Thanks to Cassandra for bringing this (words fail me, but I’ll opt for appalling) case to my attention.
Women aren’t believed in court. Men are routinely believed in court. Rape convictions have a national average of less than 6% out of all REPORTED rapes. Only one in five (20%) of reported rapes makes it to court. Most rapists get off footloose and fancyfree, as in this case—when the word of TWO WOMEN still isn’t enough to convict ONE MALE RAPIST.
The tag for this story: women don’t have a snowball’s chance of seeing justice in the courts of the patriarchy.
I probably don’t even need to make much commentary on this story, it pretty much speaks for itself. But I’ll throw in my two pence at the end anyway. My blog, my rules. Suck it up.
The Times (12 Dec 2006):
DOCTOR ‘RAPED TWO TEACHERS IN SAME NIGHT’
Victim had drunk three bottles of wine
Flatmates deny consenting to sex
A doctor raped two teachers in their flat on the same night after one brought him home from a bar when she was drunk, a court was told yesterday.
The woman admitted drinking about three bottles of wine before bringing Mark Rance back to the apartment.
The English teacher, known as Ms X, said that she asked for a foot massage and passed out, before waking up naked with the doctor on top of her. She told him to leave.
But minutes later Dr Rance, 31, allegedly walked into the bedroom of her flatmate (known as Ms Y) and began having sex with her while she was asleep.
When arrested, the defendant admitted having sex with both women without using a condom, but said that they had consented. He denies two counts of rape.
The first complainant, who gave evidence from behind a screen, told Lewes Crown Court: “I thought he was nice. I was stupidly trusting. I was paralytically drunk.”
After ordering Dr Rance to leave her flat, she said she lay in bed “trying to make sense of the situation” before falling asleep, but was then awoken by her flatmate coming into the room in tears.
Ms X said: “She shook me and said, ‘The person you brought home with you has just had sex with me’. I was completely bewildered, it had never entered my mind that he had not left the flat.”
Ms X said that she felt disgusted and stupid for making herself vulnerable. She had drunk five large glasses of wine — at a party to welcome new teachers to her school and at home with her flatmate in Brighton.
The women then decided to go to a nightclub where they shared two bottles of wine and were bought a further two glasses each. They met Dr Rance, from Worthing, West Sussex, shortly after arriving at the club in September last year.
Gillian Etherton, for the prosecution, said: “There’s no doubt that Ms X appeared to be getting on very well with the defendant. They were chatting, flirting with each other and kissing and cuddling.”
Ms Y decided to go home, taking Ms X’s handbag with her for safekeeping. Dr Rance invited Ms X back to his boat, but when she could not find her handbag she became concerned and insisted on going home.
They left the club hand-in-hand and, at one stage, he carried her on his shoulders. At her home they shared a cup of tea before Ms X passed out.
Ms Etherton added: “The next thing Ms X remembers is waking up with no clothes on and a naked man on top of her.
“The man stopped and said: ‘You’re going to say, he took advantage of me, aren’t you?’ She said: ‘No, I’m not saying that, I just want you to go.”
Ms X said she thought that Mr Rance’s comment was strange. She heard a door slam and presumed that he had left. But Ms Y then allegedly woke in her bedroom to find that Dr Rance was having sex with her.
Ms Etherton said: “She pushed him off. She realised it was the man she’d seen in the club kissing Ms X.
“The defendant was trying to get her into conversation to justify what he was doing. She was telling him again and again to ‘F*** off, just f*** off’.”
Ms X denied consenting to sex or inviting Dr Rance into her bedroom, and said that she did not know how she became naked. On waking to find him having sex with her, she said: “My reaction was, what’s happening? I was not threatened or necessarily scared but confused and disorientated.
“I believe I said ‘stop’ and he did, then I said ‘I want you to leave the flat’. I felt I had been taken advantage of, that he was opportunistic and sleazy, but not the violent connotations of that word rape. I felt it was partly my own fault. I have never said I’ve been raped. I did not know what to call it.
