Monday, September 19, 2005

P is for Payor

Saw this on MENSACTIVISM.ORG - BBC News reports a British Court throwing out a false rape charge against a man, Levi Multilal. In short, the man, (hereinafter 'the Samaritan') gallantly tried to give a 'clearly drunk' young woman a lift, but after the woman had been in the car for no more than a minute, she opened the door and walked off. About half an hour later, when she was found slumped in a telephone booth by passers by, she claimed rape, and the Samaritan was fingered when he came forward to respond to a public inquiry by police for any witnesses in the matter to come forward. Strikes me as another case of doing the right thing being the wrong thing in legal matters between the sexes.

The evidence in the case, if anything, showed the innocence of the Samaritan. Semen on the woman's skirt did not match the Samaritan, nor was she able to pick him out of a lineup. Still the prosecution proceeded, grinding along for 9 months until the judge in this case (Roger Sanders) had had enoough, stating that the prosecution barrister Justin Bearman was talking "utter rubbish" and referring to the entire matter as a "travesty of justice". He went further and suggested that Justin should pay the costs of the state's prosecution of the samaritan.

All this is very nice, but a few things strike me -

1) What about the indubitably huge legal expenses incurred by the samaritan? I am suspect that the judge was in a position to levy legal fees against the Samaritan, or contempt charges, or the legal equivalent. Why not a similar order to benefit this man, who was punished for 'doing the right thing'.

2) What about compensation for his loss of reputation. In many circles, this man is probably indelibly labeled 'the rapist'. Now, for any compensation, he would have to go back to court to sue for loss of reputation, and I have to suspect that suing the crown's prosecutor isn't something that is easily done, or often won. I know it is fantasy to think the court would order compensation for this, but in a just world, it would have happened.

3) What about this woman? Was she unable to stop the course of this prosecution? I see her guilt secondary to that of the crown's prosecution and that of the British legal system, but she is, in short, a false accuser. When one cannot pick one's assailant out of a lineup, doesn't a reasonable person have SOME responsibility to halt the case? Shouldn't she have been ordered to at least contribute to the Samaritan's legal bills? What about penalties for her? The courts are supposed to provide justice, not a forum for the destruction of people who just happen to be the wrong sex, and have a weakness for providing lifts to damsels in distress, (and be foolish enough (!?!?!) to try and 'help' the police).

4) Which brings me to my next point, touched on so often above. Doesn't this case have a chilling effect upon men who might ever consider assisting a drunk or otherwise disabled or incoherent woman? Heaven forbid, women of the world, that you ever be in need and alone on the streets. No thinking man having heard of this case is going to come anywhere near you. They are going to go the other way. It will be the WRONG thing for them to do, but who can afford to spend 9 months of their life fighting a false rape charge, and be labeled 'rapist' for the rest of their life. Oh, but some of you may say 'but it turned out right in the end.' Riiight. He was Accused of Rape, Arrested, and suffered through 9 Months of Prosecution. I don't think that anyone has these on their 'to do' list, or even on their 'ok if it happens' list.
- And who is ever likely to show up at a police station with information regarding what they witnessed in the vicninity of a rape after this? Certainly any man reading this story would feel very hesitant.

5) The story in the BBC names the defendant, and as I thought his name has been trashed enough, it was important to put his name here too, as he is here vindicated, although mostly I have gone with 'the Samaritan' because it is what he was. The story names the judge. It names the prosecutor. Let's think who is missing here... Ummmm... Oh, right, it doesn't name the false accuser. That must be because she is a child right? No, article indicates that she is 20. Then it must be because.... because... because she was 'raped'. Why is the stigma of rape considered such that the identity of the 'victim' must be concealed, (even when the charges are proven false), while the identiy of the 'perpetrator' can be revealed? Woudn't you think that 'Rapist' is a worse label to carry around in your life than 'victim'? What's with the uneven playing field here? I think I know the answer, and it has to do with Misandry.

6) Another thing that concerns me is that this is news. Why is it news? Cases like this should be thrown out every day, given that we know that a huge percentage, even a majority of rape charges are false. So why is it news when a case like this is thrown out? It can only be because mostly, they aren't. -There was a reason why the prosecutor (Justin Bearman) kept on pushing ahead with this case, and it wasn't because he thought he was going to lose it.

Think about that as you sip your coffee today. Would you EVER pick up a female looking lost and alone in your car again? Even pause to check to see if a passed-out woman is 'ok'. 'Don't do it' the law says. Call a cop, or an ambulance. They'll come -eventually.

Let me end with my favorite quote from the story: Judge Roger Sanders: "You are starting on the basis that this defendant is guilty when there is not enough evidence linking him to the case." Yes, the assumption IS always that the man is guilty. Why is this news to Judge Sanders? Because he is judging in a criminal matter. If he had been in the family court, the civil court, he would be more comfortable with this.

Still, the samaritan, the MAN, ended up being the primary payor in this case. The prosecutor pulls his paycheck no matter how his case goes, as does the Judge. But the falsely accused man has lost months of time, perhaps years off his life (imagine yourself in his shoes), his reputation, and a huge amount of legal fees, with no sign of recompense for anyone except the state, who may require the prosecutor to fork over some of the costs. I'm sorry, isn't the state here to protect the individual? Best as we can tell, isn't the only harmed individual the Samaritan? Helloooooo! ANYONE HOME IN THERE?

There's someone at home, but they are barely awake, I think.

-M

Simulposted on MIsForMalevolent

1 Comments:

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