Saturday, September 20, 2008

How Will Those Who Dismiss Rape Victims Respond To This Report?

From KARE 11:

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Authorities say a delegate to the Republican National Convention was robbed of jewelry and cash, worth a total somewhere between $50,000 and $150,000, after he took a woman to his Minneapolis hotel room.

29-year-old [victim] of Denver told police he met the woman in a bar, then took her to his hotel room at Hotel Ivy. Police say that once there, the woman made the man drinks and told him to get undressed.

He claims that was the last thing he remembered. Investigators think he may have been drugged. "He remembers having a back rub," said Minneapolis Police Sgt. Bill Palmer. "On the bed."

Police say that when Schwartz woke, the woman was gone, and Schwartz was missing money, jewelry and other things. The missing items included a $30,000 watch, a $20,000 ring and a $5,000 necklace.

This is a serious crime and should be treated as such.

This case provides a way to examine the type of statements which are used to justify dismissing rape cases which happen after the victim believes she was drugged.

To paraphrase from 2 of That Lawyer Dude's comments:

From a trial lawyers point of view, how can one who is [robbed] expect a jury to believe beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged [robber] [robbed] someone who already agreed to go to a bedroom, disrobe and engage in sexual play if not intercourse? [...]

I am pointing out that unless there is some other proof, one person's word standing alone, is not going to win the day over another person's word.

[and from a separate comment]

I think it is wrong headed to promote a policy that could put someone in harms way on an assumption that the law will protect that person if that person takes unreasonable risks.

If That Lawyer Dude's logic directed at rape victims is valid then it must be directed at robbery victims as well, including this RNC delegate.

In this case there is no evidence of force. So using That Lawyer Dude's standards the jury would have the obligation to find this unknown woman not guilty if she is ever found because to do otherwise would go against our system of requiring proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Anyone who disagrees can answer That Lawyer Dude's question with the genders reversed and the crime changed to robbery:

Is it better for an innocent [woman] to be accused and convicted of [robbery], or to allow a [woman] guilty of [robbery] to go free because the needed level of proof is lacking?

Those who view the original question with only 2 choices as valid must do the same when the victim is a man and the crime is robbery.

Here's a quote from a news story I blogged about in June:

Prosecutors say they believe the victim's story, but that because she was unconscious, details were not clear enough to secure a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.

Original charges against Ramirez included rape of a drugged victim, sexual battery and false imprisonment.

If this is the appropriate response in a rape case then it must the appropriate response in a robbery case where the victim was unconscious. If on the other hand people declare that unconsciousness in a robbery case shouldn't prevent a conviction, then the same must be true in rape cases.

If victims statement that they know what they would not do is meaningful in one type of case such as robbery then it must be valid in rape cases as well.

The logic which dismisses date rape victims as suffering from morning after regret means that this man who was date robbed must also be dismissed as suffering from morning after regret.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:08 PM   1 comments links to this post


At October 04, 2008 2:27 PM, Anonymous Daniel said...

"The logic which dismisses date rape victims as suffering from morning after regret means that this man who was date robbed must also be dismissed as suffering from morning after regret."

Agreed. And I think that's the correct solution in both cases, all other things being equal.

I am not a fan of he-said she-said cases where ever they occur. In this case, he could just be looking for an insurance settlement.


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