Thursday, February 24, 2011

Judge Rules That Because Woman Was Dressed Provocatively, The Man Who Raped Her Shouldn't Go to Prison

A Manitoba, Canada judge has ruled that Kenneth Rhodes, who raped a woman in 2006, shouldn't do jail time because the victim sent signals that "sex was in the air" through her suggestive attire and flirtatious conduct on the night of the attack, reports the Winnipeg Free Press. The backlash is going to be global -- we suggest the judge take cover and retreat to his bunker.
Queen's Bench Justice Robert Dewar called Rhodes a "clumsy Don Juan" who may have misunderstood what the victim wanted when he forced intercourse along a darkened highway outside Thompson in 2006. Rhodes and a friend met the 26-year-old woman and her girlfriend earlier that night outside a bar under what the judge called "inviting circumstances." Dewar specifically noted the women were wearing tube tops with no bra, high heels and plenty of makeup. "They made their intentions publicly known that they wanted to party," said Dewar. He said the women spoke of going swimming in a nearby lake that night "notwithstanding the fact neither of them had a bathing suit." The foursome left the parking lot and headed into the woods, court was told. Rhodes began making sexual advances towards the victim, who initially rejected him but later returned his kisses. Rhodes then forced himself upon the woman once they were alone. Rhodes pleaded not guilty at the trial on the basis he thought the woman had consented. Dewar rejected his defence -- but said aspects of it can now be considered in sentencing. "This is a different case than one where there is no perceived invitation," said Dewar. "This is a case of misunderstood signals and inconsiderate behaviour." Dewar said he didn't want to be seen as blaming the victim but that all of the factors surrounding the case must be viewed to assess "moral blameworthiness. I'm sure whatever signals were sent that sex was in the air were unintentional," he said.
At the night of the attack, everyone was drinking. In her victim impact statement, the woman said she was a "prisoner in my own home" and a scar on her knee is reminds her every day of the sexual assault. The judge wasn't moved. He sentenced Kenneth to a two-year conditional sentence. For the first year, he will be under house arrest -- leaving his home only to go to work or visit the doctor. Kenneth's name will also be added to the national sex offender registry and he must write a letter of apology to his victim.

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