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 Post subject: Unusual Rape Case
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 11:00 am 
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Here's the initial report:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 74265.html

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AN IRISH nurse has been convicted of raping another woman in Brisbane, Australia.

Anne-Marie O’Loughlin (25) was yesterday found guilty on two counts of digital rape and one of deprivation of liberty at the Caxton Hotel, in Brisbane’s city centre, in the early hours of November 29th last year.

Following a five-day trial, the district court jury took 13 hours to convict O’Loughlin, who had been working in Australia as a registered nurse. She was found not guilty of a fourth charge of sexual assault. O’Loughlin had pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The trial heard O’Loughlin attacked a 34-year-old local woman, who cannot be named, in the female toilets of the hotel.

O’Loughlin first kissed the victim, who kissed her back in a bid to escape, the court heard.

When the victim tried to leave, O’Loughlin grabbed her hair, slammed her head into a wall and pulled her into a toilet cubicle.

In a police interview played to the jury, O’Loughlin said she did not recall kissing the woman, but admitted it was possible. She said it was not in her nature to force someone to have sex.

In his summing up to the jury, Judge David Reid instructed them to “put the issue of gender out of your minds” and work to determine the facts of the case.

The judge said while the victim conceded under cross-examination she had not screamed “no” or “don’t do that”, she said she had demonstrated she had not consented by pushing O’Loughlin’s hands away, pulling up her jeans while O’Loughlin tried to pull them down and, at the end of the incident, yelling out for security.

O’Loughlin’s lawyers argued the victim’s evidence cast doubt over whether the incident happened in the way she described, or whether it was consensual.

During the trial the court heard evidence from the victim’s husband, who said he was very upset after his wife left the toilets and told him what happened. He called the police and tried to detain O’Loughlin outside the hotel.

Judge Reid told the jury the prosecution had argued O’Loughlin had lied to police, and that DNA evidence found under three of her fingernails linked her to the woman. O’Loughlin forgot her purse after the incident, and the victim picked it up. It contained identification.

Prosecutors said the woman had given frank evidence, and other witnesses had testified she was upset immediately upon emerging from the toilets.

After being convicted yesterday, O’Loughlin was remanded in custody to await sentencing.

Her barrister, Damian Walsh, asked for an adjournment so he could get a psychological report to put before the court.

Judge Reid said this would be helpful, and adjourned the case until next Friday when a sentencing date is likely to be set for mid-February.


And now, the appeal

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/-Irish ... 55209.html

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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 11:34 am 
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If the facts are as the victim claims, which seems likely to me on that article, then the case is pretty straightforward.


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 1:57 pm 
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Naturally, but its generating some discussion over here.


Most of the discussion here has little to do with the fact that its a female accused of the rape, but rather the difficulty of knowing what really happened in these cases. It comes down once again to "her word against hers". We're assuming there was enough evidence for the jury to convict, but much about the story seems strange. The alleged victim was there with her boyfriend/husband went to the bathroom, was kissing a girl who then went too far. The "dragging into a cubicle" and "banging against a wall" sounds damning, but I think we've all either seen or been party to similar acts consensually.

I realise there's such a thing as "consensual until its not", but her story certainly would lead me to doubt her truthfulness. In what situation do you snog someone as a method of getting away from them?

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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 2:01 pm 
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The grounds for appeal:

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O'Loughlin's lawyer, Jeff Hunter, told the appeals court that jury has asked the trial judge to give them guidance on how they could use drunkenness to resolve the issue of mistaken belief, according to reports in the Courier Mail.

Hunter stated that the judge had given an incorrect direction to the jury. The jury were given a written version of the direction.

"The complainant's inability to set out how she ended up in the cubicle with a woman she didn't know is a significant matter," Mr Hunter said. He was referring to the fact that the woman did not know how she has explained how she had ended up in the toilet with O'Loughlin. She had also given a different account of the event to her husband shortly after the event.

The jury should have had real concerns about whether they could convict beyond reasonable doubt and they also should have had reservations about consent.

The Court of Appeal has reserved its judgment.

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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 3:39 pm 
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I always like to reverse sexes to test the fairness of situations. I'm trying to think of a case where two men entered a cubicle, voluntarily kissed and one then claimed the other did things he rejected. Would that end up as sexual assault? Or if it did would it end up as a conviction? How easy is it to force down jeans in a confined space like that?
But I'm no lawyer nor do I know all the facts.

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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 9:35 am 
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More to the point (at the risk of being crude) the alleged victim had two hands free, while the alleged attacker had one more or less out of action.

