Friday, February 22, 2008

Hospitalized Woman Recants Rape Report In Korea

From the Stars and Stripes story about a South Korean woman who recanted an allegation of rape against a US airman:

The woman reported the rape early Wednesday morning, after she came home, began bleeding from the pubic area and lost consciousness, Yoon said.

The woman’s mother called an ambulance, and during the ride to the hospital, the daughter regained consciousness and asked why she was going to the hospital. When her mother described her symptoms, the daughter said she had been raped because she was afraid of being chastised, the spokesman said.

Since the alleged rape victim later told investigators that she had previous consensual sex with the man who -- unquestionably -- left her in a condition where she was bleeding and unable to remain conscious, it sounds to me like agreeing to meet a man who turns sexually violent could become proof of a lie when it is no such thing.

The problem is that some people do rape the willing. Rape is at its heart about violence and an utter disregard for others. If the accused soldier's actions caused this woman pain or injury and he refused to stop until he got what he wanted then, yes, he would be a rapist even if the woman was initially consenting.

The woman is still in the hospital and an unnamed spokesperson claims this woman has had these symptoms before. I'm bothered by this quick disregard for this woman's condition and the quick dismissal of the possibility that this woman's symptoms could have been caused or re-triggered by sexual violence.

If this woman has been in medical distress since she told her mother she was raped, she would also be easier to pressure to tell investigators what they wanted to hear whether it was the truth or not. She was interviewed at least twice while hospitalized, but there is no mention of the length of these interviews or the woman's level of pain or consciousness.

I'm bothered that the Stars and Stripes points out the initial unproven conclusion that this woman was raped, but is then willing with little more evidence, to state flat out that this was a fabricated rape.

That the rape was nothing more than a fabrication is the allegation, but like rape allegations it has not been proven. Getting a hospitalized woman to recant is not proof that this woman wasn't the victim of sexual violence.

The handling of this case and this alleged rape victim raises serious ethical questions that many people will choose to ignore because the official position of "fabricated rape" is so nice and tidy.

I wonder how many people would find this case so tidy if the US airman confessed to rape during a second police interview while in the hospital for unknown reasons.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:01 AM   0 comments links to this post


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