In the case of a 'not guilty' plea, a defense lawyer will usually try and find fault with the victims claim and/or discredit their testimony in the defense of their client. In return, the prosecution also tries to discredit the defense and find faults in the defense testimony. What is fair for one side is fair for the other.
It has often been said by defense lawyers that a sex crime allegation is hard to defend simply by the fact that most people will ask the question "Why would she/he make up such an allegation"? Add 20 years into the equation, and whammo, you have a court case that will most probably go in favour of the victim, even if the victim is lying, or exaggerating their claim. Is this fair? No, of course not.
I'm sure, most of the alleged victims in the Rolf Harris case had on occasions met with him in the past. But, have they been assaulted by him? And what constitutes an assault in the moral sense? If I touch someone on the shoulder, am I committing a crime? If I gently smack a woman on the bum as she goes past, am I committing a crime? Of course I am, but lets face it, it's not going to make the sky fall down.
Here lies the dilemma which pisses me off.
Lets say I'm a rock singer and as singers do, they have fans, who follow them around. I have the chance to meet with some of my fans after a concert and as it goes, I give one or two of them a smack on the bum. It might also be that a fan stays and we end up in bed together. No, I didn't specifically ask her to stay as we were in each others arms kissing and making out. I took it that she and I wanted sex, and it was mutual. She was happy and loving every bit of it, as was I.
Fast forward 25 years.
A middle aged woman comes out to the media with allegations she was sexually assaulted by me after a concert, a number of years ago.
She says I used her infatuation to gain her trust and use it to my advantage to have sex with her, thereby committing a sexual assault. So far, she hasn't made an official complaint to police. And lets face it, in most of these high profile cases of recent, the complainants have gone to the media first.
Suddenly another woman arrives on the doorstep of the media, and claims "Oh, I was assaulted as well many years ago". That was the woman I gave a gentle smack on the bum to. I have to own up to that as I probably shouldn't have done it.
Well now, the media thinks all it's Christmases have come at once. Virtually unknown people coming to them with exclusive stories to tell. They are wetting themselves with joy, and boy, are they going to have a field day. My life is laid out and I'm described as a monster who prayed on young girls, using my stature as a rock singer to woo them.
Women band together on the front steps of buildings yelling abuse to me (via the ever present media). My life is undergoing a bit of turmoil at the moment.
People who know me, support me. Those people who don't know me personally, (which is most of the public), think I'm a monster.
Is it fair for a woman to have willing sex 25 years ago, then later in life, change her mind and say she was assaulted? No, of course not. But somehow, some women think this is fair. The woman I had consensual sex with 25 years ago tells the media she was assaulted and all the time she never wanted sex. I'm bewildered as when we were in each others arms kissing and canoodling, I thought it's what we both wanted. She showed no signs of resisting my approach and seemed to be loving it. Apparently not, as now she's saying I assaulted her. How dumb was I to think her smiles and laughing was all put on and she was hating it.
Ultimately, the case goes to the court and I'm found guilty (surprise surprise), and I spend the next 3 years in prison for an assault which apparently happened without either of us knowing about it all those years ago.
Let's leave the pretend world of the rock singer and look at this case and other points.
- Should a person be allowed to have willing sex and then change their minds later that in fact it wasn't willing sex?
- Should a 'victim'' be allowed to exaggerate their hurt in a victim impact statement to make their case more likely to succeed?
- Why is it that when men lodge complaints against women for sexual assault, they mostly are lost or the case is thrown out?
- It seems on the face of it, that women never sexually assault men. What about a woman who is horny and her male partner wants to sleep? She's all over him trying to get him aroused, and all he wants to do is sleep. Why is this not considered assault? Why is it OK for women to assault a man like this but if a man does it, he's in the shit for not being sensitive enough and not remembering "no means no". This doesn't seem to apply to women.
- Do men now have to resort to getting women to sign a consent form before having consensual sex to protect themselves from these women who will try and turn the tables around?
Sorry, love, you can't live the high life and enjoy all the benefits and then turn around years later and claim it was all forced onto you, and you were too young and stupid to know what was going on. I'll bet you knew exactly what was going on.