Saturday, May 30, 2009
Below this comment is a news story that's sort of a Rorschach inkblot of our hysterical, suspicious, anti-male culture. It's about a 19-year-old guy -- a prime age for scary predators, wouldn't you agree? -- who saw a little girl eating sand. Concerned for her well-being, the young man immediately took her by the hand to lead her to her mother. A neighbor, suspecting the worst, alerted the girl's father about this monster, and the father called the police. Police promptly arrived and cuffed the teen. However, they soon discovered that the teen was actually a Good Samaritan, not a child predator.
OK, maybe it really did look all too suspicious without knowing the facts. And maybe there wasn't time to check out this young man's intentions.
But somehow I can't escape the thought that if the 19-year-old had been a woman instead of a guy, the police wouldn't have been called; the neighbor would have investigated without alarming everyone; and the do-gooder wouldn't have been humiliated the way this well-intentioned young man was.
Somehow I can't escape the thought that the concerned neighbor and the girl's father would have given a female a little more leeway. (And, yes, I know, the ones who jumped to the false conclusion were men. That doesn't excuse it.)
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the same sort of guilty-until-proven innocent hysteria that allows rape accusers to effectively ruin the lives of innocent men and boys. It's a manifestation of prejudging a person based on his gender. The exact same event would be viewed very differently if the guy had been a woman -- a Rorschach inkblot of a society in the serious grip of misandry.
HERE IS THE NEWS STORY:
Would-be abductor really a Good Samaritan: cops
A 19-year-old man accused of trying to abduct a four-year-old girl from a northside home yesterday morning was really just a Good Samaritan trying to help, cops say.
Police were called to the area of 129 B Avenue and 92 Street around 11:30 a.m. after a report of a man who allegedly watched some children play, then took one by the hand.
"Next thing I know the woman from next door is saying 'Hey, some guy just tried to take your daughter,' " the child's father told CTV Edmonton. "He had come up, had her hand and was trying to take her out of the back yard."
The man took off, with the father - who called 911 - hot on his heels. Cops caught up with the man and cuffed him.
However, by last night, police realized the man was no bad guy at all.
According to EPS spokesman Karen Carlson, he saw the little girl eating sand, and concerned for her well-being, took her by the hand and knocked on her home's back door to alert the mother - and that's when the confusion began.
He was released from custody without any charges around 10:15 p.m. last night.
Friday, May 29, 2009
"Binkley [the accused teacher] said there had been an unfair rush to judgment against her because of her profession." Welcome to our world, Ms. Binkley. Usually with rape accusations, there is an unfair rush to judgment against men and boys -- because of their gender.
Comment: It is not unusual for female teachers who have statutorily raped teen boys to defend themselves by falsely accusing their victims of rape. Remember Robin Mowery? How about Lina Sinah? In those cases, the young males were twice-victimized by the same woman: once of statutory rape, and once of a false rape claim. How peculiar -- and awful -- it must be to be falsely accused of rape by your own rapist, but that is what occurred.
I suspect that when female teachers and male students engage in consensual sex, even the prospect of a rape claim by the teacher will sometimes keep boys from reporting the encounter -- because, let's be honest, it's all-too easy to accuse a teen boy of rape, and the boys would likely be fearful of going to prison. Boys also likely underreport being statutorily raped because their parents -- their mothers especially -- would consider it to be an atrocity and would engage in serious victim blaming.
The news story below furnishes some interesting twists on this peculiar scenario. A teacher is charged with statutorily raping a boy. The boy at issue was almost a man -- one month shy of having to register for selective service, and that likely would serve to reduce her sentence if she is found guilty.
It is plausible that this boy, like most 17-year-old boys, was capable of physically overcoming his female teacher if he intended to rape her. And, yes, false rape claims are a problem for teachers -- especially male teachers. "Mark Pudlow, spokesman for the Florida Teachers Association, the state's major teachers union . . . points out [that] unions . . . have an obligation to help teachers who are themselves victims of bogus accusations . . . . 'There needs to be an understanding,' says Pudlow, 'that even when a false accusation hits the newspapers, it can ruin a teaching career.'"
But if the boy didn't rape the teacher in this case, she raped him because the law is the law, and at 17, he was too young to engage in legally consensual sex with her.
And lest we minimize the victimization of teen boys molested by female teachers by thinking them "lucky," it is well to remember that "boys who are sexually abused by women often develop alcoholism, depression and their own sexual dysfunctions, including rape, as men."
We don't know if the teacher in this case is lying, and we shouldn't rush to judgment. The police think she is lying, and the story notes that two other students have come forward claiming a sexual relationship with her. If the genders were reversed, we all know how everyone would react to that last bit of news. And we can also envision the harsh criminal sentence he'd receive.
But here's the most interesting aspect of the story -- the teacher's take on it: "'Binkley [the accused teacher] said there had been an unfair rush to judgment against her because of her profession.' . . . . . She said there had been some unfair comparisons to other high profile cases. 'Cause it's a teacher. All teachers are guilty. With all the things recently - it's a teacher story and teachers have to be guilty,' said Binkley."
Hmm. Interesting, isn't it? The fact is, female teachers are the only group of females at real risk of having false rape claims lodged against them. She might be correct that teachers in her situation (caught having sex with boys) are automatically deemed to be statutory rapists.
But when she says there is an unfair rush to judgment because of her profession, it reminds me of virtually every case we cover on this blog -- only the unfair rush to judgment is almost always against an accused male, because of his gender. It's assumed that any man or boy accused of rape must be guilty. And, as shown on this website over and over and over again, that's exactly how they are treated by the legal system and by society.
We all want justice to prevail here, as we do in all of these cases. We shouldn't assume the teacher is guilty. And if, indeed, Ms. Binkley is innocent, then now she knows how virtually every innocent male accused of rape feels -- it's as if the trial is over even before it has begun and she's been convicted in the court of public opinion solely because of what she is, not what she did.
Welcome to our world, Ms. Binkley.
HERE IS THE NEWS STORY:
Statutory Rape - Or A Victim In Her Own Classroom?
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - In an exclusive interview, former Portland High School math teacher Sandy Binkley does not deny the encounter with a student, but said she was the victim of rape by the student.
Binkley is charged with statutory rape by an authority figure. Police said she had sex with a student in a classroom during school hours.
"There was one incident with one student - who was a month away from being 18. He was bigger than me and he forced himself on me," said Binkley. "He came into the room and forced himself upon me."
Attorney David Ridings said his client did not seduce the student for sex.
"There's been so many lies and mischaracterizations," Binkley's attorney David Ridings.
"Nothing could be farther from the truth."
Ridings and prosecutors do agree something happened in the girls' volleyball office. During a preliminary court hearing the student, who was a teacher's aid, testified.
"She laid down on the desk and I began to have intercourse with her . . . She said her tubes were tied which is why I didn't wear a condom. . . She said this isn't what you expected when you signed up for a teacher's aid," from the student's testimony in the preliminary hearing transcript.
The testimony was enough for the grand jury to indict Binkley, but her attorneys said there are inconsistencies.
Under cross examination the student admitted he was physical with Binkley.
"Did you pick her up and force her on the desk and have sex with her?" said the attorney.
"Not at all," said the student.
"You did not pick her up?" said the attorney.
"I picked her up, but she wanted it," said the student.
Binkley said there had been an unfair rush to judgment against her because of her profession.
"It's been terrible. First few months spent in bed. I didn't interact with my husband or kids - my family. Nothing," said Binkley.
