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TOPIC: Rape
#183337
Rape 1 Week, 5 Days ago  
So should the complainant's past sex history be told to the jury? Absolutely yes, I say. One of my recent false accusers was reported to police by his sister to have raped her dozens of times when she was 10 and he was 20. I think a jury needed to know that before they judged the honesty and veracity of the false accuser. The same man admitted to earning £500 a week when he was 14. In open court, in front of Judge and Jury. One of many reasons why the trial collapsed. Surely this kind of information is essential to the defence. Or do you feel jurors should not know stuff like this?

www.thetimes.co.uk/article/rape-case-rul...barristers-x9twnzh39
 
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#183338
Re:Rape 1 Week, 5 Days ago  
I think its not so much a rule that is needed, but common sense and the decency to not abuse it.
 
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#183433
Silent Minority

Re:Rape 1 Week, 1 Day ago  
In cases like this character evidence is often all there is.
 
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#183440
wyot

Re:Rape 1 Week, 1 Day ago  
I dont think that character info should be dhared with the jury. The trial needs to be on known facts and beyond reasonable doubt. Full stop. Accusers as well are entitled to forgiveness and understanding and I wouldnt want some to end up more vulnerable to sexual assault where perpetrators will feel confident of victims not being believed because of past behaviours...As much as the innocent being wrongly convicted those wronged need the confidence of "blind justice"...
 
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#183443
Re:Rape 1 Week, 1 Day ago  
But shouldn't a rapist be revealed so the jury knows he is not a reliable or trustworthy witness? Otherwise my weak protestations of innocence, which I could never hope to prove, might be ignored. If they had heard about his (and others) dodgy past, they might consider his claims, rightly, to be lies.
 
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#183447
wyot

Re:Rape 1 Week, 1 Day ago  
No - because someone has committed crime doesn't mean they subsequently haven't been a victim themselves. A dodgy past may indicate they are an unreliable witness, but this does not necessarily follow, and would set a precedent ripe for abuse in my view.

While not privy to details of your case, your protestations of innocence should be enough in the absence of compelling evidence to clear your name.

The testimony alone of A against B should never amount to "beyond reasonable doubt".

No one should be found guilty (either of a crime, or fabricating a crime) based on nothing more than say-so. Or their history.

To do either is to administer justice based on drama, or human fallability respectively.

Neither has anything to do with "justice".
 
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#183448
hedda

Re:Rape 1 Week, 1 Day ago  
of course the complainant's history should be used in evidence

The acused's history is.

People are very foolish in these matters- they can be fig leaves for removing more protections.
 
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#183454
Re:Rape 1 Week, 1 Day ago  
JK2006 wrote:
But shouldn't a rapist be revealed so the jury knows he is not a reliable or trustworthy witness? Otherwise my weak protestations of innocence, which I could never hope to prove, might be ignored. If they had heard about his (and others) dodgy past, they might consider his claims, rightly, to be lies.

If someone commits one crime, like Rolf Harris with his daughter's Friend (we have to assume) the jury will believe that they are guilty of every other crime they are accused of, even if it is screamingly impossible, like the small child in the crummy community centre gig that never even happened.

I think every single charge should be dealt with in court separately.
 
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#183462
hedda

Re:Rape 1 Week ago  
honey!oh sugar sugar. wrote:
[quote]JK2006 wrote:
But shouldn't a rapist be revealed so the jury knows he is not a reliable or trustworthy witness? Otherwise my weak protestations of innocence, which I could never hope to prove, might be ignored. If they had heard about his (and others) dodgy past, they might consider his claims, rightly, to be lies.

if someone commits one crime, like Rolf Harris with his daughter's Friend (we have to assume) the jury will believe that they are guilty of every other crime they are accused of, even if it is screamingly impossible, like the small child in the crummy community centre gig that never even happened.



ahh yes Honey and this is the crux of the problem.

In alleged assault cases the notion of alleged similar or post activities is used to devastating affect and it's an abomination. As is the clustering of charges to give the impression of guilt.

Yet someone accused of, say a financial fraud cannot have past convictions or 'similar" style activities used against them to imply guilt.