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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 12:47 pm 
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Alatar wrote:
More to the point (at the risk of being crude) the alleged victim had two hands free, while the alleged attacker had one more or less out of action.


I don't think that's fair. Many times, a woman theoretically could escape from her attacker...the old saying used to be "A woman can run faster with her skirt up than a man can with his pants down." (Ha. Ha. Isn't that FUNNY! Not.)

A victim of a rape is usually horribly afraid and intimidated, whether the attacker has an actual weapon or not. To an uninterested third party, it may seem that the victim could have EASILY escaped. This is why many women don't bother to bring charges, or are embarrassed...thinking that they could have, should have somehow prevented the attack or been able to get away. But in the midst of the attack, that is not the case.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 4:07 am 
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Alatar wrote:
The "dragging into a cubicle" and "banging against a wall" sounds damning, but I think we've all either seen or been party to similar acts consensually.

???
You're suggesting that we've all either seen someone agreeably being dragged into a cubicle in a public restroom after having their head slammed against a wall, or agreeably partaken in such activity ourselves? Good grief.


Quote:
In what situation do you snog someone as a method of getting away from them?

If you're heterosexual and approached by someone of same sex in a public bathroom, you might not immediately relate to a kiss as a sexual advance. Not all kisses are sexual. Some people kiss in greeting. You might think the person had mistaken you for someone else, and you might be confused, embarrassed and/or taken aback enough to go along with it in the hopes of quickly extricating yourself from an embarrassing situation. The idea that the incident was consensual seems absurd to me. If this woman was in fact violently accosted, then I can understand how she might not remember exactly how she ended up in the cubicle.


Tosh wrote:
I'm trying to think of a case where two men entered a cubicle, voluntarily kissed and one then claimed the other did things he rejected.

But that isn't how it was described. The kiss came first, then a refusal to go into the cubicle, followed by violent actions forcing the second woman into the cubicle. Try this version on for size:

Heterosexual man enters public bathroom. Is approached by another man who tries to kiss him. First man confusedly thinks, 'What the hell ...' By that time the kiss is accomplished, and when the first man resists being dragged into the cubicle, the aggressor slams his head against the wall and drags him in. There's nothing ambiguous about it. And it wouldn't be odd if the first man couldn't remember just how he ended up in the cubicle. Trauma does that to a person.

It isn't unusual to respond to strange and unexpected situations with a kind of confused paralysis for a few seconds before you begin to process and react.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 9:17 am 
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I guess the point here is that there are two differing versions of the story. The violent attack version, and the mostly consensual version.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 4:23 pm 
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But what sense is there in the notion that a heterosexual woman whose husband is waiting outside for her wanted to engage in sexual activity with a strange woman in a public bathroom? It's just an utterly ridiculous idea, imo.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 7:02 pm 
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While it wouldn't be odd for someone who had been attacked by another person to not be able to recount how exactly the attack happened, it would also not be odd for someone who hadn't been attacked to have the same problem, for obvious reasons. If alcohol was involved it muddies the picture further.

A crime may have well occurred. From the data that has appeared in this thread I can understand the reason for the appeal, though. The question is, as always, is there an alternative scenario that explains all the evidence that has a reasonable likelihood of being true? And that's very hard to answer without actually being there for the trial.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 10:36 pm 
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Cerin wrote:
But what sense is there in the notion that a heterosexual woman whose husband is waiting outside for her wanted to engage in sexual activity with a strange woman in a public bathroom? It's just an utterly ridiculous idea, imo.


Far from ridiculous Cerin. It happens all the time.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 10:51 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 10:56 pm 
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Al -- I say this with a great deal of affection and respect for you:

...as you and apparently everyone you know have either participated in, or witnessed, "dragging into a cubicle" and "banging against a wall," AND in your experience, it "happens all the time" that heterosexual women engage in sexual activity with strange women in public bathrooms with their husbands waiting outside...

...your life seems so darn much more exciting than mine (or anyone else whom I know, including the people I know who move in SF's most libertine circles!) :)


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 11:07 pm 
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Alatar wrote:
Cerin wrote:
But what sense is there in the notion that a heterosexual woman whose husband is waiting outside for her wanted to engage in sexual activity with a strange woman in a public bathroom? It's just an utterly ridiculous idea, imo.


Far from ridiculous Cerin. It happens all the time.


