Judge in Philidelphia Throws Out Rape Charges Because Victim Is A Prostitute

From Melissa at Shakesville:

So there’s this judge. Her name—her name—is Teresa Carr Deni, and she’s a municipal judge in the Philadelphia Municipal Court. And recently, a defendant in her courtroom was accused of raping a prostitute at gunpoint—and inviting three of his friends to rape her, too. It might even have been more, except that when a fifth man arrived and was offered a turn, he asked why the girl was crying and declined to rape her while she wept and his friend pointed a gun at her, instead deciding to help her get dressed and leave.

The thing is, Judge Deni dropped all sex and assault charges at alleged gun-wielding gang-rapist Dominique Gindraw’s preliminary hearing. She decided he should be held on armed robbery for “theft of services.” Not only can prostitutes not be raped, according to Judge Deni, but calling what happened to the 20-year-old victim rape “minimizes true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped.”

Words fail me, but the title of Skemono’s post — “Prostitutes aren’t people, after all” — seems to sum it up. But it’s worth mentioning that after being let go by the judge, this man raped another woman (also a prostitute, raped in the same manner) four days later.

But later today I’m still going to try to write a letter: Mike in the comments at Feministe posted a link to the Complaint form for the Pennsylvania Jucidial Conduct Board.

Or you can contact Judge Deni’s office directly (curtsy to Rotten Word).

Echidne writes:

The case also makes me wonder what all the sins are that we collectively assign prostitutes. There is an assumption that prostitutes have somehow consented to be abused and perhaps even murdered and that therefore the society is not responsible for awarding them the same protection other citizens deserve.

See also posts at Group News Blog, Reclusive Leftist, Lawyers Guns and Money, Young Philly Politics, Quizlaw, Anonymous Law Student, Angry Grrl, and Vomit Comet.

This entry posted in In the news, Prostitution, Porn and Sex Work, Rape, intimate violence, & related issues. Bookmark the permalink. 

9 Responses to Judge in Philidelphia Throws Out Rape Charges Because Victim Is A Prostitute

  1. 1
    Robert says:

    Words fail me as well. I can see the theoretical point the judge is making, but it has zero applicability to the case before her. OK, maybe in some case where a purchaser of sex pays $170 instead of an agreed $180, the resulting dispute might be thought of as a case of theft; she doesn’t want the transaction not to have happened, she wants the $10 she is owed.

    But in this case that is INSANE. I literally don’t know how to criticize someone for a decision this stupid and wrong.

  2. 2
    Bjartmarr says:

    This seems so ridiculous, I have to wonder if the judge is trying to pull some sort of legal maneuver here. Is the penalty for armed robbery perhaps more than the penalty for rape? Perhaps she is trying to make the appeals court take up the case, for some reason or another, and the only surefire way to do that is to be spectacularly wrong? Maybe she wants them to say something about the enforceability of contracts exchanging money for sex?

    Or maybe she just thinks her workload is too high, and she wants to be removed from the bench or given less responsibility?

    This woman was smart enough to pass the bar…she can’t be a TOTAL moron, can she?

  3. 3
    Silenced is foo says:

    O_____O

    I didn’t think people like that actually existed. I figured they were a bogeyman constructed by Marcotte to insult MRAs. There are seriously, actual things that could approximately be described as human beings who think that a prostitute can’t be raped? That this was “theft of services” – that is quite possibly the most disturbing phrase I’ve ever seen.

    Sweet merciful crap.

  4. 4
    Nan says:

    Words fail me.

  5. Pingback: link garden: latin america, gender, the environment, race and more at vegankid

  6. 5
    Skemono says:

    This seems so ridiculous, I have to wonder if the judge is trying to pull some sort of legal maneuver here. Is the penalty for armed robbery perhaps more than the penalty for rape? Perhaps she is trying to make the appeals court take up the case, for some reason or another, and the only surefire way to do that is to be spectacularly wrong? Maybe she wants them to say something about the enforceability of contracts exchanging money for sex?

    Well, given that the judge later declared that this case “demeans women who are really raped”, I wouldn’t bet on it.

  7. 6
    Kathryn says:

    WOW!

    I really thought the days of “Well, look what she was wearing….she was asking for it” or “Well, she put herself in this situation, so she got what she deserved” were long gone……how wrong I was!

    How sad it is to be back in times where it is OK to rape a woman, because of her choices. Let’s just not even think about the gun the guys had shoved in her face, as they took turns with her, while she feared for her very life. I guess she was “asking” for it, eh? I canot even begin to imagine how that girl is feeling right now, how humiliated she is…….Geez, I am sickened………

  8. It’s completely disgusting, but i’m not all that surprised. The majority of people out there don’t consider prostitutes human.

  9. Pingback: Rape is not… « UBUNTU!