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    Sexual Assault Tag

    Here is a story that has gone underreported in the media, but deserves so much more attention. Last September, the Indianapolis Star reported that females have accused now former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician Larry Nassar of sexual abuse. By November the number reached 50 women. Some of these women have spoken out about the alleged abuse, including Jessica Howard, the U.S. National champion from 1999 to 2001 in rhythmic gymnastics. Nassar veiled the alleged sexual abuse as medical treatment for her.

    Anders Kompass, who worked as director of field operations at the UN human rights office, has resigned after the organization did not hold senior officials accountable for human rights abuses. The UN suspended Kompass after he leaked a report that said French troops sexually abused children in the Central African Republic. However, the UN never took action and Kompass decided "he could no longer work for an organisation with no accountability." From The Guardian:
    “The complete impunity for those who have been found to have, in various degrees, abused their authority, together with the unwillingness of the hierarchy to express any regrets for the way they acted towards me sadly confirms that lack of accountability is entrenched in the United Nations. This makes it impossible for me to continue working there.”

    We recently reported that some law professors of the American Law Institute wanted to expand the concept of sexual consent in a way which would make it easier to define people as criminals. The proposals were outrageous and would have put people at risk of being legally guilty of rape even if their partners consented. Proponents of the changes were largely left wing professors who undoubtedly agree with the progressive concept of rape culture. The good news is that the institute rejected the proposal. Bradford Richardson of the Washington Times:
    American Law Institute rejects affirmative consent standard in defining sexual assault In a rebuke to a feminist idea that has migrated from college campuses to mainstream culture, an influential legal group overwhelmingly rejected Tuesday a provision that would have endorsed an “affirmative consent” standard for the purpose of defining sexual assault.

    Sexual consent laws on college campuses are already reaching absurd levels, but if the American Law Institute has its way and loosens the concepts of consent, it will easier to accuse participants of crimes. Stuart Taylor Jr. writes at Real Clear Politics:
    Legal Group Weighs Radical Expansion of Sex Crimes Imagine the following case: Two recent college grads meet in a bar, talk, begin kissing, and go to her apartment. After a little more talking, they resume kissing there. He undresses her and initiates sexual intercourse. She neither objects nor resists. He leaves, and they have no further contact. A month later, she files a criminal complaint with police, complaining that this was rape because she never expressed verbal consent and was physically passive.

    Something maddening is happening in the European and Nordic countries which have opened their doors to millions of refugees from Muslim countries. Women of the host countries were sexually assaulted in numerous cities during holiday celebrations by refugees and it's being ignored in some cases and even covered up in others. In Sweden, these attacks have allegedly been going on for months. The Times of Israel reports:
    Swedish police take flak for covering up refugee sex attacks Swedish police were criticized on Monday after admitting they failed to release information about alleged sexual assaults against women by young immigrants at a Stockholm summer music festival over the past two years. There were 38 reports of rape and sexual assault filed after the We Are Sthlm festival, which uses the postal abbreviation for Stockholm, in 2014 and 2015, according to police.

    In Washington State, the burden of proof of consent in a sexual assault case has traditionally fallen not on the alleged rape victim, but on the accused. A recent decision by the Washington Supreme Court, however, has changed the standard, and given hope to due process advocates:
    The court in its 6-3 ruling reversed earlier decisions that forced an alleged rapist to establish a preponderance of evidence that a victim consented to sex. The court said such a burden violated constitutionally protected rights and also wrongly interpreted precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court. "When a defense necessarily negates an element of the crime charged, the State may not shift the burden of proving that defense onto the defendant," the ruling said. "Requiring a defendant to do more than raise a reasonable doubt is inconsistent with due process principles," Justice Debra Stephens wrote, adding that doing so raises "a very real possibility of wrongful convictions."
    The media has predictably framed this ruling as one that "could make it more difficult for rape victims to get justice":
    "There's another person whose rights need to be taken into consideration, and that's the victim." Six of the nine justices agreed to reduce the rape defendant's burden, saying that 25 years of earlier rulings were incorrect and harmful to the constitutional presumption of innocence. "The prosecutors are going to have to spend much more time describing to the jury and presenting evidence to the jury regarding how the victim responded to those threats, what their body language is, what kind of noises they made, how quickly did they capitulate to the demand that they say that they wanted it." When we talked with YWCA sex assault victim advocate Emily Cordo, she was fearful of the ruling's impact, because now prosecutors will have to prove forcible rape victims did not consent. "Victims have to worry about whether they're going to be treated with respect, and whether they're going to be believed." The three justices in the minority agreed, writing that the majority ruling retreats "to the archaic focus on a rape victim's actions."
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