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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 12:05 PM
Original message
Rape case ruling shocks Australia
Source: BBC

A judge's decision not to jail nine men guilty of raping a 10-year-old girl in an Aboriginal community has triggered outrage in Australia.
...
In her ruling, Judge Sarah Bradley told them that the victim "probably agreed to have sex with all of you".
...
She placed six of the offenders, who were minors at the time of the rape, on probation for 12 months, local media said.

The three other defendants were handed suspended six-month prison sentences.

Read more: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7136269.s...
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. That judge needs an ass-whipping.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. I personally volunteer.
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #11
21. Perhaps we should organize a rota.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
2. How can anyone at the age of 10 consent to anything?
I don't know the law in Australia, but don't most nations harbor the notion that there is a "legal age" when it can be assumed that a person has the maturity to make their own decisions, and before that they don't? Or was this a matter of racism, since the girl was from an Aboriginal community?
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Beerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I don't know jack about the law in Oz either,
it could be that because Aboriginal culture predates the white invasion of that continent by tens of thousands of years, the law takes into account mitigating circumstances?
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. there is indications that they have been in Oz for 50K years.
This sucks beyond comprehension. That judge needs removing. Are they doing something about this?
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Toots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-11-07 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
40. By mitigating you mean she is black and they are white??
I suspect that is the mitigating circumstances you are referring to. I mean a 10 year old must have really wanted badly to have sex with all nine boys...
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-11-07 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #40
45. The men involved appear to be aboriginal.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Looks like pure racism to me
You know, they're not like us, they're not raised with morals and allowing 9 boys to tear up her insides and make her too injured to walk was entirely voluntary because you know that's just how they live.

I'd like to see how that judge feels after sex with nine men, one after the other, "voluntary" or not.

It's the stupidest ruling I've seen in ages.
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anakie Donating Member (935 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. it is
Imagine the outcry if this happened to a white girl in suburban Brisbane? or choose your suburb of choice. They would be locked up and the key thrown away.

A 10 year old girl consenting. Hogwash. The poor girl also suffers a brain condition due to foetal alcohol syndrome. And it appears that Family and Community Services new about this and wanted to hush it up.

Unbelievable.


http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,229028...

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,2290...

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/12/11/2114977.h...


Peace
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ohio2007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. In certain countries, the girl would have been given 90 lashes
...if she was of consenting age.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
17. Oh, Down Under has a horrible history when it comes to
treatment of their native aboriginal population, unquestionably. Up until just fifty years ago, they had a program by which they attempted to "civilize" aboriginals with any white blood, or with the "potential" to be "civilized" (based on the observations of government agents in aboriginal areas), by taking the children away from their families and communities (stealing, in other words), and forcing them to reside in government boarding schools sometimes hundreds, if not a thousand or more, miles away from their homes. They then refused to allow any contact with their families and would force them to marry and "breed" with white Australians, thus "purifying" the line. That was an entrenched program that was only just stopped in the middle part of this century, if not even later.

Ever see the movie Rabbit Fence? Truly shocking and eye-opening, about aboriginal girls who were taken from their mother and who then escaped the boarding school, walking over a thousand miles along the "rabbit fence" that they knew led to home; all the while being stalked by the government agents sent to find and retrieve them. They managed to make it home, except for one sister who was caught and whom they never saw again, were sent back, and escaped and returned home again. The woman who was the focus of the story then had her own daughter taken away, and whom she never saw again, before they finally stopped the program and she was allowed to have her other children in peace. And that was all true.

And the anti-aboriginal attitudes are entrenched and persistent to this day.
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anakie Donating Member (935 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. you are absolutely correct with this
and not as a justification or to get into a slanging match with you, it is hard to stomach criticism from the USA as the historical treatment of Native Americans is not especially first class either.

As a historian I am sure you know this.

Re the taking the children away, they are known as the Stolen Generation. They have been seeking an apology from the government for many years. Howard and his conservatives dismissed this out of hand. However the new Rudd Government went to the elections with a platform of apologising. I hope he does it as it will go somewhat towards a proper reconciallition. You may be surprised how many Australians want this to happen. Have a look at the site below.


http://www.gadigal.org.au/GadigalInfo/Bridge_Walk.aspx?...