She said there had been some unfair comparisons to other high profile cases.
"Cause it's a teacher. All teachers are guilty. With all the things recently - it's a teacher story and teachers have to be guilty," said Binkley. "I don't see myself that way."
Pam Rogers, a former beauty queen turned teacher in Warren County, is serving eight years in prison.
She was convicted in 2006 of having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old student.
"I don't know how I got lumped into the same category as her," said Binkley.
Binkley said unlike Rogers she did not do anything wrong.
"It was just one incident. It was not a wanted incident. He came into the room and forced himself upon me," said Binkley.
Two other students came forward claiming sexual relationships with Binkley.
"I know she's innocent. I know she didn't do anything wrong. I know she's the victim in this case," said husband Doug Binkley.
In an exclusive interview Thursday Binkley responds about the other relationships. She also talked about a certain style of teaching; she said the administration encouraged that could lead students to cross the line with their teachers.
Her attorneys hope the community will hear Binkley's story. They believe there are people out there who will say the students are lying and may come forward.
Police said there was no evidence of that.
The judge in the case makes a very relevant and valid point:
“When false complaints are made they undermine the confidence of juries in the evidence of those who are making true complaints.”
Now, if that could be applied to ALL false accusers, along with the sentence handed down, maybe we could see a drop in false accusations, and an increase in prosecutions of true rapists.
Craig Cullen jailed for false rape accusation.
AN INNOCENT man fainted when he was arrested at work and had to spend a night in the cells after another man falsely accused him of rape.
The unnamed man, who had never been arrested before, had to explain to his boss why he was being arrested before being taken to the police station where he was fingerprinted, questioned, and photographs and samples of DNA were taken.
Craig Cullen, 22, was jailed for eight months for the false and malicious claim that he had been raped by a man in a house at Nantgarw near Pontypridd.
Rachel Knight, prosecuting at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court, said that Cullen told police he was gay and gave a detailed “account” to police, describing how he had been collected from his place of work on February 24 this year and they had gone back to the man’s house.
The two, he said, had only met three times before and there had been some intimate contact, but that they had never had sex until he was raped.
Cullen claimed the man pinned him down on the bed as he raped him.
He told officers that his “attacker” had then shut him in the house, locking the doors and windows, before he returned to take him home in the early hours of the morning.
Cullen claimed that he could not call for help because he did not have a phone but when he was dropped off he made a complaint to a friend and he was taken to the specialised suite in Merthyr Tydfil.
His “attacker”, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested at work and had to explain to his bosses the reason for the arrest.
“He appeared distraught and fainted,” said Ms Knight.
“He said that he had done nothing wrong.
“He said that Cullen was being malicious because he had discovered that things had been taken and there had been an argument before taking the defendant back home.”
He was fingerprinted, DNA tested and questioned and spent seven and a half hours in custody before being released.
Police later discovered that not only was there another person in the house at the time of the alleged assault, but that it was impossible to lock all the doors and windows.
“As a result of the investigation it was not possible that the defendant’s account could be true,” said Ms Knight.
Stephen Thomas, defending Cullen, of Albert Street, Newport, told the court that he knew he had committed a serious offence, hence the guilty plea.
“That in itself is an important factor in sparing the victim from any further trauma,” said Mr Thomas.
He said that Cullen, who admitted perverting the course of public justice, had sent an apologetic text message to his victim and added: “This was an aberration, a one-off offence.”
Jailing Cullen, Judge John Curran said that it had been a malicious and false complaint that had caused damage to a person and his liberty and told him: “When false complaints are made they undermine the confidence of juries in the evidence of those who are making true complaints.”
Tiffany Genell Nerem charged with misdemeanor for false report.
A 24-year-old woman has been arrested for making a false report to police about an attempted rape, Austin police officials said.
Tiffany Genell Nerem, 24, at right, has been charged with making a false report to a peace officer, a Class B misdemeanor. Police officials said Nerem reported that a man she did not know had entered her apartment about 3:30 a.m. on April 19 when she was returning home. Police said Nerem reported that she had fought the man off, and he fled on foot.
Detectives have since determined that the suspect was known to the victim, and evidence suggested he did not attempt a sexual assault, police said.
Nerem is no longer in custody, according to Travis County Jail record.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Man serving life for sexual assault as a teen is freed -- no one bothered to tell him the 'victim' recanted before trial
Court backs retrial over evidence dispute in sex assault case
By JENNIFER EMILY / The Dallas Morning News email@example.com
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled Wednesday that a man sentenced to life in prison for sexual assault as a teen should get a new trial because evidence was withheld in his case.
Court records show the victim told a prosecutor in 1995 that Antrone Lynelle Johnson did not sexually assault her inside a school restroom, but Johnson was convicted and not told about the information until last year.
Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins said Wednesday that his office would not retry Johnson because prosecutors don't believe a crime occurred. Johnson, now 32, was released from prison in November pending the outcome of the appellate court's decision.
"Obviously, he didn't commit the crime," Watkins said. "Prosecutorial misconduct was done in this case, and it was blatant."
But Patricia Hogue, the original prosecutor in the case, adamantly denies that she withheld information and says that current prosecutors "misled" the court. The information, she said, would have been given orally to Johnson's attorney. There would be no written record.
Hogue, who was fired when Watkins took office in January 2007, questioned why the DA's office would take the word of Johnson's attorney, V. Ray Davis, who was convicted in 1998 of trying to bribe a prosecutor.
"If the DA's office wants to do that and let rapists out of jail, that's OK. I'm not part of it anymore," Hogue said. "It's still absolutely false that I withheld evidence."
She said she is also angry that current prosecutors haven't allowed her to examine the case file.
Withholding such evidence from the defense is called a "Brady violation." The term refers to a 1963 U.S. Supreme County case – Brady vs. Maryland – in which the court found that prosecutors violate defendants' constitutional rights if they intentionally or accidentally withhold evidence favorable to the defense.
There is no criminal charge for a Brady violation in Texas.
The day before Johnson's trial, the girl told prosecutors that Johnson did not sexually assault her, according to court records. A school official also called her "a great liar," according to another notation in the file.
A copy of a prosecutor's note from Feb. 5, 1995, reads: "Johnson did not make her give him oral sex. He took her in the bathroom and she told him she didn't want to do it, so he stayed in there and pretended and then let her out."
She didn't appear for trial, but prosecutors persuaded Johnson to plead guilty to sexual assault in exchange for 10 years of deferred adjudication probation. That type of probation means Johnson would not have had a criminal conviction if he completed the program.
While on probation in September 1995, Johnson was accused of having sex in the boys' restroom with a 13-year-old female Seagoville High schoolmate.
She was three months away from 14 – the legal age in Texas to consent to sex with the 17-year-old Johnson. He was charged with sexual assault of a child.
Records show the girl came to school with condoms and had sex that day with three other students under the basketball bleachers. Those students were also charged.
Court records show the girl gave conflicting statements. She told a grand jury that she had denied to others having sex with Johnson. But the denial apparently was not revealed to the defense, which would also be a Brady violation.
Judge Mark Tolle, who is now deceased, revoked Johnson's probation and sentenced him to life in prison in the first case. He was given a five-year prison sentence in the second case.
The DA's office said Wednesday that the girl from the first case told prosecutors she did not know Johnson had gone to prison. She said nothing happened in the restroom and did not have a clear recollection of what she told Hogue and when she told her. She did not object to Johnson's release.
