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Hullabaloo


Sunday, December 04, 2005

 
She Initiated It

by digby

A lot of bloggers have written today about the rape case in Oregon in which a young woman was found guilty of falsely reporting the rape based upon a judge's impression that the "boys" were more credible and because the accuser allegedly didn't act properly traumatized according to a detective and two friends. (Kevin Hayden has more here.)

I'm quite sure that rape is falsely reported from time to time. It only stands to reason that it would happen. However, this judge was apparently not relying on the kind of evidence that could have supported the charge -- like testimony from a "co-conspirator" or a friend to whom she confessed to making it up, a blackmail attempt, stalking, a fight, nothing that concrete.

Despite what he describes as inconsistencies on both sides, he must have believed this in order to find her guilty:


The three men testified Thursday that the acts were consensual and at the girl's initiation.


How likely is that? Here in the real world, how often does it happen that a 17 year old girl initiates group sex with a bunch of her boyfriend's pals?

Again, I'm sure it happens. But this "porno star" defense is more common that you think and it works even in the face of documentary evidence. Here's a similar story that played out along similar lines, although it was tried as a rape case:

The jury announced Monday that it was "hopelessly deadlocked" on all 24 counts.

Defense attorneys and a middle-aged male juror told CNN that 11 jurors voted "not guilty" on the first four counts -- two counts of rape by intoxication and two counts of oral copulation by intoxication.

The alleged rape was videotaped by Haidl July 5, 2002, during a party at the home of his father, Don Haidl, a top-ranking sheriff's official in Corona del Mar.

Prosecutors relied on the tape as the most critical piece of evidence, telling jurors throughout the trial that all of the crimes can be seen on tape.

The prosecution doesn't feel it overestimated the impact the tape had with the jury, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said Tuesday.

"It's very clear what's happening on the tape," Rackauckas said. The alleged victim is "unconscious, she's flopping around, out of control, being manipulated by these three individuals."

But, Haidl's attorney Peter Scalisi said "science and medicine backs" the defense's contention that Jane Doe was conscious during the incident.

A neurologist hired by the defense testified that in reviewing the tape, he found her to be alert and with the presence of mind to say "no," and yet she said "yes," Scalisi said in an appearance with Rackauckas on CNN.

During the trial, defense attorneys portrayed Doe as a promiscuous, aspiring porn star who agreed to be videotaped.

Scalisi called the depiction "very fair" because that's the way "she truly is."


I don't remember where I saw the footage, but I saw it, (with the body parts made hazy.) It was obvious that the poor girl was unconscious. She was like a rag doll, only making rare muffled sounds. And the criminals who were assaulting and humiliating her were laughing through the whole thing. I don't care if she'd made a thousand porno movies, in this one she was clearly not capable of consenting. It was one of the most disturbing videos I've ever seen.

But there were people on that jury who were able to look at that footage and be convinced that she was consenting--- evidently persuaded by her sexual history that even though she was clearly unconscious when the men inserted a lit cigarette, a pool cue and a Snapple bottle into her orifices, that somehow she wanted what was happening.(The case was retried and the punks were found guilty.)

I don't know all the particulars in this case in Oregon, but I think it's probably a good rule of thumb that when the defendant is a 17 year old girl accused of not only falsely reporting a rape but enticing her accused rapists into group sex, and there is no proof that she did all this other than the word of the boys and a vague observation that she didn't "act right" then the burden of proof has not been met.

The lesson here for young girls is, don't bother reporting a gang rape if you know the rapists. A good many people will believe that you are a sexually depraved black widow spider who lured the poor young fellas into your web and then tried to "kill" them with a false charge.



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