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Man walks free from court after statutory rape

(1000 Posts)
AssassinatedBeauty Fri 17-Mar-17 17:18:08

Saw this news case today, and am not sure what I think:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-39305042

I feel that it gives the message that it's ok for men not to worry about the age of girls/women they have sex with if they have reasonable grounds to believe they're 16+.

meditrina Fri 17-Mar-17 17:23:15

Do they have statutory rape as a charge in the Scottish legal system?

NoCapes Fri 17-Mar-17 17:24:22

Well tbh if she said she was over 16, and looked it, even police officers that she spoke to that night 'had no concerns about her age' what else could he do?
Of course it opens up everyone saying 'but she looked older to me' regardless of whether she does it doesn't, I think the deciding factor here was the police not being concerned about her age and the taxi driver thinking she was 20 - she must have looked much much older which is quite frightening to think she's only 12 and can pass for 20, but that's not the guys fault

Have to wonder where her parents were while she's staying out all night drinking and having sex at 12 years old though

MongerTruffle Fri 17-Mar-17 17:26:50

He was charged with rape not because he had sex without consent as such but because she was under 13.

It says that the girl gave consent and the man (and others) believed that she was 16.

StealthPolarBear Fri 17-Mar-17 17:28:28

That girl has been and continues to be failed by everyone around her.

StealthPolarBear Fri 17-Mar-17 17:29:24

It might not be his fault but it is his problem. If you have sex with someone you hardly know this is one of the risks.

VikingVolva Fri 17-Mar-17 17:29:51

It really all hinges on the girl's appearance. Something which we cannot form an opinion on, because her identity is withheld.

Yes, some 12 year olds (S2 perhaps, or year 8 in English terms) look like much older teenagers - DD has friends who are taller than me, with curves and with make up on they pass convincingly as considerably older than they are. If adult police officers had no concerns on the night, then it's not that surprising that a 19yo got it wrong too.

This case will not however set a precedent.

Sixisthemagicnumber Fri 17-Mar-17 17:29:58

It's a difficult one as the police and taxi driver both thought she was over 16 so the mans defence that he believed her when she said she was 16 is plausible. People don't generally ask for ID to confirm somebody's age.

businesscontrolled Fri 17-Mar-17 17:34:45

Lots of girls look many many years older than they really are and many many people sleep with strangers. Very difficult to convict him.

StealthPolarBear Fri 17-Mar-17 17:36:55

I really think there should be an offence of having sex without due care or attention..
If you hit someone with your car because you didn't believe there was anyone in the road is that ok? You didn't intend to harm anyone and believed the road was clear.
I refuse to believe if he had taken any care or attention he wouldn't have realised this was a child, barely out of primary school.

TheFallenMadonna Fri 17-Mar-17 17:38:20

He admitted rape. He has not been given any sentence, but he has been convicted.

TrojanWhore Fri 17-Mar-17 17:39:29

The judge acknowledged that it was wholly exceptional, so it won't be setting a precedent. Especially as the young (teenage) man had pleaded guilty to a rape charge in the first place, so it wasn't a cunning defence, it was an intervention from the judge who overturned it.

Several witnesses described the girl as appearing to be aged 17-20ish, including police and a taxi driver.

But why the hell was a 12 year old out on the lash? Someone has failed her - and I think the judge is right that it was not the teenager who knew she was consenting and believed (like the police) she was of age.

maggiethemagpie Fri 17-Mar-17 17:41:08

I'm with the guy on this one. If she said she was over 16, and looked it, then it would not be right to convict him. Are men supposed to start asking for proof of age ID when they meet a girl now?

UnmentionedElephantDildo Fri 17-Mar-17 17:41:23

"I refuse to believe if he had taken any care or attention he wouldn't have realised this was a child, barely out of primary school."

You expect higher standards if a 19 year old, than of the police officers who had cause to talk to her that very night and who had no concerns about her age?

TheFallenMadonna Fri 17-Mar-17 17:41:45

The judge did not overturn the conviction. She did not give out a sentence, or any other punishment.

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 17-Mar-17 17:41:52

I feel like if you're going to have sex with a randomer you meet in a taxi rank then you have to recognise the chance they could be underage. You could choose not to have sex - is that too radical a suggestion? Did he even ask her? Or talk to her?

Emphasise Fri 17-Mar-17 17:42:18

He has been convicted but not given a sentence so (presumably) that's on his record which rules our a lot of work etc. Quite a big "punishment" really. The girl has been badly failed, but not, I don't think, by him.

SheldonsSpot Fri 17-Mar-17 17:43:07

"I refuse to believe if he had taken any care or attention he wouldn't have realised this was a child, barely out of primary school."

Hmm well the police obviously took even less care and attention then, as they had absolutely no concerns on the night.

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 17-Mar-17 17:44:06

Unmentioned, yes, as he was looking to have sex with her!

TheFallenMadonna Fri 17-Mar-17 17:44:35

He admitted rape. He did not plead not guilty. I think an absolute discharge does mean no conviction recorded though.

UnmentionedElephantDildo Fri 17-Mar-17 17:44:48

"Did he even ask her?"

Well according to the link you posted he did. And the two girls said they were 16 and 17. The taxi driver thought they looked 20ish.

How much they talked isn't described.

sotiredbutworthit Fri 17-Mar-17 17:44:59

I feel for the guy. The only people to blame her are the parents. Where the hell were they?

NuffSaidSam Fri 17-Mar-17 17:46:08

Based on the facts that have been in the news (i.e. the only ones I know), I think the judge (who I assume knew all the facts) made the right call.

StealthPolarBear Fri 17-Mar-17 17:46:57

Sheldon without being crude they weren't having sex with her

UnmentionedElephantDildo Fri 17-Mar-17 17:47:02

"Unmentioned, yes, as he was looking to have sex with her"

Really, when, according to the linked BBC report, the police were specifically looking for a (different) missing 12yo, so should have been extremely alert to the possibility that the girl they were talking to was underage. But they had no concerns. And they were sober and specifically looking for indications of age.

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