Rape

California Close to Removing Time Limit for Bringing Rape Cases

"There are some crimes that are so heinous that there should never be a statute of limitations."

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Joan Barnett Lee/ZUMA Press/Newscom

A bill that passed the California Assembly unanimously last Thursday would entirely remove the state's statute of limitations for felony sex crimes, placing no bar on when a victim of rape or sexual abuse could press charges against their assailant. An earlier version of the bill passed the state Senate with unanimous support in June. The measure is supposedly aimed at ensuring that victims of sexual assault—a crime the U.S. legal system has a notoriously bad record at handling fairly—will better be able to see justice served.

Yet most arguments in favor of the change are nonsensical. Almost none of bill's spokesvictims—nor future victims of similar circumstances—would be helped by it. And the shift has strong potential to diminish future victims' chances of being vindicated, also.

It's unclear whom the bill is actually meant to benefit, really, save for politicians like Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), who get to make lofty, feel-good statements like: "There are some crimes that are so heinous that there should never be a statute of limitations."

In stories from the statehouse floor, women's groups, and California media, none of the women featured as arguments for the change—rape and abuse victims for whom the statute of limitations has expired, often in situations that provoke outrage—would be personally aided by the new measure, as the shift doesn't apply retroactively. More importantly, most of them would have recourse under existing California law should the same thing occur today. Legal changes that have already been made over the past few decades give new options to rape victims for whom new DNA evidence suddenly comes to light and those subjected to childhood sexual abuse.

As it stands, rape and other felony sex-crimes in California must come to trial within 10 years… except under a host of extenuating circumstances. If new DNA evidence is discovered at any point in time, a victim has a new three-year window to bring charges. If a victim was under 18 at the time the crime was committed, they have until age 40 for the case to be prosecuted. For aggravated rape cases—that's rape that involves a gun, multiple attackers, or serious injury to the victim—a prosecutor can bring charges in perpetuity.

Sure, the current scheme stops short of giving all sex-crime victims an unlimited time to come forward, but that's one criminal justice reform we could do without—for practical, victim-centered, and civil-liberties-minded reasons.

Advocates for the change point out that for murder and embezzlement, there is no statute of limitations in California. But most states do have limits on embezzlement; California is, it seems, the sole outlier. Meanwhile, murder—which is generally excluded from statutes of limitations—is the most permanent and severe sort of violence you can commit against someone, which makes treating it differently than other crimes ethically understandable. But there's also a practical point: murder victims can't report the crime committed against them, and hence have no control over when it is discovered. Sexual assault isn't, generally, a crime that may only eventually reveal itself. In most circumstances, an adult victim will know immediately if they are, in fact, a victim of rape.

Perhaps there is still room for reform—new aggravating circumstances that should negate or lengthen rape statutes of limitations (for instance, the discovery of new video evidence of an assault could, like DNA, trigger a new window for prosecution). But lawmakers and activists aren't pushing for mere reforms, only doing away entirely with statutes of limitations for felony sex crimes.

Statutes of limitations aren't some tool of the patriarchy, though, but a well-intended and well-established legal concept, rooted in widespread ideas about fairness and forgiveness. Punishing someone decades down the road from when they committed a crime goes against our constitutional expectation of due process and violates the idea that criminal sanctions should serve a restorative and rehabilitative function, rather than be purely punitive. Many moral or social-justice codes would suggest someone who commits a crime, repents/reforms, and lives a non-violent and non-criminal life for decades should be forgiven, not put on trial.

But one needn't buy into the whole forgiveness thing to understand why such limits are valuable, only oppose mass incarceration. Questions of fairness aside, we need statutes of limitations on criminal prosecutions because the U.S. justice system couldn't handle the strain otherwise.

And when it comes to rape, removing the statute of limitations will ultimately exacerbate problems with prosecution. The best thing a victim can do in terms of preserving physical evidence—and fulfilling social expectations of victimhood, an unfortunate but real concern when it comes to jury trials—is report the attack as soon as possible. Physical evidence and memories of events both degrade quickly, and waiting—especially more than a decade—to bring a rape claim severely diminishes the chances of conviction. (There are some who will accuse me of "victim-blaming" for this, but there is no blame here, just a belief that there's room to both raise awareness about the varied ways people respond to sexual assault and empower victims to act in ways that will best help them see justice.) If removing rape statutes of limitations makes folks feel there's no rush to report crimes against them, we do future victims a a grave disservice.

I'm sympathetic to the older women speaking out in media now about how stigmatized reporting a rape once was, and how they finally found the courage to come forward after decades—only to find it was legally too late. But we've made much progress on this front in the past few decades, and while American attitudes and policies here can still be bad, more people than ever are reporting rape and speaking up about sexual assault. This is what we need to continue bolstering, not policies that are feel-good and politically-correct at the expense of ensuring rapists actually get caught and convicted.

