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  1. #1
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    GA - Rape conviction overturned - Woman with Down syndrome didn't ACT like a VICTIM

    The Georgia appeals court judge, Christopher McFadden, argued that the verdict went "strongly against the weight of the evidence" because, in his judgment, the woman in question -- I'll join other writers in calling her Jane -- didn't act like a victim and the man didn't act like a rapist.

    Jane has Down syndrome and the growing national outrage to this case has focused, with reason, on her disability. But Down syndrome is only part of the story.

    The outrage is not only because this judge didn't understand Down syndrome, but that judges frequently impose their perceptions on cases of sexual assault, reducing sentences even for convicted rapists on the grounds that the victim didn't act "correctly." Jane's troubling case reveals the intersections between rape culture and the way we strip agency from people with disabilities.

    ------------------------------------

    But the judge, acting as he says in his decision, as the 13th juror, saw things differently. McFadden writes that although "the evidence is sufficient to sustain the conviction," he offers a long list of confusing aspects in the testimony, which he boils down to, "At no time prior to her outcry on the 19th (the next day), did (she) behave like a victim. Nor did Mr. Dumas behave like someone who had recently perpetrated a series of violent crimes against her."

    http://us.cnn.com/2014/03/11/opinion...iref=obnetwork

  2. #2
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    May 2013
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    The most disturbing thing to me: "but she made no "outcry" until the following day, despite having ample opportunities to tell the other adults in the house."

    Right, because every person who is raped runs to the first adult they see. MOST rapes are unreported despite there being people you can tell. What about children? If dad rapes them, mom is in the house...so it's not rape since they didn't say anything. If you finally talk years later, still not rape. ????

    This is terrifyingly absurd. I wish I could say I can't believe it's happening.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2010
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    Ohio
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    Flames....flames on the side of my face angry....
    “Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.” - Eleanor Roosevelt


    In no way should any of my statements be construed as legal opinion or advice. While I am a lawyer, I am not a verified poster here at WS. The above statement(s) are an expression of my personal opinion, for entertainment purposes only, and copyright.

  4. #4
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    This is something Nancy Grace would love to cover I bet.
    She loves to call out Judges and Attorneys.

  5. #5
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    My head just exploded off my neck!
    WHAT??????


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


    Nosy by Nature and a Websleuther by choice

  6. #6
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    Clearly this woman must be very "high functioning" given the circumstances.

    1. She was able to testify on her own behalf which is awesome.

    2. There was actually a question that she was raped.

    Generally with DS they will say they have the mental age of a child, so were incapable of consent.
    I didn't see any of that here. So she must be functioning on at least a teenage, if not adult level.

    Too bad that actually worked AGAINST her.
    We spend so much time with therapists and tutors... so our kids will reach their full potential..
    Yet when that happens there are even negatives to the success they earn!

    There is an amazing guy who DOES teach sexuality to people with disabilities.
    He DOES work to actively prevent this kind of situation in people with disabilities.
    I follow his blog... he has a blog entry about a woman with Down syndrome who was raped.

    http://davehingsburger.blogspot.com/2007/10/emily.html

    Hopefully he will address the plight of "Jane" as well at some point.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2014
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    600
    Quote Originally Posted by MsFacetious View Post

    Nor did Mr. Dumas behave like someone who had recently perpetrated a series of violent crimes against her."
    Surely this judge can't be unaware that abusers are capable of putting on a front when not offending.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2012
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    Portlandia
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    So... This judge is going to get fired/impeached and this court case is going higher up. Right?


    RIGHT?!

  9. #9
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    Aug 2012
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    District Attorney wants jury's guilty verdict to be reinstated after it was overturned by acting trial judge McFadden

    http://www.dailyreportonline.com/id=...#ixzz2y52vhiYc

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MsFacetious View Post

    But the judge, acting as he says in his decision, as the 13th juror, saw things differently. McFadden writes that although "the evidence is sufficient to sustain the conviction," he offers a long list of confusing aspects in the testimony, which he boils down to, "At no time prior to her outcry on the 19th (the next day), did (she) behave like a victim. Nor did Mr. Dumas behave like someone who had recently perpetrated a series of violent crimes against her."

    http://us.cnn.com/2014/03/11/opinion...iref=obnetwork
    RSBM

    I don't understand how this judge can contradict himself with 'the evidence is sufficient to sustain the conviction' then overturn a jury's conviction using his self imposed thoughts on behavior.

    Wondering if this judge is sure this guy has never raped before. I personally doubt it given the circumstances. He woke up that day and decided to be a rapist? Then went to sleep and decided to never commit this crime again?

    Also wondering if the judge knows the previously convicted rapist and or his family.

    Nothing makes sense, imo.


