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Old 01-02-2007, 09:31 PM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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"He Said She Said" rape convictions: Really happens?

In the relevantly recent past (read that however you like) has there been a case in which the sole evidence of rape was that someone claimed to have been raped,* and in which a conviction was obtained on the basis of that evidence?

Or anything close to that?

-FrL-
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:41 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Many convictions for date rape would qualify. The sex is mutually admitted but the circumstances surrounding it may just come down to the accusation. Kobe Bryant wasn't convicted but he might have been if he wasn't a popular sports hero and a millionaire. Finding these cases is a little hard by their very nature but the topic has become hot a few times in the past decade.
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:44 PM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
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I've studied cases in criminal law where this effectively happens. Neither party denies that they had sex - it simply comes down to a disagreement about whether the woman consented.
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:45 PM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagnasty
Many convictions for date rape would qualify. The sex is mutually admitted but the circumstances surrounding it may just come down to the accusation. Kobe Bryant wasn't convicted but he might have been if he wasn't a popular sports hero and a millionaire. Finding these cases is a little hard by their very nature but the topic has become hot a few times in the past decade.
I know the topic has become hot quite often. That's what prompted my request for clear, factual information. I find news stories to be often incomplete, and of course reports from pundits I generally throw right out. But these are the only two sources I have for claims that someone can be convicted based simply on an accusation. I was wondering if there is a more reliable source.

-FrL-
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:46 PM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cunctator
I've studied cases in criminal law where this effectively happens. Neither party denies that they had sex - it simply comes down to a disagreement about whether the woman consented.
Do you have any cites or other information? What kind of sentence was imposed? Were there appeals? Reports as to what led the prosecutor to push the case through on so little evidence? Etc....

-FrL-
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:57 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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Here's a link to a story about the Mike Tyson trial....

http://www-tech.mit.edu/V112/N4/tyson.04w.html
  #7  
Old 01-03-2007, 12:03 AM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frylock
Do you have any cites or other information? What kind of sentence was imposed?
Not to hand. It's a few years since I did crim law. I'd have to refer back to my notes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frylock
Were there appeals?
Yes. It was generally the appellate cases that we were studying.
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Originally Posted by Frylock
Reports as to what led the prosecutor to push the case through on so little evidence?
I assume that the Crown goes ahead with such cases based on all of the usual criteria: seriousness of the alleged offence, relative credibility of the accused and the complainant, strength of any other evidence, likelihood that the crown prosecutor can persuade the jury, beyond reasonable doubt, of the complainant's claim that she did not consent.

One case that I did study last semester in Evidence has some parallels: Papakosmas v The Queen [1999] HCA 37. It's not an exact parallel, because it wasn't just a "he said/she said" case. But it's an example of a jury convicting an accused on the basis of the credibility of the complainant's claim that she did not consent.

Papakosmas (the appellant) and the complainant were at the office Christmas party. They had both been drinking. One thing led to another and they had sex. The key fact in issue was not whether the sex took place but whether the complainant consented to it. She said that she hadn't consented. What's more, she made that claim to several other people at the party straight after the alleged offence. So it wasn't just the complainant's word, but also that of all her colleagues. They hadn't witnessed the alleged act of sexual intercourse, but they were able to testify about what the complainant had told them straight afterwards. At trial the jury believed the complainant's story (backed up by her colleagues' hearsay evidence) over that of the appellant. A sort of modified "he said/she said".

Papakosmas was convicted of having sexual intercourse with the complainant without her consent and was sentenced to three years' gaol. He lost his appeal to the NSW Supreme Court and his subsequent appeal to the High Court (the linked case above).
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