# Barney brought up the matter of Cardinal George Pell in Australia. His brief, the devastatingly successful Kyrgyzstan immigrant Robert Richter QC successfully fought to have each charge heard separately. If say, Pell is found innocent on the first it's highly likely the Prosecution would drop the others.

In fact it's normal for charges in similar cases to be heard separate in Oz. The bundling of charges has become a pretty vicious UK way of demolishing people.
 
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#183463
Re:Rape 1 Week ago  
Bundling. Yes indeed. A thoroughly disgraceful Police Trick. They throw in anything; asking someone if they would like a coffee gets added as Attempted Rape in order to make the list longer. 53 charges? How could he (or she) possibly be innocent? When 99% of them are dropped before trial, the media forgets to carry the information; the jurors are not told; the publicity remains. Truly some aspects of modern society are disgraceful. I had all these thoughts 18 years ago.
 
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#183477
Jo

Re:Rape 1 Week ago  
honey!oh sugar sugar. wrote:
If someone commits one crime, like Rolf Harris with his daughter's Friend (we have to assume) the jury will believe that they are guilty of every other crime they are accused of, even if it is screamingly impossible, like the small child in the crummy community centre gig that never even happened.

I think every single charge should be dealt with in court separately.

I don't believe he committed a crime with his daughter's friend, i.e. molested her when she was below the age of consent, rather that she revised her age downwards and reframed consensual contact as non-consensual, as suggested to her by the Jimmy Savile allegations, in order to obtain the money she had unsuccessfully attempted to extract from him before. I think his behaviour was morally reprehensible, i.e. cheating on his wife and betraying his daughter's trust by being involved with her friend (when she was of consenting age), but am not convinced he did anything illegal. Plus, since he clearly was someone who was unfaithful, I think that if he had had a predilection for underage girls, the prosecution would have succeeded in finding actual victims rather than the other three (plus the extra 'gropees' from outside the UK), whose allegations were bogus in my view.
 
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#183478
Randall

Re:Rape 1 Week ago  
I appreciate both sides of the argument. Wyot makes good points about someone's past deeds not necessarily having a bearing on the current matters at issue. Hedda is absolutely right that if one side can use such information, the other side MUST be allowed too: equality of arms. And of course, fuller context might be thought to give a jury a better chance of making a correct decision.


But here's the point you're all missing. Prosecutions for such a serious crime should not rely on peripheral or incidental context which might not be indicative of guilt or innocence. Only trials where there is genuinely compelling evidence to corroborate an accusation should be held. Any case which has to rely on "he is, or has been, in circumstances unrelated to the alleged incident in question, a rotter" to bolster the accusation is by definition weak and incapable of meeting the standard of proof. The logical next step, as I sometimes argue for here, is to abolish rape and other so-called sexual crimes. Drugging someone into a stupor or physically overpowering them creates evidence that can be presented in a trial. This behaviour is already prohibited in law. There's no good reason to bother with the confused legal mess of consent and how to prove/disprove it.


Totally agree about bundling. The rationale is that many similar allegations demonstrate a pattern of behaviour which has a probative value to the jury. The howling problem with this is that it is begging the question (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question). It assumes the truth of the very proposition to be tested. Also, these similar allegations are often not very similar at all, just any old cobblers thrown into the pot, as JK describes.
 
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#183484
Re:Rape 1 Week ago  
Jo wrote:
honey!oh sugar sugar. wrote:
If someone commits one crime, like Rolf Harris with his daughter's Friend (we have to assume) the jury will believe that they are guilty of every other crime they are accused of, even if it is screamingly impossible, like the small child in the crummy community centre gig that never even happened.

I think every single charge should be dealt with in court separately.

I don't believe he committed a crime with his daughter's friend, i.e. molested her when she was below the age of consent, rather that she revised her age downwards and reframed consensual contact as non-consensual, as suggested to her by the Jimmy Savile allegations, in order to obtain the money she had unsuccessfully attempted to extract from him before. I think his behaviour was morally reprehensible, i.e. cheating on his wife and betraying his daughter's trust by being involved with her friend (when she was of consenting age), but am not convinced he did anything illegal. Plus, since he clearly was someone who was unfaithful, I think that if he had had a predilection for underage girls, the prosecution would have succeeded in finding actual victims rather than the other three (plus the extra 'gropees' from outside the UK), whose allegations were bogus in my view.


