Friday, November 02, 2007

Judge Reduces Rape Charges

This story really burns me up.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Wednesday on a city judge who changed the charges against a defendant. Here are the particulars of the case:

According to testimony, a 20-year-old single mother agreed to an hour's worth of sex with [Dominique] Gindraw for $150 on Sept. 20. When she arrived at the address, Gindraw allegedly asked if she would also have sex with his friend; she agreed for an additional $100.

When the friend arrived, according to testimony, he had no money and was armed. The woman said she had been forced at gunpoint to have sex with four men.

[Municipal Judge Teresa Carr] Deni dismissed the rape and sexual-assault charges and held Gindraw for trial on a charge of "armed robbery for theft of services."

A week after the hearing, Philadelphia Daily News columnist Jill Porter quoted Deni as saying in an interview that the woman had consented to sex, and that her complaint "minimizes true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped."

The judge is a menace.

[Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Jane Leslie] Dalton said Deni's ruling and comments showed that she misunderstood "what constitutes rape in Pennsylvania."

Dalton said the law permitted any woman to change her mind after consenting to sex "regardless of the circumstances. We cannot imagine any circumstances more violent or coercive than being forced to have sex with four men at gunpoint."

Apparently for Judge Deni, prostitutes give up their constitutional right to equal protection under the law. They're not people anymore, just businesses to either be paid or robbed. That attitude is just plain sick.

The judge is up for re-election this Tuesday, and the Philadelphia Bar Association had already recommended (a month before Deni's change of the rape charges) that she be retained. They can't officially rescind the recommendation at this late date, but the Bar Association's leaders are now opposed to her retention. Let's hope they can spread the word quickly enough to get Judge Deni thrown out on her ear.

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