Johnson's attorney, Shirley Baccus-Lobel, said Wednesday that Johnson did not want to speak about the case. She said Johnson is working, going to school and dating.
"It's a happy day here," Baccus-Lobel said. "It would have been a tragedy to have all that yanked from him."
Police officers banged on Clive Bishop’s door at 4.30am and he was subjected to a humiliating body search, all because a drunk teenager falsely cried rape. Here, he and his wife, who stood by him through thick and thin, tell Barbara Davies what they went through
THERE was never a moment when Sue Bishop believed her husband Clive was capable of rape. Not when five police officers turned up on her doorstep in the middle of the night, hammered on the door and then arrested the part-time taxi driver on suspicion of rape.
Not even when they carted him off to Yeovil Police Station in Somerset and put him in a cell.
"I didn't doubt him for a minute," she said. "I just knew it wasn't in his nature."
Last week, more than two years after their nightmare began when her husband was falsely accused of rape by a drunken teenage passenger, Mr Bishop, 50, made legal history when he won the right to apply for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
Click here for more
Kirsty Palmer, the mother- of-two who made up the rape allegation, was given a 10-month prison sentence. But, as the Bishops' account of the past two years makes clear, the emotional and mental legacy of what happened in the hours and days after his wrongful arrest runs as deep as any physical scar.
"It's taken over our lives," said 48-year-old Mrs Bishop, who works as a carer. Mr Bishop, who lost his taxi business as a result of the rape allegation, said that Palmer's actions amounted to an act of violence against him.
"I feel as if I've been raped of my dignity and my self-confidence. That night, my choices in life were taken away from me and I've been struggling ever since. I've had to fight for everything."
Looking back on the events of the past two years, the couple from Walton in Somerset still find it hard to believe how their lives were so suddenly turned upside down.
It happened, quite literally, overnight when they were woken at 4.30am on February 25, 2007 by someone banging on the door of their three-bedroom semi-detached home.
Mr Bishop, who went downstairs to open the door, said: "I thought it was bad news and that something had happened to one of the young adults we'd been looking after, or to my son or daughter.
"Then I noticed one of the policemen was wearing blue surgical gloves. When he said he was arresting me on suspicion of rape, I said 'That's absolute rubbish'. I was totally shocked and stunned."
Placed in a police cell for several hours, he was photographed and fingerprinted before undergoing a series of humiliating medical examinations.
In the early morning, a doctor swabbed his mouth, his penis and the backs and palms of his hands. He was asked to provide a sample of spit, scrapings and clippings from each fingernail, as well as hair samples from his head and groin.
Later that afternoon, the police finally began questioning him and it quickly became clear that there was no case against him. The rape allegation had been made by 17- year-old Kirsty Palmer, a passenger he had picked up in his taxi the previous night.
"She'd said she'd been taken to a remote lane and raped by a man who was black, Asian or possibly heavily tanned – which, as a white man without a tan, clearly wasn't me. The duty solicitor nearly fell off his chair. He couldn't comprehend why I was there."
But Mr Bishop remembered Kirsty Palmer clearly. He'd begun work at 7pm on Saturday February 24. He collected Palmer and a friend and took them to a nightclub.
At 1am, he received a call from Palmer's friend asking him to take the very drunk girl home.
"At no point did I touch her. She did not even pay me because her friend had already done it, so we'd never even come into contact."
It emerged that when Palmer got to her door, she found she was locked out. She made her way to a neighbour's house and claimed she had been raped. Hours later, Mr Bishop was arrested.
While he waited for the police to decide what action to take, there was no possibility of life returning to normal. His red Nissan was seized by police, making it impossible for him to work.
"Sue and I agreed we wouldn't tell anyone. We didn't want to upset our parents or our children, we didn't want it to get out. I was afraid of the backlash."
Two days before he was due to report back to Yeovil Police Station, Mr Bishop received a phone call from his solicitor. "He said not to bother turning up because no action was being taken against me. It was like being stabbed through the heart to think that they could just leave it like that."
He wrote a letter of complaint to the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police. "In the end, they sent someone to my house to apologise, but I wanted it in writing as well. I wanted a letter exonerating me."
In April last year, mother- of-two, Palmer pleaded guilty to the false rape allegation and was jailed for 10 months by Bristol Crown Court.
Even seeing his accuser jailed did not compensate for what Mr Bishop suffered. "The mental scars run deep. I'm a very nervous person now. I can't get what happened out of my head."
The publicity of the court action against Palmer also forced the couple to tell their family and friends what happened.
The decision by a Taunton tribunal that he was eligible to apply for compensation was hugely symbolic: "Finally, it makes clear all the distress I have suffered. Women who make up stories like these should be put on the sex offenders' register. Lies like these ruin people's lives."
COMMENT: Mr Bishop's final remarks say it all.
"It would be nice, of course, to name his false accusers here, but a publication ban prohibits it."
And he is correct. False accusers should lose all anonymity, and the presumed innocent accused (falsely or not), deserve anonymity until such time as a conviction is obtained. Fairness and justice demand it.
Brian MacDonald Lechie innocent of rape.
Back in August of last year, following a press release by the OPP, the story was told here of how a counsellor at the Crisis Intervention Centre in Bancroft was charged with two separate counts of sexual assault — reportedly involving two clients who had come to him for guidance and counselling.
Brian MacDonald Lechie was his name, then 62, and from Belleville.
One of the big criticism of the media, and it is a good one, is that it often does stories on such sensational charges being laid but, like hit-and-run artists, rarely follows up when a person is acquitted.
Well, Brian MacDonald Lechie was acquitted, back on Feb. 12 — right here in Bancroft court — and acquitted not because of a technicality, but acquitted because Judge Stephen Hunter said his accusers had no credibility.
They were, as he put it, “not credible.”In other words, Brian Lechie was innocent.
Being a rape crisis counsellor is no easy task, and to think one would re-victimize a woman who came to him for counselling is a weighty accusation.
But it didn't happen and, according to Lechie's Toronto lawyer, Jenny Stephenson, who I talked to, it cost her client big time — financially (he was suspended from his job, and then faced legal costs), personally, and professionally.
His name, after all, was now mud.
It would be nice, of course, to name his false accusers here, but a publication ban prohibits it.
For that, they should thank their lucky stars.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The articles first, then comments.
What if the perpertrator of a crime is the criminal justice system? What if the crime lab that judges, juries, and lawyers rely on is the entity that fails you?
Gary Alvin Richard’s lawyer says that is exactly the case and this is not the first time the Houston crime lab has been faulted for faulty forensics and now false testimony. These false and faulty actions helped secure his conviction his lawyer maintains and he wants Mr. Richards released from prison. Mr. Richard is now 53-yrs-old and has served 22-yrs so far for rape and robbery. Both Mr. Richards lawyer and prosecutors agree that tests completed Friday show that an HPD analyst misled jurors at his trial and this individual also failed to report evidence that could have helped him. Based on these tests, both sides will ask a judge next week to release Mr. Richard on bond while they sort out the rest of the details.
“This is a new chapter, among many, of mistakes that were made, of sloppy work at the crime lab.” “Most troubling are the results that were not passed on to people who needed them.”
-Bob Wicoff, Richard’s lawyer.
If Mr. Richard is exonerated, this will be the fourth case cleared due to faulty work by the HPD crime lab. Richard’s case is receiving new scrutiny because of a massive review of cases with problematic HPD blood-typing evidence. The review started in October 2007, days after DNA evidence cleared Ronald Taylor of sexual assault in a case where HPD analysts performed faulty tests on body-fluid evidence, known as serology, a precursor to DNA testing.
