Thursday, May 13, 2010

The UK plays Russian Roulette with two boys accused of rape: girl tells judge she lied, but the trial continues

Two ten year old boys are on trial for rape, based on the say-so of an eight-year-old girl.  Before she admitted to the judge that, in fact, she wasn't raped -- that she lied for candy -- here's how the Mirror described her testimony: "A jury yesterday watched as a girl of just eight relived her terrifying alleged rape ordeal by two 10-year-old boys."

It turns out the "terrifying ordeal" is the UK's criminal justice system, where law enforcement officials are playing Russian roulette with the callow defendants.  The case depends on the literally incredible testimony of an eight-year-old girl who has admitted that she lied, so why on earth is the trial permitted to continue?  Is the prosecution just hoping to "get lucky" and score a couple of convictions?  Make an example of these men-in-waiting as a warning for any male who might think twice about abusing his undeserved male privilege by disrespecting a female? 

Quite seriously, how can this be considered "justice" in any sense of the word? 

(Thanks to Duncan, and SteveUK)

Eight-Year-Old Says She Lied About Being Raped

(May 13) -- An 8-year-old girl who said she had been raped by two 10-year-old boys admitted in court today that she had lied because she didn't want her mother to know she'd been "naughty" by willingly pulling down her underpants.

In answer to a question from the judge in England's highest criminal court, the girl said she was worried that if her mother had known, she wouldn't get the candy she wanted, the U.K.'s Press Association reported.

She told a defense lawyer that the boys had exposed themselves and that she voluntarily slipped down her panties.

"Did you ever tell your mum it was not you, but it was [the boys] who took your knickers down?" she was asked by a lawyer for one of the boys, Linda Strudwick. "You didn't want your mum to think you had been naughty?"

The girl, who was hidden from view behind a screen, replied, "Yeah."

At the Old Bailey courtroom today, a filmed interview by two specially trained police officers showed the girl wiping away tears as she said the boys took her from one location to another before raping her in a field in west London.

"They said if I didn't pull down my pants" the boys wouldn't return the scooter they'd taken away from her, the jury was told.

The boys, now 10 and 11, are believed to be among the youngest ever to be charged with rape in England, where 10-year-olds can be tried as adults in criminal cases. Both boys, who sat in court with their mothers and lawyers, deny the charges of rape and attempted rape.

In deference to the age of all involved, the judge and the lawyers have dispensed with their usual wigs and gowns, and the judge even came down from his usual high bench to a lower seat.

The court sat in silence as the girl's taped testimony was played, which included explicit details but didn't mention the word "rape." Later, through a video link, she appeared in an anteroom at the court holding a juice bottle, which the judge asked her to put down so he could hear what she said.

The lawyer for the prosecution, Rosina Cottage, said the girl's mother went to the field to find her and was told that one of the boys "was hurting her."

Asked what had happened, "they all said nothing," Cottage said, although the 8-year-old later told her mother, and the police were called, according to The Times of London. The girl was later taken to the hospital with stomach pains, and scratches to the stomach were found, the court heard.

"Together they took her to different locations near where they lived in order to find a sufficiently secluded spot to assault her," Cottage told the jury, the Guardian reported. "When they did, they pulled down her pants and helped each other to penetrate her."

An Earlier Story -- Before She Admitted The Rape Never Occurred:

Girl, 8, ‘was raped by two 10-year-old boys’

Two young boys lured an eight-year-old girl to a field and helped each other rape her, a court has heard.

The ten-year-olds took the alleged victim to a series of locations where they exposed themselves before carrying out the attack, it was claimed.

The defendants, who are among the youngest people to be charged with rape in this country, are said to have gone up to the girl while she played with a friend.

They then took her to flats where they exposed themselves and pulled down her underwear, the jury was told.

‘Then we went into the lift and they did it again,’ the girl said in a police interview played in court.

‘Then they took me and my friend downstairs to the bin shed and they put the bins near the entrance so we couldn’t get out.’

The boys exposed themselves to her again before the girl was taken to a field and raped, it was claimed. Asked what she was thinking about during the alleged rape, the girl said in the interview: ‘I thought I could go down the shops with my mum and get some sweets.’

The attack is said to have taken place in Hayes, west London, in October last year. None of the children in the case can be named for legal reasons.