29-year-old Lee Setford has been jailed for five years after a jury found him guilty yesterday of raping a drunk woman passed out on his couch. But apparently the presiding judge found it appropriate to console the defendant, lamenting that Setford didn't just plead guilty so he could have a lighter sentence. YEP. Judge Michael Mettyear demonstrated incredible ignorance regarding the concept of rape, nailing many of the huge myths right on the head as if he wrote them himself.
He told Setford (warning, immense douchebaggery ahead):
"It's sad to see a man of generally good character in the dock for such a serious offence.
"I do not regard you as a classic rapist. I do not think you are a general danger to strangers. You are not the type who goes searching for a woman to rape.
"This was a case where you just lost control of normal restraint."
"It was almost out of the blue that two girls turned up late at night, very, very drunk, at your home.
"The victim was the worst for drink out of the two of them. She was completely out of it. I accept that evidence.
"She was a pretty girl who you fancied. You simply could not resist. You had sex with her."
There is so much going wrong with this statement, I don't even know how to tackle it. Here's a start:
- Rape is rape.
- Rapists aren't like Lay's fucking potato chips. There is no such thing as a "classic rapist." Thinking that such a concept exists merely serves to undermine rape survivors.
- Rape isn't a lapse of control or restraint, like accidentally letting a dog loose or eating jellybeans when you're on a diet. It is assault.
- A man "in the dock" for such a "serious offences" isn't sad. It's justice. (Note: Setford had a previous conviction for battery, so I don't know to what "good character" the judge was referring.)
- Rapists aren't lecherous Boris Badenov-types, who roam the streets hunched over rubbing their hands together searching for a woman to rape. They are regular people. People the victim often knows.
- It doesn't matter if the victim was drunk and passed out.
- It doesn't matter if the victim was pretty.
- It doesn't matter if Setford "fancied" the victim.
Again: Rape. is. rape.
Image via Shutterstock.