Rape and the wearing of a thong(24 Posts)
A female defence barrister insinuated in a recent rape trial that because a girl (17) was wearing a lacy thong she was intimating she was available.
How blo*ody dare she.
There were marches in Dublin and Cork today in protest at the statement.
If I had been free go go go I would have.
Any other Craicnetters raging?
By the way, the guy got off.
Someone I know just shared this story on social media and i just couldn't believe it was true. Looked up the full story. ￼
Accidentally posted before I'd finished. Obviously was going to say this is utterly disgusting.
This beggars belief, I actually thought I was reading an old news story from years ago. It's unbelievably depressing on so many levels I don't know what to think really. Why are we moving backwards???? Why why why???
A few comments from a local with some knowledge of the area. I personally don't know the barrister, but she was a fairly prominent person in the anti-repeal movement. So you could guess her disposition with respect to wearing thongs, etc.
I'd also be concerned about the quality of the prosecution. Cork is in the midst of a whole series of sexual assault reports, cases that have been on-going for the past few years. Rape cases from the recent concert tour bus failed in court, series of rapes in a local park, rapes of 1st year students (that's a regular event in Cork).
Some of the people in the Cork march were those working in the city centre area, who would have some insight in the cases, so it encouraging to see them supporting. They KNOW what is going on, the lack of resources, etc.
OP says "By the way, the guy got off." .. How can you be sure? DNA evidence plays an increasingly important role of how jurors respond in court (exposure from various TV shows, high profile cases). At this moment in time, it's a key supporting factor in getting a conviction.
More gardai investigation resources, better and more prompt prosecution services are all badly needed in Cork
Apologies OP, I have just re-read your post.
I understand that you mean the man was acquitted. I misunderstood your post because it thought it referred to DNA evidence (semen). My perspective, unfortunately, was that this was a factor in this case.
I am beyond disgusted. I'm not sure if it's genuine or the rumour mill in overdrive but I heard the young girl took her life. I really hope it's not true.
@TrippingTheVelvet I think that's a different case... it's sickening that that case resulted in that.. I could be wrong but I think I read in a paper on Friday that that child's mother is actually helping in this current case...
TrippingTheVelvet is indeed referring to a different case, from a different jurisdiction.
Speaking with a few people (the things that people speak about working in this area!) the decision was made rather quickly by the jury. Apparently the condition of "beyond reasonable doubt" is a huge barrier. Speculation about the influencing factors included defendant status being credible (older, martial status, partner support, etc) and DNA evidence (of lack thereof). Speculation was that a lesser charge would have been successful, since something very very bad did clearly happen and temporal witness statements were not supportive of the male at all.
Of course the typical 17 year old on defense is itself a challenge, inexperienced, young, speaking in public, not old enough to buy alcohol or event vote! It's terrible to think about. They need much better support.
Finally, if there is another march in Cork (they likely will be due to pending cases) it is important that people show their support.
Ridiculous, I'm so glad people are protesting. How many times do we have to have this conversation? A woman's choice of clothing does not give any man the right to rape her, ever.
It doesn't matter what underwear you have on - or don't have on - no one deserves to be raped.
I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with Cork? It's a fairly small place, great place to visit, nice food and drink, etc? There are 145 cases reported in Cork to end of Oct this year (down from 155 same time the previous year). Now consider the resources needed to deal with that! That is the Cork City Garda division only. You may have heard Chief Superintendent McPolin comments on it recently.
Hopefully there will be a national survey/audit in coming that shines more light on this whole area.
That does not include people who do not report.
Two question for craicnet:
1. Would you report?
2. Did you report?
Please feel free to name change for any responses, experiences, since some of us know each other in real life.
I'll do the same for my reply later after work (if anyone else responds) .
1. If I had been asked this many years ago I would answer no. Experience taught me otherwise.
2. Not initially. A few weeks later I did. Looking back I wish I did report at the time. That person was tried later on other related offence not mine, and likely committed additional offenses in the interim. If I had reported it was was saved other people grief. He received one sentence. He should have multiple convictions.
1. Today, I'm not sure. It would depend
2. Then, no. I was recently interviewed by newspaper/radio for a piece, and discussed it.
In Cork people are well aware of the details of this case.
See here for more information in press today
Thank you for the link Bythebanks.
It's just appalling.
How/Why did a jury acquit?
I was not in court or directly involved in the case, but there are a lot of unsurprising elements that contribute to these types of verdicts. A few general comments
* Process: 8 men, 4 women jury is not a good starting point in sexual assault case. Female defense barrister in these cases is considered valuable. The quality of the both legal reps is critical.
* Jury: That makeup is key. Research shows a high level of predecision by jury members (they make up mind in advance, early, and unless major revelations are unlikely to change). Even in this day, there are many people who think rape is not that bad (including women ... a shown in other recent cases in Cork), prevalence of victim blaming, etc.
* Evidence: Clear DNA evidence (sperm deposit, location) is very important in these cases. Obvious signs of physical injury are also supportive. Basically showing signs of some level of physical injury and proof of ejaculation are shown to be important for juries.
So there were many factors that were barriers to "beyond reasonable doubt" for this particular jury. The jurors never know about prior convictions, charges, etc.
The DNA data base in Ireland is off to a great start
That system will support future cases, as rape is almost never a once off. Research shows patterns of serial offences over many many years.
What a pity jurors don't know about past convictions.
They changed the double jeopardy law, why can't they change the law and allow previous convictions to be told to juries.
I think it is due to the fact of having prior knowledge of a crime could influence the jury decision, and thus the person may not have a fair trail.
Back in March of this year I was at a talk in UCC by an author/activist called Winnie Li, see here www.winniemli.com/articles/ There was a lot of discussion about the situation in Ireland regarding crime, courts, etc.
Winnie actually went to UCC, so a lot of the discussion was about Cork. Well worth going along next time she visits.
It prompted me to participate in this piece on the Irish Times www.irishtimes.com/news/education/students-and-sexual-assault-we-had-sex-well-he-had-sex-1.3643631
See here for results of a survey in Ireland, brand new data by a reputable research company. It's worth a read and listen
80% would report.
That's very encouraging. If there is one thing I've learnt it's that been silent does not help anyway, means more future victims, and only allows this continue.
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