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  1. There are some crimes that are so heinous that there should never be a statute of limitations.

    Don’t lower the bar so far the next legislator has nowhere to go.

    1. Exactly. It’s hard enough to forge new ground as it is!
      Kind of like studying Shakespeare: Everything has been discussed/studied/speculated about.

      1. In this case, I think Rule 34 would be more appropriate.

  2. What makes a man hate due process… Lust for gold? Power? Or were they just born with hearts full of hatred for due process?

  3. The fact of the matter is that this leaves men in a perpetual state of potential sex-offender status. Piss of your girlfriend or go through a nasty divorce and the only thing keeping you from prison – IF YOU ARE MALE- is the conscience of your significant other. Really, if the claim is from 10 years ago and you regularly had sex with a woman, how EXACTLY are you to defend yourself against the statement that “He raped me”? It’s a he-said/ she-said battle and we know how those end up in California…

    1. It’s a he-said/ she-said battle and we know how those end up in California

      The man ends up being a legal pinata?

      1. The man ends up being a legal pinata?

        Right alongside with the children.

        1. Children are legal cudgels.

      2. Does it end up that way in California? I really don’t know, but I thought that the conviction rate for rape charges was lower than for most crimes (which makes some sense given what “reasonable doubt” is supposed to mean).

    2. Also: “as the shift doesn’t apply retroactively.”

      Fucking amazing that. Otherwise it should have just been called the “score-settling mass-incarceration act of 2016”.

      1. wait 2 years for amendment

    3. Your only defense is a good offense.

      Proactively charge them with rape.

      Then you can deflect any future rape claims as being retribution for daring to come forward and admit you, a man, were raped by a woman.

      You just gotta make sure you file charges before she does.

      1. Has a man successfully filed & won a rape case as the accuser instead of the accused yet?

        1. He doesn’t have to win it, the goal is not to get her convicted, the goal is to short circuit any potential rape claim from her

          1. They’ll fix that in good time, just like they “fixed” domestic violence legislation in California when too many female abusers were getting arrested for their abuse.

            “In California, men in 1987 were arrested at a rate of
            247 per 100,000, whereas women were arrested at a rate of 74.8 per 100,000. By 1997,
            the rates had increased only 136% for men, or up to 338 arrests per 100,000, but as
            much as 500% for women (DeLeon-Granados, Wells, & Binsbacher, 2006).”

            And then they introduced the “predominate aggressor”policy, essentiallycodifying an anti-male bias into domestic violence policing and prosecution. And so it remains to this day.

  4. I am in favor of anything that adds to the rape kit backlog.

    1. STEVE SMITH AGREE!!

      1. Using police resources to investigate and track down those involved in a claim – as well as potential witnesses of that claim – of a crime that may have been committed thirty years ago, or using police resources to hire a few more nerds to test the physical evidence of a report that happened yesterday, or even a year ago? Choose the former, obviously.

        1. I agree. It’s crazy, so CA is doing it!

        2. Both, duh. You say “police resources” like there’s some sort of “limit” to them, lol.

  5. And Orwell thought the Junior Anti-Sex League was something you would have to join. He should have dystopiaed harder.

  6. But you may not realize immediately that you were raped. And if you disagree that is because you are ignorant – just wait till it happens to you.

  7. The solution to all the crazy shit coming out of California is simple. The solution is to never set foot in California. Don’t drive through it. Don’t fly over it.

    1. I have strongly urged my Swiss bosses to avoid CA like it is a Ukrainian war zone.

      Employ people there and the cost is higher, the worker’s comp is absurd, the labor law and regs even more absurd.

      The litigation environment is quite hostile.

      If it were not for the tech companies, I am not sure what draws business there, other than a large population.

      1. Heard a recent college grad say, “Taking a job in California is like booking a cruise on Carnival.”

  8. I don’t understand this one.

    In general, why should there be laws that limit when someone can sue or not.
    The evidence should determine the verdict, not the date.

    Similarly, why are there laws that prevent how much someone can be sued for something (for certain category of cases)? Again, the evidence and circumstances should determine the outcome, not some arbitrary limits.

    1. Because as time wears on it becomes more difficult to gather evidence after the fact, find and interview witnesses, etc. This tends to limit the chances for a fair trial. That is why statutes of limitation were applied in the first place.

      1. Shouldn’t that be accounted for during the trial process?

        If the evidence is of poor quality, then a conviction shouldn’t be expected.

        1. I seem to recall…well, forgive me since it’s been a long time…but as I said, I seem to recall IWasADemocrat raping me. It’s a little fuzzy, but let’s take Dem to court and see what happens.
          (I know it was 35 years ago, but what the hell?)