Wicoff is leading the review of some 160 cases that an independent investigator identified as having problematic serology tests. Richard’s case is the first in that group to prompt a claim of actual innocence.
Comment: Once again we see a case where law enforcement was so eager to convict, that false testimony was accepted, and exculpatory evidence witheld from the defense. Something to keep in mind the next time you hear "rapes aren't reported because the woman won't be believed."
Texas man likely to be freed after 22 years.
A Texas man who spent 22 years in prison for a rape that forensic tests now suggest he did not commit is expected to be freed.
Gary Alvin Richard is likely to be released Thursday after prosecutors and his defense attorney ask a judge to set him free on bail.
Lawyers will then weigh what to do with Richard's case.
Defense attorney Bob Wicoff says the new tests based on blood-typing prove Richard's innocence. Prosecutors agree the results contradict crime lab evidence but say they do not know if Richard is innocent.
If cleared, Richard - who is serving a life sentence for a 1987 rape - would be the fourth Harris County man to have his conviction overturned because of faulty forensics from the Houston crime lab.
Comment: If the blood typing doesn't match, based on the DNA recovered, how is it that the prosecution can say they "do not know if Richard is innocent"? It would be refreshing, just once, to see someone say that "hey, this was a mistake. We are working to correct that mistake, as much as we are able, and hope to free the falsely convicted quickly."
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Valedictorian of UC Berkeley tells graduating class that men are raping women on campus with abandon
In her Valedictorian address to the 2009 graduating class of UC Berkeley, Emma Shaw Crane, 23, said this: "Even here, this university, one in three women will be sexually assaulted by someone else at this university. And I see this as evidence that violence is systemic and there is no way to guarantee our own safety as long as other people are positioned as worthless and left vulnerable."
By insisting, without any supporting authority beyond her serene ipse dixit, that rape is rampant at UC Berkeley, the young Valedictorian was merely parroting an untruth that feminists around the world recite without the slightest thought or hesitation every day. If a similar lie were told about any other group aside from males, there would be protests and calls for Ms. Crane to apologize and to forfeit her University honors. But slandering males about rape -- and any number of other things -- is not only acceptable, it is downright politically correct.
The one-in-three, four, five etc. moving target.
One of the more fascinating, not to mention frightening, realities about the feminist canard that "one-in-_______ women are raped" is that the number is a moving target. Some feminists insist that one-in-three women in their lifetimes are raped; most tell us it's one-in-four; many tell us it's one-in-four college women; some tell us it's one-in-four Freshmen college women before Thanksgiving break; some tell us it's one-in-six women in general; some tell us it's one-in-seven women in general. And I could go on and on, but you get the point. Pick a single digit number and you'll find some "support" for it among the politicized purveyors of misandry in the rape industry. It doesn't seem to bother these zealots that they can't even get their stories straight. Nor do they seem to notice that that there is one hell of a difference between one-in-three women overall and one-in-four college women before Thanksgiving and one-in-seven women overall. But, hey, why allow critical thinking to get in the way of a good feminist victim metanarrative?
One-in-whatever is a lie that manages to insult two genders at once.
In any event, this lie -- expressed with seemingly infinite invention -- wildly inflates the prevalence of rape beyond any semblance of fact. It is nothing more than a modern day "Chicken Little" fable, but instead of yelling "The sky is falling!" the hysterical mantra of these politically correct fear mongers is that "All men are potential rapists!"
Ms. Crane's claim that one-in-three Berkeley women are raped during their stay at the school accomplishes the seemingly impossible task of insulting two genders at once. It insults men, of course, because it unfairly suggests that the male gender is not just inherently but deeply and likely fatally flawed because it is populated by a staggering number of rapists. It also insults women because it suggests that they not only are utterly defenseless and in need of extraordinary protections from men but that virtually every woman who is raped is either too stupid or too weak even to report it.
So, 6,300 UC Berkeley women are being raped?
Let us briefly examine the facts surrounding Ms. Crane's claim to demonstrate that it isn't just implausible, it is downright other-worldly. We'll use rough numbers for the sake of simplicity. In 2008, there were approximately 35,000 undergraduate and post-graduate students at UC Berkeley -- approximately 54% of whom were female, or roughly 18,900. Thus, according to Ms. Crane, approximately 6,300 women (one out of three) will be sexually assaulted during their stay at UC Berkely by "someone else at this University."
Did you get that? 6,300 UC Berkeley women will be subjected to the worst felony on our criminal books aside from murder.
Only seven rapes are reported on campus every year -- roughly 28 over four years -- contrasted with the 6,300 rapes that one-in-three would yield.
How does this astonishing number compare with actual reports of alleged rapes at UC Berkeley? Let us just say that to get to the number Ms. Crane posits would require underreporting of Biblical proportions; in fact, it wouldn't be fair to call it "underreporting" -- it would be the greatest cover-up in the history of the world. Here is why: in 2007, there were just seven reported rapes on the campus of UC Berkeley, an increase over the two previous years. (By way of contrast, there were 89 reports of burglary in 2007.) Of those seven reported rapes, there were two arrests, and only one of the persons arrested was a student or affiliated with the school. Even assuming that all seven reports of rape were actual rapes (and that is extremely unlikely), and that the average woman on campus will be a UC Berkeley student for four years (also unlikely, even taking into account those undergraduate women who stay on at UC Berkeley as graduate students), and not even bothering to take into account the fact of repeat victims (22.8 percent of college rape victims have been victimized before) -- that would mean that roughly 28 women would report their rapes during their stay at UC Berkeley.
That's 28 reported rapes, as opposed to the 6,300 supposedly actual rapes Ms. Crane posits.
That means, according to Ms. Crane, that only .004444 percent of all women who are actually raped will even report it.
Did you get that? Read it again: .004444 percent.
Compare that figure with the figures feminists typically toss out as the rate for underreporting. Not surprisingly, this, too, is a moving target, but feminists often claim that just forty percent of rapes are reported. Others claim that only thirty-three percent are reported. Some claim the number is really sixteen percent.
So, we have Ms. Crane's claim that only .004444 percent of women at UC Berkeley report rape versus traditional feminists' claims of 40 percent. Ms. Crane's figures aren't just a "far cry" from the traditional feminist figures on underreporting, her's are in a different universe altogether -- we might properly call it "Wonderland." Ms. Crane's one-in-three also means that more than 6,270 women will be victims of the most vile felony short of murder -- and won't even report it, much less see justice served.
What would 6,300 campus rapes mean in the real world?
To put this number in a real world context, if one in three women at UC Berkeley were diagnosed with the swine flu, the school would close. "Epidemic" would be too mild a word to describe such a calamity. So why hasn't the school closed in the wake of this one-in-three crime wave?
Moreover, would any parent ask his or her college-age daughter to run an errand to the store knowing there was a one-in-three chance she would be raped along the way? The question scarcely survives its statement. Yet, Ms. Crane would have us believe that parents eagerly pay for their their daughters to attend a place where the odds that the young women will be defiled are only slightly less than the odds that a young female character in a torture-horror film will be brutally murdered.
