Should Rape Accusers Be Anonymous?

There have been a lot cases in the news lately about sexual assault & the men who have faced charges because of it. According to government research, it is estimated that one in five women will be raped at some point in their lives, 1 in 5 women on college campuses have been sexually assaulted during their time in school and in eight out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the person who sexually assaulted them. Rape costs the U.S. more than any other crime at $127 billion per year, making it a heavy financial burden for everyone.

With such alarming statistics & the high costs of this particular crime, it is understandable how stressful this experience can be for these women. But like with any other crime (and sometimes even civil), criminal cases are public record. And public records are exactly that – PUBLIC! So if a criminal case is public record, shouldn’t the victim’s information be made public? In many of these cases, the rape victim is allowed to remain anonymous but is that really fair? Should a women’s name be withheld when she is making a public case against a man? Why should it be kept private when the name of the accused is oftentimes dragged thru the mud (even if he’s later found not-guilty)? Should things be made easy for rape accusers or be made fair?

Read the article below from Yahoo & let me know what you think –

 

The woman who filed the civil complaint alleging that former NBA Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose and two of his friends drugged her, broke into her apartment and gang-raped her while she was unconscious in August 2013 spoke publicly this week for the first time, granting multiple interviews in an attempt to present her side of the story less than three weeks before the scheduled start of the civil trial on Oct. 4.

The woman previously identified in court documents only as “Jane Doe” is a 30-year-old college student who told Janie McCauley of The Associated Press that her family doesn’t know anything about her relationship to the former Chicago Bulls and current New York Knicks point guard, with whom she had what both sides acknowledge was a non-exclusive sexual relationship from late 2011 until July 2013, or the lawsuit, in which she is seeking $21.5 million in damages.

“They have a sense something’s wrong, but there’s no way I can express to them or explain to them how I feel or what I’m going through,” Doe told the AP. “Having to think of alternative ways to communicate that pain is very stressful and it takes a lot out of you.”

Doe’s anonymity has been a central element in what has become an increasingly contentious legal battle.

In May, Rose filed a motion calling for Jane Doe’s parents to be deposed so that his attorneys could “question the plaintiff’s parents about her ‘traditional, religious upbringing,’” and asking the court “to force Doe to reveal her identity,” claiming “she has waived her privacy rights by putting her emotional condition at issue.” Rose’s attorneys have also argued Doe’s “use of Twitter and other forms of social media” — including Instagram, where they say she posts photos “that are sexual in nature [where she is] dressed in provocative nature, is in sexually suggestive poses, and is in photographs indicating that she engages in sexually charged encounters with more than one man at a time” — “belies her apparent desire for anonymity.”

A judge found no compelling reason to publicly release the woman’s real name, meaning Rose’s defense will not be able to use her social media as evidence of her ‘sexual’ nature at trial, but did “allow the disclosure of her name within the realm of the discovery, or fact-finding, process” of the trial. Even so, the judge chastised Rose’s lawyers for the logic of the social-media claim:

Defendant Rose appears to suggest that women who publicly portray themselves as “sexual” are less likely to experience embarrassment, humiliation, and harassment associated with gang rape. Such rhetoric has no place in this Court. No matter how Plaintiff chooses to depict her sexuality on social media, her allegations of rape entitle her to the protections of anonymity.

In June, Rose’s lawyers filed a motion for summary judgment in the case, seeking its dismissal. A judge denied that motion in July due to substantial disagreements on the most important facts of the case between the versions forwarded by Doe and by Rose and his fellow defendants, Ryan Allen and Randall Hampton, who have repeatedly maintained their innocence during the pre-trial process.

“The record presents a genuine dispute of material fact as to the central issue in this action: whether Plaintiff consented to sexual intercourse with Defendants in early morning of August 27, 2013,” U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald wrote in his judgment. “Because the jury and not the Court must resolve this central issue, summary judgment is improper.”

From Lindsay Gibbs of ThinkProgress:

[The plaintiff and defendants] don’t agree on much, but they do agree that Rose and the alleged victim met in 2011, dated for a couple of years, and officially broke up in the summer of 2013 after (but not necessarily because) the alleged victim refused to have group sex with Rose. Then on August 26, 2013, she reached out to Rose and he invited her to a party at his house. She arrived for said party with a friend around 9:00 p.m. in a car that Rose provided, and left in a taxi around midnight.

The two sides disagree whether she was drugged at his house, whether she had sex with Rose’s friends at his house, whether or not she let Rose and his friends into her apartment later that night, and whether or not she consented to have sex with all three of them.

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