Police officers acquitted of rape

Apparently because she could walk, the sex could not have been non-consensual:

Although the defense never conceded that the two had sex, a central point of argument in the case was whether the woman was too drunk to consent to sex. Under the prosecutors’ theory of rape, they had to prove that the woman was physically unable to consent to sex, meaning that she was either unconscious or unable to speak when she was penetrated.

Defense lawyers pointed to surveillance footage of the woman walking on her own as she entered the building in front of the officers as evidence that she was conscious and able to communicate.

The officers insist it was “just cuddling” although one admitted to wearing a condom.  As Boing Boing notes, “If you’d like to not have on-duty police officers “cuddle” you when drunk, remember to get so plastered as to be unconscious by the time the cuddle condom comes out”.

(Thanks, Mr Jender!)

5 thoughts on “Police officers acquitted of rape

  1. It’s not that it “could not have been non-consensual.” It’s that it could have been consensual. The prosecution has the burden of proof.

  2. Rick is correct of course, but the reference in the NYT article to “under the prosecutors’ theory of rape” points to what was really going on with the videotape.

    In New York, the crime of rape has several degrees, kind of like murder. I’m simplifying here, but the prosecutors were trying to prove first-degree rape, which has to involve proof of (i) forcible compulsion (compulsion by use of physical force or by threat of death, injury or kidnapping) OR (ii) inability to consent due either to unconsciousness or other physical inability to communicate. I take it that the prosecutors did not think that their evidence would support (i) above, so they were trying to prove (ii).

    Evidence that she could walk was specifically relevant to a charge of *first-degree* rape under the second prong. It does not mean that, or that she wasn’t too *mentally* incapacitated to consent, or that there wasn’t a rape. I’m pretty sure the videotape would not have been a “central point of argument” in a trial limited to a second- or third-degree rape charge.

    In sum, this doesn’t mean “apparently because she could walk, the sex could not have been non-consensual.” Perhaps the NYT reporter is partly to blame for writing the paragraph in such a way as to invite this inference, but it’s completely wrong.

  3. In the 3rd paragraph, second sentence, of my post above, it should have read “It does not mean that she consented, or that she wasn’t too *mentally* incapacitated to consent, or that there wasn’t a rape.”

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