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Worried about a friend RE a rape allegation

(53 Posts)
confuseddotcodotuk Fri 06-May-11 20:41:29

I won't go into too much detail obviously but I found out today that a dear friend has had a rape allegation made against him and he's waiting to hear what's going to happen. He's been told to admit to a 'lesser' crime for a smaller sentence but has refused too and will plead not guilty to rape.

What can he be sentenced with and what can the consequences be? I truly and honestly do not believe that he has it in him to do this and I'm really worried about him.

Collaborate Sat 07-May-11 00:55:23

Maximum sentence is life, with the average around 4 years. This will include some guilty pleas, so average for a not guilty plea may be much more.

Look - those cases where women fabricate a claim are few and far between and receive much publicity. It's far more likely that a guilty man will get off than an innocent one convicted. You've only heard it from one side. If you really want to know what he's like, attend the trial and judge for yourself. Don't let him into your life for the time being though.

There must be a reason he's been advised to plead to a lesser charge.

darleneoconnor Sat 07-May-11 01:05:11

What 'lesser' crime?

There must be a reasonable amount of evidence against him if it's going to court.

tbh if his lawyer is advising him to admit guilt, given how how low rape convictions are, then I think it is extremely unlikely that he is entirely innocent

rapists dont have horns, they are not generally distinguishable from non-rapists

there is no way for someone on the outside to know what went on in private between 2 individuals

I have had two male friends/acquaintencies who turned out to be rapists (admitted to it). They were 'nice guys', charming, polite, not bullies or violent. You have to get it out of your head that 'nice men dont rape'. It is sad but true.

dittany Sat 07-May-11 01:15:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

confuseddotcodotuk Sat 07-May-11 01:16:21

I know that, I honestly do; but I have my own reasons for being sure that this guy has not done this. I am not going to justify my reasons, I asking what may face him in the future if the allegations stand firm.
He himself does not realise that I know. I found out through somebody neutral to the situation who gave me the black and white picture of what is going on, no taking sides as they don't exactly like him to be honest. Only the guy accused and one or two others know who this girl actually is so I am not going to start casting judgement on her.

Thank you for taking the time to answer though.

dittany Sat 07-May-11 01:19:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

confuseddotcodotuk Sat 07-May-11 01:24:03

I don't know many more details. I was told that it had been accused, he'd been hauled to the police station and the girl would like to press charges. At the moment something about bail is going to happen in the near future apparently (?) and I also know that there is CCTV footage of her coming onto him and him pushing her away. That's all I've been told.

I'm worried because if he's innocent of the crime as I believe he is then he's going to be tarnished with this brush for life, and if he did do this then it means I, and many many other people as he's a very well liked and trusted person, have terrible senses of character.

confuseddotcodotuk Sat 07-May-11 01:26:05

dittany: If she is lying, there could be many reasons for it, such as it actually happened but it wasn't the person she thought it was. Or she's mentally ill and genuinely believes it happened. Nothing is as simple as lies and truth, I'm not naive enough to think that.

dittany Sat 07-May-11 01:26:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

darleneoconnor Sat 07-May-11 01:34:14

It is the CPS who will decide whether to prosecute not the victim. Statistically it is unlikely to get that far anyway.

You seem quite ignorant and insensitive about mental illness, if you think that that can automatically make someone delusional. With those kind of attitudes you probably arent a very good judge of character either. But as I said rapists can be and often are, otherwise 'of good character'.

confuseddotcodotuk Sat 07-May-11 01:35:31

There is that too. I am not looking for an argument, I have spent most of my day critically thinking over every bloody interaction I've had with him in the past ten years and am really shaken by this so please, just give me some cold hard facts that I can process and don't start trying to analyse me and my wording. I know what it means if I have judged him wrongly and this is true, I haven't stopped thinking about that either.

dittany Sat 07-May-11 01:42:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Sat 07-May-11 01:46:45

This might help OP: Sentencing Guidelines for rape.

Sadly as others have said it is highly likely that if an allegation has been made against him, it is because he did it. False allegations are really rare. However as dittany rightly says, you hardly need to worry as there is only a 6% chance of him being convicted. In other words, near 95% certainty that he won't be found guilty, regardless of whether he did it or not.

Isthreetoomany Sat 07-May-11 01:55:10

Unfortunately I don't see how anyone other than the 2 people involved in this can form a view. Even if you think you know a man, it is so difficult to judge how they could behave under what circumstances. Sorry these are not cold hard facts, just based on my experience.
The rapist that I became involved with presented a very particular image to the world - he came across as a very charming, seemingly caring and articulate man. He could change in an instant.
Yet he also had a whole set of beliefs that he can constructed for himself where, it appeared, he genuinely did not actually believe that he was committing rape by taking the actions that he had. I am certain that any independent person who had been there at the time would have judged it to be rape, yet he would not accept the use of the word 'rape' in relation to how he behaved.

confuseddotcodotuk Sat 07-May-11 02:10:37

But what if he did do it and doesn't get convicted? I've been second guessing myself all day and truly cannot believe it, but there's this little voice at the back of my head thats saying "What if...?" I feel like I have to stand by him. I remember how angry he was when he found out about somebody mistreating their girlfriend in a sexual way when we were in our late teens, but this is a hundred times worse.