        2. Now who’s being naive, Kay?
          Suppose someone spends, say, a couple of decades gathering ‘evidence’ against you, interviewing alleged witnesses, etc., but you never get charged until two of the three ‘witnesses’ die, the third one develops dementia, records that could have contradicted the prosecution’s assertions were not preserved, etc. How do you think your trial would go? And even in a case of he said she said, what do you think your chances would be absent any factual documentation to serve as exculpatory evidence?

          1. It sounds like this is an attempt to restore “innocent until proven guilty” from “guilty until proven innocence” that is being practiced now.

            And the limitations seem arbitrary as well. ENB here mentioned 10 years and/or 40-year of age as examples in Cali; and of course, each state has its own thing.

            Again, your argument still boils down to: bad evidence often leads to convictions. Time Limit seems like a band aid patch-job

          2. Sounds like reasonable doubt to me.

            I guess the question is whether the legal system should be set up to account for the legal system being fucked up and not doing its job properly.

        3. “If the evidence is of poor quality, then a conviction shouldn’t be expected.”

          Well, evidence works both ways. Evidence that proves innocence can age too.

          1. What’s more, in a culture that increasingly encourages a “listen and believe” type attitude, absence of exculpatory evidence could realistically be taken by a judge or jury as sufficient evidence of guilt.

            In a sensible world with a functional legal system, I’d be inclined to agree with IWasADemocrat. But in this world, since almost all rape claims older than 5 or years can be assumed to have little to know readily available evidence one way or the other, and so a conviction should be essentially impossible. But, again, with old claims largely being little else but he said she said situations in a setting where ‘she said’ is taken as gospel, myself being a ‘he’, I am obviously against any measure that makes it easier to me to get railroaded.

    2. First off, this isn’t someone suing you this is a criminal trial there is a HUGE difference.

      Second off, from a purely practical matter please explain to me how you could pass the “beyond a reasonable doubt” bar for a crime which was committed multiple decades ago. The simple fact that so much time has passed, memories have become clouded and unreliable, and virtually all possibly exculpatory evidence has been lost to the mists of time in and of themselves constitute reasonable doubt.

      For example, you stand accused of raping someone 30 years ago, How do you prove you didn’t do it? Oh you weren’t in the same place that night? Prove it? Well maybe she just had the date wrong, now you have to prove you and her were never in the same place at the same time.

      Well here is the thing, you technically don’t have to prove it, the State has to prove it so when you get up and say “I wasn’t even there that night” how can the state prove you were? It’s not like they are going to have 30 year old security tapes or credit card reciepts which means that there is simply no hope of a conviction so why should the state be wasting resources (and forcing your to waste resources) on a trial which realistically speaking has no chance of winning.

      1. Hell take the Cosby case, the sheer number of women who have accused him over the years makes it awfully hard to conclude he never did anything inappropriate with any of them but if I was sitting on the jury I’d vote to acquit on the simple grounds that time alone created sufficient reasonable doubt in the charges.

        1. You are unusual, Rasilio.

          And lets not overlook how few cases actually go to trial. This is a wonderful cudgel for extracting plea bargains.

          1. Indeed, see my comment to Bill Dalusio below.

  9. Progressives are religious fanatics, it’s just that their faith isn’t centered on God.

    “Religious fanaticism is uncritical zeal or with an obsessive enthusiasm related to one’s own, or one’s group’s, devotion to a religion”.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_fanaticism

    I know progressives have their roots in non-fundamentalist, evangelical Christianity, but the modern strain shares distinctive features with non-Christian movements in other cultures. The Cultural Revolution and the Red Guards being just one example.

    http://tinyurl.com/jc359l6

    Public shaming and forced confessions aren’t really about justice. They aren’t really aimed at the perpetrators of the crimes either.

    The forced confessions and public shaming are meant to scare the living daylights out of average people. They’re meant to punish the people who aren’t being prosecuted for ideological crimes–like misogyny and racism.

    The progressives want to put on show trials. They want to make examples out of people–like you. Not for things those shameful examples did years ago, really. They want to scare you for saying and thinking certain things.

    You never know. What you say now could be used against you in a court of law as evidence for things you did (or didn’t do) decades ago.

    You’re not safe, and you never will be.

    This is the rock upon which progressives will build their church.

    1. Public shaming and forced confessions aren’t really about justice. They aren’t really aimed at the perpetrators of the crimes either.

      The forced confessions and public shaming are meant to scare the living daylights out of average people. They’re meant to punish the people who aren’t being prosecuted for ideological crimes–like misogyny and racism.

      The progressives want to put on show trials. They want to make examples out of people–like you. Not for things those shameful examples did years ago, really. They want to scare you for saying and thinking certain things.

      Huh.

