Monday, November 13, 2006

Have some pity...

...for Katie Davis. On her way to prison after being convicted of making false claims of rape. Now I know it's wrong to make such claims, and of course it's traumatic for the guy who was tried for the crime, but:

(a) What kind of environment has she been brought up in to believe aged 18 that if she's accidentally pregnant her only option is to claim rape?

(b) Both parties had been drinking, neither remembered what happened fully. If someone is too drunk to remember what has happened I'm unconvinced that they can truly be said to have given consent.

(c) She was 16, only just over the age of consent, he was 24.

(d) The case was dropped because of "discrepancies and inconsistencies in Davis's accounts". Now if I was going to file a false rape claim I'd get my story straight and stick to it wouldn't you? On the other hand if I'd been raped, blocked half of the horror of it out and was trying to piece together the evidence I'm sure I would need to adjust my testamony as time went by.

(e) Even these inconsistencies only cast "serious doubt" on the verdict. No one has ever said that it was fully disproved.

(f) The guy spent 10 weeks in prison for whatever he did or didn't do. For just bringing the case against him she's been sentenced to six months.

And the police wonder why only a tiny percentage of rape victims report the crimes against them!


Cruella said...

As I thought I explained, I strongly doubt his innocence. At very best he is guilty of having sex with someone only fractionally over the age of consent on the basis of consent given or assumed under the influence of fear and alcohol.

Having listened to the tape of the 999 call she made it is blindingly obvious that we are not dealing with an evil criminal mastermind. We are dealing either with a woman so frightened of what is going to happen to her that she'll say anything to try to cover herself or, more likely in my view, a rape victim.

I have never suggested there was anything to gain from being unjustly accused of rape. I think however that suffering as a result of wrong accusal greatly underweighs suffering as a result of rape and of unresolved rape. Hence the sub-6% conviction rate in this country.

Robert Jackman said...

I agree with the points you made - it always strikes me how people like Jack Dumas are always seem to jealous of victimisation. Women have higher illiteracy rates, are the victims of some of the most horrifying crimes in the world etc - and as a their protection is often prioritised by the law/police - and some males see that as somehow enviable. Perhaps if the middle class male majority experienced the other side of being part of a minority they'd change their mind.
Oh, I may be doing a piece on lads' mags for the uni paper (a comment on whether NUS should ban on them). I remember ages ago reading your thoughts on the matter (in the Guardian I think?); do you have a link to the piece?
Let me know on my blog.

Cruella said...

Yeah the issue is at best very cloudy. Which is what makes it so shocking that she was convicted for bringing it. It's difficult to draw a parallel to other crimes but I accepting the best I can do:

Suppose you prosecuted someone for assault and they were declared innocent because it was deemed that although they threatened you with a weapon your major injuries were self inflicted, perhaps from stumbling as you went to escape. Would you expect to be sent to prison for even bringing the case? I doubt it.

We have to let the courts decide and if every time they decide that situation X does not constitute rape, we can't then prosecute the person who brought it.

Cruella said...

She's far from an average actress, she's a very poor actress since she wasn't consistent with her story. Much like a rape victim might not be.

And how odd that you can suggest your family would consider Robert and I "opressors" without even suggesting what crime we might have commited? I'd say thats false accusations, making yourself out to be a victim when you're not. How about six months?

Cruella said...

Oh please. I haven't said that the guy SHOULD have gone to jail. i'm saying she shouldn't have.

Here is my original article with fully-clickable links of the rape numbers:

6% it is and the main reason for women not persuing cases is that they weren't believed by prosecutors, exactly as Katie Davis wasn't...