In fact, the one-in-three number is a lie, as in the one-in-four, or anything close to it. Everyone who has seriously examined this issue knows that these numbers are reached by studies that query women and count as "rape" certain male conduct that is legally and by any reasonable measure not rape. These studies have also been known to disregard the respondents' own conclusions about the male conduct in question. Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers traced these "one in four" claims to their baseless and disingenuous origins and demonstrated beyond any legitimate dispute that the politicized studies, gussied up as scientific research, should be rejected as lacking credibility. Heather MacDonald put these studies in perspective: "If the one-in-four statistic is correct . . . campus rape represents a crime wave of unprecedented proportions. No crime, much less one as serious as rape, has a victimization rate remotely approaching 20 or 25 percent, even over many years. The 2006 violent crime rate in Detroit, one of the most violent cities in America, was 2,400 murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults per 100,000 inhabitants—a rate of 2.4 percent. The one-in-four statistic would mean that every year, millions of young women graduate who have suffered the most terrifying assault, short of murder, that a woman can experience. Such a crime wave would require nothing less than a state of emergency—Take Back the Night rallies and 24-hour hotlines would hardly be adequate to counter this tsunami of sexual violence. Admissions policies letting in tens of thousands of vicious criminals would require a complete revision, perhaps banning boys entirely. The nation’s nearly 10 million female undergrads would need to take the most stringent safety precautions. Certainly, they would have to alter their sexual behavior radically to avoid falling prey to the rape epidemic."
Young men: an epidemic of rapists.
And what about the young men? You know, the vile sexual predators who lurk about on campus? If Ms. Crane's numbers were correct, what would that mean for them? Using the same rough numbers we used above, there are approximately 16,100 male students at UC Berkeley. We won't even bother taking into account repeat victims (which would jack up the number of male offenders), but we will assume a certain level of repeat offenders among rapists, since this will lower the number of male offenders. "It is unknown how many college rapists are repeat offenders. . . . One study found that 96 college men accounted for 187 rapes . . . ." See here. For the sake of simplicity, we'll assume roughly two victims for every rapist.
This means that roughly -- and conservatively -- 2,680 young male Berkeley students are rapists during their stay at Berkeley. A full-blown, careful examination of the one-in-three canard would make that number greater. But consider 2,680 rapists, as opposed to the fourteen (or likely fewer) reported rapists based on the actual campus reports of rapes (remember, there would be 28 actual rape reports and roughly two rapes for every rapist).
This means that if justice prevailed, 2,680 young men would not only be expelled, they would be serving lengthy prison terms and thereafter forced to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. Their lives would be fairly destroyed. This means you could walk into any class on campus and one out of every six males wouldn't be there -- they'd be in prison. In a large class where there were 100 males, 17 would be in prison. Did you get that? 17. If the school's baseball team had a roster of 25 men, a number equivalent to the entire infield would be in prison. As Heather MacDonald said, university admissions offices would need to think about banning males altogether -- it would be too dangerous for women to have peers with penises walking among them. At best every young male would need to be shackled like an animal as he walked in the presence of young women.
We could also extrapolate from the aforementioned numbers to show how society would be forced to double the number of existing prisons -- existing prisons would be overflowing with young, white males serving significant sentences. Many of these vulnerable men would themselves become rape victims behind bars -- because that's who prison rapists target.
What sort of misandrist truly believes that this is even a remotely accurate reflection of reality? The better question is, why didn't the vast majority in the crowd at UC Berkeley's graduation ceremony stand up and protest Ms. Crane's male bashing?
The rape-is-rampant lie foments our false rape culture.
Among its many vile repercussions, and paramount for purposes of this blog, the repeated retelling of this misandric urban myth serves to do two important things:
(1) It trivialize false rape claims by convincing people that false rape claims must be a tiny drop in what must be an ocean of actual rapes. Thus, with all these rapes that must be occurring, we need to tolerate false rape claims in order to battle the greater evil, rape itself.
(2) It gives instant plausibility to every false rape claim -- the accusation must be true because, after all, rape is rampant.
It is well to remember one important fact. The lie of rampant rape has not been promulgated by a conspiracy of college women. It is promulgated by the rape industry and the feminist elite, and the student body as a whole is not sold on it. As Heather MacDonald explained: "One group on campus isn’t buying the politics of the campus 'rape' movement, however: students. To the despair of rape industrialists everywhere, students have held on to the view that women usually have considerable power to determine whether a campus social event ends with intercourse."
Ms. Crane also noted this in her speech: "We can choose to look away, but that looking away compromises the heart of what it means to be human." Moreover, in describing Ms. Crane's Valedictorian address, the on-line UC Berkely news said: "Emma Shaw Crane, the 2009 University Medalist, called on her fellow graduates not to settle for comfort and privilege, but to call out the injustices around them and work to make the world and the neighborhood a better place."
We know what we must do: we must not look away; we must call them on their lies, and demonstrate the injustice of what they preach, and its utter, contemptible absurdity. The hour of triumph for the liars will only end when we spread the truth.
Girl faked town centre rape story
AN 18-year-old girl who claimed she had been dragged into a town centre alley and raped, made up the story, it has been revealed.
Detectives say the complaint was false and is no longer being investigated.
The girl could face prosecution for wasting police time.
She claimed she had been dragged into the alley off Bradshawgate at around 2.30am after a night out on Saturday, May 2.
Police launched a hunt for her attacker and cordoned off the area. They also appealed to a mystery "Good Samaritan" to come forward. The girl claimed he had disturbed the rapist, and then escorted her home.
Police reviewed CCTV cameras in the area and found no sign of the incident taking place.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Something caught my eye while reading this:
Afterward [following the alleged rape], the woman went to her child's father's house and told him about the incident. That's when she called police.
A couple of things jump out from those 2 sentences:
1. She isn't married to the child's father.
2. She told him about the incident and that is when police were called.
Those two things would suggest she might have been attempting to use the alleged rape incident as a means to get back together with her child's father. Unfortunately, we have seen this type of situation before. Again, she isn't named, but at least in this case, no one was arrested.
Also note the extremely forgiving tone of the news article -- she first was "allegedly raped" but "now says the sex was consensual." Moreover, she simply told police she didn't want to press charges against the man. The article doesn't say she made a false rape report despite her admission that she had. Put it this way: ask yourself if a news article reporting on an admitted rape would write the article as follows: "A man who had sex with a woman later told police the sex was not consensual." We all know that no such article would report the news in that fashion. More likely the news article would say, "Man admits he raped woman." But for some reporters and editors in the news media, reporting that "Woman admits false rape claim" simply doesn't fit their female-as-victim metanarrative.
Woman admits sex was consensual, and not rape.
A woman who was allegedly raped by a man whom she met on MySpace.com now says the sex was consensual, according to Orlando Police.
The woman told officers earlier this week that the man raped her when she went to his apartment on Westgate Drive.
The 21-year-old woman told officers she met the man, 25, on MySpace.com on April 20 and began talking to him on the phone and via e-mail.
According to a police report the woman went to the man's apartment on Tuesday afternoon to hang out there and eventually leave to go hang out somewhere else together.
The man told the woman to follow him to his bedroom so he could show her something there. Once inside, he threw her on the bed and began kissing her. He then took her clothes off and raped her, she told police.
Afterward, the woman went to her child's father's house and told him about the incident. That's when she called police. Later that afternoon the woman told police she didn't want to press charges against the man.
Police are no longer investigating.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
When it comes to sex crimes, we are stranded in an era of gender self-pity and one-way outrage -- and no sympathy for innocent male victims
By KEVIN MYERS
Tuesday May 05 2009
There seems to be no empathy, no regard, no compassion for male victims.
