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Court Requires Disabled Rape Victim To Prove She Resisted, Calls For Evidence Of ‘Biting, Kicking, Scratching’

Posted by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 12:47 PM
  • 6 Replies

Court Requires Disabled Rape Victim To Prove She Resisted, Calls For Evidence Of ‘Biting, Kicking, Scratching’

Defendant Richard Fourtin Jr.

In a 4-3 ruling Tuesday afternoon, the Connecticut State Supreme Court overturned the sexual assault conviction of a man who had sex with a woman who “has severecerebral palsy, has the intellectual functional equivalent of a 3-year-old and cannot verbally communicate.” The Court held that, because Connecticut statutes define physical incapacity for the purpose of sexual assault as “unconscious or for any other reason. . . physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act,” the defendant could not be convicted if there was any chance that the victim could have communicated her lack of consent. Since the victim in this case was capable of “biting, kicking, scratching, screeching, groaning or gesturing,” the Court ruled that that victim could have communicated lack of consent despite her serious mental deficiencies:

When we consider this evidence in the light most favorable to sustaining the verdict, and in a manner that is consistent with the state’s theory of guilt at trial, we, like the Appellate Court, â€˜are not persuaded that the state produced any credible evidence that the [victim] was either unconscious or so uncommunicative that she was physically incapable of manifesting to the defendant her lack of consent to sexual intercourse at the time of the alleged sexual assault.’

According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), lack of physical resistanceis not evidence of consent, as “many victims make the good judgment that physical resistance would cause the attacker to become more violent.” RAINN also notes that lack of consent is implicit “if you were under the statutory age of consent, or if you had a mental defect” as the victim did in this case.

Anna Doroghazi, director of public policy and communication at Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, worried that the Court’s interpretation of the law ignored these concerns: “By implying that the victim in this case should have bitten or kicked her assailant, this ruling effectively holds people with disabilities to a higher standard than the rest of the population when it comes to proving lack of consent in sexual assault cases. Failing to bite an assailant is not the same thing as consenting to sexual activity.” An amicus brief filed by the Connecticut advocates for disabled persons argued that this higher standard “discourag[ed] the prosecution of crimes against persons with disabilities” even though “persons with a disability had an age-adjusted rate of rape or sexual assault that was more than twice the rate for persons without a disability.”


http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/10/03/947981/court-requires-disabled-rape-victim-to-prove-she-fought-back-calls-for-evidence-of-biting-kicking-scratching/

by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 12:47 PM
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Replies (1-6):
LyTe684
by Tasha on Oct. 5, 2012 at 12:58 PM
1 mom liked this
What.The.Fuck.
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storkradio193
by Bronze Member on Oct. 5, 2012 at 5:32 PM
1 mom liked this

My thoughts exactly

Quoting LyTe684:

What.The.Fuck.


http://www.cafemom.com/home/storkradio193

sweettigeress
by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Ridiculous.

artemisa3001
by Bronze Member on Oct. 6, 2012 at 12:10 PM

backwards State

taniamorse85
by Bronze Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 2:14 AM

As a disabled woman, this makes me exceptionally angry.   I'm so glad I live in a state that takes rape seriously.

babie113
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 2:22 AM
That's so fucking stupid. She is mentally a three year old how could she consent? A actual three year old can't consent by law or in reality how is this any less rape. She probably didn't even know what sex is or what he was doing. How is that OK......I have a 13 year old cousin with cp and this just makes me sick. He's getting away with rape :-(
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