There’s a new article up on Salon.com today by Roy Black, the lawyer “best known for his successful defense of William Kennedy Smith on rape charges” entitled “Why we should protect those accused of rape“, in which the author attempts to argue the case for anonymity for defendants in rape cases.

The standfirst gives a pretty big clue as to the tone the rest of the piece is going to take –  ‘DSK, Kobe, Assange, Flatley: Did they deserve to be smeared before a verdict? A legendary trial attorney argues no

And here are just a few choice quotes:

On DSK:

“We did all we could to make a public spectacle of him. Dragged him off his Paris flight; interrogated him all night to look suitably haggard; paraded him, handcuffed between two beefy cops, through a scrum of tabloid cameras; then plastered the seedy photographs worldwide. He was hounded out of his apartment; shuttled from place to place like nuclear waste; an electronic nanny clamped on his ankle and suffered the ignominy of paying $200,000 a month for his own prison guards.

We are relentless at public shaming and humiliation.”

Seriously, just let that last sentence sink in for a minute, and then remember: he’s talking here about men accused of rape, not about the victims and survivors of rape and other crimes of sexual violence….

Black goes on:

This type of abuse is routinely suffered by lesser-known rape defendants. They are terrorized by the media circus, and turned into carnival freaks. Unruly crowds rally in front of their home. They are followed, spat on, chased through the streets, forced to move, lose their sanity and some even commit suicide to end the abuse. They are the new victims of modern technology: Google, Twitter, Facebook and cable news.”

And how about this:

“We grant the accuser name suppression due to the stigma attached to rape but, after a gradual, and justifiable shift in our collective consciousness, there now is a far greater stigma for men accused of rape.

And this:

For decades, there has been a unique, growing disparity between the way we treat accused rapists and their accusers.

Unique? Really? What, to treat the victims of a crime differently from how we treat those accused of perpetrating a crime? I don’t think so.

This arrant nonsense is of course then followed by the usual victim blaming blah:

“The protections against false accusations have been whittled away one by one to make it easier to charge and easier to convict, with the unintended consequence of making it easier to make a false accusation.”

which is then followed by a bit of a moan about the fact that it’s apparently getting easier for people to be able to file rape charges, even if there’s no “corroborating evidence” and no “Evidence of a clear element of force or the threat of force.”

Which as far as I’m concerned is just as it should be. Not all rape is accompanied by physical violence, so to suggest as this eminent lawyer seems to be doing that rape is only rape if these conditions apply is completely ridiculous.

Black concludes by citing Britain as an example, where he claims attempts at introducing anonymity for rape defendants were abandoned last year “because of vigorous objection from feminists, who worry that women are less likely to accuse if the suspect is not named”.

Which isn’t how I remember it at all. In fact I know that’s not what happened or what our objection was to the plan. Here’s Crispin Blunt explaining the government’s u turn: “Evidence is lacking in a number of key areas – in particular whether the inability to publicise a person’s identity will prevent further witnesses to a known offence from coming forward, or further unknown offences by the same person from coming to light.”

Nope, there’s nothing there about women being less likely to report if men are not named, simply an acknowledgement that when men are named further victims are more likely to step forward. Oh, and if I remember rightly there were also (entirely valid) arguments about how granting anonymity for rape defendants implied they were a special case and further stigmatised the survivors of rape and other sex crimes.

But Roy Black wouldn’t know anything about that, because Roy Black isn’t interested in the survivors of rape and sexual violence: he’s just interested in the poor men accused of rape – the alleged “new victims” of a cruel and unjust world.

You really couldn’t make this shit up if you tried.

hat-tip to @rayfilar of Political Correctness Gone Mad who tweeted the link to this article earlier today.

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