American Judge Rules phrases like "rape" and "sexual assault" are prejudicial to defendants

// 15 June 2007

In a stunning piece of legalistic (un)reasoning, Lancaster County District Judge Jeffre Cheuvront ruled that the victim of a first degree sexual assault crime could not use the words “victim,” “assailant,” “attack,” “sexual assault kit” and “rape” when giving evidence as a witness and nor could the prosecution team on the basis that doing so may constitute “unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues or misleading the jury.” (From Omaha News).

As a response, Abyss2hope argues we should also therefore ban words like “consent” and “mutual” (prejudicial to the alleged victim), “sex” and “we” and “they” (implied consent and would prejudice a jury against the alleged victim).

Instead of saying that (or asking if) the defendant and the alleged victim had sex, the defense attorney should have to say that (or ask if) the defendant put his penis in the alleged victim’s body. There’s a clear difference between an alleged victim being cornered into saying, “Yes, we had sex” and saying, “He must have because when I came to his penis was in there.” The first question asked by a defense attorney is designed specifically to mislead the jury — a violation of the law. There’s also a clear difference between a defense attorney saying, “the fact that they had sex is not in dispute” and “the fact that he put his penis in her body is not in dispute.” The first statement is absolutely prejudicial.

From abyss2hope blog

I’d urge you to read more on the original case here and abyss2hope’s response here.

EDIT: Thanks to the keen eyed-reader who spotted my misattribution of nationality in the original title.

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