Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Narcissists and bullies

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    This defense means that in order for this charge to stick, there has to be some evidence that they made no efforts to establish the age of the victims.

    On Hales' Ask.FM page he states that one victim was 14 or 15. That'd be a start.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I read him saying that after the fact, certainly. But he could say he only found out later. Indeed, it seemed that way from what he said, although I would not be surprised if he's lying about that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to BenWilson,

    before the time of the act concerned, he or she had taken reasonable steps to find out whether the young person concerned was of or over the age of 16 years

    Which is not quite as easy as it sounds. A high school friend (19 at the time) got some very close scrutiny from the police after he got very friendly with a 15-year-old CYFS (or whatever they were back then) ward. He was saved from having to explain things to a judge because the girl had said in the presence of his mother and some of his friends that she was 17 (and looked it).
    I don't think that the word of co-accused would pass the sniff test for claims to have asked the girls' ages.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    This has been doing my head in. Yes, without formal statements from victims it’s difficult to pursue rape charges. But the police have long had more than enough for a warrant – why didn’t they seize phones and computers? As vile as the idea is, it’s highly likely these guys documented their offences on video.

    And is it too cynical to suggest that the Police may have been more vigorous in pursuing charges if these mutants were patched (brown) gang members boasting about their latest batch of home-baked P? Or, ghastly as it is to say, if there another high-profile dead child in the mix?

    But, hey, let's take this out to the reductio ad absurdum. It's extremely hard to convict high-end tax cheats and fraudsters, because they expend considerable ingenuity on covering their tracks. These investigations and trials tend to be lengthy, complex and eye-wateringly expensive. Just throw it all in the too hard basket, except for the comparatively small number of cases where there's a certainty of conviction? How about child neglect and abuse? Or murders where the perpetrator is an astoundingly bad sport who neglects to do their dirty deed in front of multiple witnesses and leave behind ample, incontrovertible forensic evidence linking them to the crime?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY, in reply to BenWilson,

    This defense means that in order for this charge to stick, there has to be some evidence that they made no efforts to establish the age of the victims.

    Actually it's the other way round. The onus is on the defendant to establish that they did take steps, if they want to use this defence.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    They want these guys for rape.

    Precisely. The cops will be gunning for a hefty chunk of 20 years rather than an equivalent chunk of 10 years.

    I would be worried if the Police thought the difference between a 10-year offence and a 20-year offence was worth allowing the alleged offending to continue for two years. Maximum punishment needs to be balanced against harm reduction surely. OTOH if they're not charged with rape it would just be that much harder to convince them (or anyone else who didn't already think so) that what they did was in fact rape.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    I’m really curious how getting people in for interviews is a failure to actively pursue a case, by the way, unless the assertion is that the police are lying about it? Sure it’s not kicking in doors and turning over beds, but it’s a pretty clear message that “We’re watching you” as well as being the best way to try and get actionable information in the absence of a complainant.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to ScottY,

    Actually it’s the other way round. The onus is on the defendant to establish that they did take steps, if they want to use this defence.

    So if they get all of the people who were there to say the same story, which involves the girl making claims, producing a fake ID, and then flirting with them and taking her clothes off, what evidence is there against? It becomes a number of words against no words.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY, in reply to BenWilson,

    So if they get all of the people who were there to say the same story, which involves the girl making claims, producing a fake ID, and then flirting with them and taking her clothes off, what evidence is there against? It becomes a number of words against no words.

    In that case the prosecution would probably take steps to rebut the defence, e.g. by showing that the defendant and witnesses were lying. The point though, is that the defendant has to actually prove that steps were taken.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to ScottY,

    The point though, is that the defendant has to actually prove that steps were taken.

    Can you give me an example of an acceptable proof?

    by showing that the defendant and witnesses were lying.

    How would you show that, if no one else will testify? Surely it's a defense lawyer's dream when the only witnesses are their witnesses?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Gosh, the weird little undercurrent of "tales of duplicitous jailbait" in this thread doesn't make me want to hurl at all.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY, in reply to BenWilson,

    Can you give me an example of an acceptable proof?

    No, I'm not a defence lawyer, but my understanding of defences is that they have to be proven on a balanced of probabilities. Someone will correct me if this isn't right, as my law school days were many decades ago. Balance of probabilities means more probable than not, meaning if the evidence is inconclusive the defendant probably won't make out the defence.

    How would you show that, if no one else will testify?

