Thursday, May 7, 2009

A woman who claims to be Una Hardester responds to my previous post

COMMENT: This afternoon, I received an email from a woman who claims to be Una Hardester, the subject of our previous post. The text of her email, my response, and her response appears below this comment. She seems indignant that we would suggest charging Ms. Hardester with false rape reporting -- because she was only ten-years-old at the time of the rape lie. She suggests that Ms. Hardester's young age is, in fact, the reason she was not charged.

The problem with any such assertion is that we see case after case after case after case of adult women who also are not charged for false rape reporting. So Ms. Hardester's age might have been a convenient excuse for not charging her, but the fact is, this crime is not taken very seriously by police, by prosecutors, by legislatures around the world. And even when women are charged for this crime, they are given a monstrously light sentences.

For some reason -- and, gee, I can't imagine why -- the email writer's assertion regarding the reason Ms. Hardester wasn't charged (she was only ten years old) reminded me of this story:

Three boys, ages 8 and 9, were being held Monday in a detention center on charges of kidnapping and raping an 11-year-old girl near a suburban apartment complex, officials said.

The alleged attack happened Thursday and the girl's mother reported it to authorities Sunday, Acworth police Capt. Wayne Dennard said.

"The victim said they were playing outdoors and the girl was forced into a wooded area where she was sexually assaulted, where one of the boys raped her," Dennard told The Associated Press.

The three boys — an 8-year-old and two 9-year-olds — appeared in juvenile court Monday afternoon, dwarfed by the courtroom chairs and wearing navy blue jump suits and shackles. Their names were withheld because of their age.

Cobb County District Attorney Pat Head said the boys could not be charged with felony crimes because of their age but could be tried for alleged delinquent acts that could place them in a juvenile facility for up to five years.
Read the rest here.

Did you get that? Three boys, eight and nine years olds, in navy blue jump suits -- and shackles. And they were dwarfed by the courtroom chairs.

Why? Because they were born male, of course.

No age, it seems, is too young to punish for that crime.

To her credit, Ms. Hardester has finally done the right thing by taking responsibility for her lie. Many women never do that.

HERE IS THE EMAIL EXCHANGE BETWEEN THE PERSON WHO IDENTIFIES HERSELF AS UNA HARDESTER AND ME:

FROM THE WOMAN WHO IDENTIFIES HERSELF AS UNA HARDESTER:

You write:

The Irish woman, now living in New York, whose rape lie caused a man's reputation to be sullied and his name to be blackened as a "rapist" for twelve years will not be asked to return to Ireland to face charges. That simple. No charges. None. No explanation provided. No rationale given. A woman or girl can lie about rape and face no charges whatsoever, and the press doesn't even seem curious why.

Actually, members of the press know why: because I was ten years old at the time.

What possible purpose would prosecuting or incarcerating me at 22 serve? How would that be in the interest of justice? I went back to clear Feichin Hannon's name as soon as I was able. And, though it's just a small factual error, it hasn't been twelve years, it's been almost ten, since the wrongful conviction.

I have made it clear that I would go back if charges were brought against me.

To direct your future vitriol, here's a photo of me six months before, in the summer of 1996. Post that on your blog.
--
Una Hardester

FROM PIERCE HARLAN:

How do you feel about the eight year old boy who was handcuffed and charged with rape? Or was that somehow different?

FROM THE WOMAN WHO IDENTIFIES HERSELF AS UNA HARDESTER:

How do I feel about that? Handcuffing and charging an eight year old boy or girl with anything is ridiculous and cruel.

Please just make the correction. I do not want to argue with you.