Man ordered to tell police 24 hours in advance if he plans to have sex.(27 Posts)
I think this is a good idea for convicted rapists. An excellent idea, actually. However, he was acquitted, so it's a bit strange as they obviously think he's a risk. It's as if they don't believe he's innocent, which he may not be, but it's a bit of a slippery slope really. Shows how hard it is to get a conviction if they need to bring this in.
Maybe it would be useful in Scotland when there is a "not proven" verdict rather than a "not guilty".
Text from article on BBC news below
"A man cleared of raping a woman has been ordered to give police 24 hours' notice before he has sex.
The man, in his 40s, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was acquitted in 2015 at a retrial after claiming the alleged victim had consented.
An interim sexual risk order, initially imposed in December, has been extended for four months by magistrates in York.
It requires the man disclose any planned sexual activity to the police or face up to five years in prison.
The order - which was drawn up by magistrates in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, and extended in York - reads: "You must disclose the details of any female including her name, address and date of birth.
"You must do this at least 24 hours prior to any sexual activity taking place."
It also contains restrictions on his use of the internet and mobile phone devices and requires him to inform officers of any change of address.
A further court hearing in May will decide whether the interim order should be made into a full order, which has a minimum duration of two years and can last indefinitely.
Sexual risk orders were introduced in England and Wales in March last year and can be applied to any individual who the police believe poses a risk of sexual harm, even if they have never been convicted of a crime.
They are civil orders imposed by magistrates at the request of police."
DP has just suggested that perhaps he was acquitted on a technicality but is blatantly guilty.
In which case, this is a great fall-back.
However, I'd still rather just see rapists in jail rather than orders like this being necessary.
What do the police do with the information? Pop round to find out if she's in on the plan? Warn her of his past?
Unless it's intended to teach him about explicit consent.
Also it occurs to me that "she said yes at least 24 hours in advance" is no proof of consent anyway. She might have said yes twenty-four seconds ago, but not be consenting now.
I'm not sure how your legal system works, how are they able to impose this kind of punishment when in the eyes of the law he is not guilty?
So girls, if you are on a date and you have the prospect of getting into bed..... You have to take all his details and phone up the plod and ask.... Is this the guy and has he notified you?
What a way to ruin eveyones sex life!
While I think it is an interesting idea I really can't see how it fits in with innocent until proven guilty. How can someone's civil liberties be restricted because police believe them to be a risk?
I was on a jury in a sex crime case a few years ago and since then, I've been extremely sceptical (perhaps unfairly) about the validity of an 'innocent' verdict.
However, the law is the law and if you're found not guilty, you should be able to continue with your life as freely as everybody else. Although it says in the article that 'sexual risk orders were introduced in England and Wales in March last year', who introduced them? Parliament? Police? Who does have the power to do this?
I've been extremely sceptical (perhaps unfairly) about the validity of an 'innocent' verdict.
After finding out a bit more of how many cases never make it to court, me too.
Me too MsV. So if the police/judges are using this Sexual Risk Order when they feel that someone is guilty, but they can't prove it (which it seems 99% of the time, they can't
or don't want to ) then I guess this is a positive thing.
I do not in any way see how this is enforceable though. He just won't tell them, of course he won't tell them. It sounds so preposterous. Castration would be more effective.
Castrating innocent people wouldn't be effective. Maybe this man isn't really innocent but the court didn't find him guilty which means that, if your court system is anything like ours, he should be treated as though he were innocent. I still don't understand how it works that they can say ok he's not guilty but we're going to impose this kind of sentence anyway. Is it actually a legitimate court order or are the police saying "alright we want you to tell us when you're going to have sex"?
It's an order made by the court.
It's not on the basis of a criminal conviction though.
It's on the basis that on the balance of probabilities (the civil test, as opposed to the criminal test of beyond all reasonable doubt) that this person poses a sexual risk of harm. It's a preventative measure rather than a punative one after a conviction
Thanks for the link, I don't really get it, I've never heard of a court being allowed to issue a punishment based on a not guilty verdict. So he actually has to follow that request, like legally binding, or he could go to jail?
Yes. Sorry I've researched further and I believe the standard of proof is to the criminal standard (beyond all reasonable doubt) even though it's a civil order.
What I said though is its NOT an punishment. It's preventative based on assessment of risk.