    For example, if the accused goes onto Facebook and boasts about sleeping with a 14 year old, it would be hard for them to then claim they thought the victim was old enough to consent. Or if the victim just didn't look 16 years old, a jury might decide that the accused is just a liar. In those circumstances I don't know that you would need the victim to say "he never asked me how old I was".

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to ScottY,

    Balance of probabilities means more probable than not, meaning if the evidence is inconclusive the defendant probably won’t make out the defence.

    My earlier comment about the sniff test for the only witnesses being the co-accused, then?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Danielle,

    I get that some people here enjoy speculating and arguing the toss, but when it's on the subject of serial gang rape of girls?? I want to throw up, and I'm not even getting triggered. Spare a thought for the survivors, eh?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Also, how can this WHOLE ARTICLE never use the R word?? Even once?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to ScottY,

    Gosh, the weird little undercurrent of “tales of duplicitous jailbait” in this thread doesn’t make me want to hurl at all.

    Yeah it's horrid, but prosecution has to prepare for what probable defenses will be. Attacking the witness is a pretty standard tactic. Making up a story is nearly universal if they are actually guilty. I wouldn't expect it to be a complimentary story about the victim, given the way this has gone down many, many times in actual cases.

    @ScottY

    Can the defense compel the victim to testify?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Lilith, I'm afraid you don't understand that all these tangential hypotheticals are VERY IMPORTANT MATTERS. Just as important as, you know, what actually happened to those girls and how the police sat on their hands for two years because the son of a cop was involved. We should leave our womanly emotions out of this!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Lilith __,

    Also, how can this WHOLE ARTICLE never use the R word?? Even once?

    When you're worried about lawsuits for defamation, quite easily.

    As for arguing the toss, I don't think anyone in here is arguing about whether or not what has gone on is non-consensual sex. We're arguing about whether it's reasonable to conclude that the police have been creatively hamstrung in their approach to the case.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Danielle,

    hypotheticals are VERY IMPORTANT MATTERS. Just as important as, you know, what actually happened to those girls and how the police sat on their hands for two years because the son of a cop was involved.

    Now who's dealing in hypotheticals, Danielle? In fact, who's making some really fucking serious allegations of police corruption?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to ScottY,

    In general, defences are, once raised, required to be negatived beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecution. If the evidence is inconclusive (or even merely tending against them), then the defendant has established reasonable doubt, and should be acquitted.

    Exceptions are insanity, regulatory, and when there’s an explicit reversal of the burden of proof in the statute.

    [On the actual subject of the matter, to be blunt I have no idea what on earth the cops were playing at here, but there's got be some kind of inquiry into this stuff. The cops/justice system have a crappy attitude towards women and then then they plead helplessness when this results in women not wanting to engage? Nahhh.]

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Also, how can this WHOLE ARTICLE never use the R word?? Even once?

    When you’re worried about lawsuits for defamation, quite easily.

    This is why we have the term “alleged”!!!
    Also, it’s in the perps self-description, FFS.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Yes Matthew, I allege that the police were lax on this because a) they have rape culture problems and b) the son of one of their own was involved. I allege the shit out of it. Here I am, alleging. <waves>

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Arguable (in terms of clarity of the victim’s age) evidence of under-age sex? Totally. Evidence of rape? Please do explain, in light of Ben’s observation about the need for explicit failure to give consent or clearly be incapable of giving consent, how you are so sure that there would be reasonable grounds for believing that such evidence would be found.

    I think Russell's argument is that at the stage of doing further investigation/seeking warrants they don't need an open/shut case for rape or anything else. Just sufficient evidence that something has likely taken place, and that further investigation via a warrant or other means may solidify a case which they can then charge. Seems like fairly basic police work.

    It's concerning if (rightly or wrongly) the police felt they couldn't be more active in protecting future victims based on what they had in front of them.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Lilith __,

    I'll say that I think that IF the cops could have seized the cameras, they should have. So the questions about what they did do are perfectly fair ones. I just don't know what they did actually do. The hypotheticals are around why they might have been unable to seize the footage. I find it hard to believe that they were unwilling. Really hard. I can't think of any time I've heard of a cop being told about a moral crime, and then getting a warrant to go kicking in a door and searching around someone's private stuff for evidence, that they wouldn't relish the opportunity.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    SAILOR RIPLEY, YOU GET ME SOME MUSIC ON THAT RADIO THIS INSTANT! I MEAN IT! (Sorry, that's all I've got.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

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