Judge Bans Use of the Word "Rape" in Rape Trial


This is just getting absurd. Judge's ban on the use of the word 'rape' at trial reflects trend:
It's the only way Tory Bowen knows to honestly describe what happened to her.

She was raped.

But a judge prohibited her from uttering the word "rape" in front of a jury. The term "sexual assault" also was taboo, and Bowen could not refer to herself as a victim or use the word "assailant" to describe the man who allegedly raped her.

The defendant's presumption of innocence and right to a fair trial trumps Bowen's right of free speech, said the Lincoln, Neb., judge who issued the order.
We've discussed Bowen's case before at Shakesville, along with the increasing reluctance to use the word "rape" in media coverage of rape cases; now it's becoming a trend at rape trials, too.
"It's a topic that's coming up more and more," said Joshua Marquis, an Oregon prosecutor and a vice president of the National District Attorneys Association. "You're moving away from what a criminal trial is really about."

In Jackson County, Senior Judge Gene Martin recently issued a similar order for the trial of a Kansas City man charged with raping a teenager in 2000.

…But in cases where the defendant's version of events is pitted against that of the alleged victim, "words are really important," Marquis said.

"To force a victim to say, 'when the defendant and I had sexual intercourse' is just absurd," he said.
It's also forcing them to commit perjury—which is why I can't understand for the life of me how this can possibly be constitutional. Sexual intercourse connotes consent. Testifying to having "sexual intercourse," when one has not given consent, is not accurate. Effectively, rape victims are being compelled to perjure themselves to protect their rapists. Charming.
"It shouldn't be up to a judge to tell me whether or not I was raped," Bowen said. "I should be able to tell the jury in my own words what happened to me."

…Those who defend the accused say the determination of whether what happened was rape or consensual sex is up to juries, not witnesses.

"They shouldn't be able to use the word 'rape' as if it is a fact that has been established," said Jack King, director of public affairs and communications for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "These are loaded words."

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