I have very serious doubts too, Jo, but my point was that after choosing (or being brainwashed) to believe one crime happened, they allowed themselves to believe in something completely impossible.
I get the impression that a fair trial was never even attempted.
 
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#183485
md

Re:Rape 6 Days, 23 Hours ago  
Jo wrote:
honey!oh sugar sugar. wrote:
If someone commits one crime, like Rolf Harris with his daughter's Friend (we have to assume) the jury will believe that they are guilty of every other crime they are accused of, even if it is screamingly impossible, like the small child in the crummy community centre gig that never even happened.

I think every single charge should be dealt with in court separately.

I don't believe he committed a crime with his daughter's friend, i.e. molested her when she was below the age of consent, rather that she revised her age downwards and reframed consensual contact as non-consensual, as suggested to her by the Jimmy Savile allegations, in order to obtain the money she had unsuccessfully attempted to extract from him before. I think his behaviour was morally reprehensible, i.e. cheating on his wife and betraying his daughter's trust by being involved with her friend (when she was of consenting age), but am not convinced he did anything illegal. Plus, since he clearly was someone who was unfaithful, I think that if he had had a predilection for underage girls, the prosecution would have succeeded in finding actual victims rather than the other three (plus the extra 'gropees' from outside the UK), whose allegations were bogus in my view.

In the opening paragraph of the letter Rolf Harris wrote to her father, it states that the father had written back saying that he didn't want to see or hear from Rolf again. If Rolf had done something illegal, wouldn't it have been more likely for the father to have gone to the police instead of writing a letter back?
 
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#183487
Jo

Re:Rape 6 Days, 21 Hours ago  
md wrote:
In the opening paragraph of the letter Rolf Harris wrote to her father, it states that the father had written back saying that he didn't want to see or hear from Rolf again. If Rolf had done something illegal, wouldn't it have been more likely for the father to have gone to the police instead of writing a letter back?
That's a good point. Perhaps he could have persuaded his daughter to go to police. The letter was apparently written in March 1997, and she was reportedly 49 in 2014, making her around 32 in 1997.

I think it's significant that her revelation that she had been involved with Rolf Harris (according to his daughter's ex partner: when she was below the age of consent, according to his daughter: when she was of consenting age) seems to have happened in Rolf Harris's home when his daughter and her partner not only had a new baby but his daughter had disclosed that her father was having an affair with another woman.

But late one evening in 1996, at the TV presenter’s home in Bray, Berkshire, she dramatically confided in Bindi and Mr Cox, who had just become parents.

Mr Cox recalled how Bindi’s friend told him ‘that there had been a sexual relationship between the two, between Rolf and her, and it had occurred before the age of 16.’ He added: ‘The inference was that it was an underage relationship – definitely.’

...
Under cross-examination by Sonia Woodley QC, defending, Mr Cox said his relationship with Bindi ended ‘acrimoniously’, adding that he had never been ‘well disposed’ towards Harris.
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2635124...ke-artist-shift.html

Nicholls, 50, told jurors she learned about the secret relationship when she raised suspicions that Harris was having an affair with a spiritual healer who was treating him for depression.

Nicholls said she confided in her best friend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, about the suspected affair with the healer – and was shocked by her friend's reaction.

She said: "It was very odd. She was saying things like: 'The bitch, the old cow, she's ugly, what does he see in her? Your dad's a right bastard.' I was really shocked. It felt like she was in love with my dad which was just weird.

"It was like a light went off in my head and I asked: 'Have you been seeing my dad? Has something happened between you and my dad?' and she said yes. I was really shocked and she was really shocked that I had said anything."

The court heard that Nicholls's friend then confessed that she had been having an 11-year affair with Harris that started when she was 18 or 19 years old.
www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jun/02/...icidal-affair-friend
 
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#183488
Jo

Re:Rape 6 Days, 19 Hours ago  
honey!oh sugar sugar. wrote:
I have very serious doubts too, Jo, but my point was that after choosing (or being brainwashed) to believe one crime happened, they allowed themselves to believe in something completely impossible.
I get the impression that a fair trial was never even attempted.

Sorry, didn't see your reply. I see what you mean. That's a very good point.
 
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