Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Should the charge be rape?

From the Herald today, on the misnamed "police sex case":
"He is a police officer, he can arrest, he can check relationships, he can check up on people. They were all lawful powers the police have and use every day, but when they are used for personal gain by a police officer it is corruption," Ms Toohey said.

He was short of money, and once he had leverage to use that power she had no chance.

The woman said she hated giving him sex for free, but when he pulled her over for traffic offences he told her she would get about $1000 worth of tickets and he could get her car towed, she said.
Surely this kind of duress undermines the free giving of consent?

I wonder if the jury will come back today. It will be very difficult I imagine for many people to believe a prostitute over a police man.


Tidge said...

This case has had me shouting at the TV since it began. I can't believe he's not being tried for rape. I can only assume her lawyer advised her against it, knowing what most people's opinions on the ability of prostitutes to be raped is - i.e. they can't be. Makes me sick.

Fi said...

Yeah, first thing I thought was "using threats to coerce someone into having sex... isn't that RAPE?" So much of the language being used is sick; how many times has the phrase "giving him sex" been used?

Bavardess said...

Absolutely, it's rape. No question. It makes me so angry that we are still having this debate in our society.

Luddite Journo said...

It's like we are too scared to name some acts as abusive as they are. I wonder too, if the rapist would have been charged with rape if he had not been a police officer?
EG, a city council official using rates arrears as a way of coercing someone into having sex with them?
Seems to me the issue here is not only that some of us do not seem to believe women working in the sex industry have any say over who they are sexual with, but also that we are squeamish about quite how many police officers do not seem to respect our, admittedly limited, legal definitions of consent.
Thanks for the post, have been thinking about this too.