Even though the federal lawsuit filed by Tory Bowen's attorneys was dismissed, it looks like some of the findings in that lawsuit did make a difference. Officially, the change is a "clarification" that while he still bans the word rape, he no longer bans her from saying "sexual assault."
The defense attorney claims this isn't a change at all, but I don't believe that.
From the Omaha World Herald:
[Judge] Cheuvront's written order was dated Sept. 27, two days after a federal judge said he would not "stick his nose" into the state court case but saw no reason for banning use of the word rape. "For the life of me, I do not understand why a judge would tell an alleged rape victim that she cannot say she was 'raped' when she testifies in a trial about rape," wrote U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf on Sept. 25. "Juries aren't stupid."
Judge Cheuvront provides the answer and that answer is deeply troubling.
Cheuvront wrote that the case was solely about consent, or the lack thereof, and that there was no evidence of force or the threat of force. "Because of the nature of this particular case, this court concludes that the use of the possible inflammatory term 'rape' is unduly prejudicial and unnecessary, particularly when the equally descriptive term of 'sexual assault,' as set forth in the Nebraska statutes, could be used," the judge said.
To me that means that this judge has ruled that in Nebraska if you have sex with an unconscious person, including someone in a coma, that it cannot possibly be classified as rape because no force is used. This is a very dangerous message to send.
This judge is in effect making the ruling that Tory Bowen couldn't have been raped and that's the real reason why he's banning her from describing what happened to her as rape and not because the word "rape" would unduly prejudice the jury.