Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Rapist Rights

In a Nebraska courtroom, a judge has told a woman not to characterize her experience as “rape” or “sexual assault” or describe herself as a victim and the accused man as an assailant.

The defendant’s presumption of innocence and right to a fair trial trumps the woman's right of free speech, according to a Lincoln judge who issued the order.

This is a long way from the social contract not to publish the name of a victim (make that "recipient of unsolicited affection") of sexual assault (that is, "excessive familiar attention") by a rapist (er, "overzealous suitor").

The woman lost her case for violation of her First Amendment rights, but a federal judge, in dismissing the suit, doubted a jury would be swayed by her use of the word “rape” instead of some “tortured equivalent.”

“For the life of me," he said. "I do not understand why a judge would tell an alleged rape victim that she cannot say she was raped when she testifies in a trial about rape.”

But in this era of political correctness, you can't be too careful. If we started calling collateral damage murder, where would it all end?

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