25 September 2009

Technically....

If you're in South Australia, here's something to remember:
South Australian District Court judge, David Smith, thinks that having sex with someone who is asleep or unconscious isn't rape. Well, only technically.

If you are raped while unconscious, and take it to court, and your case comes up before judge David Smith, he will believe that you weren't raped, because he believes that penetrating a woman who is unconscious isn't rape, providing the man believes the woman would have consented to sex if she was conscious.

WTF?

This horrifies me. I hate to think that any man I agree to have sex with has the right to rape me in my sleep. But according to judge David Smith, it would only be a technical rape - you know, not the kicking and screaming kind.


Here's the new twist - the girl wasn't unconscious at all - she was feigning sleep in the hope that he would stop!
"well, that moves the goalpost then" said the judge. Because, you know, to him rape is about scoring. Not about raping.

So the story has changed again - he never got any consent. He just did it. But the judge is choosing to believe that the man thought he had consent.

And he thought that because..... that's right. The woman wasn't kicking and screaming, therefore it wasn't rape. Even if she was rigid with fear, terrified of being murdered, it still wasn't rape. Whether or not she was conscious, it still wasn't rape.

The official courts sa website states: Judges regularly participate in education workshops and seminars. Topics include Aboriginal cross-cultural awareness training, mental impairment and judicial ethics.

Too bad they don't train them in things like the definition of consent.

The judge wanted to sentence the man leniently. So leniently that he didn't even want to give the man a suspended sentence, even though he pleaded guilty, because he was worried the man's future prospects might be hurt if he was convicted of rape when, well, it was only rape because she didn't consent, not like a real rape where.... hang on.

Strange that the judge is so concerned about the future prospects of a rapist. Oh, that's right - a technical rapist.

What kind of precedence is he setting for any other predatory male out there? If you get her so drunk she passes out, or so terrified she can't say no, then you can do whatever you want to her! And if you get caught, I'll make it quite clear that no matter what happens in court I won't believe you're a rapist or treat you like one, and I'll make sure that your future isn't affected by your crime.

Tell me something. How was this man supposed to know that he needed to ask for consent when even the judge doesn't believe it.

So, David Smith. What are you telling us? What are you telling us women about your desire to dispense 'justice'? What are you telling us about who you think deserves justice? What are you telling us about your own beliefs, your own morals?

What are you telling us?

Well, after all that hinting by the judge, now the man has withdrawn his guilty plea. What a surprise. This judge has shown us all that he is firmly on the side of rapists.

Well, technical rapists.

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