Estes v. State (2nd COA)

Penal Code §22.011(f) violates the Equal Protection Clause when it results in a harsher punishment for a defendant based only on the fact that he was married. Section 22.011(f) raises the level of sexual assault from a second-degree felony to a first-degree felony when “the victim was a person whom the actor was prohibited from marrying or purporting to marry.” There is no rational basis for the Legislature to treat married and unmarried defendants differently in this regard. Read.