In a revolting decision, a Canadian judge gave a convicted rapist a two-year conditional sentence with no jail time because the crime took place under "inviting circumstances" and the victim was wearing a revealing outfit.
Kenneth Rhodes has been found guilty of raping a 26-year-old woman in the woods near a bar in 2006, The Winnipeg Free Press reports. Rhodes and his friend met the victim and her girlfriend in the parking lot, then the four decided to head into the woods. Once Rhodes was alone with the woman, he forced himself on her.
At the sentencing last week, Judge Robert Dewar said that though Rhodes was guilty, he wouldn't sentence him to three or more years in jail, as prosecutors wanted, because he's just a "clumsy Don Juan." Dewar said he didn't want to be seen as blaming the victim, but he had to take into account everything that happened that night to assess the "moral blameworthiness."
He proceeded, in a textbook example of victim blaming, to say that Rhodes didn't deserve to go to jail because the women confused him by wearing tube tops with no bras, high heels, and heavy makeup, and making "their intentions publicly known that they wanted to party." Dewar explained:
"This is a different case than one where there is no perceived invitation ... This is a case of misunderstood signals and inconsiderate behaviour."
Yes, how was Rhodes supposed to know the victim wasn't inviting him to force her into sex? According to Dewar, the rape was just one big misunderstanding. He remarked, "I'm sure whatever signals were sent that sex was in the air were unintentional."
The victim says that she now feels like, "I'm a prisoner in my own home," but certainly she'll be comforted by the apology letter Dewar ordered her rapist to write. Sounds like the judge will be satisfied if it reads, "Sorry, but maybe next time you should think twice about acting like a slut."
Rape Victim 'Inviting,' So No Jail [Winnipeg Free Press]
Image via Kuzma/Shutterstock.