Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Another "Falsely Convicted" Man Claims Consent Only ...

.. the person who allegedly consented is another man who was placed in the same jail cell as his allegedly falsely convicted rapist after failing to pay a court fine. The victim reported that his "falsely convicted" rapist threatened to kill him which implies that the man didn't resist.

If I was placed in a cell with someone and didn't know if that person was a murderer who had a shank and was willing to use it I might be too scared that I'd be killed before my call for help was even heard. This would not be consent in any form. Rape victims don't always survive. During attempted rapes the targets of those attempts have been murdered so this threat is serious and should never be dismissed by anyone not in that situation themselves.

Telling people what you would do in a particular situation is not the same as being in that situation. Declaring that you'd fight or scream is a no-risk decision when you won't face any harms from that action.

But many of those who try to nullify rape victims' lack of consent by claims which come down to, "She could have evaded if she really wanted to," don't try to nullify rapes when men rape other men.

Many people who hear claims of consensuality, especially post-conviction, view lack of physical resistance as proof of consent. When these people learn that the alleged rapist has been convicted and sentenced to 20 years as was done in this case, they declare it an injustice. But this reaction is usually given in relation to cases where a man or boy is accused of rape by a woman or girl.

This is a message which helps all rapists rationalize the crime of rape and which helps many of them get away with rape -- even when rapists this message was designed to help decide to rape another man.

From KPAX:

The 40-year-old David Webster is already serving a 26-year sentence on assault and murder-for-hire charges. He was convicted in April of second-degree rape.

KNDU-TV reports Webster is expected to appeal. He claims the sex was consensual.

Most people who read about this man's claim will not view Webster's continued claim of innocence as proof that he is innocent or as reasonable doubt because of the circumstances of this rape and because of the gender of the victim.

The rape denialists chant, "women lie about rape," not "people who report being raped lie about rape."

Notice, however, that the conviction was for second degree rape. Two other rape charges had deadlocked verdicts.

The crime occurred shortly after another Franklin County [Washington] jury found Webster guilty in 2003 of assaulting a woman and later trying to hire someone to kill her before that case went to trial. He was acquitted of rape in that case. [...]

2002 Pasco [Washington]: He was charged with raping a woman he met at a bar, then beating her with a broken beer bottle and biting off her eyebrow when she fought off his advances. Then he tried to hire an undercover West Richland officer to "off" the woman so she couldn't testify. Convicted of assault and solicitation to commit first-degree murder, he was sentenced to 26 years. [...]

The state background report also points out that Webster was arrested in 1997 for allegedly raping a woman who had been abducted from a parking lot by him and two other men. The victim reportedly was too embarrassed to press charges.

After reading the list of the known crimes committed by Webster I believe this woman was more likely too scared rather than too embarrassed to press charges.

When Webster was charged with rape and his victim was a woman with physical injuries he was acquitted of rape. That had to reinforce the societal messages about what crime men could commit with little fear of conviction. That message was weakly confirmed when he was only convicted of only 1 out of three rape charges after raping his cell mate.

Webster's criminal history includes other violent crimes including a misdemeanor conviction for strangling a woman and a 5-year sentence for breaking into a woman's home and slashing her with a knife so that she needed 44 stitches. A man who tried to break up an argument was stabbed in the shoulder and lung by Webster 23 years ago.

The idea that men who rape women or who are physically violent toward women are not a general danger is a false one even if particular men never aim their violence at men or boys.

Webster most likely will live long enough to serve out his prison sentences and I believe that he will be a lifetime risk to those who come in contact with him.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:31 AM   0 comments links to this post


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