Thursday, December 13, 2007

Serial Rapist Or Serial Victim Of False Accusations?

From The Star UK:

When prosecutor Jeremy Hill-Baker asked him of all three women had lied he said "yes". The rapes are alleged to have occurred in August 2004, April 2006 and February 2007. King admits having sex with all three women, two prostitutes and a woman he offered a lift home from a Sheffield pub, but said each one consented.

With the distorted thinking many rapists have about what constitutes consent, this man may view his actions as justified. To him consent may have been given the moment each woman got inside his car.

However, the law needs to abide by legal consent and not rule based on a criminal's twisted sense of where he can draw the line between rape and consent. Just because he is someone who may not try to commit rape against anyone outside of his car doesn't mean he can't be a real rapist.

Unfortunately, many of the victim-blaming/asking-for-it statements that continue to be made by those in positions of authority provide ready-made excuses for rapists.

This includes recent comments by Canadian justice John Rooke who called an 18-year-old rape victim stupid (h/t: Feministing) for accepting a ride with a man who turned out to be a rapist. Maybe the judge can look at the defendant and the evidence and call anyone who is alone with this man stupid, but most people don't have this amount of information at their fingertips. To assume that they do is what is stupid and naive.

It should be no surprise that the sentence given by the justice to Stefano Priolo is only 3 and half years in prison. The justice described the man as a predator, but 3 and a half years doesn't provide much protection to the public. I guess all Canadian women will just have to assume that every man who offers her a ride is a predatory rapist because men like this won't be in prison for long.

For those who don't understand the problem with this justice's comments, can you imagine a male mugging victim being described as stupid and naive for accepting a ride to the bus station with a man who unexpectedly drove to an isolated location before physically assaulting and mugging that victim?

That sort of "what did you expect to happen?" statement from a judge would, rightly, be viewed as absurd. We need to put all of the responsibility for rape where it belongs -- on the rapist. Anything less is absurd.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 4:19 PM   0 comments links to this post

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