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Court Rules Severely Disabled Woman Wasn't Raped Because She Didn't 'Bite, Kick or Scratch' Her Assailant
by _Kissy_
October 3, 2012 at 8:57 PM
Court Rules Severely Disabled Woman Wasn't Raped Because She Didn't 'Bite, Kick or Scratch' Her Assailant

Truly outrageous standard.

In a 4-3 ruling Tuesday afternoon, the Connecticut State Supreme Court overturned the sexual assault conviction of a man who had sex with a woman who “has severe cerebral palsy, has the intellectual functional equivalent of a 3-year-old and cannot verbally

communicate.” The Court held that, because Connecticut statutes define physical incapacity for the purpose of sexual assault as “unconscious or for any other reason. . . physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act,” the defendant could not be convicted if there was any chance that the victim could have communicated her

lack of consent. Since the victim in this case was capable of “biting, kicking, scratching, screeching, groaning or gesturing,” the Court ruled that that victim could have communicated lack of consent despite her serious mental deficiencies:

When we consider this evidence in the light most favorable to sustaining the verdict, and in a manner that is consistent with the state’s theory of guilt at trial, we, like the Appellate Court, ‘are not persuaded that the state produced any credible evidence that the [victim] was either unconscious or so uncommunicative that she was physically incapable of manifesting to the defendant her lack of consent to sexual intercourse at the time of the alleged sexual assault.’

According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), lack of physical resistance is not evidence of consent , as “many victims make the good judgment that physical resistance would cause the attacker to become more violent.” RAINN also notes that lack of consent is implicit “if you were under the statutory age of consent, or if you had a mental defect” as the victim did in this case.

Anna Doroghazi, director of public policy and communication at Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, worried that the Court’s interpretation of the law ignored these concerns: “By implying that the victim in this case should have bitten or kicked her assailant, this ruling effectively holds people with disabilities to a higher standard than the rest of the population when it comes to proving lack of consent in sexual assault cases. Failing to bite an assailant is not the same thing as consenting to sexual activity.” An amicus brief filed by the Connecticut advocates for disabled persons argued that this higher standard “discourag[ed] the prosecution of crimes against persons with disabilities” even though “persons with a disability had an age-adjusted rate of rape or sexual assault that was more than twice the rate for persons without a disability.”



http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/court-rules-severely-disabled-woman-wasnt-raped-because-she-didnt-bite-kick-or

Replies

  • KerryK
    by KerryK
    October 4, 2012 at 12:33 AM
    Seriously? I don't even know what to say. This it's a huge step backwards, I was shocked to learn that as recently as the 70s a rape victim had to prove that she physically tried to fight off her attacker, even if he had a weapon, for a rape charge to be valid.
  • opal10161973
    October 4, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    What the mother f***ing BS is this?  How the f** can these people even breathe after considering this verdict is beyond me.   I can't....  SMDH

  • mehamil1
    October 4, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    Not surprising. I remember reading about cases where women in mental hospitals were raped and no one knew what was going on till a few of them turned up pregnant (one was severally retarded, she couldn't even speak). They found the guy who did it and fired him. That's it. 

    Sexual assault on the disabled is not unusual since they are especially vulnerable. And a ruling like this makes it so much worse. 

  • Luv2BaMommy9809
    October 4, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    This is absolutely disgusting... with the mental capacity of a 3 year old, how the heck could they rule this way...unbelievable...COMMON SENSE, PEOPLE!!

  • Luv2BaMommy9809
    October 4, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Who advocates for these poor people?!  THEY SUCK!!  This is so stone age...this really pisses me off!  I never knew they were legally victimized like this....it is an outrage!

    Quoting mehamil1:

    Not surprising. I remember reading about cases where women in mental hospitals were raped and no one knew what was going on till a few of them turned up pregnant (one was severally retarded, she couldn't even speak). They found the guy who did it and fired him. That's it. 

    Sexual assault on the disabled is not unusual since they are especially vulnerable. And a ruling like this makes it so much worse. 


  • RLT2
    by RLT2
    October 4, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    What the fucking fuck is this shit????

  • AdrianneHill
    October 4, 2012 at 2:06 AM
    I'm sure this case will be taken up to the federal level. I really hope it does.
  • BuckeyezRule
    October 4, 2012 at 2:18 AM
    This is so awful. This poor woman has been violated twice! I hope she can get some justice.
  • Tiffytifftiff
    October 4, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    Are they SERIOUS????

  • kameka
    by kameka
    October 4, 2012 at 3:23 AM

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