And the case of Michael Hannon is particularly shocking
I looked, and of course, I looked in vain, for some sign of compassion for Michael Feichin Hannon, from our state-supported feminist quangos. I shouldn't have been surprised about their silence over the grave injustice done to him: yet some small stupid part of me had retained the naïve hope that there might be some sign of ordinary human decency from our professional gender-industry.
Gender self-pity is now so deeply ingrained in the political psyche of the institutions of this State that it is apparently quite invisible to those who run them. We have lived in a political regime with a one-way rage for two decades now; and like the vegetation on a wind-blasted island, the landscape of our public morality has been utterly distorted by it. We have created a state-subsidised chorus of feminist sirens which only howls when it sees the cases that confirm that women alone are the victims of endless oppression. Naturally, the sirens -- and their colleagues in the media -- resolutely ignore those cases which provide contradictory evidence.
Now, a few weeks ago I was confident that the various state-subsidised feminist quangos -- from the Rape Crisis Centres, to the National Council of Women, to the Equality Authority -- would say nothing about the preposterously light sentence of seven years for the serial rape of a 14-year-old boy by his mother, and I was right. The fact that the judge was a woman was no doubt a factor in their silence. Her explanation for the light sentence -- that the Edwardian law was more heavily biased against paternal incest was both tendentious and spurious: for the charge of sexual assault alone carries a maximum of 14 years' imprisonment.
It's possible that I missed some condemnation of the sentence by the vast army of feminist-commentators and feminist quangos: but if I did, it wasn't for want of trying. But imagine the outcry -- and very properly -- if a man who had raped and sexually abused his 14-year-old daughter was sentenced to just seven years' imprisonment by a male judge.
What troubles me most about these feminist institutions, and the feminists who run them -- not all of them women by any means -- is the double standards which are now a norm. There seems to be no empathy, no regard, no compassion for male victims. So the case of Michael Hannon is particularly shocking, not merely because it could so easily happen again, but because of the lack of outcry resulting from it. Twelve years ago this innocent young man was framed by a malicious 10-year-old girl, Una Hardester, and duly found guilty of assault and sexual assault. His life could have been ruined. That it wasn't was because his family believed in his innocence.
That same year, three young Irish soldiers on holiday in Cyprus were similarly accused by an Irish girl. Only 15 hours later, after the men had been arrested on charges of rape, and under questioning from a detective who doubted her allegations, did the accuser break down and admit that her claims were baseless. She was sentenced to four months imprisonment.
Cue, outcry from Irish feminists, not over the attempt by a young Irishwoman to use the proper loathing for the crime of rape to ruin the lives of three innocent men, but because she was imprisoned at all. Condemning the jail sentence, Olive Braiden of the Rape Crisis Centre, said it would deter rape victims from reporting cases, and anyway, there was more to this case "than met the eye": whatever that cheap slur might mean. Anne O'Donnell, formerly of the Rape Crisis Centre, similarly dismissed the seriousness of the false allegations of rape, and, briefly appointing herself as both judge and jury in some hypothetical Cypriot court, declared that the woman's word alone would never have been enough to have secured a rape conviction. Ah. So that's all right then.
Fast forward to the Hannon case. Racked with guilt, Una Hardester returned from the US nearly three years ago to admit to her false allegations. Her sworn statement was known to An Garda Siochana and the office of the Director Public Prosecutions. But, quite scandalously, it was never passed to Michael Hannon's solicitor. Michael only discovered its existence purely by chance, after his sister encountered Hardester at a petrol station. Thus, no petrol, no justice. And it gets worse. For this state then flatly refused to declare that a miscarriage had been done. Michael Hannon, having once been the victim of the law, was then obliged to return to the courts to fight for a certificate of miscarriage of justice, which the Court of Appeal issued last week.
Now, we can be quite certain if a woman had been so gravely wronged by the State in some matter relating to sexual crime, that the feminist sirens, media and quangos alike, would have been howling in anger, and demanding enquiries and heads. But in the aftermath of this case, nothing: the sirens remained as quiet as a mountain lake. For the victim is a man, so really, the injustice done to him really doesn't count. Not in 1997, not today, and no doubt, not in 2019 either.
- KEVIN MYERS
Friday, May 22, 2009
All because an 18-year-old woman decided she would lie to grand jury about them -- and she did it not once but four times.
If convicted, she could serve up to 56 years for her lies.
The two innocent men missed time from their families that can never be made up. They suffered incalculable stress for which no compensation can make them whole. Their harm can never, ever be undone.
The fact that two adult males could be jailed with bond set at $150,000 on the say-so of a teenager is our judicial system's great shame.
Prosecutor Mark Williams is correct when he says "no one should have to spend any time in jail if they are innocent." That is a truth beyond dispute. Yet false rape case after false rape case after false rape case show that prosecutors really don't practice that.
Mr. Williams also said "we don't take these things lightly." Again, many, many prosecutors do take them lightly. They are rarely prosecuted.
Many false rape cases end with the liar serving less jail time than her victims -- is there any other crime where that can be said? I can't think of any. And that, ladies and gentlemen, tells us everything we need to know about our false rape culture, where falsely accused men are treated as flotsam, unfortunate but necessary collateral damage in the "more important" war on rape.
Let's follow this one closely -- this could be a poster child case for our cause if this young woman is convicted and doesn't receive substantial jail time -- far more than these men served.
This case, and others like it, is the reason we have this Web site.
HERE ARE TWO NEWS STORIES ON THIS TRAGEDY:
Kirksville woman indicted for making false rape claims
KIRKSVILLE — A Kirksville woman is facing eight counts of perjury stemming from rape allegations that resulted in two innocent men spending eight months in jail.
According to Adair County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Williams, Earlene Rogers, 18, was charged with lying to a grand jury four times over two separate depositions.
Last year, Rogers allegedly accused Glen Johnson, 35, and Timothy Rogers, 30, of rape and forcible sodomy.
The men, with bonds of $150,000, spent eight months in jail before they were released in February of this year.
Earlene Rogers is currently being held at the Adair County Jail on a $25,000 cash-only bond.
Johnson, a father of two, said he feels cheated by the time he lost with his children.
“I lost eight months of my life,” he said. “That’s eight months away from my kids. We missed a lot of holidays and functions we will never get back.”
Rogers was expected to be arraigned this week, but no attorney had been named to represent her.
If she chooses a private attorney to represent her, the arraignment date will be June 1. If one is appointed by the state, the date will be postponed until June 2.
Johnson is just hoping justice will be served.
“I just want to let the court system do its thing,” he said. “A person shouldn’t technically be able to lie and get away with it.”
Local woman charged with perjury
KIRKSVILLE, MO. -- A Kirksville woman is behind bars accused of lying under oath.
Earlene Rogers, 18, was indicted by a grand jury on eight counts of perjury. She's currently being held in the Adair County Jail on $25,000 cash only bond.
The charges are in connection with an incident in which she accused Kirksville residents Glen Johnson and Timothy Rogers of raping and sodomizing her last year. Earlene Rogers withdrew the allegations against the men this February after they had spent eight months in jail awaiting trial.
“The state can prove a sex crime merely by the allegation of the victim. You don't really need any evidence, you don't need any eyewitnesses. It's just whether or not a judge or jury would believe that witness. And so if the victim then under what we believe falsely accuses somebody there has to be accountability towards that person,” said Adair County Prosecutor Mark Williams.
Williams tells KTVO the indictment alleges that Earlene Rogers lied about what happened in that incident.
