[Marxism] Against "were you there?" as a defense against rape charges

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Tue Jul 13 03:34:36 MDT 2010


This is the only item I will submit on this matter, regardless of what
anyone writes in response.
Fred Feldman


I think on the whole the Swiss court made the right decision. There had been
too much prosecutorial-judicial messing around. I think the outcome reflects
growing disgust in Europe with Guantanamo, etc.
This has escalated somewhat with growing suggestions that no defendants
should be extradited because how brutal and stacked against defendants the
US criminal "justice" system is..

Lueko says, "Were you there?" I have read the then teenager's version of
what happened, and it seems 100 percent plausible to me. The Polanski
version sounds like a standard Hollywood cover story. 

Most rapes do not occur with cameras running and loads of witnesses. It is
often a kind of private event. Sometimes jurors have to go with their
judgments, which does not violate the presumption of innocence.
If "were you there?" is the sure-fire answer to a rape charge, then rape is
a get-out-of-jail-free ticket in every case. If "were you there?" is the
standard, I cannot prove any rape has ever occurred in human history, since
I have not committed any and never been present when one was committed by
someone else.

I repeat, I found the victim's version of events entirely credible and think
she accurately describes what happened.

In my opinion, taking a 13 year old girl into your home for a modeling
assignment, stuffing her with drugs and alcohol, and having sex with her is
sexual abuse of a child -- which ought to be a quite serious offense.

David Thorstad's attempt to use the fact that the girl was not a virgin as
evidence that she was not raped is...well, words fail me.

People write, "a rapist goes free!" Sounds too much like the Daily News to
me. I don't think every rape should be punished by the death penalty or life
without parole, so I think people who have committed rape should OFTEN go
free -- sooner or later.  I don't think we should join the
throw-the-key-away or "kill em all and let God sort 'em out" thread on crime
in US bourgeois politics. 

The fact is that Polanski did more time in his two rounds of trouble than
most rapists -- and not just rich ones -- ever do. Most of them never see
the inside of a jail or even house arrest in a Swiss chalet.

Polanski was convicted and sentenced very modestly for a serious abuse of a
teenager -- a crime punishable by jail time, if you ask me. In the middle of
his serving his sentence, the judge and prosecutor got together to prepare a
new sentence. He fled. When he was arrested at the Swiss border, the court
reasonably asked for the documents on this little operation and the US
refused. 


As far as I can see the Swiss government was in the right at every point in
this process: stopping him at the border, pursuing extradition proceedings,
forcing the US to provide the evidence, and in making the decision it did
under the circumstances.

That doesn't mean that justice has been done in this case.
The outcome shows the deepening worldwide discreditment of the US criminal
"justice" system. Justice, howeverm is still a rare event.

Polanski was never the victim in this case, but the victimizer. His former
victim seems to have grown up and gotten past the trauma, but she is still
the only victim in this case

Meanwhile the very uphill fight against sexual and violent abuse of women
and children goes on, quite uphill at the moment.
Fred Feldman











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