Oops. Different planet.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 11:16 pm 
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Alatar wrote:
Cerin wrote:
But what sense is there in the notion that a heterosexual woman whose husband is waiting outside for her wanted to engage in sexual activity with a strange woman in a public bathroom? It's just an utterly ridiculous idea, imo.


Far from ridiculous Cerin. It happens all the time.



Boy, I have spent many hours, overall, in public bathrooms and must have missed this happening all the time.

:shock:

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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 1:27 am 
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The argument from incredulity is a logical fallacy. And yeah, random sexual encounters happen in the bathrooms of bars and clubs and other establishments geared toward, you know, random sexual encounters. Was this hotel, or its bar at least, like that? Beats me, I'm not from Brisbane.

But I've worked in a sleazy joint, and sleazy things happened there.

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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 8:04 am 
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Apparently, yes, the Bar has that reputation.

I would like to clarify one of my comments from earlier though. When I said
Quote:
The "dragging into a cubicle" and "banging against a wall" sounds damning, but I think we've all either seen or been party to similar acts consensually

I didn't make myself clear. I'll try it again.

Quote:
I'm sure we've all seen where the heat of passion can look almost violent in its intensity, and if described afterwards might sound damning


Please don't tell me I'm the only person on the thread to have been involved in one of those frantic "have to have you right now" encounters.

And Nerdanel, I don't know much about the bars in SF, but I know a bit about student haunts in Ireland, and particularly student nurses in Ireland. Believe me when I say, these sort of random encounters happen all the time, both same sex and opposite sex. That doesn't mean I have seen or been involved in any, being a bit older than a student myself, but plenty of people I know have been. There has been a sea change in Irish "morality" over the last 20 years. Also, in my own age group, the swinging scene is becoming much more prevalent here.

In fact, I would suggest that SF's liberal lifestyle makes this sort of thing less likely there. People have less need to snog a girl in a bathroom if homosexuality is out and open.

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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 8:57 am 
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Alatar wrote:
And Nerdanel, I don't know much about the bars in SF, but I know a bit about student haunts in Ireland, and particularly student nurses in Ireland. Believe me when I say, these sort of random encounters happen all the time, both same sex and opposite sex. That doesn't mean I have seen or been involved in any, being a bit older than a student myself, but plenty of people I know have been. There has been a sea change in Irish "morality" over the last 20 years. Also, in my own age group, the swinging scene is becoming much more prevalent here.

In fact, I would suggest that SF's liberal lifestyle makes this sort of thing less likely there. People have less need to snog a girl in a bathroom if homosexuality is out and open.


Al, I don't think you're getting the objection. Of course random encounters happen all the time -- routinely in SF. (I'm not hugely into the club scene, but in my very limited experience, an inconvenient feature for the women is actually just this: at queer or queer-friendly clubs, the one or two toilets are often taken for this very purpose, while the rest of us wait outside. The inconvenience of it cured me of interest in the club scene shortly after turning 21.)

The objection is that this was not that scenario: the victim was attacked in the toilets of a hotel in Brisbane city centre, with her husband waiting outside. Now, is there some possibility that she decided that THAT was the moment to explore her latent lesbian urges? Sure. It just makes it much less likely -- especially when:
- witnesses who saw the victim immediately afterwards testified to her being upset;
- the victim immediately went and told her husband about it. I realize that people who falsely accuse others of rape do this, too. But in this case there would've been no need to hide a brief consensual anonymous lesbian encounter if the victim had sought it out;
- the convicted rapist "did not recall kissing the woman, but admitted that it was possible." Now, I'd want to hear the police tapes for myself, but that doesn't sound great. That's not even an attempt to claim that there was a clear, mutual consensual sexual encounter.

ETA As for dragging and banging, the key is this: I think that for most of us who may have experienced that sort of intensity have done so with known, trusted partners (whether SOs or merely established sexual partners, the bottom line is that there is a history between the partners). But if you're going to drag and bang a brand new, anonymous partner that you just met (and it doesn't sound as though either woman has acknowledged a previous history with the other person), the odds of it becoming non-consensual shoot up rapidly.


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 10:10 am 
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Actually, I agree with all of your points Nel.

The problems arise in that the victim did not tell her husband immediately. She told him something else (we're not told what) and changed the story subsequently. This is one of the grounds for appeal.

Also, reports tell me that this Hotel Bar had a reputation for just these sort of encounters.

If both those facts were true, would you be less inclined to believe the victims story?

Personally, I believe the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Sounds to me like a consensual snog gone wrong, with one drunken woman assuming more was on offer than the other had intended.

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