Sunday, October 23, 2005

I'm curious


A well-known New Zealander has been charged with a date-rape.

The 72-year-old man was arrested by police yesterday morning and appeared later in Napier District Court, facing two charges of sexual violating a 29-year-old woman, indecent assault, and entering the woman's home with intent to commit a crime.

I've no reasonable guesses (ex-all black, ex-MP, I can't think of that many 72 year olds who would be well known).

But it makes me so angry that it's illegal for women to talk about the violence that prominent men do to them.


  1. "But it makes me so angry that it's illegal for women to talk about the violence that prominent men do to them."

    Actually, it seems to me that it is only fair that if an alleged rape victim's name is shielded from the press, that the alleged rapist's name also be shielded unless and until he is convicted.

    Until and unless there is a conviction, it really isn't fair to let the defendant's name get dragged through the mud while the complaining witness (I don't say plaintiff because in a criminal case the state, not the alleged victim, is the plaintiff) is protected.

    Of course, if the defendant is found guilty, then his name should be released; it is perfectly fair that the victim of a rape be shielded and the rapist not be, but t oshield one and not the other during the trial is in essence to presume guilt.

  2. The guy has now been named, he's a carver who designed a rather major part of Wellington's architecture. Apparently He'd been charged with sexual crimes before.

    I sort of agree with you, in that I think there is a case to be made that *all* defendants should have name supression (and have all the costs of their legal defence met), until they are proven guilty.

    But what happens at the moment is only the prominent get name suppression. Normally I don't care, but it does really bother me in cases that involve violence against women, because I think talking about our experiences is often the only tool we've got to keep ourselves safe.

    Recently Graham Capill, the leader of New Zealand's crazy religious christian party, the go-to guy when they wanted someone to froth at the mouth, pled guilty to charges of sexual assault on a child. Until he pled guilty he had name suppression. Once he pled guilty other women came forward and said 'he did that to me too', so a whole bunch of new charges were added.

    Although I find your logic that the rape survivors and accused rapists should be treated the same rather unnerving.