Peace
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. I am very glad to see that the apology movement
may finally be getting somewhere, it's way past damned time. And you will also get no argument from me whatsoever regarding our very similar treatment of Native Americans and our incredible hypocrisy when it comes to "looking down" on others in these situations.

And I'm a white gal living on an Indian reservation in the western part of the US, so I know exactly what you're talking about.
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anakie Donating Member (935 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Oddly enough
Stolen Generations apology starts today: Macklin


The Federal Government says it will today begin the formal process of formulating an apology to the Stolen Generations.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has launched a magazine to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Bringing Them Home report in Sydney this morning.

She says she will also be meeting Indigenous leaders to start discussions on an official apology.

"What we want to do is stand together, with you, and pledge a new relationship, a new relationship that is steady, and based primarily on respect," she said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/12/11/2115439.h...


Another election promise honoured. I hope you all over there get a new government that you can be proud of. It is only just over 2 weeks since we threw out Howard and it still feels great. I still get a smile thinking about it.


Peace
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #17
27. Well, this case seems to be the opposite of this.
Edited on Mon Dec-10-07 07:46 PM by lizzy
At least according to the article, the child was removed from her native aboriginal population, and placed with a white family after being sexually abused at age 7. Supposedly she was doing well there, but case workers decided that she shouldn't be raised by a white family, upon which she was returned back to her native aboriginal population.
Upon her return apparently additional sexual abuse had taken place.
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22903474-2,00.html...
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gubbi Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:59 PM
Response to Reply #17
51. Oh, Down Under has a horrible history when it comes to
This is a response to the Post by liberalhistorian.
Firstly there is a danger in commenting on other country's issues without being informed properly. Secondly, and I realise this might be hard for Americans, but movies do not always depict correct and true history.

Here is a brief summarised timeline.
1788 - BRITISH arrive and declare the country free of civilisations. This leads to the idea of Terra nullius. Therefore the British declare the country free of people and native Australians have no right to own land.
1901 - Australia becomes a federation of colonies, Queensland is one (the state where the rape case occurred).We still are a federation of colonies, each with their own parliament and governor and links to the Queen. A republic will come soon but will surely not be based on the American model as this simply promotes a president based on financial backing alone.
1946 - or there abouts, Australians actually get their own passport - but all decisions of law until then are actually British.
Between 1992 and 1996 (I think), Australian law finally overturns the disgraceful British decision of terra nullius, thereby opening the way for Indigenous land rights.

The picture I am painting here is one of Australians overturning unjust British rulings. This should make a point with Americans. Difference is we didn't use war to achieve this. But it took time and the original inhabitants suffered in the meantime.

Now to the rape case.
From the early 1900s (as depicted in Rabbit Proof Fence) aboriginals, who had European and Aboriginal blood were often rejected by their own people. To solve this they were often sent to white Australian families. Later, in say, the 1950s another generation of Aboriginal children were removed from their families. The reasoning - the same as before,also due to abuse. The way this was handled was insensitive but the people responsible had good intentions when considering the era (1950s - remember US hysteria over communism around the same time).

In recent decades a report was released by an academic researching the impacts of children being removed from their aboriginal parents. It was labelled "the stolen generation". What this report led to was a condemning of the practice of removing indigenous children from their families, no matter what abuse they suffered.

Now to the lack of a sentence in the recent rape case. Aboriginal deaths in custody. An unusual proportion of Aboriginal men were committing suicide if incarcerated in white-man's prisons. In many communities this lead to a change of practice away from white law to a more traditional aboriginal law. For example - for rape - a spear in the leg. But what it also meant that arresting and sentencing Aborigines was often seen as a racist act. Not always, but it many cases.

And now today, what we have is no justice and a community (the aboriginal community) as been exposed as abusing their children. This must change but once again white law will have to intervene. A sad situation to be sure, but to blatantly attack all Australians as racist is stupid and ill-informed to say the least.It insults all of us who have been brought up in this country often with close aboriginal friends such as I have.

