Thursday, December 24, 2009

Investigating and prosecuting sexual offences.

[Ed - This post may be read in conjunction with "BREAKING: More women say: I deserve justice by my own terms, I'm worth it." and "Addenda and Clarifications".]

Following the barn's porcine lash-out at Straits Time's festive helping of victim-blaming, our resident spectral turkey has risen from her resting place to grace us with her netherworldly visions of the difficulties in the investigation and prosecution of sexual offences, including molest: (I channel The Poultrygeist's spirit to reproduce this in full)
Let me tell you what happens when a woman accuses a guy of molest:
1. Woman makes police report.
2. Police investigate
3. In deciding whether to charge him with an offence, they produce their findings and evidence procured in the course of investigation to a prosecutor at the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC).
4. The prosecutor looks through all the evidence and again interviews the victim.  This interview involves detailed questions including some which are very personal.  This is to assess the relative strength of the evidence and the veracity of the victim's version of the story.
5. The prosecutor will also inform the victim the sort of questions she will face from the Defence Counsel (i.e. the accused person's counsel) at trial.  These can include questions which throw suspicions on the victim's morals (i.e. past sexual history, conduct at the time of the alleged offence - whether skanky clothes were worn so as to "tempt" the dude - etc). 
6. Based on the victim's answers and any corroboration with all other relevant evidence, the police will then charge the offender.
7. Only then will this matter go to Court.
So really, I think it is quite apparent that there is no question of "easy money".  If the evidence is not strong, there is no way this matter can proceed to conviction.  The victim in the case of molest has to answer several detailed questions on exactly how the incident occurred several times: to the police, the prosecutor and eventually the defence counsel.
If the claim is frivolous on the evidence, the matter cannot proceed.
I also don't believe that victims "demand" compensation.  Usually, the alleged offender will offer compensation for their own reasons.  This is in my mind immaterial.
As someone who has faced drunken molestation and heckling in clubs and other public places several times, I can tell you that it's demeaning, embarrassing and offensive.  It's not something I would wish to re-live over and over again.  Actually much rather than prosecute, I would prefer to resoundingly bitch slap the mofo there and then.  How a victim chooses to proceed should be up to her. 
That's my two cents.

Oh and I must add: it is open to the defence to ask any question and make any statement that can cause aspersions on the victim's moral character.  There is nothing to stop them from doing so.  This is more true in cases of rape.
[/End channeling.]

Adding to this, Oh My Goat says, "Character evidence is admissible though, I'm quite certain of that - no "rape shield" or an equivalent that I know of in Singapore. Any wonder why composition seems to be a much less traumatising alternative?"

Quit selling us vengeful wives and entrapment schemes, you hear now, fear-mongering media honchos?


  1. Let me tell you what happened when a woman accused me of molest.

    A woman with a grudge against me attacked me, and I fended her off. After a scuffle in which she injured me, she disappeared and I called the security of the building I was in.

    When I met the security personnel, we went around to look for her and when we finally did, she accused me of molesting her and called the police.

    The police came and the investigating officer talked to both of us.

    Despite the fact that the girl had a grudge against me and that she had attacked me, the investigating officer advised that I settle with her and pay her a sum of money. He told me that generally it was wiser for a man to settle with a woman who accused him of a sexual crime, since in this sort of case men were at a disadvantage.

    On his advice, I provisionally made a settlement with her, with a promise of paying her a sum of money.

    Over the next few days, she kept calling me and accusing me of molesting her. And she made it clear that even after I paid her the agreed-upon sum of money, she would keep blackmailing me for more. Furthermore, she threatened to go to the police if I went to the press or blew up the issue.

    I called the investigating officer who advised me to give in, repeating his earlier words on men being screwed in these situations (though he didn't say that in so many words).

    On the advice of lawyer friends, I appealed for witnesses to the incident, and got a couple. A few others who knew this girl told me that she had tried this sort of shit in the past.

    Luckily, with my witnesses, I was not mired in the hell that so many male victims of false sex crime accusations made by females are.

    "Easy money" comes about when a man is not willing to be dragged into the shit that any woman can pull him through. As with the Tarkin Doctrine, the power here comes about not through the application of force (here, the heavy hand of the state) but the threat of it.

  2. Wow I'm terribly sorry to hear that. I'm glad you sought legal advice, and didn't listen to the policeman. At the end of the day, the decision is made by the AGC, not the police.

    Actually I'm not sure why the police are giving this sort of unsolicited advice -__-

    - The Poultrygeist

  3. The police seem to have trouble understanding how to deal with violence against women.

  4. @Anonymous @ 9:20PM,

    Thanks for your sharing your experience. It's very unfortunate that you had to go through this. I think as a mark of respect to you and the ordeal you went through, can we seek that we agree to disagree on the rigour in application of the legal process?

    I think the system is in place to finally sift out the truth from the specious, and while some wrongly accused find themselves guilty regardless of completing the trials, I think most of the time the process works to prevent this sort of shit from happening--and part of that process is fact-finding by the police.

    Ultimately, however, I think the process more often remains to disadvantage true claimants because proving beyond reasonable doubt is, in fact, a challenge in such cases.

    - BDP

  5. Unfortunately I do not think most men have as much confidence in the AGC as you.

    I do not think the IO in this case gave his advice lightly - he was probably familiar with such incidents, which was why he advised Anonymous @ 9:20PM to settle.

