High Profile Celebrity Sex Trials

  oresome 10:45 14 Feb 2014

In light of two recent high profile acquittals, is there any point in continuing with further cases where the alleged incidents occurred so many years ago that recollections of the incidents are likely to be flawed and not stand up to forensic cross examination?

Should the accused in such cases be named and suffer reputational damage as well as possible financial ruin regardless of the outcome, while the accusers maintain anonymity?

  john bunyan 11:36 14 Feb 2014

There seems to be a couple of problems. Back in the '60's , although abhorrent, it seems that casual "touching up" was commonplace and was mainly brushed aside by the "victims". There were quite a few cases when mini skirts came in of men being let off such things when, for example following a mini skirted girl up the stairs of a bus. Totally wrong then and these days even more unacceptable. My wife was a Theatre Sister in those days and the behaviour of some surgeons in the operating theatre sometime resembled "Doctor in the House", for example.

Of course abuse of minors, however long ago , as in Saville, must be pursued. The sort of "1960's" episodes are difficult to prove after such a long time, so it is difficult for the Crown Prosecution Service to decide to go ahead or not. The people who have been found not guilty have admitted that they were not angels, but in the light of '60's norms were probably not unusual, however unacceptable by todays standards. Maybe if found not guilty they should be able to recover costs.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:12 14 Feb 2014

Where's the

"No Win No Fee" sex case lawyers when you need one????


  Mr Mistoffelees 15:50 14 Feb 2014

"Should the accused in such cases be named and suffer reputational damage as well as possible financial ruin regardless of the outcome, while the accusers maintain anonymity?"

In any such case, whether the alleged victim is a child or adult and whether the case is recent or old, the accused should have anonymity until such time as he or she is, perhaps, found guilty. Celebrity, or not celebrity, should make no difference.

  fourm member 16:50 14 Feb 2014

I don't understand those who argue that accused should be named so that other victims will come forward.

It is up to the law to prove every allegation. It shouldn't be a case of a jury assuming that several accusations amounts to proof of any of them.

If one allegation gets a conviction then that is the time when others can come forward. And the sanction for the second plus allegations can reflect that the offender is a serial not a one-off.

  Al94 12:43 15 Feb 2014

If I chose to, which I wouldn't, I could look back to the 60's and early 70's and make accusations of bullying, sexual and physical assault against some teachers and work colleagues!

Rightly or wrongly, it was a different world back then and things regularly happened that would be unacceptable now. I don't claim to have been totally innocent myself.

There needs to be a pragmatic approach to these accusations given the passage of time and the devastating effect it has on the lives of many celebrities who, it appears, are being unfairly hounded now for things that happened at a time when different standards prevailed.

  Forum Editor 17:21 15 Feb 2014

"In light of two recent high profile acquittals, is there any point in continuing with further cases"

Isn't that a little like saying that nobody should be tried for murder if it took place decades ago, because some people have been acquitted in such circumstances?

Surely a crime is a crime - it doesn't become less of a crime as time goes on. The CPS has to assess evidence in each case, and then make a decision about the likelihood of a conviction before allowing it to go forward to trial. In making the decision all kinds of things are considered, and quite understandably an alleged victim's interests are one of them.

So two high-profile people have been aquitted, there are further trials to come. Let's see what happens.

  Quickbeam 23:21 15 Feb 2014

I will always accept either anonymity for none, or anonymity for all. But never a one sided anonymity.

  rdave13 23:28 15 Feb 2014

Quickbeam, as it should be, but the law is a proverbial ass unless common sense is applied. Law and order is a balance of equal justice when it comes to a Court of law. Supposedly.

  namtas 09:04 16 Feb 2014

The FE equates these cases to the crime of murder, which of course they are not, the reason being, and why they fail is because there has been in all cases so far tried a total lack of circumstantial evidence. The charges that are being brought largely by people who feel that they may be able to make a claim by now complaining 40 years later saying that they were hugged or touched. In most cases the police originally decided that there was insufficient evidence to proceed. The Saville case prompted a revival. To date we have seen three trials which have collapsed because of a total lack of evidence, I just hope that the CPS sees sense and abandons further waste of money. To date the cost is estimated to be £2.4 Million

  fourm member 09:49 16 Feb 2014

'it doesn't become less of a crime as time goes on.'

That's not the issue, here. The point is whether something becomes more of a crime as time goes on.

We should all be thankful that women both at work and in general are treated with a great deal more respect than used to be the case but that doesn't mean that we can transport today's attitudes to the past.

There's also a possibility that acquittals could lead to someone whose actions would have been regarded as seriously criminal at the time will get off because juries will think all prosecutions are like the recent ones.

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