The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Lovett Rape Hearing: Once Again A Woman Is Asked What She Was Wearing

Posted by Clem Bastow on August 13, 2010

It’s a grim fact of life, it seems, that whenever a high-profile – or even one that doesn’t involve “celebrities” – rape hearing or trial is underway, details will emerge about the cross-examining of the alleged victim that are enough to lead you to think it’s not actually the 21st century, and instead 1950.

As the hearing regarding the alleged rape of the woman by sacked St Kilda Saints player Andrew Lovett continues, the media was today given access to the woman’s statement and a transcript of her cross examination – and what a surprise it was to read this detail:

Under cross-examination on Tuesday from Lovett’s defence counsel David Grace, QC, the woman agreed that on the night she met Lovett, she wanted to make herself look attractive and was interested in meeting men.

She agreed that she drank four vodka, lime and sodas and two shots at the Royal Saxon hotel that night but said she did not intend to get drunk.

Let me break this down very clearly to those who still, as it appears the defence counsel does, subscribe to archaic notions of what clothing or behaviour blurs the lines of what sexual behaviour is acceptable on the part of men:

IT DOESN’T MATTER IF SHE WAS DRESSED UP, IT DOESN’T MATTER IF SHE WAS DRUNK OR ON DRUGS, IT DOESN’T MATTER IF SHE “WANTED TO MAKE HERSELF LOOK ATTRACTIVE AND WAS INTERESTED IN MEETING MEN”, NONE OF THAT IMPLIES CONSENT IF SHE HASN’T VERBALLY GIVEN IT.

7 Responses to “Lovett Rape Hearing: Once Again A Woman Is Asked What She Was Wearing”

  1. Steph said

    It doesn’t even matter if she took him home and slept next to him in the same bed, it’s still rape if she didn’t give consent.

  2. @njptower said

    on the basis of the lawyer’s “argument”, if I see a person wearing an ed hardy t-shirt as worn by fight fans such as mick gatto, then i am entitled to assume the person is up for a fight and I am fully entitled to punch the living suitcase out of him.

    sounds a ludicrous proposition in this instance and is equally stupid in the context of rape.

    if a bloke shows his bits on TV barely covered by a minimum of red nylon, is he offering himself for a rogering?

    whenever that argument is advanced by a lawyer, the judge should stop the lawyer and charge him/her with contempt of court and contempt of common decency

  3. James said

    I agree that clothing ought not to be considered relevant, but intoxication certainly is relevant when considering a witness’ credibility.

    • Steph said

      How does intoxication affect witness credibility?

      If a person is intoxicated, their ability to give consent is hampered.

  4. @njptower said

    James, the woman was able to test to a friend to ask for help, thus level of intoxication not a factor

  5. James said

    Steph: It may affect credibility for the same reason it may affect credibility for any other crime, in that it may affect reliable identification of the perp. at the time, and after the fact, as well as general recollection of the sequence of events.

    Njptower: I’ve been successfully texted and called by friends so drunk they couldn’t tell Keith Richards from Krusty the Clown. I don’t know how you can infer that the sending of a text means intoxication is “not a factor”.

    In any case, I’m not trying to make any particular argument about whether this woman was too drunk to be a credible witness or not, or too drunk to consent or not. I’m simply saying that asking questions to establish the level of intoxication of an alleged rape victim or witness in a trial is not necessarily unethical, as opposed to asking about her clothing, on which I agree with Clem.

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