Blog

Defence lawyer asks alleged incest victim why she didn’t clench her legs together Meghan Grant · CBC News · Posted: Jun 19, 2018 5:53 PM MT | Last Updated: June 20

no3

A defence lawyer who asked a young woman why she didn’t clench her legs together to prevent her father from pulling down her pants and allegedly raping her has been admonished by a Calgary judge, who dismissed a mistrial application Tuesday afternoon.

“You would agree with me then … all you had to do was clench your legs together and your pants would have been unable to move,” said defence lawyer Krysia Przepiorka in her cross-examination of the young woman late Monday afternoon.

The line of questioning was ultimately deemed by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Gillian Marriott to be “founded on rape myths.”

Neither the complainant nor her father can be identified. He is charged with sexual assault and incest.

‘Verging on impermissible’

After an objection from prosecutor Gianna Argento, Marriott suggested the defence lawyer’s questions were “verging on impermissible” and suggested she reconsider the cross-examination and return the following morning.

But on Tuesday morning, Przepiorka made an application for a mistrial arguing the judge had “inappropriately entered the fray and improperly limited cross-examination.”

Defence argued her line of questioning was related to the complainant’s credibility and reliability because her story was impossible.

Marriott dismissed that application, finding “a reasonably informed person would understand the problem with rape myths, and defence counsel has failed to adequately articulate the relevance of this question, and in my view it is irrelevant and inappropriate.”

Daughter afraid to say no

In her original testimony, the daughter testified she was afraid to say no to her father but she did not consent to intercourse.

The alleged victim was 19 years old when she moved to Canada to live with her father in 2013. In 2014, he allegedly had intercourse with her three times. She testified she was afraid and felt she could do nothing to stop her father’s advances.

One day, the father pulled her pants down and sexually assaulted her, according to the complainant’s evidence.

Przepiorka’s question is eerily similar to the comments made by controversial former judge Robin Camp, who asked why a woman didn’t keep her knees together to prevent an alleged rape, during a 2014 sexual assault trial.

A Canadian Judicial Council hearing into Camp’s conduct recommended he be removed from the bench. Camp resigned, but not before fighting to keep his job and trying to have the council ruling overturned.

Camp was recently reinstated into the Law Society of Alberta, meaning he can once again practise law in the province, although he would have to go through a separate process if he wanted to appear in chambers or in any Alberta court.

Defence lawyers have much more leeway when it comes to the questions they can ask in cross-examination.

Advertisements

The Pawn Game

More betrayal! A short by Margot Kinberg.

Confessions of a Mystery Novelist...

The watch must have come off when she hit the ground. It was a nice one, too – a Bulova. See, that’s why I even saw her in the first place. I noticed it lying there on the street. You don’t see Bulovas just anywhere. When I went over to pick up the watch, I could just see her hand and part of her arm showing from behind the dumpster. I didn’t want to go any closer. There was no way I was going to get mixed up in it if someone was dead. I’m not heartless, though. She was somebody’s sister, or girlfriend, or something. So, I went down a couple of blocks and found an open bar. The guy there let me use their telephone when I told him mine was dead. I called the cops and told them about the body, but I didn’t give my name.

View original post 880 more words

Final hearing looms in incest case HERALD-DISPATCH.COM By COURTNEY HESSLER Jun 17, 2018 Updated Jun 18, 2018

joe adkins

HUNTINGTON – A probation revocation hearing for a man convicted in a Cabell County incest case will move forward after a defense attorney’s unsuccessful attempt to remove the judge from the case based on a statement made after the man’s conviction.

Michael Joe Adkins, 35, of Ona, was sentenced for incest in November 2017 to five years’ probation and 50 years of supervised release after Cabell Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell suspended a five- to 15-year prison sentence.

In 2015, Adkins entered a Kennedy plea to incest, which allows a conviction without admitting guilt or explaining his role in the crime.

The sexual assault Adkins has been convicted of dates back as far as 2010, when his victim was 11 years old. The assault came to light after Adkins impregnated the girl and she was later forced to have an abortion.

By April, he was jailed after he violated his probation due to accusations of domestic battery and driving without a license, while also being behind on paying court fees and being discharged from a sex offender counseling program.

In May, Farrell found that there was enough evidence for Adkins to be held in jail pending the final deposition of his revocation, but the hearing was delayed after Adkins’ attorney, Connor Robertson, requested the recusal of Farrell based on a statement made by the judge at Adkins’ 2017 sentencing.

Farrell had said, “I’m just going to be blunt. I’m hoping you screw up during those 50 years so that I can send you to prison (…) . If you violate any of the terms and conditions during the next 50 years, then the court can send you to prison, and I’m hoping that’s the case, because you should go to prison for what you did.”

Farrell’s statement continues on to say he agreed to be bound by the plea agreement based on undisclosed circumstances laid out to him by prosecutors and defense attorneys in the case.

