Court sets accused rapist free, arguing severely disabled woman who can't talk could still refuse sex

Your daily dose of rage: the state Supreme Court in Connecticut has decided to let a rapist go free in a case involving a severely disabled woman with limited mobility who cannot talk. Why? Because there was no evidence she could not communicate her refusal to have sex with the defendant." She cerebral palsy, cannot verbally communicate, and "is so physically restricted that she is able to make motions only with her right index finger."

(via HeratyLaw).

Update: Here's a different perspective: Part 1, part 2, and here's another.

Cory and I traded emails about this ruling, and here are his thoughts:

The judge ruled on the law the guy was accused of violating, which is a very narrow statute, and the guy was not guilty of violating the statute under which he was charged. The judge even told the prosecutor that this was the wrong statute to be using. The prosecutor -- for whatever reason -- stuck to his guns. Now because of double jeopardy, the guy gets away with it.

My guess is that the prosecutor chose to prosecute under the statute because it carried a higher penalty, and thought that he could intimidate the accused into settling with the threat of a much longer sentence. Instead, this backfired on him. But that's not the defense attorney's fault (his job is to represent his client), and it's not the judge's fault (his job is to rule on questions of law). It's not even the law's fault (there are statutes under which this guy is clearly guilty, but those weren't the statutes used in the case) Sounds like it's the prosecutor's fault for trying to shortcut the trial with a quick plea through a bogus charge.

I guess the point is that it's a different kind of problem: this isn't a case where society can't tell the difference between "legitimate rape" and some other kind of rape. It seems like the judge would have been happy to lock this guy up, if the prosecutor had charged him with the crime he'd actually committed, and it's probably good that judges aren't willing to convict people of crimes they haven't committed.



  1. Man, this is getting so damn depressing. Seems like every day there’s a more horrific story like this. Truly sad.


  2. It really sucks that one of her caregivers, who is supposed to help and protect her, was a witness for the defense on how the victim could groan and kick if she got the wrong food, and therefore could resist. Fucking disgusting side issue the travesty that played out here. 

  3. An interesting analysis of what went wrong:

    Apparently it’s the prosecutor’s fault for prosecuting him under the wrong subsection (sex with someone physically helpless, which the victim wasn’t), and he cannot be tried again under the correct subsection (sex with someone who didn’t consent).

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