Sunday, December 09, 2007

Rape Suspect Flees Before Jury Deadlocks On Rape Charge

From Tampa Bays 10:

A rape suspect fled a Fort Lauderdale courthouse this week after he was told the jury had reached a verdict.

Louis Guvanie's decision to flee indicates to me that he knows he is guilty of the rape charge against him and he expected the jury to agree with him.

Only not all members of the jury did agree on the rape charge and a mistrial was declared on that charge. They only found him guilty of a misdemeanor for contributing to the delinquency of a minor for providing alcohol to a 14-year-old girl.

Too often jurors seem to substitute consent to be alone with a man or consent to drink alcohol for consent to sex. Unless people want to have themselves seen as consenting to sex whenever they are with someone who turns out to be a rapist where they weren't kicking and screaming the whole time prior to rape, they should reject all situational indicators of consent.

Someone who is smiling might be more likely to consent than someone who is scowling, but a smile is not consent.

For those who disagree then whenever you smile at sales people you are consenting to buy what they are selling and should face the legal consequences of failing to pay for what you bought. If these unpaid debts appear on your credit report, you only have yourself to blame under the mindset many people use for sexual consent. If you hadn't gone into that store or agreed to listen to the sales pitch, you wouldn't have a problem. Same goes for when the collection agencies start hounding you.

Under this model of consent, proof of consent for purchases isn't based on whether you ever wanted to buy the product or overtly agreed to the purchase, it is only based on whether the sales person failed to heed obvious signs of your lack of consent. If you never explicitly stated that you would never buy that product then the criminal and civil justice system would need to assume that you did consent to the purchase.

This system is riddled with opportunities for abuse which are easy to spot when the system is applied to sales agreements, yet when it comes to rape many people seem willing to defend this system to the death. According to far too many people, any change would simply reverse the injustice.

Using the sales model, the sales person who correctly identified those who would agree to the sale would be unfairly punished. The obvious flaw in this argument is that the accurate sales person could simply ask to close the deal to complete the transaction if that person has made accurate assessments. Silence or ambivalence would mean that the transaction has not been completed successfully.

When it comes to sex it is not better to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission. When it comes to sex that is rape. And forgiveness should only come after full accountability.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Guvanie. It would be telling about how our legal system works if this man faces greater punishment for fleeing than he will for rape.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:22 AM   1 comments links to this post


At December 10, 2007 9:25 PM, Blogger m Andrea said...

Oh my but this is an excellent point.

But it seems as if no matter how well-thought out or how well expressed, so many people just don't want to see the truth.

I've been thinking about the various forms of denial, and how to get people to SEE what they have known all along. Just pointing out the truth isn't enough, for those who are willfully blind.


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