Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Classic "he said-she said" rape claim -- his reputation is marred, hers is intact

How is the following news story fair to the man accused of rape? His identity is splashed across the newspaper while his accuser's anonymity is protected even though the purported crime is supported by no evidence beyond her accusation. Note that he accuses her of making a false rape claim, also a crime, but that claim is not deemed to warrant anonymity for him. Note that the defense claims to have evidence of a telephone transcript where "the woman admitted to the doctor that she had only laid the rape charge against him because he 'did not care' about her."

This is another manifestation of society encouraging rape claims but doing precious little to protect men from, or to discourage women from filing, false rape claims. Again this is because the crime of false reporting of rape has become embroiled in the feminist sexual assault milieu that doesn't recognize the existence of false claims. Given the prevalence of false rape charges, the only fair approach is to keep the name of the accused anonymous until a final "guilty" verdict is entered and his appeal rights have been exhausted.

Move to have rape charges against doctor dropped

2008/05/20

THE defence lawyer of a prominent King William’s Town doctor accused of raping a patient told the Zwelitsha Regional Court yesterday he would apply for the charge to be dropped.

This came after the State closed its case yesterday with testimony from police officers who took statements from the alleged victim.

The 33-year-old woman, who cannot be named , accused Dr Sizwe Mxenge of raping her at his Bhisho Hospital cottage on October 30, 2006.

Defence lawyer Thembekile Malusi told the court he was preparing for an application to have the rape charge dismissed.

“I have prepared the application for the discharge of the accused but there was some evidence led today that I intend to incorporate. I will also address the court that the complainant was present in court during the entire proceedings today,” said Malusi.

The Lovedale College student claimed she visited Mxenge’s surgery to be treated for abdominal, breast and neck pains. She alleged that after examining her, the doctor gave her injections and five tablets to take, after which she fell asleep.

When she awoke , she claimed the doctor offered to drive her home as it was after office hours. Instead , he drove her to Bhisho where he allegedly raped her before releasing her later that night.

Earlier this year Malusi accused the woman of instituting false charges against the doctor with the hope of being paid some compensation.

He based this claim on a transcript of a telephone conversation between Mxenge and the woman days after the alleged incident.

In the transcript the woman admitted to the doctor that she had only laid the rape charge against him because he “did not care” about her.

Mxenge has denied one charge of indecent assault and that of rape.

The defence’s first attempt to have the charges dropped against Mxenge was turned down last year.