Robertson said Farrell’s statement was improper and he should be disqualified from the revocation proceeding. However, West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret Workman ruled recently the statement was not enough to disqualify Farrell from the case.

With the final hearing set for this month, Robertson is asking that Adkins be allowed to find a new sex offender counseling program and be placed back on probation.

Follow reporter Courtney Hessler at Facebook.com/CHesslerHD and via Twitter @HesslerHD.

for those of you who had fathers who did not love you, from mj payne

MJP pic for TO TELL OR NOT TO TELL

Today is a difficult day for me because I have no good memories of my father. He was a person who was too hurt to love. Sometimes I think he did love me to an extent as he did put a lock on my bedroom door and told me to lock it at night. When he raised his hand to strike me after we had an encounter in the driveway over the fact that he was raping my sister I told him if he ever touched me again I would kill him. I was thirteen and I meant it. He put his hand down. If I had a knife then it would have been in his belly. I was on a visit to see him a year after my mother and I ran away from him. He was a violent, dangerous man and he got that way from having a violent, dangerous father who did not love him. Margaret Atwood talks about the almost incomprehensible power of men and their presence in the night world, mostly coming home late from work. I didn’t remember it was fathers day until just awhile ago.

I do remember I was on a plane going home to my mother the next day. I never saw him again. I don’t know what happened to him. He didn’t think I was valuable enough to pay my mother anything for my support and she was so terrified of him she didn’t ask for any. I remember her typing medical reports at 5AM every morning to support us. She succeeded in re-building her life, and indirectly mine. She was a strong, successful woman and I am alive because of her strength.

I wondered why the pain was so strong and deep today, then the holiday, and the fact that people remember things in many strange ways and my feelings remembered it for me.

Luckily for me I had my grandfather on my mother’s side and he adored me. We did many things together like riding horses, swimming, biking, working out at his gym etc.

The answer to the problem of child abuse does not lie in locking up all the abusers as there is no way to do it. It lies in men realizing that all this #meToo stuff is not directed against men in general, at least not for me. Men are never going to step aside and give up positions to anyone, not a woman, not another man. Men are built to be competitive and seize opportunity and gain mastery in life. What they can do is give women respect and even a leg-up sometimes and not just in bed. And they can realize that their sons and daughters look up to them and their character will develop in so many ways in relation to the fathering they receive.

To those who are not celebrating today I say there is hope and though the pain will probably not ever go away completely, try to remember any person in your life who held up a torch to light the way. Sometimes small things cast huge shadows and a kind gesture from someone when another is in crisis can make all the difference.

To all of you, try to be your best self whenever possible as everything we do has ripples that go out into the culture for good or bad.

I needed to write this. Everyone suffers adversity of some kind in life which spares no one so take time out for a kind thought and a kind action.

If you want to read my story it is THE REMEMBERED SELF: A Journey into the Heart of the Beast.

Legislation extends statute of limitations in sexual assault cases UP MARQUETTE

Joined by sexual assault survivors in the state Capitol, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley today signed landmark legislation allowing victims more time to file both criminal and civil complaints in Michigan.

“Sexual assault is a heinous crime, and we have been working hard to strengthen our laws to help protect against it while ensuring survivors have more time to seek justice,” said Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. “This legislation is an important step forward, but there is still more work to do. I appreciate the voices of those who have taken a leadership role to support survivors throughout our state. I hope that today’s action and the work to come will help prevent these crimes and continue to change the culture surrounding sexual assault in Michigan.”

Senate Bills 871 and 872, sponsored by state Sens. Margaret O’Brien and David Knezek, respectively, extend the timeline in both criminal and civil complaints in sexual assault cases in Michigan. Under this legislation, if the victim is under 18 years old at the time of the crime, a criminal indictment can now be filed within 15 years or by the survivor’s 28th birthday, whichever occurs later.

The bills also specify that criminal proceedings do not need to be brought for civil action to be filed and that civil action must be brought before the survivor is 28 years old or three years after the victim discovers that they had been a victim of sexual assault.

“Too many children are sexually abused. This legislation is an important first step in eradicating sexual abuse and assault,” O’Brien said. “I am grateful for the sister survivors who gave their names and faces to advance good public policy.”

Outside of the statute of limitations, the bills also allow all victims of sexual assault after Dec. 31, 1996 the opportunity to file civil charges if the defendant was in a position of authority over the victim or engaged in unethical or unacceptable medical treatment of a victim.

This action would need to be filed within 90 days after this law takes effect.

The legislation was championed by a coalition of sexual assault survivors, led by Rachael Denhollander.

“I am grateful today for the leadership of many in the Senate, and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, who fought tirelessly for what was right, and stood against political pressure for the cause of justice,” Denhollander said. “My greatest hope is that this is only the first step in much-needed legislative reform.”

The bills are now Public Acts 180 and 181 of 2018.

