Sunday, November 09, 2008

NZ Judge Disregards Evidence In Decrying Mandatory Sentencing

From Stuff New Zealand:

A visibly upset judge [Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish] today told a teenager convicted of sexual violation: "If I had my way I would release you today, but I can't." [...]

"Keeping a young man of 19 (in prison) for a lengthy period of time [4 years] is really only going to ruin him, particularly when he has such good family support."

Mrs Thomas said she believed Rongonui still did not fully accept what had happened, and the crown believed the attack had been premeditated.

Judge Farish did not accept that. She accepted the victim was vulnerable because she was a visitor to Christchurch, who had lost her way and become separated from her friends.

[Maia Crawford] Rongonui was friendly and offered to show her the way to her backpackers' hostel.

Instead, he led her down a dark inner city street, Aberdeen Street off Manchester Street.

Judge Farish said she believed Rongonui had been hopeful of a sexual encounter, and something snapped when the woman rebuffed him.

He punched her and kicked her as well as trying to remove her pants. The woman fought back and was able to escape, but semen from Rongonui was found on her clothing.

Here's a clue Judge Farish, if someone promises to show a lost tourist the way to a specific location but instead leads that person somewhere else, that is not the innocent action of someone hoping to have a consensual sexual encounter.

Your comments, Judge Farish provide no help to this young man since you are assisting him to maintain the dangerous rationalizations which caused him to commit this crime. If he follows through with those rationalizations -- which you support -- next time his intended rape victim might not escape before the rape is completed.

The legal responses to "no" do not include physically and sexually attacking the person who says no. I shouldn't have to remind you of this, but apparently I do.

Will you dismiss his accountability the next time he tries to rape someone -- or succeeds -- because his hopes for a sexual encounter were dashed? How about the time after that?

If this young man didn't want to face prison he should have resisted the urge to lie to that tourist about where he was leading her and then to attack that tourist. If he is ruined by prison he has nobody but himself to blame for that ruination.

If the reality in this teen is that "something snapped" then no family support will help him because his crime wasn't caused by decision making. Instead you are positioning him as a feral animal that can't help but attack. If he is someone who will snap every time someone rebuffs him, prison is an absolute necessity for public safety.

The reality, Judge Farish, is that if this teen was genuinely hopeful of a consensual sexual encounter, he could have asked her if she was interested as well. Then if she said no, he could have walked away.

Yet many people who make excuses for the sexually violent reject this idea as crude and unacceptable.

Judge Farish, your defense of this teen twists this situation so that the rape attempt was nothing more than a natural reaction. That would make the tourist who was attacked the only truly guilty party and her crime was believing that this teen's agreement to lead her to her hostel was as innocent as it seemed to be.

If this is the reality in New Zealand you should request that the tourist board add this to all their brochures. I suggest the following line: "In New Zealand if you are lost during your visit and you agree to follow a local to your destination, you are consenting to sex."

H/T: bloggert7165

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:21 AM   2 comments links to this post


At November 09, 2008 4:52 PM, Blogger JENNIFER DREW said...

Rongoni alone is responsible and accountable for attempting to rape a young woman who dared to reject his sexual demands. Yet this judge obviously believes it is a man's or boy's rights to beat a woman if she dares to reject his sexual demands. I call it attempted rape not the actions of a male who was unable to control himself. Rongoni chose to try and rape this young woman and he clearly planned his attack.

Yet rape apologists abound everywhere, including judges who uphold male rapists' excuses and justifications. Fortunately this time a male rapist has been convicted and his decision to try and rape a young woman has resulted in imprisonment.

Yes indeed all women entering New Zealand should be warned 'nowhere is safe for you, because if a male attacks you it is your fault never the perpetrator's.'

At December 02, 2008 7:12 AM, OpenID josh0 said...

Good news: a government body says all responsible must be encouraged to repair the system.

Alberta company charged following rape of employee (2008-Nov-24)


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