Saturday, February 03, 2007

Another Man Accused of Stranger Rape Claims Sex Was Consensual

This rape trial is in Northern Ireland and shows just how pervasive the "it was consensual" defense is in so many rape cases where the defendant suspects he can't convince people they've got the wrong man.

If "it was consensual" weren't so effective at distracting people from the actual evidence in the case, alleged stranger rapists wouldn't use it. In this case the alleged victim stated that the alleged rapist was holding a knife when she woke to find him in her son's bedroom. The 18 year old defendant is accused of raping her and molesting her daughter.

The court heard that when interviewed by police, Mr Thompson claimed he had met the woman earlier that evening and had gone to her house where they had consensual sex. He also claimed the mother had also asked him to mind the child for a couple of seconds before coming back into the room and accusing him of rape.

The trial continues.

The scariest part of this story is the uncertainty of whether the jury will assume that the claim of "it's consensual," even with no substantiating evidence, means there must be reasonable doubt.

Also worth noting is that his version of events fits the myth many men put forth when they argue against strong rape laws. If he were American, he might say, "Yeah, she agreed to our one night stand but when the kid woke up, she screamed rape. Yeah, that's what really happened. Knife? Hey, these women got to make me look evil. Come on, guys. You know how women are. You can't take their word over mine."

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:02 AM   3 comments links to this post


At February 03, 2007 5:23 AM, Blogger stormy said...

It seems every damn rapist now uses "it was consensual" as his defence. I cannot believe that even in stranger rapes this line of BS is being bought by the courts/juries.

It is apparent that a rape trial starts with the assumption that 'consensual sex' occurred, with the rapist taken at his word (no matter how outrageous) that 'consensual sex' happened. It is then up to the prosecution to prove it wasn't consensual – the point being that MORE weight and truth is automatically given to the man than the woman, her word is routinely regarded as false and must therefore start from a point of 'wrongness' (his starting point is 'rightfulness').

I really thought that in the last 10+ years, the success rate for rape trials would improve (due to the common use of DNA evidence). Prior to DNA evidence being accepted, the scumbag defendant's plea was "it wasn't me", now it has just switched to "it was consensual" - buying into all the porn myths along the way.

At February 03, 2007 5:25 AM, Blogger stormy said...

I also nominate this post for the next Carnival Against Sexual Violence.


At February 03, 2007 10:57 AM, Blogger Anias Nin said...

This is one of the big reasons I never went to the police about the rapes that happened to me. I was afraid that the defense for the rapists would say that I wanted it; that I was a slut; that I was drinking/high or some such thing to discredit me. Even at 14, when the first rape happened, I had seen/heard so many horror stories of rape trials that I was immobilized and discouraged. So much so that I didn't think the police or the court system would protect me.

I don't know what has happened to our judicial system regarding rape cases. It's unconscionable the way rape victims are treated. It still scares me.


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