I suggest you look at your own country first, the way it blatantly celebrates native American destruction, before insulting our nation.Australia has a long way to go to repair British mistakes, but virtually all of the country (as shown in the recent elections) wants something to be done, now. What we don't need now is ill-informed people looking for any opportunity to introduce the racism card.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
18. It looks as though the sentence will be appealed
I was listening to ABC (Australian Broadcasting) yesterday, and there was indeed a considerable amount of outrage.

Even so, this appears to be a part and parcel to inherent racism. Had this been a 10 year old girl in a Brisbane suburb, there would have been hell to pay.

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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
31. In most countries that is Age 16.
Edited on Mon Dec-10-07 09:01 PM by happyslug
But under the Common law it was 12 (It has been repealed in all states by a higher age limit).

World wide Age limits:
http://www.avert.org/aofconsent.htm


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_consent

I question this map, for example it shows the Vatican as Unknown, but Canon law set consent age at 15 (which would apply to the Vatican).

Furthermore, it shows Pennsylvania as 18, when the age is 16, unless the sexual partners are less then four years apart then 14.
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rollin74 Donating Member (489 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
4. disgusting beyond words
thankfully Kevin Rudd (the new prime minister) is speaking out against this insane sentencing. I hope that this sentence can be changed and that this judge can be removed.
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-11-07 12:57 AM
Response to Reply #4
36. It's kind of tough to blame it all on the judge, considering the
prosecution apparently asked for this kind of sentencing.
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kimmylavin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
5. Ah, here it is...
"The offenders came from some of the most powerful and prominent Aboriginal families in Cape York, while the victim's family had a lower status, The Australian reported."

Money talks, I'm thinking...
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avrdream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Oz is becoming just like America.
Very sad.

I have a ten year old daughter and I cannot imagine her giving consent to have sex with 9 other boys. She knows what sex is and that's it.

Disgusting ruling.
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IronLionZion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-11-07 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #5
39. WTF? I was prepared to be angry at white people, (as if I didn't already have enough reasons)
But now I'm just angry at these individuals and the judge. I'm not really sure what to think about this as my thoughts are clouded by rage.
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Gonnuts Donating Member (525 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
7. When did ...
rove corrupt their justice system? Is this what he's been doing since he left the White House?
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Hydra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
9. Sure, blame the victim
the age of consent is rarely less than 12, even in areas where sketchy marriage practices exist(yuck!), so I have no clue how this Judge managed to slide them past on any kind of grounds...but I guess you can do illegal things if you know the right people. OJ can tell you about that.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
10. That's fucked up...stating the obvious, I know
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pleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
13. This judge should be kicked off the bench, permanently.
Who in their right mind would ever say someone, especially, a child asked for it.
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edbermac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
14. And a female judge at that.
She must be related to Ann Coulter.
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Fresh_Start Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
16. story gets worse, she was raped before when she was 7
and she's mentally impaired.

So not only did the freaks abuse a ten year old but they abused an impaired 10yo which had previously been victimized.
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22903474-2,00.html...
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
22. Seriously... what the fuck?
Okay--you could make an argument that it might be different if the girl were even just 14 or something, but a ten year old?

And even if the girl really agreed to it, for whatever bizarre reason, nobody else involved had more common fucking sense than that?

And this was the set of penalties requested by the prosecution?

Excuse me, please. There are some people in Oz who need to be in pain.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
25. horrifying -- and enraging. nt
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screennaame Donating Member (14 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
26. hmm
i think this judge is gunna lose her job by the end of the week.

"probably agreed to have sex with all of you"

probably?? thats not fact. your letting 9 men off the hook on probably?

how old were these men? i looked through the article but didn't see it. i could just be blind tho.
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anakie Donating Member (935 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. here
In sentencing the offenders over the Aurukun case, Judge Bradley ordered that the six teenage juveniles be placed on a 12-month probation order.

She sentenced three men aged 17, 18 and 26 to six months' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,229028...


Peace
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screennaame Donating Member (14 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. thanks


just makes my stomach twist even more.

17,18, AND 26
good lord.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #26
50. Consent isn't the issue. n/t
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ckramer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
30. In future, judges should be a robot powered by a powerful court case
database.

