Nope, nope, nope, Judge McFadden. Wrong answer!

Scott Kaufman at RawStory reports on this asshole:

According to his ruling, Judge Christopher McFadden claimed that a new trial was necessary because the unnamed victim waited a day before reporting the rape, and because she did not behave like a rape victim.

Nor, in his opinion, did William Jeffrey Dumas, who was convicted of repeatedly raping the victim in 2010, “behave like someone who had recently perpetrated a series of violent crimes.”

The evidence isn’t in dispute. Mr. Dumas’s semen was found in the victim’s bed, and the doctors who treated the victim found her injuries “consistent with multiple, forcible rapes.”

No, the judge’s issue with the conviction is that the victim and rapist, respectively, did not behave like a victim and rapist.

Plenty of rape victims wait a day, or longer, to report the crimes. Many don’t report at all! They often don’t report because they’re afraid (and not without reason) that some asshole, or several, in the justice system will scrutinize their behavior and decide they’re not acting victim-y enough.

People who commit rape aren’t oblivious to this theory of “acting like a rape victim.” Most rapists know their victims, and are well-acquainted enough with them to draw out the violation by coercing their victims to behave in certain ways, which most people tend to see as “not acting like a rape victim.”

When we expect victims to behave a certain way, we just give rapists instructions on how to get away with it.

The rape victim in this case has Down Syndrome. People with disabilities—most especially developmental and cognitive disabilities!—are particularly vulnerable to sexual predation, precisely because so many people don’t take their accounts seriously.

The message Judge McFadden is sending her is that it was a mistake to report her rapes. Her testimony doesn’t mean anything, so she should’ve just kept quiet.

 

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About alysonmiers

Alyson the Incorrigible of House Miers; High Priestess of Sparkly Fractal Flames; Summoner of Creative Insults; Wrangler of Adverbs, Semicolons and Conditional Clauses; Bane of Euphemisms; Mixer of Genres; and Mother of Witches.