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Rape case thrown out because of woman's sexual fantasies.

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    it just seems its barely worth ever reporting a rape to the police as in most cases the guy will get away with it anyway because unless youve been viciously attacked by a stranger, then as far as judges are concerned, you cant prove anything.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    well yeah. She said she didnt consent though. Thats the whole thing, but theyve said they cant trust that because shed fantasised about group sex in the past, so pretty much, if youve fantasised about something, then anyone can go ahead and do that to you without your consent and they wont get done for it.
    it just seems its barely worth ever reporting a rape to the police as in most cases the guy will get away with it anyway because unless youve been viciously attacked by a stranger, then as far as judges are concerned, you cant prove anything.

    Thank you, you've put that better than I did.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well unfortunately, yea :/

    If you can't prove it then how would it be fair to lock someone up?

    I completely agree it's not fair on the victim or right, but still... if you cant prove it (and there are already some rape shield laws in place to give rape victims special protection, like past sexual history etc. which in a normal court would be admissible) then how do you go about locking the person up?

    If you pretend that a court case needs to satisfy some conditions, for example:

    evidence available to the court > evidence required to convict

    then in order to make conviction more likely, you either need to increase the evidence available to the court (better forensics I guess, better evidence gathering, police soliciting confessions, etc.) or reduce the evidence required (slippery slope in my opinion).

    The problem with rape in general is its such an emotive crime. It's like peadophilia, if you were discussing whether it was fair or just to bring the death penalty back, just do it on the back of a serial peadophile case and hey bingo. But if the law is run by emotion then it becomes unjust and unfair and ultimately a bit shitty.

    FWIW I think it was less to do with her fantasy in general and more to do she said it to the accused the day before she met up with him in person for sex. It's not enough evidence to prove that she's lying, but it's enough evidence to mean the conditional requirement of evidence for conviction is not met.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    well yeah. She said she didnt consent though. Thats the whole thing, but theyve said they cant trust that because shed fantasised about group sex in the past, so pretty much, if youve fantasised about something, then anyone can go ahead and do that to you without your consent and they wont get done for it.

    Again though, what's seems to have been said is that the case the prosecution built was undermined by what was said in transcripts of her conversations with the accused, whilst arranging to meet him for sex, contrary to what the prosecution had thought was in those conversations.

    It's a really important distinction - because what seems to have happened here isn't about what she fantasied about but about the solidity of the case the prosecution were preparing for.

    At no point has the prosecution said that they don't believe rape took place or that what her fantasies were in the past affected the case. They've said that a piece of evidence presented by the defence made it impossible to continue with the case they prepared for trial.

    No one knows why there was a conflict created by this - it's possible it's because she was lying, it's also possible she was too embarrassed to be completely open about what she'd said, or that she knew it would have meant she'd never she any justice for what happened. It's all an horrific feedback loop - the more women are humiliated and attacked in court to undermine their credibility then more it becomes a license for rapists and their lawyers to use the same attacks in later trials. That creates more and more fear and doubt in the minds of victims of rape and in juries. Something needs to change.

    And the wider questions you raise are very valid, it's your second point that really rings true. None of the attempts to reduce the use of previous sexual history have really worked. None of the same measures used to protect child abuse victims giving evidence seem to be applicable to adult rape cases. Any plan to change the way rape trials are held are quickly shouted down.

    Of course for trials around fraud the government came up with a raft of measures to deal with low convictions. Even suggesting a trial without a jury if you think they'd not understand the issues, because the government was worried that otherwise fraudsters would be found innocent. Any similar suggestions around rape, even just having jurors provided information about the affect of rape on a victim or solidly enforcing attempts to use previous sexual histories never gets further than the comment pages of the tabloids.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    it just seems its barely worth ever reporting a rape to the police as in most cases the guy will get away with it anyway because unless youve been viciously attacked by a stranger, then as far as judges are concerned, you cant prove anything.
    The conviction rate for cases that go to trial is reasonably high.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Here's a relatively recent overview from March 2009 -
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/mar/13/rape-convictions-low
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    And here's the 2007 joint report from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Inspectorate - 'Without Consent' - which looked at the investigation and prosecution of rape cases. It's a couple of hundred pages long, but well worth reading for to see a detailed overview of the problems currently faced around rape. In particular it looks at what happened after the government published the 2002 Rape Action Plan

    The executive summary is only about 20 pages, which covers the key points

    http://www.hmic.gov.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/Thematics/THM_20070101b.pdf
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    She said she didnt consent though.

    True but (and I am making an assumption here) 6 witnesses to the event say she did.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I am surprised a member of the CPS made that comment ( if they indeed did) at the end of the first JimV link.
    A spokesman for the CPS said: "The CPS recognises that the conviction rate for rape is low."

    Wouldn't "alleged rape" be more appropriate ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    True but (and I am making an assumption here) 6 witnesses to the event say she did.

    yes but they would say that whether she did or not.

    Theres a thousand times more chance that a rapist would say the woman consented, than a woman who consented would say she was raped
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    Here's a relatively recent overview from March 2009 -
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/mar/13/rape-convictions-low

    of the analysed cases that went to trial,

    26.7% plead guilty
    25.3% were found guilty
    22.7% were not prosecuted
    and the rest were found not guilty.

