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February 08, 2010

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Clay S. Conrad

This misses an essential point as to what sexual assault is.

The jury must focus on the complaining witnesses' behavior. (Even calling them the victim ASSUMES the defendant is guilty. Until there is a finding of guilt, there is no victim as a matter of law.)

Otherwise, how can the jury determine whether or not there was consent? If the jury believes that, from the complaining witnesses' behavior, that the defendant may have believed there was consent, then they must acquit.

If the complaining witness was behaving ambiguously, then the State probably cannot prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The actions of the complaining witness are the root of the case.

Also, I should note that the "history" of acquittals in civil rights and lynching cases is dramatically overblown, and results more from racism on the part of judges, prosecutors and police than from racism on the part of juries. I've written at length on this elsewhere.

Thaddeus Hoffmeister

Well said. I also think the court should use the word "complainant" rather than "victim" until a verdict has been reached.

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