An example was given on a legal forum I just found of a man who has admitted giving a sex toy to a child (or that can be proved beyond reasonable doubt) - not a criminal offence in itself but enough proof of risk to impose an sexual risk order.
Not sure of a similar example for an adult, maybe he had expressed violent rape fantasies online and if court is satisfied that there is a risk he will carry these out could impose the order.
Castrating innocent people wouldn't be effective.
I know, I was just being caustic.
I think I appreciate the sentiment of this order, but I don't think there is anyway this will work because there is just no way a man, who wanted to either rape someone or have sex, would ever tell the police 24 hours in advance. And once it's happened the police would never know.
hey sootica, it is a punishment. Whether or not that is the intent of the order is a different story, but I don't think you'd find anyone in the world who wouldn't consider it a punishment for them to have to tell police their sex plans in advance. I'm surprised that you can actually issue such punishments to people when they have been found not guilty. Not saying that this guy is actually innocent, he could be guilty for all I know, but if a court says he isn't guilty I thought you needed to treat them as if they are innocent, which means no imposing any kind of sanction on them.
The problem with innocent until proven guilty is when working with someone with incredibly risky sexual behaviour who hasn't been convicted. SROs are used to enable the police to protect the public. They are usually used on someone's release back into the community, and very rarely for someone with no conviction, but sometimes there is a need. I junk in the county I work in, there are something like 300 SROs, 2 of which are for people without a conviction. There would be uproar if a woman was sexually assaulted and it came out that actually the police were aware of a 10year history of risky behaviours, and many possible previous rapes but no convictions, and recently the person had been assessed as high risk of sexually of offending, and the police hadn't done anything. Often an SRO will have something meaning that phones and computers must be made available to the police to check if felt necessary. If the person breaches this, they will be arrested. Any intended victim is now safe. It is incredibly difficult and costly to get an SRO for someone who doesn't have a conviction, so the police would have only bothered if they had information that showed the person is at a very high risk of sexually offending. They have to go to court with all their evidence, all their risk assessments, all historic information and reports from other agencies and be cross examined and have questions from the persons solicitor. Quite frankly, if it wasn't absolutely necessary to protect the public, they wouldn't have bothered.
If the person breaches this, they will be arrested. Any intended victim is now safe.
How though? How will the police ever know if the man has had sex? Whether it's consensual sex with someone he met on a night out, or the rape of a stranger, or date-rape of a friend? How would the police know that sex had physically taken place?
What an utterly bizarre order! How the hell does that work?
Gosh, how unusual! I don't see how they can possibly police it - what if he phones up every 3 days saying he's going to have sex again today (and it's all a fantasy)? Do the police actually ring the woman (or man), Rubberduckies? What is she supposed to say - I might consent tomorrow but then again by that time I might have been totally creeped out by this bloke, or just gone off him, or not be feeling well, or anything at all, so I might not? Although getting that phone call would put me right off for a start - not a chance I would shag someone knowing they were probably a rapist.
I saw this article too don't understand how it would work either.
What if he said he was going to have sex with a woman X he happened to fancy, and the police told her and she said she had no intention of having sex with him. And then he went and raped her. Would that actually prove it was rape? Couldn't he argue that he'd complied with his court order and that the woman had changed her mind in the intervening 24 hours and now consented? Or could he claim that she'd been embarrassed and not wanted to tell the police that she was planning on having sex with him? I think if police came round and asked me if I was planning on having sex with a new BF I'd be a bit alarmed, but probably would tell them it was none of their business.
And presumably the 24 hour period is a minimum not a precise amount of notice he has to give, so couldnt' he list a whole list of women he planned to have sex with some time in the next few weeks? Any of whom might well change their minds (in either direction) between when the police speak to them and when they actually have sex. So how does him naming them in advance prevent them being raped? Or help to prove it was rape afterwards?
I would have thought the power of an order like this would be in cases where the rapist uses a way of committing the rapes such that a court would always have a sliver of doubt, maybe by targeting vulnerable victims who are not very capable of giving evidence in court.
Then a requirement to provide details if the woman in advance would allow the woman to be protected, but a breach would mean, when he uses the "but she consented" defence, it wouldn't matter as much because he could be locked away on the basis of breaching the court order. So while he could breach the order, it would mean a much greater chance of getting him put away once the victim was identified.
I think the existence of these orders is really worrying and a challenge to justice. But the fact so many rapists go without a conviction is an even bigger challenge to justice.
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