Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Man found guilty of 36-year-old "he said/she said" rape charges

This is a follow-up to our post Atrocity: Man tried for 'rapes' allegedly committed 37 years ago, found here.  The man was found guilty: http://www.scotsman.com/news/Cop-guilty-of-raping-sisters.6794842.jp

I am not suggesting that these were false rape claims. If the women's accounts are true, they suffered a terrible ordeal when they were children.

But the defendant was not able to fairly defend himself. The passage of time stripped him of that opportunity. If he is truly innocent, a terrible injustice has been done.

While the women claimed he babysat and raped them over the course of a year, he testified he recalls only babysitting them twice. I am certain that even if he is innocent, he was not able to produce any alibi evidence to show he wasn't there as often as the women claim. Any such evidence would be long gone.

Then there's this: "The court heard that the offences came to light after one of the victims saw a photograph of Greig in a newspaper in relation to a story about a missing man. He had been the policeman holding a poster giving the man's details."

I am curious about that because I don't know too many men at 51 who resemble what they looked like at 14.

One of the bases for the Supreme Court's holding that the death penalty is unconstitutional for child rape is the risk of false claims: http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/2008/06/landmark-decision-us-supreme-court.html  The court wrote: "There are, moreover, serious systemic concerns in prosecuting the crime of child rape that are relevant to the constitutionality of making it a capital offense. The problem of unreliable, induced, and even imagined child testimony means there is a 'special risk of wrongful execution' in some child rape cases."  The court supported its decision with all manner of authority. 

Many men have been charged with rape, and some have been convicted, on the basis of powerful acting. No one -- no sane and rational person -- wants to see a rapist walk. But if a man can't fairly defend himself, shouldn't that be the more serious concern?