Friday, February 13, 2009

Outrage over gang rape injustice

You would assume from the headline, that someone guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt of rape -- got off scott free. That assumption would be incorrect. However, a local feminist group has decided that the 3 men involved are guilty, and that a miscarriage of justice has occurred. It matters not that police received some information that "cast some questions over the veracity and reliability of the claims of the complainant." Or that the prosecutor said there had been some developments.

ROAR spokesperson Kat said that ‘ROAR are struggling to find out all the details about the case but believe that given the serious, calculated and violent nature of the reported offence - the court’s decision to release the men on bail was highly inappropriate.’ So....all of the details of the case are not available, and this is just a reported offense (not proven), yet these three men should be held in jail and deprived of thier liberty -- just because the crime alleged is rape.

The article is in 2 parts - both on the same page.

by LI

The ROAR Feminist Collective, and other angry Perth residents plan to protest against a legal decision which has lead to three men accused of a violent gang rape on a Perth teenager to be released on bail. Rape charges against one of the men have been dropped and charges against the others are likely to being dropped on Monday.

ROAR spokesperson Kat says ‘women already have such a difficult time reporting rape and giving evidence, that to be gang raped and then know that the court have released the perpetrators on bail must be terrifying.’ Kat believes that the court’s decision to release these men sent the message that this crime was not being taken seriously and made it much more difficult for the young woman to give evidence at trial.

Kat said that ‘ROAR are struggling to find out all the details about the case but believe that given the serious, calculated and violent nature of the reported offence - the court’s decision to release the men on bail was highly inappropriate.’‘

Rape remains one of the most underreported of all violent crimes and a large proportion of women who do report rape are unlikely to ever find justice in the court system’ she said.‘

The court’s decision to release these men on bail is an injustice to all women and cases like this are likely to deter, rather than encourage women to report rape and sexual violence’ she said.


BACKGROUND

On 30 Jan, WA Police dropped all charges against a Beechboro man they claimed had been involved in a gang rape on Christmas Day.

The 18 year-old man had been accused of aggravated sexual penetration without consent and deprivation of liberty at a Nollamara unit.

However, Magistrate Elizabeth Woods dismissed the charges in Court, after police could not offer any evidence.

The man's lawyer said outside court that his client was glad his ordeal was over, and had maintained his innocence throughout. He would now consider further legal options.

Police had claimed the incident happened in the early hours of Christmas morning after a man knocked on the window of the 18-year-old woman's home and woke her.

They claimed the man, who was known to the woman, tricked her into going with him to a nearby park where she was then forced into a car by the man and another two men, who were waiting nearby, before being driven to a unit where she was gang raped. Police had earlier claimed one of the men filmed the attack.

The prosecuting sergeant told the hearing that police had received some information that "cast some questions over the veracity and reliability of the claims of the complainant". The police prosecutor also said there had been some developments.

Two other men facing similar charges appeared in court last week and it is understood police will withdraw charges against at least one of them on Monday.

One of the men told the court he had a child and a wife who had only been in Australia one year and could not speak English.


Link: http://www.perth.indymedia.org/?action=newswire&parentview=138496