      There’s something to that. Progs LOVE them some public-apologies. Ranging from the recent self-flagellation of Autostraddle for daring to praise a bi-sexual taco (overlooking its embedded racism)…. to this Lochte guy weeping for Matt Lauer… anything = public apologizes make them all go squee with Right-Feels. They’re like zombies at an “Intestine-Buffet” when it comes to public-apologies. They gorge on them.

      which is why the one thing that sends them into “DOES NOT COMPUTE” mode is when someone refuses to apologize or even recognize that other people’s concerns even matter.

      1. Progs LOVE them some public-apologies.

        So much so that it was a decade-long fad in China.

      2. It really is about controlling what the masses think, and public figures are a big part of that.

        They publicly shamed a guy into selling his basketball team. They didn’t care about anything else, really, except the public perception that it was okay to be part of something that caters to the general public–while holding unacceptable views in your heart.

        That wasn’t about him. It was about the rest of us.

        Homophobia, racism, misogyny, these are all thought crimes, and these thought crimes must be rooted out, exposed, ridiculed, shamed, and apologized for–so that the general public will come to understand that these thoughts are unacceptable.

        Even free speech can be turned into an argument for crushing unacceptable thought; indeed, we must demonstrate against unapologetic speakers with unacceptable thoughts. Is Milo Yiannopoulos’ homosexuality enough to save him from charges of homophobia? Of course not! He must apologize publicly for thinking his thoughts–because other people listen to him.

        Global warming is a thought crime, and the progressives are definitely going after the foundations that give cover to such unacceptable thoughts. You must be publicly shamed for questioning the wisdom of sacrificing our standard of living for the cause. You must be forced to apologize. It isn’t about you. It’s about other people thinking your evil ideas are acceptable.

      3. There’s something of the Inquisition in this, when they tortured people into confessing–in order to keep the fake Christians scared and underground. It’s roots are definitely in religion. Even the thought control techniques that came out of Communist China and were so famously used in reeducation camps (and new religious movements) had their roots in eastern monasticism. Public shaming, confessing your dark secrets, etc. has a predictable effect on group psychology.

        To progressives, the problem isn’t what people do–it’s what’s in their hearts. You have to change what’s in people’s hearts, and shame is one way to do that. Aren’t you ashamed of being a racist, homophobic, redneck who wants to own a gun, resists experts who know more than you do, and doesn’t believe in science?

        Why aren’t you ashamed?

        1. They have failed on the Redskins name though, which is pretty funny imo considering its pretty damn offensive given the history there.

          1. I grew up just outside of Laurel, Md.

            “Fight for Ol’ Dixie!” went the theme song.

            Progressives are nowhere near as powerful as they think they are.

            How progressives are so delusional and imagine themselves to be the voice of the people is another thread.

  10. Honestly, I don’t think you need to go the forgiveness or emptying the prison route to have a problem with this law. The bottom line is that it seems woefully prone to wrongful convictions. In addition to the potential for false accusations that others have raised, there’s the issue of degrading evidence and testimony. As Ms. Nolan-Brown notes, memories of distant events become cloudy. Evidence that was collected years ago becomes less reliable. You’d like to think that that would make false prosecutions less likely. But, that isn’t at all clear to me.

    1. Prosecutor – Bill, here’s the deal, You’ve been accused of rape and you don’t have a single piece of exculpatory evidence and I know you can’t afford a good lawyer or even a lot of billable hours from an average one so I’m giving you a choice here.

      Plead guilty to this misdemeanor sex assault charge, you’ll get a 2 year suspended sentence and 5 years probation but no jail time. If not I’m going for Aggravated Rape and if convicted you’re getting 15 years in jail and even if you beat the charge you are looking at $100k in legal fees.

      {Bill confers with atty}

      Bill – Well I’m innocent but I can’t take that chance where do I sign

      Prosecutor – Right Here

      {Bill Signs}

      Prosecutor – Oh, forgot to mention this will also place you on the sex offender registry for life

      1. ^ THIS

        This is 100% exactly how it will go down. The process has been so turned into the punishment that when both sides lose evidence in a case like this it only helps the prosecution.

    2. Not only do memories become more clouded (with respect to reality), they also become more certain. This has been verified by research.

      Particularly for memories that are regularly accessed. Each time they are accessed, they are altered. It is built in to the way the brain works.

      So that last night of sex with your ex-husband before the divorce went final goes from a bad choice that might have been a last chance at reconciliation to “he forced me” to “he raped me” as the years go by. And who is going to look more credible: The now distraught woman who is rock-solid certain of her account or the shaken man who has no recollection that the event even occurred?

