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Thread: Rape? Nope. Theft of services
10-22-07, 07:30 AM #1
Rape? Nope. Theft of services
Jill Porter | Hooker raped and robbed - by justice system?
A DEFENDANT accused of forcing a prostitute at gunpoint to have sex with him and three other men got lucky, so to speak, last week.
A Philadelphia judge dropped all sex and assault charges at his preliminary hearing.
Municipal Judge Teresa Carr Deni instead held the defendant on the bizarre charge of armed robbery for - get this - "theft of services."
Deni told me she based her decision on the fact that the prostitute consented to have sex with the defendant.
"She consented and she didn't get paid . . . I thought it was a robbery."
The prostitute, a 20-year-old single mother, agreed to $150 for an hour of oral and vaginal sex on Sept. 20, according to assistant district attorney Rich DeSipio. The arrangements were made through her posting on Craigslist.
She met the defendant, Dominique Gindraw, 19, at what she thought was his house, but which turned out to be an abandoned property in North Philadelphia.
He asked if she'd have sex with his friend, too, and she agreed for another $100.
The friend showed up without money, the gun was pulled and more men arrived.
When a fifth man arrived and was invited to join, DeSipio said, he asked why the girl was crying - and declined. He helped her get dressed so she could leave.
It's true the prostitute negotiated sex with the defendant - but not unprotected gang sex at gunpoint.
"The Legislature has defined sex by force as rape," said DeSipio, accusing the judge of "rewriting her own laws."
DeSipio said Judge Deni's ruling was based, not on the law, but on moral contempt.
"Certainly if a jury wants to make that judgment, they're entitled to. But for a judge to make a judgment on a human being - I've never seen that before."
Deni did seem contemptuous of the victim:
"Did she tell you she had another client before she went to report it?" Deni asked me yesterday when we met at a coffee shop.
"I thought rape was a terrible trauma."
A case like this, she said - to my astonishment - "minimizes true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped."
The defendant was charged in an identical incident involving a 23-year-old woman four days later, DeSipio said.
Neither woman knew the other and both told identical stories.
The other men involved in the attack couldn't be identified.
DeSipio was so stunned by Deni's ruling in the first case that he refused to present the second one.
"I wouldn't demean her that way," he said of the second victim, calling the proceedings "a farce."
Judge Deni then threw out the second case for failure to prosecute.
Police Detective Jack Ryan, who investigated the incidents, said the victims in the two cases "were in fear for their lives. Since they saw one of the doers really well, it crossed both of their minds that they'd be killed."
Deni's decision to drop the sex charges is " frankly, appalling," he said.
Deni acknowledged that her ruling and remarks would be controversial.
"I know I'm going to get killed on this."
But she said she has to "sleep at night with what I decide."
And on the night of Oct. 4, when she ruled in the preliminary hearing of this case?
"I slept well."
Certainly the victims don't inspire much sympathy.
Why waste taxpayers' money for what some people consider an occupational hazard?
There are enough sympathetic victims without wasting time on prostitutes who ask for trouble, right?
But crimes are prosecuted not out of sympathy for victims, but to maintain the rule of law in a civilized society, to punish a criminal and prevent further crime.
I like Deni, but reducing rape to theft of services?
It's an insult. And it's more evidence of the skepticism and contempt most rape victims - prostitutes or not - confront when they seek justice in court.
DeSipio said he'll file to reinstate the charges in both cases right away - before a different judge, of course.
Hopefully, the next judge will be better able to differentiate between a violated business agreement and a violent attack.
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10-22-07, 08:30 AM #2
What about trespassing; "Entering an enclosed place during the hours of darkness."
I am not making fun of RAPE. Just the way the judge saw it!!
10-22-07, 09:18 AM #3
Well it just goes to show that judges and the like don't live in the real world and have little or no concept of life outside of their circle but thats not news to most on this forum is it.
10-22-07, 10:24 AM #4
Taking payment from someone before you screw them? yeah- the judges don't like the competition."If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton
10-22-07, 11:03 AM #5
I wonder if the judge would feel the same way if someone put a gun to her head and forced her to make a judicial decision. Would that be theft of services "your honor" or an occupational hazzard?Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
We are who we choose to be.
R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012
10-22-07, 05:27 PM #6
Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer. --Al Bundy
10-22-07, 10:17 PM #7
So if a woman is raped by her husband, it's not a crime because as her husband, it's his right?
In my state, Marital Rape has only been illegal for less than 30 years. If this judge had her way, it would still be legal.\\` ` ` ` < ` )___/\
`` ` ` ` (3--(____)
"...but to forget your duck, of course, means you're really screwed." - Gary Larson
10-22-07, 10:21 PM #8
That judge is a poster child for recall500 fights, that's the number I figured when I was a kid. 500 street fights and you could consider yourself a legitimate tough guy. You need them for experience. To develop leather skin. So I got started. Of course along the way you stop thinking about being tough and all that. It stops being the point. You get past the silliness of it all. But then, after, you realize that's what you are.
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