You'll recall the "rape by deception" case, in which a court convicted a Palestinian man, based on the fact that, had the woman known he was not Jewish, she would not have slept with him. Well, the plot thickens.
At the time, the case seemed so bafflingly awful as to boggle the mind: an instance of clear-cut institutional racism. And while this element can certainly not be discounted, it turns out - now that court testimony is unlcassified — the case is more complicated than we were originally led to understand. This site gives a full translation of Haaretz's comprehensive coverage of the new revelations. And UK site the F Word provides a good, concise summary of the court testimony:
In a nutshell, the victim was in her 20s, and a longstanding victim of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of her father as well having worked as a prostitute and been addicted to drugs. None of which stopped the sexual abuse from her father. At the time of the rape she was living in a women's shelter having finally escaped him.
According to her testimony, the convicted man dragged her into a hallway, stripped her, and forcibly raped her, leaving her half naked and bleeding when an ambulance arrived. She was in the process of prosecuting this when, essentially, the prosecution threatened to try to tear her credibility to strips by painting her as an ‘unreliable witness'. This was based on her history of allegations of sexual abuse, her history of working as a prostitute, and some inconsistencies in her testimony (during which she was visibly distressed). This was their tactic in a plea-bargain to get the charge of rape dropped to the lesser charge of ‘rape by deception'. Which is an awful lot different to the way the story was originally painted.
Which makes the 18 month sentence — which originally seemed draconian — positively lenient by comparison. While the "original" story led to mutterings about women who can't live with their choices and cry rape, it seems the initial victim-shaming at work was for more pernicious. Now, I'm going to go ahead and suggest that we still don't know all the facts and that we should withhold judgment, since there are just too many questions — not to say inconsistencies — here. But it's pretty safe to say that whatever the "truth," it's not a happy one — whether that resolution involves rape, racism, defamation, or plain old victim-blaming.