  11. #11
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    Aug 2008
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    Who Dat Nation
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    ORDER ON MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL
    in pdf format

    The Judge as 13th Juror: Thoughts on the Fayette Rape Controversy
    By Scott Key on March 1st, 2014
    Georgia Criminal Appellate Law Blog

    http://www.georgiacriminalappellatel...e-controversy/


    Quote Originally Posted by Woodland View Post
    [rsbm]

    I don't understand how this judge can contradict himself with 'the evidence is sufficient to sustain the conviction' then overturn a jury's conviction using his self imposed thoughts on behavior.
    Law cited in the Order

    GEORGIA STATUTES AND CODES

    O.C.G.A. 5-5-20 (2010)
    5-5-20. Verdict contrary to evidence and justice

    In any case when the verdict of a jury is found contrary to evidence and the principles of justice and equity, the judge presiding may grant a new trial before another jury.

    - See more at: http://statutes.laws.com/georgia/tit....NRRLN8om.dpuf

    O.C.G.A. 5-5-21 (2010)
    5-5-21. Verdict against weight of evidence

    The presiding judge may exercise a sound discretion in granting or refusing new trials in cases where the verdict may be decidedly and strongly against the weight of the evidence even though there may appear to be some slight evidence in favor of the finding.

    - See more at: http://statutes.laws.com/georgia/tit....NMgIlB2K.dpuf

    WALKER v. STATE
    No. S12A1575. 737 S.E.2d 311 (2013)
    292 Ga. 262


    The statutes "afford the trial court broad discretion to sit as a `thirteenth juror' and weigh the evidence on a motion for new trial alleging these general grounds.

    http://www.leagle.com/decision/In%20...R%20v.%20STATE
    Last edited by bessie; 04-06-2014 at 02:11 PM.
    __________________________________
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  12. #12
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    I think it's a shame the article above - georgiacriminalappellatel... does not address the functioning age of the complainant as deemed by a professional. He seems to not know.

    Still baffled by the actions of the judge - he doesn't seem to know her functioning age either.

    What difference did one day make in reporting this? No one says that I can decipher or narrow down or pinpoint.

    I thought it was great given the disability - many victims don't report at all. Sadly, all that does is create more victims.

  13. #13
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    This is her mother's reply to the D.A. when asked to describe X's mental age.

    It depends on the area you're talking about. Socially, X is -- I would say, is close to her age that she is; academically she is slower; but as far as sitting and carrying on a coversation with you and knowing what she's saying and talking about, she is her age.
    pdf p.9

    http://www.georgiacriminalappellatel...Redacted02.pdf
    __________________________________
    Muddy water in the street
    ; Muddy water 'round my feet... as sung by the inimitable Bessie Smith, "Muddy Water (A Mississippi Moan)"

    WEBSLEUTHS ON FACEBOOK



  14. #14
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    The new article above is very interesting - thank-you for finding that Bessie.

    Mr Dumas denied sexual contact with x, then testing showed his semen on the sheets where x slept. Problem.

    Overall, I think x acted and spoke as she was expected to under everyday circumstances with the people present at any given time. She tried to tell Ms P what happened, Ms P then takes x before Mr D to confront him. Not a good move, imo, in fact rather callous. I think that is saying to x there must be some other explanation - and x could read this.

    Then a group of x's family and friends all fire questions at her at the same time. Imo, same as above - rather callous. This group is telling me they didn't want it to be true so they would not have to deal with it any further - what did x think?

    X trusted her mother and confided in her only when they were alone. Makes sense to me.

    I find the following statement in the article to be contradictory and seems to be the basis for overturning the conviction -

    'Although Ms P's testimony does not account explicitly for the time between the crash at 11:30 and when she put x to bed, the clear implication of her testimony, taken as a whole, is that she did not leave x and Mr D alone during that time.'

    Implication? If Ms P testified she did not leave them alone, then implication does not enter the equation. Implication is needed if Ms P did not specifically testify to not leaving them alone at any time.

    Fwiw, I think Ms P did leave them alone - she wasn't present during the crash and x testified she put herself to bed, which is more believable if x functions at an adult level.

  15. #15
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    In October of 2010, Jeffrey Dumas was hanging out with friends in a home where a 24-year-old woman with Down syndrome was staying while her mother was out of town. According to the complaint, Dumas raped the woman three times over an evening and the following morning, but she made no "outcry" until the following day, despite having ample opportunities to tell the other adults in the house.

    People with intellectual disabilities, especially women and girls, are sexually assaulted at a much higher rate than the rest of the population. People with intellectual disabilities, even those with strong communication skills, can be vulnerable to sexual assault because they are unsure of what's right or wrong or whether they can say no.

    They rarely receive sexual education or are provided assertiveness training. Given this context, one might well invoke Down syndrome to explain the delay between the assault and the complaint. Most important, during the trial, Jane testified that she was raped, the jury believed her, and the medical and physical evidence confirmed her story.

    http://us.cnn.com/2014/03/11/opinion...iref=obnetwork

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