    That's what I call a reasonably high conviction rate
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    yes but they would say that whether she did or not.

    Theres a thousand times more chance that a rapist would say the woman consented, than a woman who consented would say she was raped

    After reading JimV's posted report, I am not sure about the 1000 times. There were a few confessions in that report, and there are also a number of false accusations that go to trial in the form of a not guilty verdict against the accused, or in the form of a trial of a false accuser.

    Nevertheless, a probability to whatever degree does not make it a fact.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The conviction rate isn't based on the number of cases that go to trail - it's based on the number of reported crimes, further complicated by the estimates of the number of reported rapes -
    The government estimates that as many as 95% of rapes are never reported to the police at all. Of the rapes that were reported from 2007 to 2008, only 6.5% resulted in a conviction, compared with 34% of criminal cases in general. The majority of convictions for rape resulted from an admission of guilt by the defendant, whereas less than one quarter of all those charged with rape were convicted following a successful trial.

    Your right though, the problem is far wider than just the trial. Suzy's point stands in a different context though, whilst it may seem to people that there's no point reporting rape as they will get off at trial, and this isn't necessarily borne out by the evidence, it is true that the vast majority of women reporting a rape will never see anyone convicted.

    That's 93 out of every 100 hundred women reporting a rape who never see anyone brought to justice.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    After reading JimV's posted report, I am not sure about the 1000 times. There were a few confessions in that report, and there are also a number of false accusations that go to trial in the form of a not guilty verdict against the accused, or in the form of a trial of a false accuser.

    Nevertheless, a probability to whatever degree does not make it a fact.

    Let's be really clear on this, a not guilty verdict is not the same as a false accusation. A false accusation could result in a not guilty verdict, that doesn't mean all not guilty verdicts are the result of a false accusation - which is way what you've said there reads.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    Let's be really clear on this, a not guilty verdict is not the same as a false accusation. A false accusation could result in a not guilty verdict, that doesn't mean all not guilty verdicts are the result of a false accusation - which is way what you've said there reads.

    From a legal view point you cannot be clear.

    A false accusation could result in a guilty verdict. That does not mean all guilty verdicts are the result of a true accusation.

    (I read a legal report from the states a number of years ago that put the number of wrongly convicted rapists around 5%. Usual caveats on statistics should be applied, of course)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    Let's be really clear on this, a not guilty verdict is not the same as a false accusation. A false accusation could result in a not guilty verdict, that doesn't mean all not guilty verdicts are the result of a false accusation - which is way what you've said there reads.

    Indeed, although the report does show a fairly constant 8% incidence of false allegations - less than many think, but more than I'm happy with to consider tilting the burden of proof any further
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There are no statistics to say how many people get raped that don't get justice because I'm sure most of them don't get reported in the first place.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Indeed, the government currently estimates that 95% of rapes aren't reported based on the British Crime Survey
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I thought it was 75-95%
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Chapter 3 of the Home Office Statistical Bulletin: 'Homicides, Firearms Offences and Intimate Violence 2006/07' reports the amount of rape reported by a victim to the police to be 11% according to figure 3.11 (in 2005/06, page 74)

    It also reports (table 3.01, page 80) that the percentage of women who have been raped between the ages of 16 - 59 (at the time of reporting 2006/07) to be 3.8% of all women (1,116,751 women according to the National Statistics 2005 population report). This is rape as currently defined under the Sexual Offences Act, including oral and anal penetration.

    When all offences and attempted offences considered sexual assault are included the percentage increases to 23.9% or 7,344,541 women that have experienced sexual assault within their adult lives. Based on conversations with friends that seems perfectly believable, if not even low. Though my friends are in their 30s and 40s now so they would represent a higher percentage.

    'Without Consent' does define the estimate as being between 75 - 95% but doesn't unfortunately state which estimates that's based on. The Home Office Bulletin seems to be the most accurate measure I can see anywhere, that's publicly available.

    So even using the roughly 10% rate outlined in the bulletin you've got a situation where if 1000 women are raped, and 100 report it to the police then only 7 of those women see someone convicted of the crime.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh and thanks for asking about those stats - A day really isn't complete without a visit to the National Statistics site :p - possibly the most confusing and worthless website ever created by humankind (assuming it was created by people, I'm tempted to believe manatees put it together :grump: )
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Are there any confidence figures for those statistics? :p

    a 7 permille conviction rate is horrible, but that can only be improved by increasing reporting.

    when people hear there's a 7% conviction rate, they turn that into they have to go through the horrors of a cout appearance with only a 7% chance of there being a conviction - so they don't bother reporting it - when in fact, if they do go through a court appearance the odds are that there will be a conviction (I think it's 52%?)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    katralla wrote: »
    There are no statistics to say how many people get raped that don't get justice because I'm sure most of them don't get reported in the first place.

    That can be applied to many crimes, and is not exclusive to rape (intimate violence if you are from the home office) .

    I suspect the conviction rates are far lower for, say, theft and assault.

    (For example, I am aware of a business owner who has been the (known) victim of theft on a number of occasions that reaches triple figures. There are almost certainly hundreds of unknown instances to add to that. The police have not been contacted for almost a decade).
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