Sunday, June 24, 2007

Man charged with rape 32 years later

In this Rhode Island case the defendant, now 48, is accused of raping an acquaintance in 1976 when both were 16. The alleged victim reportedly didn't tell anyone and repressed the memories until recently.

With the attitudes about this type of rape which were so strong back then (and which still exist to a lesser extent today) this scenario of repression is an understandable coping mechanism.

For anyone who wants to argue that if a rape is repressed then it causes no harm, don't bother. I knowingly blocked the memories of being raped for about 20 years and that didn't magically undo the harm my rapist inflicted. Note in the way many people talk about it that repression doesn't always mean that someone doesn't know something happened. Sometimes repression is like having coils of barbed wire around the memories of certain events.

What's surprising is that this case wouldn't be dismissed instantly by investigators as too bad, so sad, too late with no effort to see if the allegations can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

It's interesting that in this case the defense strategy is to deny sexual contact since that means if the prosecutors can prove that he did have sexual contact with her he will be a proven liar or an unreliable witness.

I wonder how many men will read about this case and worry that their past actions may come back to haunt them.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:29 AM   3 comments links to this post


At June 24, 2007 12:36 PM, Blogger Layla (aka Barbara) said...

This tempt me to press charges against the two men that raped me in 1974. I have their names.

I love your blog, and thank you again for keeping us informed on this topic that is ignored so easily but affects so many.

At April 15, 2010 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please help me find a way to go after the person who raped me.
I went to a doctor about 12 years ago for a simple percedure. He gave me a seditive and during the percedure he raped me.
I realized after I got home but because I was going through taking care of my dying sister I repressed the assault. I didn't realize what happened to me until I brought my daughter to the same doctor.
I went to an attorney but was informed that the statue of limitation had ended. Can you give me advise.

At April 16, 2010 12:11 AM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...

Anonymous, even though the statute of limitations has expired you may want to contact the victim services agency closest to you. If this is the same area where the doctor practices they may be familiar with this doctor and even if they haven't worked with any other victims of this man, they may be able to help you file a report with your medical association.

While 1 report such as yours might not result in sanctions if others report him in the future or have reported already each additional report raises the possibility of actions which will protect others.


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