On Being a Rapist in the UK By Richard Miller (London)

     In the UK, as is now well-known to all outside the UK, thousands of white children were groomed, raped and forced into prostitution at the point of a gun, some children being raped by up to 500 men. The authorities turned a blind eye to this for years, because well … racism … Now, if you are white male you can go to gaol for even touches to a female, because your non-sexual touches will be constructed as sexual assault:

“A 'shy and awkward' student is facing jail after he touched a teenager 'in an attempt to befriend her.' Jamie Griffiths, 19, Googled 'how to make a friend' then came into contact with the 17-year-old during two attempts to engage her in conversation. The victim burst into tears during the second encounter and went to police with her mother, claiming Griffiths 'would have touched her breast had she not moved away'. She claimed her school work suffered as a result of the contact, leaving her unable to sit her mock exams and apply to Oxford University. Griffiths, who lives with his parents and now studies at Durham University, denied two charges of sexual assault, claiming he was 'shy, anxious and awkward'. He said he had 'clumsily' approached the girl in an attempt 'to make a friend but the words didn't come out.' Griffiths was convicted at Manchester Magistrates' Court and will be sentenced later this month. The offence carries a maximum sentence of ten years jail if dealt with at a crown court and he faces being ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register.

The incidents occurred between October and November last year while the pair were studying A levels at a secondary school in Knutsford, the court heard. The girl, now 18, said she had been walking home when she encountered Griffiths on a railway bridge. She told the hearing: 'I saw him facing a hedge and I thought it was really weird. As I walked towards him, he suddenly swung round so he was facing me. 'As soon as he moved I moved and said: 'stop' and he touched my arm. I sort of jolted out of the way and went into the road to avoid him and he very quickly walked away. 'I think it would have been on my breast had I not moved. When it first happened I didn't think much of it. I forgot about it because I had my exams and just thought it was weird behaviour.' His lawyer Claire Aldridge told the court: '[The victim] did say: "I think it would have been on my breast had I not moved", but what she thinks might have happened isn't the issue. 'Are you dealing with somebody lying in wait in broad daylight or are you dealing with an anxious and awkward young man, someone who struggles to make friends by his own admission? He is a particularly shy, anxious young man who spends most of his time studying with his parents.' But prosecutor Victoria Norman said: ‘He intended to touch her breast area and was waiting for her.’ Noting both approaches took place in ‘isolated areas’, she added: ‘An attempt to make a friendship with anyone surely starts with a hello or a wave.’ Magistrates told Griffiths: 'The complainant's evidence was very clear, logical and without embellishment. We can think of no motivation for you to touch the victim other than sexual.  'Had she not taken evasive action the assault was likely to have been even more serious. The first assault can be recognised as opportunistic however there is more evidence of premeditation in the second.'”

     To be clear, the touching behaviour does technically constitute common assault, but it is not rape or sexual assault, unless all unwanted touching is defined in that way, which is what seems to be done here. “Sexual assault” has been defined in most jurisdictions as  an act in which a person intentionally sexually touches another person without that person's consent, or coerces or physically forces a person to engage in a sexual act against their will. But, by this definition, sexual assault did not occur, because the touching is not a sex act.

“Sexual assault is a statutory offence in England and Wales. It is created by section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 which defines "sexual assault" as when a person (A)
1.    intentionally touches another person (B),
2.    the touching is sexual,
3.    B does not consent to the touching, and
4.    A does not reasonably believe that B consents.
Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.
Sections 75 and 76 apply to an offence under this section.
A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—
1.    on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;
2.    on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.”

     The Act thus states that the touching, which is explicitly required to occur, must be sexual, and this condition is not satisfied. Of course, the touching is arguably legally unacceptable behaviour, arguably common assault, but the touching should be correctly punished for what it is, not for what is imagined. Given that the contact took place of a period of time, and the attacker walked away, it is possible that if the intent was to sexually assault, it probably could have been done, and as it was not, there is a presumption of reason against the sexual assault claim. My guess if the roles were changed and the race of the toucher was non-white we probably would not have even heard of it, because the court would have dealt with it outside of conviction, or the DPP would not have run with it, which is not to say that the victim was in any way at fault, or to diminish her suffering. However, as his female lawyer argued, he did not touch her breast. Should men be convicted on what might happen now? Where will that lead? And ten years maximum penalty for it? What sentences did migrant rapists get?

“Jail sentences for rapists are to be slashed under controversial new guidelines for judges revealed just days before an official campaign against rape is launched by the government. In a move which critics warned would deter traumatised women from reporting sex crimes, the Sentencing Guidelines Council (SGC) is to recommend that future sentences for rape and other sexual offences be cut by 15 per cent for most offenders. The Observer can reveal that the council, an independent body advising the judiciary on how to interpret the law, will argue that men should serve shorter sentences because the prison regime is now 'more demanding'. In a separate move, it is also expected to recommend shortly that men convicted of domestic violence could escape jail terms if they convince the courts they are capable of changing. Instead they would be sent on courses in the community challenging their attitudes to women.”

     Two years for a toddler attack:

    I am not arguing that the offender did no wrong as some sites are doing. I am making the argument that the judgment is flawed, and that is anything, should have been judged as assault, or a warning issued.



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Sunday, 25 October 2020
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