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This is seriously fucked up

(29 Posts)
ShobGiteTheKnid Thu 04-Oct-12 14:24:43

I am speechless. here


State Supreme Court Tosses Sex Assault Conviction

The state Supreme Court has thrown out the conviction of a Bridgeport man who was found guilty of sexually assaulting a severely handicapped woman.

Justices ruled, 4-3, that despite evidence that the 26-year-old woman cannot speak and has little body movement, there was no evidence she could not communicate her refusal to have sex with the defendant, Richard Fourtin Jr.

Fourtin's lawyer, Senior Assistant Public Defender Nicole Donzello, declined to comment on the decision.

Fourtin, 28, was convicted in 2008 of attempted sexual assault and sentenced to six years in prison.

The woman, who was not identified in court, has severe cerebral palsy and cannot verbally communicate, according to court documents.

The ruling centers around the state proving that the victim was physically helpless at the time of the attack, which is defined as ‘‘unconscious or for any other reason is physically unable to communicate
unwillingness to an act."

However, defense lawyers argued that there was evidence she could communicate by biting, kicking, screaming and gesturing.

“(W)e, like the Appellate Court, ‘’are not persuaded that the state produced any credible evidence that the [victim] was either unconscious or so uncommunicative that she was physically incapable of manifesting to the defendant her lack of consent to sexual intercourse at the time of the alleged sexual assault,’ the opinion states.

State Rep Gerald Fox III (D-Stamford), who serves as House Chair of the Judiciary Committee, said he will push for legislation to clarify state law.

Several local groups that work with victims are outraged by the decision.

“We are incredibly disappointed with the State Supreme Court’s decision in the Fourtin case,” said Anna Doroghazi, director of public policy and communication at Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services said in a statement. “The court’s interpretation of what it means to be ‘physically helpless’ jeopardizes the safety of people with disabilities.”

“By implying that the victim in this case should have bitten or kicked her assailant, this ruling effectively holds people with disabilities to a higher standard than the rest of the population when it comes to proving lack of consent in sexual assault cases,” Doroghazi said. “Failing to bite an assailant is not the same thing as consenting to sexual activity.”

The Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities said the state should be protecting people with disabilities.

“People with disabilities are much more likely to be sexually assaulted than people who do not have disabilities. Our justice system should provide them with protection, not require them to resist their attackers,” James McGaughey, the organization's executive director said.

More on the case can be found on the state Supreme Court briefs Web site.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 04-Oct-12 15:02:27

Oh, my god! shock

That is just awful.

Snorbs Thu 04-Oct-12 15:04:19


So according to that court unless you can prove you didn't consent and actively demonstrated your non-consent, they'll assume you consented.

That is just sick.

AbigailAdams Thu 04-Oct-12 15:13:06

Women are in a permanent state of consent, didn't you know Snorbs hmm! That is why so many people don't think Ched Evans is a rapist.

I'd just like to thank Dame Helena Kennedy for helping to change UK Law with regards consent so that shit judgements like this shouldn't happen over here.

Poor woman sad

ShobGiteTheKnid Thu 04-Oct-12 15:26:02

It really is fucking horrific. I can't believe it.

ThatBintAgain Thu 04-Oct-12 15:33:32

It's ridiculously fucked up. I'd love to say I was surprised by this, but you know what, I'm not. Seems unless you have at least three corroborating witnesses + photographic evidence you stand absolutely bugger all chance of putting a rapist in prison. The whole sorry situation is sickening.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 04-Oct-12 15:43:53

Oh no sad

FoodUnit Thu 04-Oct-12 18:20:25

Not surprising. angry

kim147 Thu 04-Oct-12 18:33:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

angryjoanna Thu 04-Oct-12 18:51:13

Disgusting. I've just added not being physically disabled to my list of sarcastic and ridiculous rape prevention tips:

ThatBintAgain Fri 05-Oct-12 09:22:10

Good blog angry smile

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Fri 05-Oct-12 09:24:26

She cannot talk, is severely physically disabled, but she should have bitten him.

FFS. Some days I just despair.

InfinityWelcomesCarefulDrivers Fri 05-Oct-12 09:27:41

That would actually be laughable if it wasn't so fucking awful. So failure to bite is full consent (if you're disabled)? Poor, poor woman.

InfinityWelcomesCarefulDrivers Fri 05-Oct-12 09:30:17

Ooh thank you angry Joanna. I will laminate that and pin it to my wall as a handy tip list. May I suggest a similar one for men "top tips to not be accused of rape..." (sure you can fill in the blank)

Frans1980 Sat 06-Oct-12 03:36:01

men are pigs

VeritableSmorgasbord Sat 06-Oct-12 06:48:59

My jaw dropped.
I just despair.
That poor poor woman.

roughtyping Sat 06-Oct-12 07:12:04

This is a really horrible story. I've liked a few different feminist pages on FB and quite a few posted links to this. It is honesty, literally unbelievable. They're saying what he did is fine. That poor woman, I cannot even imagine how she must feel.

greenhill Sat 06-Oct-12 12:18:01

shock Who is supposed to speak for someone with no voice? I thought the courts / the law were obliged to be the voice for the voiceless. angry

GuybrushThreepwodWasHere Sat 06-Oct-12 13:40:42

I was under the impression that a lot of high ranking people have now recognised the failings in the law and were pushing for changes. It is ridiculous that this wasn't noticed before. How many other people have fallen through this system?

SingingSilver Sun 07-Oct-12 17:31:53

Jesus Christ. When I was sexually assaulted the police assured me I should not have tried to fight him as it could have made the assault a lot worse. If she had beaten him how could she have protected herself from the resulting inevitable beating? Disgusting.

IdCalUaCuntBtUvNtGotTheDepth Sun 07-Oct-12 18:00:30

I'm furious.I can't even write anything sensible.. I'm so angry. That poor women. How dare she not fight him off better sad

IdCalUaCuntBtUvNtGotTheDepth Sun 07-Oct-12 18:20:59

The above is a petition against his appeal, on the comments for the article most people reference the women having the mental capacity of a 3 year old. I don't understand how in that case she could give informed consent if she wanted to?

NeDeLaMer Sun 07-Oct-12 18:27:44

Fucking hell. What the hell is the world coming to?? She didn't bite him so she consented... fucking hell.

Poor woman sad

GuybrushThreepwodWasHere Sun 07-Oct-12 18:43:58

Thank you IdCalU


bigkidsdidit Mon 08-Oct-12 11:49:00

I read this on Saturday morning and I have been thinkng about it ever since. It is so utterly dreadful. I can't believe it.

Thanks for the link to the petition.

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