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Jian Ghomeshi found not guilty

(26 Posts)
Sithee Thu 24-Mar-16 19:56:01

For those who are following this story, he was acquitted today. The Judge cited problems with the credibility of the victims angry

caroldecker Thu 24-Mar-16 20:27:45

From the brief bit I have read, the victims lied on oath and this became clear in cross-examination. Not sure how anyone could convict in those circumstances.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 25-Mar-16 05:09:37

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Out2pasture Fri 25-Mar-16 05:23:25

He's a horrible human being, guilty in a court of law or not.

FreshwaterSelkie Fri 25-Mar-16 07:17:53

So depressing, but I think it was always on the cards that he was going to get off. Rape myths and victim blaming everywhere - the victims didn't behave "correctly" enough to convict him. So yes, sure, a woman would "consent" to being punched in the head, that makes total sense hmm

Meghan Murphy makes an interesting point about the other ways that he can be held to account.

Snowshimmer Fri 25-Mar-16 10:46:50

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

TrojanWhore Fri 25-Mar-16 10:51:11

"the victims didn't behave "correctly" enough to convict him"

Yes, they lied on oath.

That is going to scupper any prosecution, whatever the charges.

FreshwaterSelkie Fri 25-Mar-16 11:45:58

I don't think it's at all as clear cut as them lying - that is very accusatory.

I think there are also other explanations for what happened. I don't think the fact that the complainants had continued contact with him after the assault necessarily means that the assault didn't happen and they lied about it. People react in many different ways after they've been assaulted - minimising it, pretending it didn't happen, telling themselves it wasn't that bad and so on. All of which are very compatible with staying in contact with the person who assaulted you. The one doesn't cancel out the other. That was what I meant by "correct" behaviour.

In terms of what actually happened during the trial, had they had better support to help them navigate the trial, to help them fend off the media, to help them prepare themselves for what would happen, things might have been different. There were things that they should not have withheld. But that doesn't mean that it's as clearcut as- they lied, therefore he is innocent of everything, not by a long stretch. It's such a pity that it's gone down this way.

caroldecker Fri 25-Mar-16 19:30:27

I never meant to suggest that they were lying about everything, but if you are caught lying on oath, then no reasonable jury can believe your evidence over someone elses.

Snowshimmer Fri 25-Mar-16 20:29:22

Hmm, interesting that my comment was deleted. Was it my wish that this man would get a taste of his own medicine - random head punching by women claiming it was "just their fetish" so completely legal?

Snowshimmer Fri 25-Mar-16 20:32:02

Silly me though, in this world it's only men who are allowed to violently assault women and then claim it was consensual and get away with it. Isn't it.

FreshwaterSelkie Sun 27-Mar-16 08:53:05

I still think the deck was stacked against the complainants, and saying "they lied" is the worst possible interpretation of what they did. They didn't remember stuff exactly (very common in cases of assault), they withheld some information (because they knew it would make them look bad, because it would damage their appearance as "the perfect victim" - and they were right), and they did work together to get the case to trial, which you can of course describe as colluding, or alternatively as trying to make up for the vanishingly small possibility that the authorities would do the work for them.

I wonder how often witnesses in other trials are described as "deceptive and manipulative", as these women were? Or is that reserved for women making charges of sexual assault...?

He has another trial coming up. There is quite a queue of women he is alleged to have assaulted.

itllallbefine Sun 27-Mar-16 09:46:48

Can i ask if the evidence in this single case (not withstanding the other pending ones) would have persuaded you he was guilty ? If so what was it ?

FreshwaterSelkie Sun 27-Mar-16 12:02:12

I'm not sure I understand the question. I know you enjoy your contrariness, itll, so I do wonder where you're going with that.

The evidence given was that the women concerned said that he'd assaulted them. I think the likelihood that this was a false claim against him that they pursued for malicious reasons is less likely than that he actually did assault them. It doesn't even matter if he says they consented, because you can't consent to an action that causes you bodily harm (in Canada, or in the UK).

Besides, I'm not in court, so I am not bound by the legal restriction that a man's previous or subsequent behaviour is irrelevant in cases like these, while a woman's behaviour, while being technically irrelevant, is anything but. The very second that a man once puts his hands round a woman's throat, he's telling you very clearly what sort of man he is, and it's not good. Beating up women turns Jian Ghomeshi on. Would you be alone in a room with him? I wouldn't.

caroldecker Sun 27-Mar-16 13:26:42


they withheld some information (because they knew it would make them look bad, because it would damage their appearance as "the perfect victim" - and they were right)

Or the withholding of the information makes the rest of their testimony subject to reasonable doubt, so no conviction.