“I felt pretty disgusted after I heard what happened to my flatmate. What sort of person would do that? Take advantage of one when she was drunk and then walk into the bedroom of the other one.”
When arrested the next day, Dr Rance said: “Is this about the girls? No, no, I’m not guilty. I had sex with them both but it was with their consent.”
Referring to having sex with Ms X, he said: “The spur of the moment got the better of me.”
The trial continues.
The Times (16 Dec 2006):
DOCTOR CLEARED OF RAPING DRUNK TEACHERS
Steve Bird, Frances Gibb and Greg Hurst
His action was ‘immoral, not illegal’
Minister review law on ‘date rape’
A doctor who had sex with two drunk teachers has been cleared of raping them.
Mark Rance, 31, who insisted that while his behaviour was immoral it was not illegal, slept with the first teacher at her home before secretly going into the neighbouring room and having sex with her flatmate.
A jury at Lewes Crown Court, in East Sussex, found Dr Rance not guilty of two rape charges after four hours of deliberation.
The news came as The Times learnt that the Government will bring forward plans next year to tackle the complex legal issues surrounding alleged rapes when women are drunk.
The number of acquittals of so-called “date” or “acquaintance” rapes has fuelled debate on whether such cases should come before the courts at all — or, when they do, the circumstances in which juries should convict.
Mike O’Brien, the Solicitor-General, is expected to recommend that juries be given clearer guidance on when women who are under the influence of drink can consent to sexual intercourse.
He is concerned that, with rape conviction rates at only 6 per cent of all alleged rapes reported, juries believe that women have consented to sex even when almost incapable through drink.
Dr Rance, who lost his job as a result of the charges and was forced to work in a café near his home in Worthing, West Sussex, refused to comment after his acquittal. The General Medical Council said, however, that it would investigate the details of the case to establish whether his conduct breached its guidelines.
Dr Rance was working at the McIndoe Surgical Centre in East Grinstead, West Sussex, and was due to sit his final examinations for membership of the Royal College of Surgeons when he met the women at a club in Brighton on September 10 last year.
One of the women, named only as Miss X, admitted that she had drunk about three bottles of wine that evening. She said that she had “kissed and cuddled” the doctor at the club, but insisted that although she was drunk and had a patchy recollection of the night’s events, she would not have consented to sex, adding: “That is not who I am.”
The pair returned to her flat, where she demanded a foot massage. She claimed that she fell asleep and then awoke to find him astride her and he said: “You’re going to claim I took advantage, aren’t you?” She demanded that he leave and thought that she heard the front door slam but Dr Rance had instead knocked on her flatmate’s bedroom door and asked for a “kiss and a cuddle”. The flatmate, Miss Y, 26, who had earlier returned home alone from the club, said that she awoke with a “pain in her groin”.
Giving evidence from behind a screen, she said: “I became hysterical, I was crying. He was raping me . . . I never flirted with him. I never touched him. I certainly did not give him the ‘come on’.”
Dr Rance said that both women gave him the “green light” and that he stopped having sex with them as soon as they asked. He said that his “priority” was to “respect their wishes”.
He said that he had knocked on the flatmate’s room “out of curiosity”. He claimed that Miss Y had also consented to sex before “having a change of heart” and pushed him off, telling him: “I can’t believe I had sex with you — I’ve got a boyfriend.”
He said that he felt “genuinely sorry” for her when she burst into tears because she felt guilty. He said: “They were excited and very much involved in the whole process.
“I cannot comment on why these two females have done this. I think they felt rather cheated because it was sex behind the other’s back. But it was not rape.”
After leaving their flat he went to sleep in his speedboat moored at the Brighton Marina. He spent the following day water skiing.
After his arrest he told police that sleeping with both women “may be immoral, but it was not illegal”.