      Or take it out of the realm of date/acquaintance rape. How about the worst of the worst, the stranger in the park? Let’s say the police look into it but they can’t find the suspect. Years later you become convinced that the maintenance guy at your kid’s school is the rapist. Every time you see him, you think about it and become more convinced that he’s the same guy. So you ask around and he is from that area, so it could have been him. Now you are dead certain. You take your charges to a sympathetic detective and DA. They bring charges on your behalf. Let’s pretend that this is a case of mistaken identity. What will happen at trial? You are dead certain it is him. You will be an excellent witness. You will point him out. What defense can he possibly offer?

      1. I could see the argument in favor of extending statute of limitations if the rapist fled and was not caught, there was contemporaneous unambiguous evidence of a rape and there is DNA evidence. That scenario would limit the plausibility of diminished defense and would pretty much lead to a true verdict.

        1. So file charges at the time so that they are still there unresolved if you catch him somewhere down the line

        2. In some countries this is presumably why they are allowed to convict someone of a crime in abstentia. I wouldn’t favor that, but as I understand it, you can convict someone in abstentia, but then when they are caught, there’s an automatic retrial, so the ‘in abstentia’ trial is like a pretrial or something. I forget which countries did this, I wanna say maybe Italy did at some point?

  11. [M]urder . . . is the most permanent and severe sort of violence you can commit against someone, which makes treating it differently than other crimes ethically undertandable [sic].

    Did you mean “ethically untenable” or “ethically under the table” or “ethically understandable” or…

    Can ya at least use a spellchecker?

    1. Oh God fuck off

  12. I think this is all because DAs cannot prosecute alleged rapists like Bill Cosby.

  13. . But we’ve made much progress on this front in the past few decades, and while American attitudes and policies here can still be bad, more people than ever are reporting rape and speaking up about sexual assault.

    I excuse a lot in Elizabeth, but my God that is an amazing awful sentence. First of all, what does “White America” have to do with anything? if there is a “rape culture” left in America it is largely in immigrant and minority communities where attitudes towards spousal abuse and rape are to put it politely, sometimes out of the mainstream.

    Beyond that, I would love to know where exactly all of these evil rapist men are getting away with it. The only rape stories I ever seem to hear are either complaints the convicted was no punished enough or one case after another that either unravels before trial or worse turns out to be completely false after some poor innocent bastard has seen their life ruined. I honestly would like to know how Elizabeth thinks there is a problem in this country with rapists getting off.

    1. She did not write “white America” you fomenting racist.

      1. That’s putting it mildly.

        1. I excuse a lot in John, but I would like him to explain why he assumes everyone is obsessed with race.

          1. “but I would like him to explain”

            … I respectfully ask you to reconsider this

          2. I misread a word. Why does that make you think that I assume everyone is obsessed with race? I can’t really account for the voices in your head. So, I don’t really know what to tell you.

            1. Why does that make you think that I assume everyone is obsessed with race?

              It doesn’t. It makes us think YOU are obsessed with race you racist piece of garbage.

              1. Go fuck yourself. I am sorry you are so stupid an unable to reason such that this is the best shot you think you will ever get at me. If you were not such an idiot, it would be kind of sad.

                1. such that this is the best shot you think you will ever get at me.

                  Racist and paranoid.

                  No one cares about you you old racist piece of shit, what the fuck is wrong with you?

                2. Once again John calls anybody who disagrees with him stupid.

            2. I misread a word.

              I know.

              I can’t really account for the voices in your head.

              I’m one of the few.

              So, I don’t really know what to tell you.

              You’ve said enough.

              1. Sugar free says I am obsessed with the GAYZ and the gay marriage. I would suggest you take it up with him and maybe you two can have a debate and come to some consensus about it.

                I don’t know what to tell you. My eyes are tired from working on a project and I misread the L and thought it was a T. That is why it took me aback so much.

                Beyond that, the whole second half of my post has nothing to do with race. It is about the strange contention that rapists are getting away with it in this country. You seen to have missed that and only caught the race part. yet, i am the one who is obsessed about race. Really?

            3. It’s actually kind of funny, you not only misread a word, but then copied and pasted that same word and STILL didn’t notice it

              1. If you knew what I had been doing since 7 am this morning, you would understand Rassillo. It is funny. But it was an honest mistake. I couldn’t believe it when I read it. I reread it twice but the L lookled like a T to my tired eyes all three times. I don’t quite understand how this is some huge sin.

                Beyond that, it rather puzzling how stating the obvious that other cultures have different views about rape and domestic violence is some kind of “Racist rant”. People have really lost their minds. Bassjoe is an idiot. So that doesn’t surprise me. Crusty is normally not stupid. I am not sure what has gotten into him.

                1. I have done that. Misread a post and gone into full rant mode about something that wasn’t written.

                  Makes you feel kinda dumb.

                  But it isn’t always some kind of Freudian thing. Sometimes a fuckup is just a fuckup.