“We don't take these things lightly. Even though we didn't handle the underlying case because of a conflict once we found out what we believed happened we got the files, reviewed them and presented it to the grand jury. We pay attention to everything that happens, and we certainly don't want people falsely accusing anybody. Nobody should have to spend any time in jail if they are innocent,” Williams said.
Williams says Earlene Rogers could be arraigned as early as Tuesday. If convicted of all eight charges, she could spend up to 56 years in prison.
While today's news report doesn't mention the sexual assault aspect of the false claim, at the time of the alleged attack, a Pittsburgh police spokeswoman said this: ". . . [S]he also indicated that she was sexually assaulted as well. She indicated that when he had her on the ground, he put his hand up under her blouse and started fondling. Her but other than that she said, she doesn't remember anything else so we're adding a sexual assault to this as well."
It is unfortunate that Senator McCain, a man who has given great service to this country, is mentioned in the same story as Ashley Todd. He does not deserve that.
At the time this false claim was lodged, a feminist writer named Jessica Vozel wrote: "In a culture that already distrusts rape victims to the point where many never come forward, it’s dangerous and sad for legitimate victims when some of the most publicized sexual assault cases (Todd, the Duke rape case, etc.) end up being false reports."
Hmm. Let's think about that. The cases the writer references and innumerable other high profile cases share a common trait: they were initially reported as if they were likely true, and most people probably believed them. The fact that they turned out to be false is simply testimony to the fact that a significant number of these claims turn out to be false. That's the sad, politically incorrect truth.
Ms. Vozel also wrote this: "It’s problematic . . . that her story was automatically believed – some speculate this was because she identified her attacker as being black and, as the Susan Smith case in 1995 proved, implicating a black perpetrator increases your chances of being believed."
Never has a feminist spoken greater truth -- up to a point. Yes, it is problematic that the story of any rape accuser is "automatically" believed. That's the principal point of this blog and I am glad that a feminist finally agrees with it. However, I don't think, in this day and age, the fact that the accused was black added to the accuser's credibility. In days gone by it was true that a white woman accusing a black man of rape was pretty much a death sentence. Not today. Today, the news media has alerted every woman that every man is a potential sexual predator, not to be fully trusted. And for males accused of rape, sometimes being white can be worse than being black: Exhibit "A": the claim of a black stripper that three "privileged" white boys at Duke raped her. Never do I recall a case that was so instantaneously believed by almost everyone -- and probably because the boys accused were deemed to be "privileged," racist, jocks taking advantage of a poor, defenseless black woman. An entire team of white kids denied the claim, but the unsubstantiated word of a black stripper was taken as incontrovertible truth.
Here's the Ashley Todd story:
McCain volunteer gets probation for false report
Friday, May 22, 2009
By Jim McKinnon, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A woman who falsely claimed she was attacked on a Bloomfield street by a supporter of Barack Obama was approved today to enter a probation program for first-time offenders.
Allegheny County Judge Robert Gallo gave Ashley Todd, of Texas, nine months of probation and ordered her to do 50 hours of community service in the next six months. She also must pay court costs.
Ms. Todd was a campaign volunteer for John McCain and working in Pittsburgh when she claimed an Obama supporter mugged her in October. She said a 6-foot-4 black man became enraged at the McCain bumper sticker on her car and carved a "B" into her cheek.
Police doubted her story and she soon admitted making the mark herself.
She had to receive counseling before she could be approved for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program today. If she completes the terms of her probation, she can apply to have her record expunged.
Addendum: A reader, Malcolm, writes: "1 Lakh is 100,000 Rupees, which is equivalent to about $2,500. Absolute peanuts, even allowing for the fact that its purchasing power is significantly greater in India than the US." Thanks, Malcolm
4 men freed after 12 years of false rape accusations and harrassment.
New Delhi, May 9
The Delhi High Court Friday directed that action be taken against three police officials who falsely implicated four men in a rape case in 1997 in connivance with a sex worker and asked the government to pay compensation of Rs.1 lakh to the men who were acquitted earlier this week.
Justice S. Muralidhar acquitted the four men and asked the registrar general of the high court that a case should be made against the three police officials and be sent to the concerned court.
The court also asked the government to pay Rs.25,000 each in compensation to the four men.
The four were acquitted on Tuesday.
One of them, Pankaj Chaudhari in his plea before the court claimed that he was “paying the price for opposing a flesh trade racket near his house in 1997“.
He was arrested, along with his brother Gunjesh, and two friends Jailal Yadav and Kashim Rain, on charges of raping a neighbour, who allegedly ran a prostitution ring.
They were jailed on July 28, 1997, and then convicted for gangrape in 2000. The police then manning the Hauz Khas police station - apparently at the instance of the sex worker - decided to frame them for protesting against the racket which led to her business suffering.
Subsequently, an inquiry was ordered within the police department. The high court released the four men on bail in 2001.
“Due to allegations of rape, a stigma is attached to our names and we are facing great hardships in finding any job for our livelihood. We have been thrown out of jobs and are unable to live with dignity because we are called rapists,” they stated in their petition.
After they were convicted in 2000, their relatives alleged foul play, which led Amod Shastri, heading an NGO called Nyay Bharti, to probe the case.
Shastri’s efforts revealed that while the woman claimed she was raped at 9.30 p.m. by the four, another complaint in the same police station showed that she was arrested the same afternoon for indulging in flesh trade and let off at 10.30 p.m. on a bond of Rs.500. This indicated that she was actually at the police station at the time she claimed to have been raped at her home.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
LETTER NUMBER ONE:
Rape and the CPS
Improving the way rape cases are handled is a priority across the criminal justice system
Sir, As superintending minister for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) I keenly feel any criticism that prosecutors are failing rape victims (“Rape audit to find out why so few win justice”, May 14). There has been a real improvement in how justice agencies work with victims and witnesses, for example the growing number of sexual assault referral centres that bring together all the legal and care agencies and departments in one place.
I would certainly reject the idea that a CPS lawyer would only take on a case that was “200 per cent watertight” — if that were true the conviction rate would be nearer
100 per cent than the current 58 per cent. Prosecutors will explore every avenue to find sufficient evidence to charge, but the verdict has to be left to a jury, the CPS having gone through all the steps to support the victim to give their best evidence.
As you rightly pointed out in your leading article (“The vilest crime”, May 14), the often quoted 6.5 per cent conviction rate is for rapes that are reported but does not account for how many of those are actually able to go as far as a court case.
Can we influence how juries see an alleged rape victim? Yes, to a degree, by building the most informed case we can and being well aware of the myths and stereotypes that surround this crime. Prosecutors now also have the option of pre-trial witness interviews that allow the prosecutor first to assess the reliability of, or clarify, a witness’s evidence; second, to assist the prosecutor in understanding complex evidence; and third, to explain the criminal process and procedures to the witness.
There have been improvements in the conviction rate of cases brought to trial. But nobody who cares about justice could be satisfied with the rate of rape allegations that currently result in conviction. Equally, nobody pretends that all victims get the sensitive and supportive service they deserve. I can assure you that continuing to improve the way rape cases are handled is a priority across the criminal justice system and for me personally.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal
LETTER NUMBER TWO:
Rape complainants are not always victims
Unhelpful and inappropriate vocabulary will not help improve the rape conviction rate
Sir, We are both practising barristers with extensive experience of defending in rape cases. Those who serve on juries in rape cases will be aware from what they read in the press that rape complainants are not always genuine victims. For while it is probably right that the majority who report rape ordeals to the police have, in fact, been victimised, there is a small but significant proportion who undoubtedly complain falsely and maliciously, occasionally going to cynical lengths to bolster their accounts by, for example, attributing self-inflicted injuries to their alleged attacker. This is reflected in not infrequent reports of prosecutions of false rape complainants for offences of wasting police time and perverting the course of justice when their lies are — often fortuitously — uncovered.
