Tuesday, December 29, 2009

When Commenters Go Beyond Making Accusations

Last night as I was drifting off to sleep I realized that I forgot to highlight in yesterday's post where an anonymous comment by a person using the tag TooToo went beyond making an accusation against the alleged victim in the case of rape by intoxication.
Innocent people's lives ruined all because a promiscuous teenage girl who has a history of falsely accusing people of such acts to get out of trouble with parents. Sounds like a lawsuit in the making for not only her family but the Johnson county police department too........I think if this girl has any friends they might want to give her some advice and tell her she might want to drop the act now!
The portion of the comment I overlooked is after the "........"

What this person is suggesting is for this girl's friends to commit witness tampering. In most states this is a felony. This person is actively trying to incite people to commit a crime while pretending to support law abiding behavior.

This incitement itself should be a crime so that the police can get a search warrant to try to find out the identity of those who advocate for felony behavior and hold those who want others to commit felonies legally accountable for their role in the harassment of those who report rape.

Harassment of teenagers who report being raped isn't just common, too often it is the norm. This must change and those who contribute to harassment of anyone who reports having been raped is helping rapists no matter what the truth is behind a particular case since they are helping to foster an environment that is openly and actively hostile to rape victims.

One of the ways for these crimes to be deterred is for all those who advocate or attempt witness tampering in any form to be investigated and then prosecuted. If harassment is done in schools then students who harass should face serious consequences from school administrators.

While the original rape cases may be hard to prove to juries which may consist of people who buy into dangerous rape myths, witness tampering is often done in ways which leaves many witnesses or leaves a clear trail of evidence which proves those people's guilt. Unlike rapists they can't say the victim wanted the criminal actions and have a jury believe them.

The harm done by these people is real and in some cases this harm can be even more traumatic than the original rape. We must start treating those who perpetrate this harm in relation to the harm they do. When these people position themselves as against harm and for justice we must call them out on their lies. Doing so doesn't require making any assumptions about a pending legal case.

The person who witness tampers or advocates for witness tampering should not be allowed to claim as a defense that they genuinely believed that someone has been falsely accused. This belief does not undo the crime and it does not undo the harm these people do.

Those who excuse witness tampering because of their belief about a rape case or their belief about the commonness of false accusations likely wouldn't excuse those who commit felonies against rape defendants just because those other people are also acting on their genuine beliefs. If genuine belief about a case is a valid defense in the harassment of alleged victims then it must be a valid defense in crimes against alleged rapists.

I'm against both of these. The man (Jonathon Edington) who stabbed and killed his neighbor because he incorrectly believed that neighbor was a child molestor should have called the police instead if he believed his neighbor to be guilty. Edington's belief didn't prevent him from being convicted of first-degree manslaughter and that was the correct response by our legal system.

We need people to see this truth when those harmed are accused of lying about rape rather than having been accused of committing sex crimes.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:52 AM   1 comments links to this post


At January 03, 2010 12:26 PM, Blogger Christina said...

It is becoming very hard for young girls and even adult women to lay a charge of rape. We live in a very male dominated society that does not recognise rape for what it truly is. This in tern has led to the creation of the lie that there are far more false rape claims then actual rape claims.
When a young girl makes a rape claim, be it the policemen, the judge or who ever tends to regard her claim to be false irrespective of the evidence.
Under a male dominated society women and girls are seen as property and sex objects. Rape is seen not as serious as a false rape claim. Young girls and women who wish to make a rape claim are viewed and treated like criminals.

A male dominated society will never be able to appreciate the seriousness of rape and girls who make rape claims will continue to be harassed


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