A senior prosecuting lawyer has hit out at prejudices surrounding sexual violence that may be causing juries to acquit a growing number of suspects in rape trials.Yup, it’s the ‘We aren’t convicting enough men of rape!’ campaign, rolling right on as if nothing had happened…
Alison Saunders, London's chief crown prosecutor, criticised myths and stereotypes and referred to remarks by Johnny Depp likening photo shoots to rape.
She said : "One of the biggest challenges for the prosecution is to challenge jury assumptions that they bring to the trial. This is particularly true in cases where the victim and defendant are known to each other, or where the victim has consumed alcohol.Look, love, maybe it isn’t the ‘jury assumptions’ that are wrong, maybe it’s your assumption that if we'd just all ignore common sense and personal responsibility, and convict more of those bloody men, we'd be on the right track.
"Victims can be reticent to come forward for fear of being demonised in court and even in the media. As a society we need to be aware that these myths and stereotypes have the potential to influence court outcomes and ultimately lives."
Have you ever, for one moment, considered that? Do you ever doubt your little crusade?
She also referred to Pirates Of The Caribbean star Johnny Depp, who told Vanity Fair: "You just feel like you're being raped somehow. Raped... It feels like a kind of weird... just weird."No-one sensible would think it did. And so it’s hardly going to be influencing juries, is it?
The remarks were criticised by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network which said that "being photographed in no way compares to rape".
Ms Saunders suggests that judge's directions to a jury on issues such as the need to avoid making false assumptions should be made earlier in a trial. The debate had to start outside the courtroom and could need a Government-led campaign.Led by whom? No, no, don’t tell me, let me guess…
Meanwhile, over the water, a case* that will horrify Ms Saunders:
“I’ve seen you on TV. You’re so cute,” said the woman who would later accuse Greg Kelly of rape, according to a law-enforcement source.I’m sure she’d like to get these sort of details excluded from any UK trial as irrelevant. But they aren't, are they..?
The brunette crossed paths with the handsome “Good Day New York” host two days before the alleged attack.
“She stopped him,” the source said. “She told him she was star-struck.”
What followed was about 48 hours of marathon sexting ahead of their Saturday-night date at the South Street Seaport.
“The texts were explicit,” said the source. “They were sexual. They talked about what they wanted to do to each other.
“It was two days of foreplay.”
*H/T: PJH via email