Saturday, December 03, 2005

That'll Show Her 

The ugliest story we have brought you in quite quite some time comes from our revered colleague Melissa of Shakespeare's Sister:
A municipal judge found a 19-year-old woman guilty Friday of filing a false police report after she said she was raped by three young men.

Even though the woman never said she lied or recanted her story, city prosecutors say they took the unusual step of filing charges against her because of the seriousness of her accusations . . . .

"This will have a huge chilling effect on men and women across the board," said Erin Ellis, executive director of the Sexual Assault Resource Center in Washington County. "We're sliding backwards."

After a day-and-a-half trial, Municipal Judge Peter A. Ackerman on Friday convicted the woman of filing a false police report, a class-C misdemeanor. Ackerman explained his decision, saying there were many inconsistencies in the stories of the four, but that he found the young men to be more credible. He also said he relied on the testimony of a Beaverton police detective and the woman's friends who said she did not act traumatized in the days following the incident . . . .

The woman, who was 17 at the time of the April 30, 2004, incident, testified Friday that she was attacked by an 18-year-old boyfriend and his two friends. She said she was in the boyfriend's bedroom preparing to go to a party when she was sexually assaulted by the men . . . .

[The woman's lawyer, Jeff] Napoli, a former Washington County deputy district attorney, said he understands the district attorney's decision to not charge the three men in the rape case because of disputes over the facts. But for the same reason, he said, it didn't make sense for Beaverton to turn around and charge the woman.
N.B.: the men were legally adults, and the woman was underage. Kevin Hayden of The American Street, who has known the young woman "since she was a baby," adds a few telling details:
The judge found inconsistencies in all of the stories, thus establishing reasonable doubt in every story. Yet he convicted the victim. ‘Boys’ will be ‘boys’.

The young woman’s friends were a classmate at high school and her mother. The mother a) has always been seen with an alcoholic beverage or high on prescription pills by all who know her, b) provided the 17-year old with the alcohol she’d had that evening, which she stole from the store she cashiers at and c) was awaiting her boyfriend’s return to her home within two months of the rape. That boyfriend was in prison for molesting his own daughter. That’s hardly a credible witness with any sympathy for victims of sexual assault. But none of this could be introduced into evidence. Only the 17 year old’s sexual history could be exposed.

Additionally, the two ‘friends’ were the ones who convinced the 17 year old that she should report it to the police. So if the young woman is guilty, the instigating accessories to her ‘crime’ are considered credible experts about how a rape victim should act.
If you are wondering exactly what, in the judge's mind, might constitute proper etiquette for the recently raped, our venerated colleague the Heretik has a roundup of appropriately vitriolic opinions from rape survivors.

Arthur Silber of Once Upon a Time:
In short: with regard to every critical issue, the very worst possible interpretation and outcome was accorded to the woman, while the most innocent explanation was eagerly provided to the men. This is "justice" provided by every woman's worst enemy.

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