                  Then again, that doesn’t mean it isn’t indicative of deeper thoughts either. Each screwup is its own thing.

                  1. Cyto,

                    Here is the thing about my posts on here, I don’t exactly hold a lot back. If I have some deeper thought about something I say it. You may not like it. It may not be any good, but I will say it.

                    Of all the things that you could say about me on here, the idea that I have some deep but unexpressed agenda is the most comically stupid of them all. I am not surprised Crusty has run off or resorted to trolling me. I imagine after he wrote that it dawned on him how stupid of a thing it was to say.

                    1. Yeah, I had thought to put something like that in my post as well. There’s pretty much no opinion left unexpressed among the HnR regulars.

                2. Oh I don’t think it s a huge sin.

                  I know there are those here who dislike you but I’ve never had an issue with you either way. We don’t agree on everything but I’ve never seen you argue disingenuiously.

                  What’s funny about it though is this is such a classic “John” thing, kinda like Sugrafree’s screwing up links and Fist being first. You’re kind of like our very own Emily Letilia (the Gilda Radner character from Saturday Nigh Live who screwed up the issues on Weekend Update and ended with “Nevermind”)

                  1. A little bit Rasillio

                3. If you knew what I had been doing since 7 am this morning, you would understand Rassillo.

                  Masturbating?

                  I work 6AM to 2:30, so I’ve been up since 4:30, and had no problem with reading comprehension.

                  1. What can I saw Ted, working at the sheltered worship all day doesn’t affect your eyes the way doing what I do effect mine. Do they give you cake at the end of the day?

                    1. “What can I saw Ted.”
                      “Masturbate” and “saw?” I’m calling that a Freudian slip (w is nowhere near y). Just make sure you keep it on ice so they can sew it back on if you regret the ‘sawing’ afterward.

          3. For the same reason he thinks everybody else is obsessed with the gays?

    2. A predictably bigoted rant from John who is so consumed with his bigotry he misread “while” as “white” only because the (misread) sentence seemed to say something negative about his exalted race.

      1. I misread her sentence. But there is nothing bigoted about saying that minority and immigrant communities often have very different attitudes about domest violence and rape. Most of the rest of the world has different attitudes than we do.

        Are you that big of a rube and don’t realize that? Or are you just a fucking jackass who likes calling people racist? or both?

        Seriously Joe, I misread While to mean White. It happens. You seem to be a legitimate fucking moron. on so many levels.

        1. Are you seriously going at someone because YOU fucked up and they called you on it you racist, retard piece of shit?

          Have some god damned shame, issue a mea culpa, and shut the fuck up.

          You can’t even fucking READ properly, and you have the gall to take shots at people who rightly point out that you’re an idiot?

          FUCK YOU. I look forward to your predictably stupid response, because you’re such a fucking jerk that you can’t simply admit you fucked up and move on.

          1. You are a coward and an idiot, whoever you are. And yeah, most other cultures outside of polite upper class Western Culture have totally different and much more permissive attitudes about rape and domestic violence. You are aware there are places where they murder rape victims, right? You are aware that beating your wife is legal within certain perimeters in most Muslim countries? Right?

            If you want to be stupid because knowing how the world actually is makes you feel racist, then good luck. But do the rest of us a favor and take your stupidity elsewhere.

            And fuck you. I have no time or patience for the purposely stupid.

            1. ^PREDICTABLY.STUPID.

              1. Predictably stupid and filled with facts that support what I said. Whoever you are, you are right I am a jerk. I have one vice, I enjoy making idiots miserable. And the fact that you would go this insane over this, just shows that I have tortured you so much with arguments didn’t like but couldn’t refute that you will grasp at anything. You are stupid and you deserve to be butt hurt and miserable. It is your lot in the universe.

                1. Predictably stupid and filled with facts that support what I said.

                  Are you fucking brain damaged? You’re so spun up by this you racist piece of shit, that you have ACTUALLY CONVINCED YOURSELF that we are talking about something other than

                  YOU MISREADING A WORD AND GOING OFF ON A RACIST RANT.

                  How fucking stupid are you that you think there are any other “facts” fuckwit?

                  1. The rant wasn’t racist, you fucking half wit. Look at what I said. I said


                    if there is a “rape culture” left in America it is largely in immigrant and minority communities where attitudes towards spousal abuse and rape are to put it politely, sometimes out of the mainstream

                    That is true. Is the person who wrote this a racist?

                    Erez (2000) has aptly pointed out that ?attempts to raise the issue of violence against women in immigrant communities are often deflected by community leadership as an imposition of irrelevant ?Western? agendas, and with an insistence that ?our tradition? or ?our families? do not suffer from those problems which are endemic to ?Western? marriages (p. 30-31). Communities respond to some women?s efforts to seek safety by shunning them or by putting pressure on them to remain in the marriage.

                    http://www.vawnet.org/applied-researc…..doc_id=384

                    Do a google search and try to learn something you fucking moron.

