The Oregonian reports that Judge Peter Ackerman is feeling a bit defensive:
But Judge Peter Ackerman took the opportunity to defend his conviction of the woman and criticize media attention surrounding the case.
“I’m a little disgusted by the coverage of this case,” Ackerman said during the hearing. “The facts were what the facts were.”
When Ackerman convicted the woman Dec. 2, he said he relied in part on the testimony of a Beaverton police detective and friends of the girl, who said she did not appear to be traumatized in the days after the incident.
Advocates for rape victims criticized that reasoning. But Ackerman said Monday that the woman’s lawyer should have offered expert testimony to counter prosecution witnesses.
In retrospect, yes, it would have been good if they offered expert testimony (and I bet they will at the new trial). Nonetheless, the lack of expert testimony doesn’t rescue Ackerman’s ruling from being bad logic. The idea that there is a “correct” way that real rape victims must act, and that failure to act that way is proof of a malicioius false accusation, does not pass the smell test.
Commenting on the expert witness argument, Pinko Feminist Hellcat writes:
It’s good that Ackerman is feeling the heat. Hopefully, he won’t be so quick to rely on stereotypes and false assumptions the next time he rules in a rape-related case – and, even more importantly, let’s hope other judges have heard of the controversy and made a mental note to check unfair assumptions about rape vicitms at the door. If rulings like his were ever to become a norm, it would be stupid for any rape victim to ever come forward to the police.
Be sure to read this post at Preemptive Karma – the blogger actually attended the sentencing hearing. (No sentence will be carried out until after the appeal, however). And this post at Pandagon. And this post at The Balancing Act. Quote of the day, from Balancing Act:
Moderation Note: This thread is not intended for discussion of anti-feminist theories that false rape accusations are really very common (use this thread for that), or male rape victims, or the trauma of men who are falsely accused, and similar topics. Let’s try not derailing this one.