The deadline for prosecutors to appeal a judge's decision to acquit a Muslim man of sexually assaulting his wife has passed. It appears the ruling – that cultural and religious beliefs that he could have sex with her even when she was not willing trump secular Canadian law – will stand.

The now-divorced couple has not been identified. But Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Smith acquitted the Palestinian-Muslim husband, saying he "probably had sex with his wife on many occasions without her specific consent," but both believed their faith gave him that right, "as both he and she believed that he had the right to do so."

As we reported last week, Canadian law expressly requires actual consent, including from spouses, and specifies that not knowing the law is not a defense to breaking it.

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