                    1. Oh my god, he’s still at it…

                    2. Can explain why this is racist? Or are facts and argument just not what you do? Yelling screaming racist seems to be your move

                    3. SMH

                    4. Ow you can’t even speak English. Again why is it racist to say other cultures view rape and domestic violence differently than the west? Show me how that is not true, and I will take it back. Sorry but screaming racist doesn’t cut it.

                    5. I can’t look away

            2. I have no time or patience for the purposely stupid.

              Or I have half an hour. One of those.

              1. I know right?

              2. Like I said Zeb, everyone has a vice and this is mine. Beyond that, maybe you could explain why saying if there is a “rape culture” left in America it is largely in immigrant and minority communities where attitudes towards spousal abuse and rape are to put it politely, sometimes out of the mainstream. qualifies as a racist rant, because I am not seeing it. Do you?

                At some point, the person, likely Bassjoe or Crusty, are just trolling me. It should not annoy me but it does.

                1. And I HAVE NO GOD DAMNED TIME TO BE ANNOYED!!!

                  You’re such a fucking clown.

                  1. Are you going to explain why what I said was racist or just continue to make a clown of yourself? I am waiting.

                    1. So at this point it is just funny. And a bit pathetic. Facepalm? Okay that is funny. Thanks for letting me in on the joke. And go troll someone else for once.

                    2. It’s like a trainwreck had sex with a dumpster fire.

    3. while American attitudes and policies here can still be bad,

      In what way is America not treating rape victims fairly, please?

      1. They don’t get a free unicorn for each rape. That’s a travesty, isn’t it?

    4. I don’t know. It seems fairly likely that a fair number of rapists get acquitted. When it comes down to he said/she said and there isn’t clear evidence of violence, you have reasonable doubt.

      Which I’m sure sucks for actual victims who don’t see justice. But I don’t think there is much you can do about it without creating more injustice in the other direction. And it’s a much worse thing to falsely convict an innocent person than to acquit a guilty one.

      1. I am sure some do. But I see no evidence that it happens any more often with rape than any other crime. It seems very odd to me to say we don’t treat rape seriously enough in this country when there are so many cases of people who later turned out to be innocent being convicted of rape.

        1. Like I said, I don’t know. But it does seem at least plausible. The evidence for a not very violent rape is pretty much the same as evidence for consensual intercourse. So all you have is people’s word. And supposing the “reasonable doubt” standard works as it should, that should (as bad as it sounds) result in a good number of acquittals of guilty people.

          But of course, you can’t really know in most cases if a guilty person is acquitted, so it’s mostly just a “just so” story.

          1. The reality is that if a woman consents to foreplay and right before the guy enters her changes her mind and she says “no” and he goes ahead anyway, that is rape but it is a rape that is going to be virtually impossible to prove in court. And that is never going to change unless you just want to throw out due process and place the burden of proof on the defendant in rape cases, which I am sure you don’t want to do.

            Understand, absent changing the burden of proof, cases like I describe above are always going to exist and absent a defendant who confesses will almost certainly go unpunished. So, their existence doesn’t mean we don’t take rape seriously. It means we do take due process seriously.

            I can name any number of cases where an innocent defendant was convicted of rape. What I can’t name and I would be curious to hear if someone can, is a case where a person was acquitted of rape despite compelling evidence of guilt. It seems to me there would be a lot of cases like that if we didn’t take rape seriously.

      2. Two things though must be noted. First, the nature of the crime (basically sex being something most people do in private without witnesses or videotape) makes it a difficult case, not rape culture or a misogynist justice department or society being indifferent to rape, which it obviously isn’t. This factor can’t really be helped.

        But the second thing is that, I suspect, possibly the biggest reason why a rapist would be acquitted is because the victim doesn’t report the crime soon enough (so evidence decays or witnesses’ memories fade) and/or they are not fully cooperative with police, e.g., they don’t give all the information they have, they waver about whether to press charges, maybe accidentally destroy evidence.

        IMO, the most effective way to improve the accuracy of verdicts in rape trials (with the bonus of not increasing the false conviction rate) is to encourage rape victims to report to the police in a timely manner, preserve evidence to the best of their ability, and cooperate fully with the investigation. If everyone did these tree things, it would be far less of a problem.

  14. That being said, Elizabeth is right that this is a horrible idea. You have a statute of limitations on some crimes because after a certain amount of time, it is impossible to give the defendant a fair trial. How 30 years on could you ever give a person accused of rape a fair trial? There would be no physical evidence. Witnesses would likely have no recollection of the events or if they did it would be very unreliable. Meanwhile, the affect of a victim’s testimony alone can convict someone of rape. How is a defendant supposed to defend themselves when all of the evidence sans the word of the victim is likely no longer available?