 

Bill that prevents sex offenders from living near victims signed by governor THE LA PORTE COUNTY HERALD-ARGUS

TABLE OF PEOPLE

INDIANAPOLIS – A bill authored by State Sen. Mike Bohacek, R-Michiana Shores, that prevents sex offenders from living near victims was ceremonially signed into law Monday by Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Senate Enrolled Act 12 makes it unlawful for a sex offender to intentionally establish residence within one mile of their victim. Although this is current law for victims who are minors, SEA 12 extends the protection to all victims regardless of age.

“Right now, sex offenders are able to move into a home or apartment right next to their victim,” Bohacek said. “Only four states have laws that address this problem, and this law will be the strictest in the country.”

Under this bill, people who are convicted and sentenced for sex offenses commit a Class A misdemeanor on their first offense if they knowingly reside within a one-mile radius of their victim without permission of the sentencing court. In this case, the offender would be committing an invasion of privacy, which can result in a jail sentence of up to one year. Each additional offense can result in a Level 6 felony. A Level 6 felony is punishable by a prison term ranging from six to 30 months with an advisory sentence of one year.

Bohacek added that sex crimes are often as much about the deviant act as they are about power and control over the victim. This bill helps take away that control from offenders and brings some peace of mind to the victims.

According to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), seven out of 10 rapes are committed by someone known to the victim. In the case of sexual abuse reported to law enforcement, 93 percent of juvenile victims knew the perpetrator. Sexual violence is often prevalent on college campuses, with women ages 18-24 at an elevated risk of sexual violence. RAINN also reported that 55 percent of sexual assaults occur at or near the victim’s home.

“The home should be a safe place,” Bohacek said. “It should be a place where we can let our guard down, and feel safe without any threats or fears.”

This law goes into effect July 1.

Crown asks for 18-year sentence for Calgary father convicted in sex abuse case CALGARY SUN by Yolande Cole

The Crown has asked a Court of Queen’s Bench judge to hand an 18-year prison sentence to a Calgary father convicted of sex crimes against his young daughter.

Crown prosecutor Rosalind Greenwood said in her sentencing submissions to Justice Bruce Millar on Monday that the man “has no remorse” for his actions.

The father, whose name can’t be published to protect the victim’s identity, was found guilty in January of nine sex-related charges, including incest, sexual assault, sexual interference and forcible confinement, in connection with incidents in their family home.

The girl testified more than three years ago, when she was seven, that her biological father brutally sexually abused her when she was between 2 1/2 and 4 years old starting in December 2009.

She gave her evidence with the help of Calgary police trauma dog Hawk. It was believed to be the first time in Canada a dog was used as support for a child sexual-assault complainant giving evidence.

Greenwood read from a brief victim impact statement in court Monday from the daughter.

“I was afraid, scared, mad and sad because he had hurt me,” the girl said in the written statement.

“I will now have to live with his actions for my whole life and I will remember it always.”

The Crown said the girl’s formative years “were spent in a volatile home environment where sexual abuse was the norm.”

“The physical and emotional consequences of what (the father) did to (the victim) were entirely foreseeable by him … and he did it anyway, again and again and again,” said Greenwood.

She submitted that an 18-year prison sentence for the multiple offences is required to meet the sentencing principles of denunciation, deterrence and retribution.

Sentencing was adjourned until later this month, when defence counsel Alias Sanders will make her submissions.

Belfast man who sexually abused daughter for nearly two decades has appeal rejected BELFAST TELEGRAPH By Alan Erwin

court-order

A Belfast man jailed for subjecting his daughter to a campaign of rape over nearly two decades has failed in a bid to overturn his convictions.

Described as manipulating and controlling, the 66-year-old was said to have groomed her from an early age and continued the sexual abuse well into adulthood.

In 2016 a jury found him guilty of eight counts of rape and three indecent assaults.

His lawyers challenged the safety of the convictions, based on an earlier trial having returned not guilty verdicts on alternative counts of incest.

They also claimed inconsistencies in the prosecution evidence on when and where the abuse started.

But the Court of Appeal rejected submissions that the trial process had been flawed.

The man, who cannot be identified, received a 14-year sentence at Belfast Crown Court for repeatedly raping and molesting his daughter.

He was said to have commenced abusing her when she was 14, and continued until she left Northern Ireland in her early thirties.

According to the prosecution she became trapped in a vicious cycle.

The woman gave evidence of being raped on her parents’ own bed, with further abuse taking place after she moved out.

In 2013 she made a complaint to police in England about the alleged offending.

Her father insisted none of the claims were true.

His evidence was that he was a good and loving parent who had supported his daughter in troubled times.

Lawyers for the man argued that it had been an abuse of process to retry him on the original count in the indictment after he was found not guilty of incest allegations.

But Lord Justice Deeny, sitting with Lord Justice Treacy, ruled the guilty verdict was safe.

Dismissing the appeal, he added: “It is relevant to note that in this case the complainant’s evidence, at least so far as a sexual relationship with her father is concerned, is supported to a degree by his own statements and the evidence of two close relatives.”