Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rape case mistrial: Accuser testified that "there were times, yes, that I would tell him 'No,' but I didn’t mean it”

A mistrial was declared in a Nevada rape trial for reasons that aren't altogether clear, but the trial seemed to be fraught with difficulties for the prosecution. Among other things, certain evidence was never turned over to the defense. But the most intriguing aspect about the report of the trial concerned the testimony of the accuser (incorrectly labeled "the victim" by the writer of the news report, Dylan Woolf Harris, who ought to know better).

According to the news report, the accuser claimed that she and the accused (her boyfriend) had a fight. Sometime later, he began touching her in bed, trying to kiss her face and neck, but she claimed she resisted. He pinned her arms above her head, she repeatedly said “No,” she claimed, and he sexually assaulted her. She said she didn’t leave him at that time because she was still in love with him.

But wait. Here's the interesting part: on cross-examination, the accuser admitted that she and the defendant used to fight then occasionally have rough make-up sex. But she said the fighting and sex never blended together. However, a court transcript indicated the accuser testified at a previous hearing that fighting and sex sometimes did blend together. Go figure.

Other times, the accuser revealed in court, she verbally indicated she didn’t want to have sex with her boyfriend, but did in fact want to. "There were times, yes, that I would tell him “No,” but I didn’t mean it,” the accuser said. In those instances, she said, the two would have sex.

Trial was rescheduled April 2, though the defense told the judge it intended to file a double jeopardy motion.

We would hate to see a rapist walk, but our advice to the prosecution: drop it. If the news report is accurate, there's too much risk of convicting an innocent man.