Thursday, January 29, 2015

In the UK, if you act 'normal and reasonable' following a sexual encounter, such conduct might be used as evidence to convict you of rape

Following a lawful sexual encounter, if a man or boys acts "normal and reasonable," such conduct might be used as evidence to convict him of rape. And, no, we're not making that up. In the UK, "[n]ew guidelines issued to police and prosecutors warn that ‘offenders may take steps which, on the face might seem normal or reasonable, to distance themselves from an offence or to reframe the offence … in order to undermine or pre-empt any allegation’." Police are being told to "check social networking sites as standard practice for evidence and to check if the defendants had posted comments putting a deceptively innocent spin on the night." And "other examples of behaviour to try to conceal an offence of rape include boasting to friends, pretending to fall asleep afterwards, or making counter-allegations."

No doubt, some people use ruses to cover their tracks after committing a heinous crime (if you need evidence of that, just look through this site and you'll see examples that will blow your mind), but to posit a blanket rule making "normal and reasonable" and "deceptively innocent" behavior evidence of guilt is absurd, unjust, and frightening all at once.

But why am I not surprised? In the loopy, politicized world of sexual assault, "up" is "down," "right" is "wrong," and there's more topsy turvy than a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. Need some examples?

Some readers will recall a report a few years ago that exposed how Stanford University trains the people who will decide disciplinary proceedings involving allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence. They were taught that an "indicator of abuse" is that the "abuser" will "act persuasive and logical." Even worse, they were taught that "neutrality" is not only unattainable but something that ought to be avoided because it makes the fact-finder an accomplice to the abuse and further victimizes the complainants.

At Franklin and Marshall College, the Policy on Sexual Misconduct cautions students about the "warning signs" or ”red flags” that indicate "a risk of sexual misconduct," including: if the person you are with "interrupts" you (we're not making that up) or "drinks too much or uses drugs" (by this standard, when a women drinks too much, isn't that a warning sign that she's engaging in sexual misconduct -- or is that "victim blaming"?) or "wants to be alone with you before getting to know you" (you see, it isn't possible that someone wants to be alone with you in order to get to know you). The campus rape hearings at that school are bereft of any semblance of due process for the accused, but that didn't stop a purported sexual assault expert from insisting that the process is "bizarre and cruel" for women who cry rape because, among other things, "it requires victims to sit at the same table as the person who raped them."

To nab more rapists we are always told that an accused rapist's denials should be discounted because "rapists always claim they didn't do it." That the innocent also make such claims doesn't matter. (With the abolition of the requirement of corroboration to prove rape, in "he said-she said" rape cases, the "he said" part is often dismissed out of hand, and too often, the accused needs to come up with his own corroborative evidence of innocence -- e.g., a video -- to be cleared. In that sense, when the law was changed to eliminate the requirement of corroboration to prove rape, it had the perverse effect of flipping the requirement onto the accused.)

And it's fair game to suggest that a man who refuses to speak with the police is guilty (never mind that stupid Fifth Amendment nonsense), while a rape accuser who refuses to cooperate with police is just acting the way rape victims usually behave. This is because, we are also always told, there are no red flags, no warning signs, indicative of a false rape claim because rape victims are prone to behave in every way imaginable. One purported expert has suggested that police should not deem inconsistencies in the statements of purported rape victims as evidence that the rape didn't occur because "it's consistent that [the victim will] be inconsistent." This same attitude was recently on display when the usual suspects laughably insisted that gross errors and wild inconsistencies in the Rolling Stone rape accuser's narrative should not be deemed significant.

And, of course, last year, feminist professors "proved" campus rape is an epidemic by pointing to schools where there are no rapes. They claimed that schools with higher numbers of reported rapes were deemed the safer schools.

When the innocent actions of the innocent are used to prove the innocent are rapists, that is a policy not just bordering on pathology, it is a policy sick beyond all measure.