Via commenter Fem at Ideologically Impure comes this rape story out of New Zealand. It’s hardly original, but it is an exemplar of the genre.
Warm up your Rape Apologist Bingo cards (I think credit should go to Shakesville for this, but I can’t find the original). This one’s heavy on the top left hand corner.
[Possible trigger warning: single-line not particularly graphic description of sexual violence.]
Stuff NZ: Former Crusader fined over grope
[…] Paringatai pleaded guilty to indecent assault a month ago, after the charge was reduced from sexual violation.
Paringatai, who is now living in Australia, grabbed the bottom of a woman he did not know at a social function in Christchurch in May 2007. The 22-year-old woman felt a finger penetrate her vagina through two layers of clothing and Judge Neave described it as “humiliating and devastating ordeal”. […click through to the full report for victim impact statement]
In negotiations before the sentencing, Paringatai had agreed to make a voluntary emotional harm reparation payment of $10,000 to the woman. Judge Neave said he wanted to make it quite clear this was a way of showing his remorse and because of his concern for her. It was not a matter of making the problem go away by waving his chequebook.
Defence counsel Jonathan Eaton said it turned out that a drunken, impulsive act that lasted a couple of seconds had caused harm and had lasting consequences for all those involved.
It had brought shame for Paringatai and his family, teammates, coaches, and the sport which had occupied him fulltime since he was 19 years-old.
He had written letters of apology, and Mr Eaton expressed those sentiments in court.
Paringatai had unquestionably permanently lost the opportunity to represent New Zealand at rugby, Mr Eaton said. He had been forced to ply his trade overseas – he has been playing in Ireland and in Japan – and there were serious questionmarks over whether his career could now survive his guilty plea and conviction.
Judge Neave referred to Paringatai possibly believing at the time that his status as a professional rugby player gave him a greater entitlement to respect. There was hypocrisy in the community being happy that these young men were paid large sums of money, and consistently telling them they were wonderful. It was hardly surprising if Paringatai ended up with an inflated idea of his own importance.
He accepted that Paringatai had never intended his actions to be as intrusive as they were.
He noted that afterwards, Paringatai had been asked whether offence-related sexual issues needed to be considered.
He replied: “Nah. I was just being a meat-head.”
Judge Neave fined Paringatai $2500 but stopped short of imposing a supervision sentence, because he now lived in Australia. The crown had sought a community work sentence.
Must be clear skies. I can hear heads exploding from here.
Categories: gender & feminism, law & order, social justice, violence
“He accepted that Paringatai had never intended his actions to be as intrusive as they were.”
It’s not that he didn’t intend to intrude into certain parts of her body, just that he didn’t intend that to be, er, called intrusive?
I would have chopped his, um, finger off.
That was me across the ocean, going explodo.
Yeah…. I saw this in the paper this morning, and thought, I can’t quite deal with this one yet. It’s sickening.
I can’t bear to read the whole post, but from what I’ve read, might I suggest a trigger warning?
Chally: I had assessed it as not needing one, but I’ve put one in with what I hope is a clear description of the reason, to help people decide whether to read on.
Okay, that’s very considerate.
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah. This is my *angry but so unsurprised* face. And my utter, utter hatred of rugby players’ defence lawyers is thoroughly confirmed.
And she was a perfect stranger… not much brought-upsie there.
Deus Ex Macintosh’s last blog post..Full benefit
I found the headline deeply offensive. Calling it a “grope” is just absurd. And implying it was some kind of innocent drunken tomfoolery is just revolting.
I’m actually astonished that a charge was brought, given the number of women who suffer this sort of assault on any given weekend in any number of pubs. Do you think this could be any sort of turning point? A high-profile case demonstrating that behaviour like this is a crime? Just wondering if, while on one side this is bingo, it might be a teaspoon on the other?
I hope so orlando, part of the problem (I suspect) with random stranger assaulting women in crowded pubs is pin-pointing who dunnit, with him being a famous kicky-ball player it was perhaps more obvious.
I’ve had a similar incident happen to me in a crowded bar and been so shocked I didn’t even think to see who it was until they had disappeared into the crowd.
a drunken, impulsive act that lasted a couple of seconds
i’m so glad this only lasted a couple of seconds for her, too. i mean, she certainly won’t have any lasting complications from the emotional trauma, right?
Note that the lead downplays it as a “clumsy drunken grope”. It sounds like the “grope” was pretty damn on-target, to me.
“Whoops, I accidentally raped you! Clumsy old me! Snork!” It’s the old condom-on-the-tomato-sauce-bottle excuse all over again, except with an actual person, who was harmed.
I keep trying to find the words to register my disgust, but the English language fails me. (Perhaps I should try Sycorax?)
“Judge Neave referred to Paringatai possibly believing at the time that his status as a professional rugby player gave him a greater entitlement to
respectrape with impunity.”
Yeah. Take him out back and bludgeon him with something spikey.
Yeah, Su, I was *wondering* about that…greater entitlement to respect somehow translating to a right to violate bodies with no ramifications.
fuckpoliteness’s last blog post..Is smart the new sexy and other FASCINATING questions! Fuck the Sams, and why I’m gonna be light-on with the posting
ARGH FUCK I just realised we’ve got a classic case of the Magical Sexual Assault Pixies at work:
Former Crusaders No 8 Jake Paringatai today saw the price he has paid for a clumsy drunken grope of a woman at a social function – $12,500 and most of his rugby career.
That’s a clumsy drunken grope. Not his clumsy drunken grope. That might imply he’d, you know, done something. Nonono, poor ickle Jake Paringatai’s caweer has been wuined by a clumsy drunken grope that materialized out of thin air.
Does anyone remember the media outrage over John Hopoate a few years ago?
No. No to the power of ‘N’.
If she’d turned around and forced the neck of a bottle straight up his ass, would that be a grope, I wonder…?
Deus Ex Macintosh’s last blog post..The “Doh!” is in the oven
Excellent point. Although of course there were the “it was just a joke to distract other players” apologists for him.
QoT — nice catch. It makes it sound like it’s something he walked into accidentally, doesn’t it?