Of course, I don’t have all the facts, but if this story is close to accurate judge Peter Ackerman of Beaverton, OR needs a refresher course in the meaning of “presumed innocent” and “proof beyond reasonable doubt.”
Judge Ackerman convicted a rape complainant of filing a false police report because he found the three men she accused “more credible,” despite a wide range of inconsistencies, and because witnesses said that the complainant did not “act traumatized” in the days following the incident.
A false complaint of rape is a terrible crime, and it’s possible that the woman in question committed that crime. But proof beyond reasonable doubt that the complainant made a statement she knew to be false, when the only question was whether her four-in-a-bed encounter when she was 17 years old was consensual or not? Puh-leeeze.
(The Heretik points out that, under Oregon law, a seventeen-year-old is incapable of giving valid consent.
Not only is the claim that this verdict won’t discourage real rape victims from complaining obviously false; it may also result in some people accused of rape being prosecuted when the charge would otherwise have been dropped.
The case was brought, not by the District Attorney who declined to prosecute the three men, but by the City Attorney’s office. The DA reportedly decided, not that the report was false, but that a conviction was unobtainable. That’s what a good prosecutor does, even if he thinks a crime might have been committed.
But if a declination paints a target on the complainant’s back, every prosecutor in a sexual assault unit will be under pressure from the complainant and her friends to go ahead with a weak case, just to protect the witness. Ugh.