Monday, February 20, 2012

How to re-victimize a victim, Part 1

Last month, the mother of a 15-yr old girl filed a petition for injunction for protection against sexual violence on behalf of her daughter. The respondent was their 16-yr old next door neighbor and his father, appearing on his son's behalf. The teens had never dated. They do not go to the same school. She is home schooled because of physical and mental issues.

After reviewing the explicit allegations in the petition, Judge Keith White granted a hearing which was held earlier this month. So far, so good.

As you might imagine, anyone who has been forcibly raped - orally, vaginally and anally -  would be terrified to be in the same room with their perpetrator. To force a teenager (or anyone for that matter) to testify for over an hour about the ordeal because your mother cannot corroborate the actual incident (having not witnessed the crime personally) goes beyond the scope of what is necessary for a civil injunction. Judge White required this girl to go into excruciating detail in spite of the comprehensiveness of the allegations that were in the written petition (caution: graphic language).

Remember, the burden of proof in civil cases is a "preponderance of the evidence," and not "beyond a reasonable doubt," as is the requirement for criminal cases.

To make matters worse, the Respondent's father & the perpetrator laughed at the victim's allegations and claimed that the sex was consensual (not at all uncommon in these cases).  The victim denied consent.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge White told the Petitioner that the her job was to meet the burden of proof necessary for him to be able to grant an injunction.  You could almost see her holding her breath in anticipation of being denied the order for protection that she so desperately sought.

Judge White, however, did grant an injunction to the girl.

A six month, "no hostile contact" injunction.

So this perpetrator is currently not in violation of the court order if he chooses to contact her, as long as he's "not hostile" towards her.

For six whole months.

After that, the injunction expires. Unless of course she wants to go back before the same judge and request an extension.  How likely do you think she'll be to do that?

Judge White failed this girl. And he failed to do much to hold the perpetrator accountable for his actions.

Let's hope that law enforcement and the State Attorney's Office are able to prosecute this sex offender to the fullest extent possible.

We have more to report about Judge White in upcoming days.

1 comment:

  1. Judge White was absolutely wrong in what he forced this girl to do in court. Worse, he told the perpetrator loudly and clearly that he can get away with sexual assault and rape.