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Due process trumps feelings

Quantum Windbag

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Anyone want to guess how many people are going to stop reading before the end of this post and post their outrage about the wrong thing, even with this sentence right here to tell them they are falling into a trap?

After last week's Connecticut Supreme Court decision upholding an Appellate Court finding that threw out the conviction of Richard Fourtin Jr., a Bridgeport man who was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman with disabilities in 2008, I am flabbergasted that people would still claim that society's acceptance of "rape culture" is a non-issue.
The Appellate Court claimed, in justifying its decision, that because the defendant could "communicate by gesturing and vocalizing … and that witnesses testified that she could indicate her displeasure by means of gestures, physical aggression — including biting, kicking and scratching — and by making screeching and groaning sounds," then "no reasonable jury could have concluded that she was physically helpless at the time of the assault."
Fourtin was sentenced in 2008 to six years in prison for attempted second-degree sexual assault and fourth-degree sexual assault involving the woman, who was then 25 and who has cerebral palsy, mental retardation and hydrocephalus, and cannot talk or walk. The Appellate Court reversed the convictions in 2009 and ordered the lower court to acquit Fourtin because the prosecution didn't prove the woman was "physically helpless." However, physical helplessness is not a requirement for rape.

Although designed to protect those incapacitated by drugs or other means, physical helplessness should not have been the focus of this trial. Other factors such as the woman's disabilities and that Fourtin was her mother's boyfriend and occasional caregiver should have been considered.
Connecticut's Supreme Court erred in overturning a sexual assault case involved a disabled woman - Courant.com

Outrageous, isn't it?

Unfortunately, the outrageous part is the charge that the prosecutors brought actually requires physical helplessness in order to prove rape because the DA charged him under Chapter 932 Section 53a-71, subsection 3.

Sec. 53a-71. Sexual assault in the second degree: Class C or B felony. (a) A person is guilty of sexual assault in the second degree when such person engages in sexual intercourse with another person and: ... (3) such other person is physically helpless; or

If anyone wants to actually see how the prosecutor screwed up this is the place to go.

Supreme Court hates disabled people and eats children for lunch. Probably. | a public defender
 

theDoctorisIn

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The prosecutor did fuck up.

This is an example of a poorly-worded law, a good defense lawyer, and a poorly prepared prosecutor. This is why I'd never want to be a judge - because I'd have to rule the same way as these judges did.

This is the way our legal system works.
 
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Quantum Windbag

Quantum Windbag

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The prosecutor did fuck up.

This is an example of a poorly-worded law, a good defense lawyer, and a poorly prepared prosecutor. This is why I'd never want to be a judge - because I'd have to rule the same way as these judges did.

This is the way our legal system works.

Actually, I think is worded just fine. It was intended to make rape of an unconscious person a criminal act. There are other sections of the rape statute that would have made this a slam dunk case all the way up the line.
 

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