Our thanks to Francis for this. Extracts:
Led by former interim Labour leader Harriet Harman and prominent feminist campaigner Jess Phillips, the MPs write:
‘The verdict and events in this case sets a dangerous precedent that how a victim of rape, usually a woman, has behaved in the past can be taken as evidence of the way she behaved at the time of the alleged rape.
‘This will deter victims from disclosing their abuse and will reduce the number of victims presenting their cases to the police for fear of having their private lives investigated and scrutinised.’…
In April Mr Evans had his rape conviction quashed after his lawyers won a High Court appeal allowing fresh evidence of his accuser’s sexual history to be used as evidence.
The defence argued that accounts they from two men who said they had similar encounters with the woman around the time of the rape allegation proved that Mr Evans was right in saying the sex was consensual.
It was a rare example [my emphasis] of the alleged victim’s sexual past being allowed to be aired in court.
Section 41 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 says it must only be used in exceptional circumstances [my emphasis] but High Court judges ruled that the case involving Mr Evans was a ‘rare case’ and it would be appropriate to allow ‘forensic examination’ of the complainant’s past sexual behaviour.
The Crown Prosecution Service pressed ahead with a retrial, but on October 14 a jury at Cardiff Crown Court unanimously found Mr Evans not guilty of rape.
It hardly needs stressing that if these feminist MPs have their way, in cases such as Ched Evans’s innocent men would face a Herculean task to convince a jury beyond reasonable doubt. This would inevitably lead to yet more innocent heterosexual men in prison, every feminist’s dream.
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