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Acadia Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 08:53 PM
Response to Original message
32. This is the "Christian woman" judge like her Am. counterports.
She blames her own sex when they are abused. Hope it is appealed and they win.
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jmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
33. If she honestly believed the girl "probably agreed"
then she shouldn't have even given them the slap on the wrist she did. Knowing that something happened but blaming the victim should cost her her job.
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-07 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Legally this child couldn't have agreed to have sex because
she was only 10.
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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-11-07 12:33 AM
Response to Original message
35. Until recently, there has been a "politically correct" practice
of non-interference in such cases because of Aboriginal tribal customs, which was probably a
convenient way of ignoring what was going on. However, in recent years, white law is deemed to
over-ride tribal custom, mainly because of cases similar to this one, which have caused public
concern.

It seems that the Department of Public Prosecutions asked for a mild sentence, for God knows what
reason, and the Judge complied.

Heads should roll.
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oscarmitre Donating Member (330 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-11-07 06:53 AM
Response to Reply #35
37. I think it was only in the Northern Territory that courts were taking into
consideration the effect of customary law, I believe that has now been scrapped. But in this case it seems that some sort of perverted political correctness has been at work. This happened two years ago and in the intervening time heads have indeed rolled within the state govt department that is supposed to protect children. While the pitchforks are out for Judge Bradley it remains to be seen how at fault she is. But that's what appellate courts are for. Perhaps, just perhaps, out of this tragedy will come a bit of common bloody sense for everyone involved. I heard on ABC radio that the girl was looked after by a non-indigenous family but was removed from their care on the grounds that non-indigenous foster families should not look after indigenous children. I just hope that even if there have been sackings that the government culture that approved that kind of thinking will be examined.
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-11-07 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
38. It's time for me to cry now. nt
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Seabiscuit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-11-07 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
41. If this judge
ever gets gang-raped, I hope her assailants are sentenced by a like-minded judge. See how she likes it.
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superconnected Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-11-07 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
42. In truthfulness, considering what happens to girls/women daily
why should this be shocking?

Because it's a "civilized nation"? Sorry, still not shocked.
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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-11-07 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. I think the shock lies in the casual attitude of the Crown Prosecutor.
He described the attack as "naughty" and "a form of childish experimentation", although one of the
men involved was 25 at the time.

That's what's so hard to understand - not that it happened, because unfortunately this kind of thing
is not so unusual, especially in Aboriginal communities, but that the man responsible for prosecuting
the case really wasn't bothered by it all. No understanding, no anger, no compassion for the girl -
it beggars belief that he could be so casual. And the judge could have made her own determination
that the men deserved jail, but she blithely went along with the prosecutor's assessment. Both seem
to be living in an alternate universe.

The prosecutor has today been stood down, as he bloody well should be.
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-11-07 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. I think it would be very rare for the judge to give more time
than the prosecution asks for.
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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-11-07 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. Yes, that's why the prosecutor is copping the flak.
But the judge does have the right to make his/her own determination, and I think this is one time
when the right course of action was very obvious.

It's just so hard to imagine people being that insensitive. Not to say stupid.
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 04:51 AM
Response to Original message
47. UPDATE: Prosecutor suspended in Australian rape furore: official
SYDNEY (AFP) - An Australian prosecutor who described nine males who gang-raped a 10-year-old Aboriginal girl as "naughty" was suspended from duty as outrage grew Wednesday over the fact they were not jailed.

~snip~

The Queensland state government is appealing the sentences, and has ordered a review of some 75 sexual assault cases on the remote northeastern Cape York peninsular, where the gang rape occurred, over the past two years.

Carter, the senior legal officer responsible for Cape York, has been stood aside by the state's director of public prosecutions pending an inquiry, state attorney-general Kerry Shine said late Tuesday.

Queensland state premier Anna Bligh said she was appalled at the sentence, and vowed "very radical action" if it was part of a systemic failure.

more:http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071212/wl_afp/australiacr... ;_ylt=Ai6ZOapkeTxNm.u4bWR5oruQOrgF
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rollin74 Donating Member (489 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #47
49. excellent news
thanks for the update. The prosecutor sounds like a very sick person and the sentence is unacceptable.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-12-07 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
48. Probation for raping a 10-year-old????
This judge is sick.
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