We were very close at one point, used to spend hours locked in a room together just talking. I'm wondering that if it happened then what changed. And what if nothing changed and he always thought about it?

I don't think I'll be able to keep in contact after this no matter what the outcome. There will always be that niggling doubt. I wish I had never been told tbh. I wish I'd remained ignorant of it until it was all over, then at least I would have been able to face him before leaving again. I'm supposed to be going out with a friend next week and he works in the one pub in town.

Thank you for the link elephants. The information you mentioned is disturbing too, I'm going to write that in a book I'm reading (crime, starts with a rape coincidentally enough, may forgo that for now) and keep that in mind. Only earlier today I wanted to start a thread about this scene I read and how angry it made me.

I'm going to bed now. I've given up on thinking.

darleneoconnor Sat 07-May-11 02:34:12

Some rapists are serial rapists, some only ever do it once.

If you are alone with any man there is no real way of ever knowing whether he is capable of raping you. It can happen with someone you've known for years and spent loads of alone time with but then one time it happens. Women will often then blame themselves for trusting him or not 'seeing the signs' but there usually aren't any. It doesn't matter how this case turns out you will never have definate answers.

prh47bridge Sat 07-May-11 09:24:18

Around 58% of rape cases that get to court result in a conviction. That is a higher conviction rate than for many other major crimes. However, the number of reported rapes that result in a conviction is much lower - 6% result in a rape conviction and 14% result in a conviction for rape or a related offence (e.g. sexual assault). The main reasons cases are dropped before they reach court are lack of evidence, the victim withdrawing the allegation and the police concluding (rightly or wrongly) that the allegation is false.

Given the above figures, I disagree with darleneoconnor that his lawyer's advice suggests guilt. His lawyer's advice could simply reflect that fact that, if it goes to court, there is a 58% chance that he will be convicted and therefore pleading guilty to a lesser offence may be a sensible thing to do even if he is innocent. It suggest his lawyer thinks the evidence is strong enough to mean he may be convicted, but that isn't the same as saying he is guilty.

I don't know the evidence against this man. I am therefore not in a position to judge his guilt or innocence. Nor is anyone else on this thread.

dittany Sat 07-May-11 10:17:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

prh47bridge Sat 07-May-11 12:14:48

No, it is not the case that only one in ten reported rapes lead to a prosecution.

Only one in ten lead to a prosecution for rape. If we include the number that lead to a related prosecution (e.g. sexual assault) the figure is much higher, otherwise we wouldn't have 14% of cases leading to a conviction.

As for the accusation that the CPS cherry picks, there is some truth in that but it cherry picks for all crimes, not just for rape. The CPS is supposed to prosecute only where it believes there is a realistic chance of success. This does, of course, lead to a problem. Imagine two CPS lawyers each with 100 cases of all kinds (burglary, murder, rape, etc.). One charges all of them and secures 60 convictions. The other charges 10 of them and gets 10 convictions. In terms of the way the CPS is measured the second lawyer is the better one, but victims and the police would prefer the first lawyer. So yes, the CPS does cherry pick but, as far as I am aware, the evidence suggests that the proportion of rape cases referred to the CPS which lead to a prosecution is similar to that for other major crimes.

Between half and two thirds of reported rapes never get as far as the CPS. The most common cause for a case not getting that far is that the victim withdraws the allegation. The proportion of cases leading to a conviction is not dramatically lower than for other major crimes, although it clearly needs to be higher.

I am not suggesting we should be complacent and accept the current situation. Any rapist who gets away with it is one too many. The fact that so few rapes are reported at all is a problem (around 85% of rapes are never reported to the police), as is the fact that so many victims withdraw their allegations. But we will only improve things if we deal with facts, otherwise we end up trying to fix the wrong problem.

confuseddotcodotuk Sat 07-May-11 12:54:46

The stats are really worrying.

I'm kinda pushing it to the back of my mind now, thank you for the stats and facts though. It's helped put things in perspective and no matter what happened or is going to happen my thoughts about him are going to be forever skewed even if I do believe he's innocent, there'll always be that doubt.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Sat 07-May-11 14:13:08

I know confused - I've had people I know accused of serious crimes and you can NEVER un-know that they might have done that thing.

On the other hand, we would probably all go mad if we realised how many people around us have committed crimes without ever even being accused/prosecuted.

Just have to keep assuming the best of the people we know, balancing that with a realistic knowledge that in cases of rape and sexual assault, the system is weighted against victims and someone being let off/having accusations against them withdrawn is not a sign of innocence, sadly.

This is why we talked about setting up the "I Believe You" campaign, because there is a huge wave of people ready to tell rape victims (outright or by inference) that they are mistaken/lying/misremembering, and next to no-one ready to give them credence.

dittany Sat 07-May-11 14:31:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

prh47bridge Sat 07-May-11 14:54:02

I'm sorry if you think I am being pedantic but when you say, "Only one in ten reported rapes ever see the inside of the courtroom" that seems to me to imply that the other nine don't get prosecuted for any kind of sexual offence at all which is not the case.

dittany Sat 07-May-11 14:56:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dittany Sat 07-May-11 14:57:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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