Friday, December 14, 2012

Judge gives lighter sentence to rapist: victim didn't fight back hard enough.

Well here's one for you.  A California judge has felt the need to make an issue of the lack of fight a woman showed during a sexual assault.  The woman's boyfriend threatened to mutilate her face and genitals with a hot screwdriver, beat her with a piece of metal and made other violent threats before raping her and forcing oral copulation.  The woman must have been terrified.

The judge, who was a former prosecutor in a sex crimes unit  pointed out that in that unit he'd seen cases where a woman's vagina had been "shredded" by a rape and didn't see evidence of it in this case. 

 The woman reported the threats but apparently didn't report the rape until almost three weeks later. "I'm not a gynecologist, but I can tell you something: If someone doesn't want to have sexual intercourse, the body shuts down." the judge is reported as saying, "The body will not permit that to happen unless a lot of damage is inflicted, and we heard nothing about that in this case,"
In the state of California, rape victims don't have to prove they resisted or were prevented from resisting because of threats.  The reasons for that should be obvious to anyone yet this judge decided that to be a true victim of a sexual assault one has to resist.  This personal view of his had important consequences in the case as he denied the prosecutor's request for a 16 year sentence and the guy got 6 years as that was what the case was "worth".  The judge received a public admonishment from the California Commission on Judicial Performance and apologized saying he was frustrated because of the argument with the prosecutor over the appropriate sentence.
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), as of 2005, 60 percent of rape crimes went unreported, most rape survivors do not report the crime.  According to RAINN this number has fallen: in 1992, 84 percent of rapes went unreported.
One possible reason rapes go unreported according to RAINN is that even when survivors do file reports, nothing happens. RAINN claims that only 6 percent of all rapists, whether or not their crimes are reported, will ever serve a day in jail.

I was also reading today about rapes of women that are incarcerated and the piece gave some instances of an Alabama prison that has quite a reputation for this offense.  Rape is considered by most sources to be the most unreported violent crime in the US.

It might explain why this particular victim took her time to report the actual rape and the judge proved her fears justified.

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