In their review of rape laws, Ministers will also likely recommend a new legal definition of “capacity” to sexual intercourse.
Lord Campbell-Savours, the Labour peer who has lobbied the Government to give appeal court judges the power to name women who make false rape allegations, expressed doubt that any changes would improve conviction rates.
He said: “Wherever cases involved drink, and three quarters of rape cases involve drink or drugs, it is very hard to find a jury that is prepared to accept a woman’s word if drink is involved, irrespective of whether the woman is right.”
The StormyrantTM begins.
Firstly I have to question, the amount of wine consumed.
The woman admitted drinking about three bottles of wine before bringing Mark Rance back to the apartment
Ms X said […] She had drunk five large glasses of wine
The women then decided to go to a nightclub where they shared two bottles of wine and were bought a further two glasses each
The standard bottle of wine is 750ml. The standard measure for a ‘large glass’ (in the UK) is 250ml, which is in effect, one-third of a bottle of wine.
In the first quote, ‘three bottles of wine’, I would actually posit that as being the approximate consumption of both women of the evening. I believe this is highlighted in the sub-headline and subsequent sentence to discredit ‘Ms X’ as being a ‘drunken floozy’.
The next two extracts tend to confirm this assumption ‘five large glasses’ and ‘two bottles and a further two glasses each’. Because one bottle contains three (large) glasses, so the consumption of two bottles between two women would be three glasses each, plus the subsequent two glasses mentioned. Five glasses each. Not three bottles.
Three bottles = 2,250ml = 9 glasses
Five glasses = 1,250ml = 1.6 bottles
So we can therefore claim that the first sub-headline and sentence are FALSE.
However, the average female drinker, can probably only consume (as an average) three large glasses before being what would be declared very, very drunk. Some like myself, two glasses is fairly much my limit these days. Four large glasses would put 80-90% in the very drunk class, with five glasses putting 98% of women in the extremely drunk status. Only a well-seasoned alcoholic could down five large glasses and be ‘in control’. It is safe to say that both these women were drunk, probably extremely drunk.
Which ties in nicely with Ms X’s testimony that she regained consciousness to discover Dr Rapist on top of her.
An unconscious women is incapable of giving consent.
Critical fact in a rape case. So on the first count of rape (Ms X), he was guilty of rape because she was unconscious.
Regardless of the fact that she had flirted with him at the party beforehand, regardless of the fact that he had accompanied her back to her flat. Unconsciousness = NO CONSENT.
He’s a fucking doctor FFS. He, of all people, should recognise unconsciousness when he sees it???
First count of rape = guilty.
Ms Y. Had consumed a similar amount of wine in the evening, possibly in slightly better shape than Ms X, but not exactly walk-a-straight-line sober. She looked after her friend’s handbag (which possibly indicated she was a little more ‘together’ than Ms X), went back to the flat, and went to bed.
She had not flirted with Dr Rapist at the party. Imagine her shock when she awoke to find a strange man on top of her (presumably in the dark)?
She was asleep. A doctor of all people should recognise when someone is asleep?
A sleeping woman cannot give consent.
Second count of rape = guilty.
But how did the jury find this case? NOT GUILTY. I’m really not sure at whom I have the most anger—the Dr Rapist, or the fucking idiot jury. All thirteen of them should be taken out and shot. Certainly no great loss to humanity.
To the Dr Rapist (“may be immoral, but it was not illegal”), let’s just see if I can sever your member and claim it to be immoral, but not illegal, eh?
On a final note:
“Wherever cases involved drink, and three quarters of rape cases involve drink or drugs, it is very hard to find a jury that is prepared to accept a woman’s word if drink is involved, irrespective of whether the woman is right.”
Juries may not take the word of a woman who has been drinking (or in this case, TWO WOMEN), but they are more than happy to take the word of ONE MAN who has been drinking. He only has to utter the magic word ‘consent’, and he is believed. No matter how outrageous his story actually is.