The lawyer's "she doesn't look upset enough" defense failed, and Francis has received a five-and-a-half year sentence. Yet, that this argument was even made reveals a still prominent attitude that rape and sexual assault are somehow essentially different from other crimes; unlike other types of assault, if the victim is not completely debilitated - if the victim shows signs of recovery - then we're supposed to act as though the attack must not have been a serious crime. Can you imagine treating another type of physical assault in the same way? If someone is attacked and beaten, does anyone try to excuse the attacker if the victim had a drink that night or manages to smile at a party years later? There is only one other type of physical assault I can think of in which defense attorneys routinely try to blame the victim for the abuse - domestic violence. Hum... what do those two types of attacks have in common?
A barrister has caused outrage by suggesting a rape victim could not have been upset by her ordeal because there were photos of her on Facebook looking happy.
The woman was attacked in 2001 when she was 19 and has since tried to kill herself.
Her attacker, Anthony Francis, was caught seven years later as a result of a DNA sample.
His barrister tried to persuade a judge to be lenient by showing pictures posted on the social networking site of the woman laughing and smiling at a fancy dress party in the years since the rape.Colin McCarraher, defending, told Reading Crown Court last week: 'What we have is a person who has post traumatic stress but is quite capable of going out and having a good time at a fancy dress party.'
For more outrage visit Guanabee, where I first found the story, and Feministing.