Sunday, November 02, 2008

Man Whose Rape Conviction Was Overturned Had His Lawsuit Against Alleged Victim Thrown Out

From the BBC:

Anthony Hunt, 65, of Blandford St Mary, Dorset, was jailed for four years in 2003 but had his conviction quashed on appeal in 2005. Mr Hunt, who maintains the sex was consensual, launched a civil claim against his accuser on Monday.

But on Thursday Mr Justice Blake ruled that the woman was not the prosecutor.
Mr Hunt's claim against his accuser was for malicious prosecution. [...]

Mr Hunt, a former senior traffic warden, had his conviction for the alleged 1995 offence overturned at the Court of Appeal in December 2005, when judges heard evidence from two new witnesses. The conviction was also quashed on the basis of inadequate direction to the jury.

Mr Hunt argued that the woman became the prosecutor by giving a witness statement to police in 2002 and by agreeing to give evidence against him - although the charge was brought by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

AB's counsel, Anthony Metzer, said there was a "wealth of evidence" showing her initial reluctance to report the incident, let alone prosecute Mr Hunt.

This ruling is the correct one. If Hunt feels he was maliciously prosecuted then he should have tried to sue the actual prosecutors.

The new evidence in this case did not prove that the woman he wanted to sue ever lied to prosecutors or ever committed perjury. There was an allegation that she lied, but as Hunt knows an allegation is not proof.

In the current story Hunt says that the sex was consensual but in the coverage of the original trial Hunt was painted by his defense attorney as physically and sexually incapable.

Throughout the two-week trial, the defence had claimed Hunt was incapable of forcing himself on anyone because of an abnormally small penis and medical problems.

Diabetes was also said to have stripped him of a lot of his sexual prowess, meaning sex for him could only be a mutual act.

If a man's penis was large enough for consensual sex it was large enough for rape. A lack of sexual prowess is only meaningful if the man was incapable of consensual sex. Because of that reality if Hunt is allowed to sue anybody he should sue his own attorney for offering such a pathetic defense strategy to prove that the sex was consensual.

If the lawsuit were allowed to proceed based on the concept that agreeing to testify makes a victim the prosecutor that concept would have to apply to all crime victims not just rape victims. It would also mean that if someone who claims to have been falsely accused testifies in a false police report case and the false report conviction were overturned that the person falsely accused would be open to a malicious prosecution lawsuit.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 7:17 PM   0 comments links to this post


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