    Where a woman sends 205 harassing SMSes to a man including ("skirt chaser" and "Are you a man?"), she faces only $5,000 per charge.

    Where a man sends 2 harassing SMSes to a woman, he goes to jail for 2 weeks.

  6. With all due respect, I believe you are failing to take into account the content of the SMSes. Sexual advances by whatever mode of communication is derogatory, insulting, and can be more easily construed as harrassment.

    You also fail to note that the woman did not know the man. He was a complete stranger to her. One is not aware in what context the latter harrassment incident takes place.

    - The Poultrygeist

    I'll thank you to stop engaging in reductionist arguments.

  7. The resident spectral turkey doesn't say that it comes down to one's word against the other's. While she may believe that "If the claim is frivolous on the evidence, the matter cannot proceed.", she is no subordinate court judge.

    She conveniently ignores the cases where the judge decides that on balance of one's word against the other with no other witnesses, the woman's word should be given preference because she doesn't know the man and therefore doesn't have any motivation to go through the process to get him in trouble. That seems to be quite a distance from "beyond reasonable doubt" required in criminal law.

  8. contrarian informs us:

    she is no subordinate court judge.

    She isn't?!?!?!?

    She conveniently ignores the cases where the judge decides that on balance of one's word against the other with no other witnesses, the woman's word should be given preference because she doesn't know the man and therefore doesn't have any motivation to go through the process to get him in trouble. That seems to be quite a distance from "beyond reasonable doubt" required in criminal law.

    Legal adjudication isn't, despite popular misconception, about applying rigid rules. If such cases exist, you know a lot of other considerations have to be taken into account, right? Like whether the testimony of each witness is sufficiently detailed and internally consistent, other matters of credibility such as prior instances of dishonesty or intoxication impairing jugment or memory, alibis given by other witnesses, the matter of whether the judge thinks you come across like you're lying, and a host of other details. And that this is true of every single kind of criminal case, not just sexual assault. I also wonder why you think a total stranger would want to go through this process with random defendants: it is not, on its face, if supported on the whole by the testimony in the face of all other considerations outlined above, an unreasonable piece of reasoning, is it? (...unless one thinks women who allege sexual assault have nothing better do except try to create bother for themselves and other people for no real reason whatsoever. An opinion which is largely based on trying to deny the seriousness or reality of sexual assault in general.)

  9. You animals at the barn are too nice. It's hilarious that contrarian thinks turkey no judge. Erm... How does turkey know???????!?!??!?!? Heeheee.....

    Turkey could be all supreme court justice for all i care, because it makes sense. And that's what matter. Thanks turks!

  10. contratrian - what the fuck!? you're saying that loose lips can go to court!? i thought turkey say no strg means cannot see gravel liao. if got judge see, means got something fishy right? if got something wrong, maybe need to courst case la........... since sgc got work and get rid frivolous cases right?

    you all barnyard got a lot of nonsense visitors. from solo bear or agoogaomawhatevermystupidnameis? please la, lock your comments, then i dunnit to bleed readin.

    heheheheheheh... good luck! happy near year, pinch your lupcheong ears!

  11. Dear contrarian,

    I think you should read the post above this too before you froth at the mouth. Where it is one person's word against another, there logically can be no question of "beyond a reasonable doubt" - there will always be some reasonable doubt!

    That is the evidential criminal standard which the prosecution bears the burden of discharging.

    People make the mistake of conflating investigations offences with prosecutions. Not all offences will be prosecuted.

    Don't need to be a sub courts judge to see this.

    - The Poultrygeist

  12. i was accused of molesting my ex-wife's younger sister, when i was seeing my sleeping son, as always.

    i was arrested and handcuffed,in front of them, placed in lock up, searched and have all my personal belongings checked. this was very humiliating.

    if that was not enough, my sis have to bail me, and i have to pay $8 000 to defence lawyer, who told me to plead guilty to a reduced charge. i refused. he was so angry he shouted and abused me, and told me $8 000/ only; not making money.

    claimed trial; was wrongly convicted, fined $2 000/- and paid another $13 750 to appeal. ex-cj dismissed my appeal. i go to church and get condemned. til this day, my life is totally broken, can't get a job, have to beg n borrow from family n friends.

    yet, i am INNOCENT. so please, molest is the easiest allegation to make, and the most difficult to defend.

    ex-wife n her evil family members went to court tell a pack of lies, fabricate evidence and scored! with a very able dpp, all free and paid for by taxpayers.

    i understand there r genuine molest victims, but i have experienced one who is definitely not.

    my soul died, when i was found guilty.

    now i struggle to keep it alive. i trust God will right this wrong.

  13. Dear Anonymous (August 1, 5:35am):

    I'm really sorry this has happened and I cannot imagine the continuing impact it must have on your life.

    I wish you the best as well as the strength to cope.



Please avoid (1) victim-blaming, (2) justifying any particular instance of oppression/exploitation, (3) explaining that we live in a post-feminist/racist/ablist/enter-oppression-here world, or (4) Mansplaining at all. Barn writers are free to moderate their own posts how ever they deem fit, and not obligated to entertain any comment. If you suspect it might seem offensive, don't comment.

(See our note on comments.)