Mistrial in Rape Trial

The Nebraska trial of a man accused of rape — but whose accuser was not allowed to utter the word rape in court — will end in a mistrial yet again, as Judge Jeffre Cheuvront ruled yesterday, because pretrial publicity has tainted the jury pool.  Of course, that’s not his fault — it’s the fault of Tory Bowen for daring to protest his insane and bizarre ruling:

In a written explanation of his ruling, the judge said Tory Bowen, the alleged rape victim, and her friends drummed up pretrial publicity that tainted potential jurors and led to a mistrial.

Bowen and her friends signed a petition decrying the judge’s decision not to allow the words to be spoken in court. The petition was posted on a Web site that encouraged people to gather in front of the courthouse Monday to protest, Cheuvront wrote.

Monday was the first day of jury selection; another rally occurred Wednesday.

“The inescapable conclusion from the petition promoting the rally is that Ms. Bowen and her friends hoped to intimidate this court and interfere with the selection of a fair and impartial jury,” Cheuvront wrote in his order released Thursday afternoon. “The gatherings and the speeches … were widely reported in the media. Unfortunately, this resulted in publicity that would make it virtually impossible to summon additional jurors who would be untainted by the media reports on these activities.”

Now, far be it from me to disagree with an eminent jurist like Cheuvront, who came up with the brilliant ruling that a woman accusing someone of raping her had to instead use terms like “had sex with me” in court, but it seems to me that part of the reason this case came to light nationally was because Cheuvront made an absolutely atrocious ruling that led to nationwide publicity, and gave the accuser plenty of support for a rally outside the courtroom.

This is something Cheuvront may want to consider going forward.  I’m just sayin’.

(Via The Cucking Stool)

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “Mistrial in Rape Trial

  1. He strikes me as the same quality of jurist as the $$55 million pants guy in DC. Crap, that is.

  2. the alleged rape victim

    The accuser. Argh.

    “Ms. Bowen and her friends hoped to intimidate this court and interfere with the selection of a fair and impartial jury…Unfortunately, this resulted in publicity that would make it virtually impossible to summon additional jurors who would be untainted by the media reports on these activities.”

    Hmm. Let me get this straight: The judge imposes his asinine ruling on Bowen, Bowen says no, he declares a mistrial, and then blames her, taking no responsibility for his own actions.

    Is there any doubt that this judge is a fucking rape apologist after that, lol?

  3. I can’t believe I set my house on fire and everyone is watching it burn down. Nothing to see here! Keep moving!

  4. Ula

    And if she insists (and rightfully so) to be able to use the word rape, it’s probably because she wants this guy to be punished for, you know, raping her (not for ‘having sex’ with her). So she probably wants a trial that can do that. But of course it was her fault this story got media attention and she purposefully wanted a mistrial and caused all this publicity because she doesn’t want a trial even though it’s the only way her rapist will go to jail? Nice try judge, but go back to law school and learn how to make an argument that makes sense. Oh wait, I forgot judges don’t really have to make logical arguments anymore. Damn! ::shakes fist at Supreme Court::

  5. Where do I call or write to get this [redacted] apologist [redacted] from the bench?

  6. Hopefully, both prosecution and defense will move for a change of venue to have a trial with a less-tainted jury pool. Getting this individual out of the picture sounds like a very good idea.

  7. Like I said in the thread below, I was surprised she was allowed to talk to the press during jury selection; seems like the strategy was to get a mistrial and maybe a change of venue.

  8. Like I said, one klassy judge.

  9. Like I said in the thread below, I was surprised she was allowed to talk to the press during jury selection; seems like the strategy was to get a mistrial and maybe a change of venue.

    Yeah, in that matter the judge is correct: Bowen made it impossible to find an impartial jury. It was a great strategy, and I applaud whoever came up with it, because it was clear that the asshat judge wasn’t going to provide a fair trial no matter who was on the jury. I hope they move the trial far, far away from him.

  10. fishboots

    Not only did she go and get herself raped, she had the nerve to make it difficult to let the poor accused guy off! You’d think she have accepted her place by now.

    Ms. Bowen is teh awesome.

    I hope that judge finds it difficult to get re-elected, having proven himself both rape-friendly and a whiny asshat.

  11. Arkades

    What’s next, the judge ruling that the word ‘trial’ can’t be used to describe the legal proceeding at hand, because calling it a trial might make the jury think the accused might have done something for which he might need to be placed on trial?

  12. Barbara McCall

    Why don’t all of you who are so outraged explain to me just how it is necessary to use the word “rape” in order to convict someone of first degree sexual assault under Nebraska law?
    From my reading of the statute (28-319), in order to convict the defendant, the jury must be able to determine, beyond a reasonable doubt, that each of the following happened in Lancaster County, Nebraska;
    1. the defendant sujected the victim to sexual penetration;
    2. without the consent of the victim; and
    3. the defendant knew or should have known that the victim was mentally or physically incapable or resisting or appraising the nature of his or her conduct.

    Each of the following terms is defined in statute 28-318: actor, intimate parts, past sexual behavior, serious personal injury, sexual contact, sexual penetration, victim, without consent and force or threat of force. The jury must use these definitions in determining the elements of the crime as listed above.

    The term “rape” is not used anywhere in the statute or in the definitions. So how is the victim prejudiced by not being able to use the undefined, inflammatory, conclusory word “rape” in the trial?

  13. Leeann

    The language allowed by the judge was parsed so narrowly as to make the victim unable to describe the assault in any coherent or cogent manner.
    “Cheuvront granted a motion by defense attorneys barring the use of the words rape, sexual assault, victim, assailant, and sexual assault kit from the trial of Pamir Safi—accused of raping Tory Bowen in October 2004.”

    As a rape victim, although many years ago, I can say that it is NOT sex. as the judge so idiotically ruled that she must describe it. Of course, I had a fractured jaw and cheekbone, four broken ribs and a concussion, a cut on my throat, as well as multiple cigarette burns, thankfully while I was unconscious, so there was no doubt it was not “sex.” Also, I certainly would never have chosen a filthy laundry room floor as a place to have consensual sex.

    Back then, it was difficult to prosecute a rape case because the police and just about everyone else, assumed the woman was “asking for it” even though modestly dressed and her only “crime” was walking down a hall in a very nice resort hotel in Palm Springs while vacationing with her family.

    Thankfully, in most of the United States, judges do not dwell in the dark ages or blame the woman who is the victim of a sexual assault.

    The ruling by this judge is a travesty and makes it appear that Nebraska has not yet arrived in the 21st century. I wonder if he is one of the judges who excuses pedophiles as well as other sexual predators and DWI killers.
    Any judge who hands down a ruling that essentially invalidates the testimony of a victim, does not belong on the bench and should be censured.

  14. Pingback: Soon, Rape Won’t Exist at All—Not the Act, Mind You; Just the Word at Shakesville

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