Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god. Four complaints not acted on?
I hope this generates a perfect storm for the NZ Police.
I was quite prepared to give the police the benefit of the doubt and think maybe they were just taking their time to get the case together.
I thought that way, too. I don't think that way now. At all. You were right, Russell.
I’ve just read the article you linked, Martin. This case was always deeply distressing, but things have taken a very chilling turn. The disturbing record of the NZ police with regard to handling complaints of sexual offending, and indeed the allegations about the behaviour of some of their own, sink to the back of my mind over time, and I assume that they have pulled themselves into the 21st century and that their attitudes have changed. I have been prepared to show them good faith and let them turn over a new leaf.
But the police themselves always seem to find a way to remind me of their murky past and shock me all over again. A 13 year old sexual assault complainant given the brush off and insulted into the bargain. And is there a link between the various Hales? Adding it all up, it feels like a horror movie. Seriously. My skin crawls.
"Highly intimidating for these victims to give evidence. Indeed. Our justice system is designed to try to arrive at the truth by having witnesses give evidence (the accused has the right to silence, of course) after which the lawyer(s) for the opposing side try to break down that evidence, prove it unreliable, challenge recollections, query motives, bring the witness down somewhat in the estimation of others. That is the lawyer's job. Now put one of these young girls in that position. Someone mentioned compelling witnesses, in passing. I would never do that to any victim of a sexual crime. This is why:
In my experience, doing so was the ultimate "slut shaming" episode, a very difficult experience l only got through by a steely determination not to let the system beat me. I was 13, relating events that had happened when I was 12. I gave evidence for the best part of a day, and was bound over on oath overnight, to continue on the next day. Almost all of that time was spent under cross-examination, being made to detail all my innermost thoughts, while the registrar kept asking me to speak up, and to repeat myself. The prosecution lawyer objected at regular intervals but was almost always overruled, so that I was made to answer the most vile questions which I won't elaborate on here. Result: conviction obtained, but at such a cost. I won't detail the fallout. No one hailed me as a hero.
It was all quite a long time ago, and things have improved, a lot, I hope, in terms of social attitudes, and somewhat also in terms of court procedure. But you can't get away from the fact that the court has to be sure the witness is telling the truth. The main method for that in our system is cross-examination.
I don't regret what I did, but I would be very reluctant to ever put a daughter of mine through it. Then again, there is no b
“It takes two people to commit adultery, though, Lisa.”
Yes, I know. That’s why, in the absence of threats, coercion, being underage, or suffering from some sort of intellectual disability or mental illness, I don’t see her as a victim in this relationship, at all, and find any suggestion that she is one (not that you are saying that but it has been said or suggested by others) to be worrying, implying as it does that an adult woman in full possession of her faculties who decides to have an affair with a married man is not a fully independent actor in her own destiny, but rather, has a child-like need for protection. This seems to me to represent some sort of step backward for womankind.
Each of them has to face the firestorm, the one that she herself, unlike Hester Prynne in the Scarlet Letter, unleashed through her revelations.
The suggestion that she may have been coerced, through pressure perhaps bordering on blackmail, into making her revelations by one or more members of Palino's mayoral team is a different matter, which is why my interest lies in that direction.
Regarding the Scarlet Letter, the heroine of that novel, Hester Prynne, didn’t out herself as having had an affair except, unavoidably, by falling pregnant; this revealed her adultery because her husband had not yet arrived in the New England to join her.
Despite enormous pressure and public condemnation, including being forced to wear a scarlet letter “A” for adulteress, she never reveals the name of the father of her child. (In fact it is the reverend minister, whose job it is to instruct his “flock” in morality.)
The townspeople in the end come to respect the heroine greatly for her courage and steadfastness; the author tells us that by the time of her death the scarlet letter that she wears is a badge of honour.
With all due respect to the young woman in this case, she is no Hester Prynne.
You're right. Point taken. The matter of Banks' alleged fraud is being dealt with in a legal forum, so it isn't really necessary for it to be dealt with in the public forum for the moment.
Agreed. And while I feel somewhat for the young woman for caving in to pressure from her new boyfriend and his boss, she is an adult and should have realised that by making private details of her sex life public she would be, well, ending her privacy.
Banks must be thanking his lucky stars that this happened when it did, to take the attention off his alleged criminal activity.