Rape is an ugly word for a truly ugly crime. Suspects are usually charged with sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person’s consent. If the charge is made in a timely fashion, photographic evidence of clothing, bruising and other more intimate tests; with DNA samples available, taken, tested and categorised; along with tests taken on the suspect; the evidence alone is usually enough to convict: it no longer becomes a “he said; she said” category, and becomes a solid case, placed by trained police officers before the Crown Prosecution Service; who will, take the case through to trial. The cases become fuzzier, and more difficult to prove, when any length if time has elapsed, forensic evidence is no longer available, (Showering, bathing, underwear and clothing being necessarily changed, washed etc.) and it all comes down to the demeanour and statements of the suspect and his accuser, the wronged woman during the trial; and the impact of the evidence upon the jury.
But, it must be argued, what happens if there is a ‘culture’ of “We must believe her; if she says ‘Rape’, it must be Rape; lets throw the book at this scumbag, lock him up and throw away the key”? What happens if there is either a selective search through statements made on, say FaceBook; or even worse, if the accuser gives the police officer an ‘Edited’ series of messages, and that same police officer is either too dumb, too lazy, too ignorant or TOO COMPLICIT to check that she hasn’t taken out any or many incriminating messages which would ruin her case and charge of Rape against the male suspect.
The case goes to trial, the Suspect pleads ‘Not Guilty’, confident that the train of messaging will bear out his story that the sex was both consensual and welcomed; and then the boom is dropped on his head by the prosecuting barrister; when the ‘Abridged’ series of messages is presented to the Jury. When he protests, the prosecution barrister got angrier and louder and kept saying, “I put it to you that you raped this girl and now you’re lying to this court.”. Found to be Guilty as Charged, he was sentenced to 4 ½ years for Rape.
After a chance conversation with another inmate, he got his sister-in-law to log in to his Facebook account, and she discovered the whole series of messages still existing in digital form. When she showed the Facebook exchange to the officer in charge of the investigation, he said: ‘How did you know how to find the messages and we didn’t?’ I reckon the term ‘Pig-ignorant’ would suffice.
But you have not read the worst, most damning part of this story; even after the Defence and Prosecution were made aware of the total collapse of the evidence, he had to wait another two years in jail before release whilst his Appeal was being prepared. And his accuser? She is still free, still retains her anonymity;, and as far as is known, has not been charged with perjury, withholding evidence, or perverting the course of justice.
Two other Rape cases have fallen apart in the past few weeks, both where evidence had simply not been revealed, as is required by Law, to the Defence. The question which must be asked? Is there a shady pattern being revealed, case by case: or is this just really bad work by the fuzz?