Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A remedial lesson in consent

I've already mentioned that a police officer is on trial for rape. The defence has an interesting new definition of consent:

Mr Gotlieb told a jury in Auckland District Court today that five defence witnesses would be called. He said one witness, Les Gardener, was expected to tell the court the woman suggested sex with him earlier in the evening, before she was allegedly raped by the policeman.

What is the judge doing? Why is that evidenence?

For the judges and defence lawyers out there, any woman can say no to sex. A woman can say no to sex with one man after suggesting sex with another man. I know that's a hard concept to grasp - but if you have trouble with it I'm sure I could provide a mallet.


  1. Maia, I cannot understand why this is admitted as evidence either. Although from reading media reports this witness did teh defense no favours by stating that he "felt sorry for the accused" and that he was "prepared to stand up in court to defend the officer whose family he knew" He also said he felt bitter about what she had said about the accused. Probably because he'd been caught out by his wife.

    I am assuming that this witness was in the Police station that night and witnessed the whole incident, otherwise this witness is just someone who she had sex with and his testimony is completely irrelevant. The judge should never have allowed it.

    I agree with you totally that a woman can consent to sex with whomever she wants, whenever she wants and has the absolute right to say no.

    The weight of a woman's word in a rape case stands for nothing. She is victimised again on the stand, has irrelevant rubbish brought up about her past while the accused can sit back knowing that not one sordid detail of his past can be dragged up in court.

    Our patriarchial justice system stinks

  2. so if I consent to sex with one man, I have to consent to sex with ALL men?! WHAT?!? So, if I donate $1 at the checkout to one charity, then anybody else can take a dollar out of my purse and they will not be stealing.

  3. I heard some of this on the radio this morning and actually ended up yelling like a mad person at the transistor in the bathroom. 'How is that relevant to the case in question? How? How?'

  4. Anonymous - your comment bears no relationship to the facts of the case.

  5. Anonymous3:36 pm

    To put it into context relevent to this the second post I put (that was deleted) in read:

    ... but she can't say no after she has had the sex can she? Unlike retospective legislation to make something unlawful lawful a woman can hardly have consensual sex with a man and then afterwards have a change of heart and say "oops I have changed my mind - I shouldn't have slept with him - I didn't really consent therefore he raped me"

    The concept of presumed innocence may well flawed but is much much more preferable to the alternative of presumed guilt.