    1. How is a defendant supposed to defend themselves when all of the evidence sans the word of the victim is likely no longer available?

      Well, that’s actually the point, isn’t it?

      1. But isn’t the point of “reasonable doubt” to make sure people don’t get convicted on flimsy old evidence?

        I’m probably too optimistic about how that actually works out.

        1. Yes it is. But understand that the word of one person, if the jury believes it, can be proof beyond a reasonable doubt. All the government has to do to win a rape case is put the victim on the stand and have them say “the defendant raped me” and the jury believe them. That is the way it should be. But, the defendant should also have a fair chance to produce circumstantial evidence and physical evidence to contradict the word of the victim. If you wait 30 years to try the case, all of that evidence is likely to be gone and we will be left with only the word of the victim. And that is not fair to the defendant.

          1. To underscore this, realize that the infamous “Duke Lacrosse Case” would have likely resulted in convictions of the defendants if some of them had not left the party and gone to an ATM machine. In a “He said / she said” case at that moment in time, they were going to lose.

            And this was a case that by all public acounts was entirely made up. Not even a little bit of the ambiguity that could be at play as in most such cases – like the Kobe Bryant case.

            Even delaying that prosecution by a couple of years might have meant the loss of the timestamps and other data that were used to establish the iron-clad timeline that proved their innocence.

            1. That is a great example. If the victim is compelling and believable, the jury is going to convict absent the defendant giving them a good reason not to do so. And things like ATM records and physical evidence is about the only way a defendant can give them such a reason.

            2. So much of what feminists want turns out to be a war on the different. That sounds odd I know but this is a good example of it. A lot of what determines someone’s fate at trial is how normal and charming they seem. If you are kind of nerdy or just not very socially adept, you are going to have a much harder time in court. What getting rid of the statute of limitations on rape would do more than anything is create rape trials that are pure he said she said contests. And those sorts of trials almost always go against the different or socially awkward no matter what the truth.

  15. Well going forward it will be possible to discover things like phone videos and other reams of records off social media which might very convincingly establish guilt. But they do need to be intelligent about handling old cases; the bar needs to be a fair amount lot higher due to the difficulty of mounting a defense after a long time.

    And generally, it’s bizarre how society has gotten so causal about intercourse while simultaneously being so emotionally hung up on it. I mean surely being permanently disfigured or suffering massive brain damage from an assault can suck just as much or more depending on the case. And I doubt anyone who equates rape to murder has actually had the occasion to experience both and compare.

    1. Not really, you honestly think those pictures you posted on Facebook today will be both findable and readable in 30 years?

      30 years ago was 1988, the internet wasn’t even a gleam in Tim Berners Lee’s eye yet and Atari made one of the most powerful home computers available on the market.

      30 years from now? Sure, those photos and posts may exist somewhere archived in a server but it is far from guaranteed that they will be indexed and it is entirely possible that the file formats in use by then will be incompatible with what we use today making them difficult at best to access.

      1. Fuck, is it 2018 already? What have I been doing for the last 2 years?

        1. You REALLY don’t want to know…

        2. Just wait till we tell you who won the election

      2. And those pictures are likely not going to mean much without context. I suppose 30 years from now someone will find an old stick drive with a film of a guy raping an unconscious woman on it. And that will be a terrible miscarriage of justice. But every case like that, there will be many more cases where women for whatever reason ruined the lives and reputations of innocent men. It is not a path worth going down.

        1. I had a brilliant response to this that was eaten by the squirrels.

          Just pretend that you read it and it was life-alteringly brilliant. I’m not going to try to recreate it. The world is poorer for having missed it, and the squirrels are to blame.

  16. more people than ever are reporting rape and speaking up about sexual assault.

    And boy! Are they ever!

    1. With mattresses and everything!

      1. IF HAD BEEN STEVE SMITH VICTIM, WOULD HAVE TO CARRY TREE.

  17. I mean, why have statue of limitations at all then.

    Do these people even know why that exists in the first place?

    1. STEVE SMITH KNOWS WHY!

  18. Interesting how some of the same political hooh hahs promoting stuff like this are also strong proponents of spending cubic public money to indoctrinate children at ever-younger ages with the false notions that sexual activity of all kinds is normal, to be expected, healthy, and worthy of experiencing at any age. Thus, the same mouths that take away protections for victims of sexual abuse and crime also promote the precise perversion they purport to deal with by passing stupid laws such as this one.

    How’s about se simply stop spending public money on the whole subject of sex and sexuality leaving that to the realm of parental responsibility?

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