Innocent until proven guilty

posted in: Life and things | 0

I was a supporter of the #metoo movement when it started. I don’t know too many women who can honestly say they have never been subjected to sexual harassment, whether it be workmen on a building site hootin’ and hollerin’, unwanted advances from a close relative, innuendo in the workplace, right through to domestic violence and rape. Many women have a story to tell and too often the police and the justice system make the telling so difficult it’s nigh on impossible. Things needed to change.

But as so often happens when the start is good intentions, as time goes by the central focus of what’s meant to happen is changed. I have NEVER been a supporter of the ‘believe all women’ vibe. Anyone who truly thinks that every woman who claims to have been assaulted, raped, or whatever must be believed is at best being naive. There have been plenty of cases where women have accused innocent men of rape for their own evil reasons.

I’m talking about this because Bruce Lehrmann has now been charged with sexual assault after a 2021 episode in Toowoomba. Lehrmann was accused of rape by Brittany Higgins in a protracted, ugly trial by media episode that lasted for several years. His trial was aborted, then before a second trial could be held the charges were dropped because of the fragile state of Ms Higgins’ mental health. Lehrmann has always denied the allegation. I had something to say about it all here.

The current case is that Lehrmann met a woman at a Toowoomba club in Oct­ober 2021, only a few weeks after he first appeared in court over allegations he raped Ms Higgins in Parliament House. Alcohol and cocaine was consumed, the pair had consensual sex during which a condom was used. The following morning it is alleged the accused twice had sex with the woman without using a condom. It wasn’t until a month later that the woman recognized Bruce Lehrmann’s picture in a newspaper article discussing the Higgins case and took the matter to the police. Under Queensland law failing to wear a condom without a partner’s permission is considered sexual ­assault. More about the case.

I sincerely hope that this new trial is conducted in a court of law, with the accused presumed innocent, instead of the disgraceful trial by media that eventuated in the Brittany Higgins case.

I’m making progress on the latest book. It involves a certain amount of rewriting for various reason. I might decide a scene worked better from someone else’s point of view. Maybe I have a bigger think and decide something I’ve written is dumb (he/she wouldn’t have done that). Or maybe I come up with a better idea. Whatever. It’s still fun and that’s what really matters. If you’d like to know what it’s about, here’s a glimpse.

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