Potential jurors are, thus, apt to be reactive to statements from people in authority — such as the Attorney-General (letter, May 19) — implying that complainants are necessarily “victims”, and to give vent to their scepticism in acquittals that may or may not be merited.
It is, of course, right that efforts should be made to ensure that real victims achieve justice through the conviction of the guilty, but this ambition will not be assisted by pronouncements from those who ought to know better using inappropriate and unhelpful vocabulary when suggesting what needs to be done to improve the conviction rate.
Police: Teen charged after false rape claim
A fourteen-year-old girl has been charged with falsely reporting an incident after she made up a claim that she had been sexually attacked in a school bathroom.
Yesterday, the girl reported that on Wednesday she had been attacked by an older male wearing a ski mask while she was in a bathroom at Little Falls High School.
The Little Falls Police Department and school officials conducted an investigation and determined that the incident did not occur.
Footage from the school camera system led them to question the girl’s claim. The girl was interviewed again and admitted to lying about the incident.
She has been issued an appearance ticket and will appear in Herkimer County Probation Court for additional action.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Now let's make clear something that a more politically correct writer would have said at the outset instead of taking a cheap shot at an easy target: the bad guys are the ones at fault. Rape is rape, and rapists should not receive any mitigated sentence merely because a woman was drinking, or flirting, or doing whatever. Every rational thinker should agree that women have no moral responsibility when a man rapes her, any more than a convenience store clerk has when he is robbed and beaten.
But one of the sacred mantras of the gender-feminist/sexual-assault-industrial complex is that to even suggest ways women can prevent rape is "victim blaming." As one sexual assault advocate, Walker Thornton, Executive Director of Sexual Assault Resource Agency, recently said: "I'm constantly asked what women can do to prevent sexual assault. Not, what can we do as a community to help young men not commit sexual assault. We're still blaming women." She continued: "If I go on TV and say don't go home late at night alone, don't talk on the cell phone, be aware of your surroundings, I fail to say, there's a man out there attacking women. That's victim-blaming, and it let's them off the hook."
This, of course, distorts how most people view rape beyond all recognition. And, yes, attitudes like this foment an atmosphere that could make rape more likely.
No one is letting rapists off the hook, except perhaps for the most vile souls among us, and they are vastly outnumbered by everyone else. Every story we report where there is an over-reaction to a rape claim involves a male who can't control his anger when told that a loved one has been raped. It is quite possible that men detest rape more than women. Men, as a class, do not excuse rape. Just as men, as a class, do not excuse murderers. Or burglars. Or any other criminals.
Of course, some of the same people who cry "victim-blaming" do excuse one class of criminals -- can you guess which one? That's right, false rape accusers. And we have the posts on this site to prove it. But I digress.
Now there's another type of alleged "victim blaming" that deserves mention, even though it's really not "victim" blaming. Sometimes people (you know, the alleged "victim blamers") suggest that a purported rape victim might have sent out mixed signals to her "rapist." And gee, that's been known to happen. See our previous post on a study to that effect. In that circumstance, these "victim blamers" are questioning whether the encounter really was rape. As harsh as that sounds, they are, at times, right. The legal test for rape is whether a reasonable person in the position of the alleged rapist would have understood that the other party assented to sex based on all the surrounding circumstances. People manifest consent to sex in innumerable ways, by words and conduct. We haven't yet reached the point where they sign a written document, but it's coming. To say that rape occurred merely because the woman declares it was rape is not accurate. Her secret, subjective whims, desires or wishes make no difference -- all that matters are her outward manifestations of assent. As painful as I know this is for some to hear, those sorts of "victim blamers" might be wondering if it was really rape for good reason.
Now, coupled with the "victim blaming" accusation is a related, even more vile, phenomenon. It's the move to blame men as a class for rape, and to suggest that they have a greater responsibility to prevent rape than innocent women. This is absurdly sexist and seeks to hold males as a gender responsible for a crime that only a tiny percentage of men commit (and, yes, even some women rape, too). It is condemning an entire gender based on the malefactions of a few. In any other context, we have words for that sort of thing -- "bigotry" comes to mind. The implicit suggestion is that a culture of hypermasculinity gives rise to rape, so even men who don't rape have a duty to stop it.
This, of course, is nonsense. Yet, we have a little cottage industry of speakers who go around the country -- mostly men, sadly enough -- whose financial interest depends on blaming young men in general for a "culture of rape" and insisting that innocent young men (but not innocent young women) have a responsibility to somehow stop the rapists. Even if their shtick were not so financially crass and disingenuous on its face, their premise is utter and complete horseshit -- that young men (who don't rape) engage in conduct degrading to women -- they consume porn, for example -- that creates a rape culture. As but one example of the vacuity of this argument, Dr. Christopher Ferguson of Texas A&M, someone who actually knows what he's talking about, debunks these myths. His comments about rape are especially illuminating: ". . . pornography is no more linked to rape than violent games are to violent crimes. Researchers have long known that rape rates have gone down in the U.S. as pornography consumption has increased. Rapists typically consume less pornography and are exposed to it later than non-rapist men." Now please understand, I am opposed to porn for other other reasons. But to suggest that porn consumption falls somewhere on a rape continuum is a lie.
Singling out young men who do not rape as being responsible to stop rape, while excusing young women who consciously put themselves in situations where rape is more likely to occur, is asymmetrical gender blaming. Newsflash: rapists are responsible for rape. Period. Not innocent women -- even the multitude who drink and purposefully arouse men; and not innocent men, even the multitude who like to be aroused by women.
But it is a truth that is painfully politically incorrect that women can prevent rape a hell of a lot easier than innocent men by taking steps to avoid putting themselves in danger with the bad guys.
For one thing, stop the underage drinking and sex play with men they don't know. When rape occurs in that situation, innocent men can't stop it. Only the rapists can stop it, and, yes, the innocent women could have taken steps to reduce it's likelihood.
But you see, it's much easier to scream "victim blaming" and to shame innocent young college men into thinking they must be "part of the solution" than to actually work to reduce rape.
It's no more "victim blaming" to tell women to be careful than when my grandmother used to warn me not to walk through certain "bad" neighborhoods at night. When I got beat up one time because I disregarded her advice, she was the first to crow, "See? I told you!" That didn't mean that my grandmother excused the kids who battered me.
In any event, save your angry comments about this post because they are hypocritical. It's all about who delivers the message, let's be honest. A site like ours that's incorrectly pegged an MRA and a rape apologist site can spread advice to women to be careful of the rapists, and an angry gaggle of gender feminist hens will cluck cluck cluck "Victim-blaming! Victim-blaming!" But if a sexual assault advocate sponsors a program on female self-defense where some physically fit woman teaches other women how to kick a guy in the balls, that's "empowerment!"
You want to reduce rape? Take measures to deter the false rape accusers so women who are raped will be believed, and start teaching young women to avoid putting themselves in danger. And, yes, keep teaching women to kick the rapists in the balls.
Funny, I get the idea that some financially interested members of the gender-feminist/sexual-assault-industrial complex are less interested in reducing rape than in fomenting hysteria about it. I can't imagine why.