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Jan 19 2013

Appeal could change interpretation of TN rape law

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A century-old interpretation of Tennessee’s statutory rape law could get a new examination by the Tennessee Supreme Court.

The high court has agreed to review the case of a Memphis man convicted of having sex with a 14-year-old Arkansas girl. The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/SV5Gva ) reported the review could include revisiting and possibly overturning the interpretation.

The rule came about through an 1895 case in which a man was tried on charges that he had sex with his underage niece. A court ruled that, since they were related, both the man and the girl could be convicted of incest.

A victims’ rights advocate says such an interpretation amounts to juvenile victims of sexual abuse being victimized again by the legal system.

Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com