FreshwaterSelkie Sun 27-Mar-16 13:40:49

Well, yes, Carol, that's what happened.


itllallbefine Sun 27-Mar-16 17:10:26

I find the whole case odd, I'm not sure what to think of it. What i find troubling is the belief that the verdict is wrong because the only basis required for assumption of guilt is that a woman says it happened. Her behaviour afterwards, things she said or did, letters she wrote etc after the alleged assaults, the idea that these should just be discounted and should not be presented as evidence i.e, the only testimony that has any significance is what she alleged happened.

itllallbefine Sun 27-Mar-16 17:31:40

Although it seems desperately unlikely, supposing he is entirely innocent of all charges, his career is f*cked and he'll never recover from this.

FreshwaterSelkie Sun 27-Mar-16 17:34:12

No, it's not that anything that went after should be discounted, it's just that it doesn't necessarily mean what it's commonly taken to mean. Women quite often continue contact with men who have assaulted or raped them, but that would not go over well at trial, because you're "supposed" to immediately cut contact - what sane person would stay in contact with their rapist?? In reality, there are many reasons why it's a bit more complicated than that, not least of which is that the victim might be in a relationship with the accused, as was the case here. It's victim blaming 101 to say, "why didn't you just leave him?" You are "supposed" to be devastated and curled up in a corner crying after an assault, but women often minimise what has happened, pretend it didn't happen, put on a strong face for the world, and so on.

If behaviour before and after is to be included, then why not his behaviour too? How it just happens that he is continually dogged with accusations of assault? Isn't that relevant too?

That's what's so upsetting about this case for many people - it underlines why women don't report assault and rape, because we have so little hope of being believed or a successful prosecution happening.

I do find it incredible that I would have to explain this on a feminist board.

itllallbefine Sun 27-Mar-16 18:05:37

That's what's so upsetting about this case for many people - it underlines why women don't report assault and rape, because we have so little hope of being believed or a successful prosecution happening.

Given the evidence presented in this case i fail to see how anyone without a political agenda could be convinced he was guilty.

If you pursue a sexual relationship with your alleged attacker for over a year after the alleged assault, tell him by email how much you enjoyed the alleged assault, send photos of you deepthroating a beer bottle to him etc - what do you seriously expect to happen ? This was not some trapped, no income women terrified of what would happen to her. I don't understand how this verdict could have gone any other way. Could you explain ?

I do find it incredible that I would have to explain this on a feminist board.

If you are a victim of assault you should go to the police immediately, not wait for years and in the meantime shower your assailant with compliments and sex. No doubt I will be accused of victim blaming anyone who did not do that.

VikingVolva Sun 27-Mar-16 18:36:23

I agree it may well take time before someone goes to the police. And that some circumstances are difficult to investigate and build a case which can be prosecuted.

I know it's slightly different in the States, but here the requirement is to tell 'the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth"

If you are exposed not doing them then yes the prosecution will fail. This should not be a surprise.

It is probably better to deal with fears that you may not be believed before the trial itself, rather than be caught out in this way, guaranteeing you will not be believed.

SomeonesRealName Sun 27-Mar-16 19:24:15

I married a man who had sexually abused me in the early stages of dating and also had a child with him. At the time I substituted my own narrative, as I didn't see myself as a victim but as someone who could save him. Rape myths about how real victims behave are incredibly dangerous.

Dervel Sun 27-Mar-16 23:01:43

I have not followed the case with surgical precision, but two thing stand out:

First the women whom he is alleged to have assaulted communicated and colluded in their testimony, thus robbing any jury of any opportunity to connect the dots by seeing similarity in the cases. That creates a reasonable doubt.

Two the actress claimed to have had no contact with the defendant barring the odd meeting at professional social occasions, however that assertion was proven to be false.

Reading around the guy it does sound something is rotten in the state of Denmark. I personally believe he is guilty, but not beyond all reasonable doubt. Had I been on the jury I would have to vote not guilty because of that reasonable doubt. Just because a Jury finds not guilty does not mean the accused is believed just that there is not enough evidence to prove it beyond all reasonable doubt.

I can imagine in a great many rape cases victims are believed yet that isn't proof beyond all reasonable doubt.

FloraFox Mon 28-Mar-16 18:46:06

Didn't Ghomeshi admit this when the allegations first came out?
Didn't he say he was being "kink shamed"?

I believe creeps like Ghomeshi are gaslighting women into thinking violent assaults are cool and edgy "kinks". If they were to behave as you'd expect an assault victim to behave, they'd be called "prudes" and "kink shamers" by the BDSM gaslighters.

Snowshimmer Mon 28-Mar-16 19:46:19
Yes Flora, he basically wrote that this was about his sex life which should be private.

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