assault cases. Jenny Teeson, who was drugged and abused by her husband, who videotaped the incident, was instrumental in getting the issue in front of lawmakers. Her now ex-husband pled guilty to invasion of privacy, a misdemeanor. Teeson today spoke to reporters before the bill signing and said “today victims, former victims and people who are still in very difficult situations, can know that if they are in an unsafe place, and an uncomfortable place and things are happening to them that if they do go to the authorities, that justice will be served.” One of the lawmakers impacted by Teeson’s story was Senator Michelle Benson, who championed the bill and said “Jenny started telling her story, a difficult story over and over again until everyone listened. And this is about to become a foundational change in Minnesota because of her tragedy and her courage.” Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan called the bill “a testament to the hard work of victims, survivors and advocates.” And the bill’s House author, Zack Stephenson said: “Today we make history for Minnesota as we move our laws out of the 19th century and recognize that all Minnesotans deserve to be safe, regardless of who they’re married to.” Until now, Minnesota allowed those charged with sexually assaulting their partner or spouse to use the pre-existing relationship as a legal defense. Here is an excerpt from today’s bill signing.