Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More on Assange

Further details about the sex charges against Julian Assange came out last week.  It turns out they are both more complex and legitimate than originally stated.

Assange stands accused of not forcing sex on a woman but of not using contraception when she asked him to.  This sounds like a nightmare of he said/she said complications to me, but it's statutory law in Sweden so they kind of brought it on themselves.

Rape is a special case in most cultures.  It's one of the most serious crimes, but one that leaves almost nothing considered traditional evidence, making it difficult to prosecute.  Many times there is simply no evidence other than the accusation itself.

Feminists will tell you that women never falsely accuse men of rape, yet more objective studies show somewhere between three and twenty per-cent of rape accusations are false with the broad range of that figure as a testament to just how difficult it is to get to the truth of the matter.

The motive for false accusations range anywhere from revenge to greed to regret to simple emotional or psychological confusion.  A example of psychological confusion would be the woman on SecondLife who accused another SL user of raping her by astral projection.

It's hard to say how much trouble Assange is in here.  Some pro feminist systems prevent defense lawyers from attacking the credibility of the accuser.  In a case where the accusation is the only form of evidence offered, not being able to challenge the accuser might render it nearly impossible for someone like Assange to defend himself.

We do know the woman accusing him once made a series of blog posts speculating on how to falsely accuse a man of rape, but whether that can be offered as evidence defending Assange remains to be seen.

My gut feeling is that Sweeden is a pretty sane country and they should be able to work this out in a reasonable manner, but there's almost no way to prevent it from being a circus, particularly when groups like anonymous get involved.

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