“His daughter had given a compelling interview to the police and my client had absolutely no real defence other than ‘I did not do it.'”
— The barrister, Cathy McCulloch, of a man falsely accused by his daughter of incestuous rape
Even as feminists claim that “rape survivors” are not believed enough by society, a British court has nearly convicted a man of incestuous rape, based solely on the testimony of his daughter. What saved him? His lawyer’s knowledge that the daughter’s story had essentially copied passages, if not the overarching plot of Fifty Shades of Grey.
After the man revealed to Cathy McCulloch that his daughter’s favorite book was Fifty Shades of Grey, the barrister noticed the almost identical use of words, phrases, and passages from E. L. James’ infamous novel. Armed with this discovery, it took only seven minutes for the girl’s fabricated story to be demolished in court. Following this, I am yet to read or hear about any criminal charges or punishments to be meted out against the fabulist of a daughter. Undoubtedly, given the farcical “women are almost always victims” mentality of the British legal system, this vindictive false accuser will spared any sanctioning whatsoever, in addition to the lifetime of official anonymity she will be guaranteed.
The man’s account is yet another chilling reminder that often the only thing saving innocent men from significant jail time and a life of undeserved social and even physical abuse is pure luck. Moreover, his plight should help us remember how the bar for sexual assault and rape convictions has been set so woefully low in the modern world. Rather than being dependent on the testing of proper, objective evidence, a man’s fate is usually left to he-said-she-said calculations that automatically favor any emotional woman crying rape.
Look at the pathetic excuse she gave for her spectacular crime
In a nutshell, she was angry with her father, found him strict, and wanted to teach him a lesson. If we take this as a basis for making false allegations, pretty much every prepubescent child and teenager, male or female, should be accusing their parents of sexual abuse or rape. As a teenager, in instances both justifiable and unjustifiable, I found my parents overbearing, restrictive, and unfair. Perhaps we could all get revenge on our parents, most notably our fathers, by inventing such trash?
As a society we have become so indulgent towards children, whether of the real or the adult but emotional kind, that people can not only make these claims, but essentially get away with making them when they are proven to be false. For example (and this is just one of dozens of similarly covered hoaxes in Britain alone), badly aging hag and thankfully bit-part Game of Thrones actress Souad Faress got away with a false rape accusation after video evidence conclusively demonstrated she made up the encounter. The Crown Prosecution Service in Britain not only went along with her madness and prosecuted innocent man Mark Pearson, it also refused to go after her when the fantasy was exposed in court for what it was.
The current system rewards good or eloquent actresses, not the presentation of evidence
I use the term “actors” here loosely. This does not mean that anyone alleging a crime, or defending against one, should not be able to testify. The basic aim of fair systems of criminal law, particularly once proceedings reach a courtroom, is to test whether someone is guilty or not and the respective claims of those taking either side. But this is not where determinations are supposed to end.
The whole point of the mandated “beyond reasonable doubt” standard in criminal trials is to put the onus on the state and its witnesses to prove a crime occurred. For crimes outside of rape (e.g. murder, armed robbery, serious fraud, or significant acts of vandalism), this does require objective evidence, whether CCTV footage, multiple witness statements observing the exact same event, recorded injuries, or something similar. Unforgivably, rape and sexual assault trials are treated as judicial anomalies that do not demand this form of conclusive corroboration.
The British man falsely accused by his malicious, evil daughter consequently faced an uphill battle from the start. His daughter’s tears and emotions obviously swayed the investigating officers, who lacked solid evidence anyway, and almost certainly made a very significant impression on the court (before her claims were blown out of the water). A man falsely accused of rape or sexual assault is indeed in the worst of positions legally-speaking. Even when “exonerated,” he is exposed to a lifetime of public hate and still regarded as guilty.
The stress that comes with realizing his situation and the very good likelihood of being falsely convicted is naturally going to make the average man far less effective and assertive in defending and saving himself either in a police interview or on the stand in court. Added to this is the time accusers have to prepare themselves for accusations–the male accused, by contrast, is usually blindsided and surprised. Considering the propensity of many in law enforcement to believe accusers and charge suspects with almost zero evidence, a large number of men are going to half-sense that their “guilt,” however innocent they really are, is sealed.
Plus, the British daughter falsely accusing her daughter was not even the best actress. What happens if she had actually bothered to change certain words or phrases to make her accusations less like the passages and plot of Fifty Shades of Grey? This brings me onto my final point:
Even his lawyer thought his case was hopeless
The state of various Western legal systems is so parlous nowadays that even the British man’s lawyer originally thought his position was unsalvageable. As the quote above shows, barrister Cathy McCulloch regarded the girl’s police interview as “compelling” and the father had no recourse other than to say “I did not do it.” Like McCulloch, others employed in the profession of criminal defence are more than aware that the de facto legal standard for those accused of rape and sexual assault is that they have to prove they are not guilty, rather than the state having to prove they are guilty.
Only McCulloch’s delving into E. L. James’ novel spared the father from a horrendous existence rotting in a prison cell. This amounts to a game of chance that no legitimate, let alone robust legal system can afford to countenance. It is time for rape and sexual assault trials to be treated in the same time-honored fashion as every other crime.
A lawyer should not have to read Fifty Shades of Grey to save their client from a false rape accusation.
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