A new Californian Law to reduce campus rape by requiring affirmative consent has caused controversy recently.
The Witchfinder points out that the United Kingdom already has a similar but much tougher and better drafted law that has operated to 11 years without any unjust effect and suggests the Californians might want to look at UK law for best practice.
However the supposedly tough and politically correct Californian legislation in fact conceals a sinister leftist agenda that will let rapists off hook entirely.
Californian legislators have recently introduced legislation purportedly aimed at reducing sexual harassment and assault on campus. SB-967 Student safety: sexual assault is a state senate bill intended to protect students from sexual assault. One of its (strangely) more controversial provisions is to require parties to a sexual act to ascertain consent and also that the complainant not be asleep at the time ‘consent’ was said to have been given.
The ‘affirmative consent’ provision has made the Guardian very happy but apparently caused controversy elsewhere, despite the fact that a moment’s reflection and common sense would suggest that is quite innocuous. Any normal sexual situation would presumably be utterly unaffected. The Witchfinder personally does not recall any sexual encounters that took place in silence, and indeed, what sort would?
In fact the UK has had this law for years. It has achieved most of the effect of the turgidly written Californian Bill in one line, section 1(2) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
(1) A person (A) commits an offence if—
(a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis,
(b) B does not consent to the penetration, and
(c) A does not reasonably believe that B consents.
(2) Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.
(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.”
Sections 75 and 76 of the UK Act go on to deal with unconsciousness and similar matters. Aside from being a lot shorter and clearer, the British law has been in force and sending people down for the last decade. In fact the ‘affirmative consent’ and ‘intoxication’ provisions affect only a small number of cases. Indeed, having searched BAILII, in this country of 60 million people the Witchfinder only found five Court of Appeal cases quoting s1(2) and none of them turned on the legal issue of ‘affirmative consent’.
Where the Witchfinder has a problem with the California Bill is that it appears to deal exclusively with well, rape and sexual assault – but in terms of College Disciplinary rules as opposed to say … prison. To quote one famous Californian, Buffy the Vampire Slayer – “I think I speak for everyone here when I say, huh?”
In the UK, if you rape someone, the punishment is pretty clear –
“(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.”
In practice the average sentence is 7 years and lifelong sex offender registration.
Like most civilised countries California has rape laws on the statute. Why would anyone in California introduce detailed procedures for civil punishment of rapists with a College reprimand?
The answer is simple. After decades of deranged misrule by Democrats, California nearly went bankrupt. At the same time California’s criminal justice policies were so harsh that in 2005 it had 168,000 people in jail of a population of 38,340,000. To put this in context, Britain has 60 million people and the most recent figures show 87,000 people are in prison.
As a result of its near budgetary collapse, California has started to let out violent criminals. The latest development brings this to grim farce. California has literally copied and paste British rape statutes, made them slightly more turgid and decided to dispose of them via … College disciplinary procedures. Administered by leftist academics.
Whilst California retains proper criminal rape laws on the statute, in reality it appears to be planning to dispose of rape of young women with a College reprimand and sensitivity training for the perpetrator. Well, it will certainly save the criminal justice system money.
Whilst we have the good fortune to live in one of the kindest and most enlightened societies in human history, it is true that there is a problem with a minority who still embrace rape culture.
At the more puerile end of the scale, one of my favourite online games is called Town of Salem – an online version of the party game Mafia / Werewolf. It is a great game with great developers but sadly, as with many games there is a small minority who have to be banned. Recently, the developers posted a list of bans and rough statistics of the reasons for them.
“40% for threatening to rape multiple people”
40% of bans handed out were to users for making multiple rape threats. Of course that does not reflect on the game Developers or the players generally. It is simply a sad truth that society has within it some sad, deviant people who find it acceptable to threaten men and women online with sexual assault.
Rape and sexual assault are serious crimes. Online harassment is a crime. Yet globally there is a sinister trend of treating them as youthful high-jinks. The Welsh Assembly has been dominated by Labour since the first elections in 1999 when it was created by Tony Blair. In 2012 it emerged that Welsh police had let off hundreds of youths with warnings – for crimes like Grievous Bodily Harm and Rape.
Louise Mensch and other commentators have rightly condemned Julian Assange for avoiding trial for an alleged rape. Guilty or innocent, Sweden is a democratic country with a fair legal system. Assange claims he is trying to avoid deportation to the United Stated. Under California’s new legal regime the Witchfinder would be unsurprised to see him sprint out of the Ecuadorian Embassy and beg to be tried in California.
The Witchfinder sees the whole ‘affirmative consent’ issue as a smokescreen. It is a Trojan horse to pacify Democratic voters – a clause that, as the Guardian admits, Republicans in the California State Senate did not even oppose. Whilst the leftists’ sheep-like followers are fixated on the affirmative consent provision the reality for women in Democratic California is that rapists will escape prison.