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  1. #1
    I am Murloc! Tennisace's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 'No means no': Judge delivers blistering rebuke of lower court sex-assault decision

    An Alberta Court of Queen's Bench justice has overturned a teen's acquittal on a sexual assault charge and delivered a blistering rebuke of a lower court judge she said did not understand the law.

    In a seven-page ruling, Justice Juliana Topolniski used a series of scorching short sentences to explain that the issue of consent is "not a difficult concept."

    "It is long beyond debate that, in Canada, no means no," Topolniski wrote. "Consent means yes.

    "The word 'no' does not mean 'yes.' The word 'no' coupled with fending off an attacker with a water bottle does not mean 'yes.'

    "There is nothing ambiguous about it."
    Acquittal in sex-assault case

    In April, provincial court judge Michael Savaryn found a 15-year-old boy not guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year old girl. The names of both the accused and the complainant are covered by a publication ban.

    Topolniski overturned the acquittal and convicted the teen. She not only ordered the boy back to provincial court for sentencing, she asked the court to ensure that Savaryn is not the judge who will ultimately sentence the teen.

    A sentencing date for the boy, now 16, will be set Aug. 25.

    On a Tuesday afternoon last October, students at an Edmonton high school had just wrapped up an after-class workout. About 10 to 15 minutes later, the boy walked by the girl's locker and made a comment about her anatomy, according to the facts laid out in Topolniski's decision.

    The girl told the court she found the comment "disrespectful," but laughed it off because "she was not expecting it."

    As the girl was on her way out of school, the boy approached her again. He told her "that she was sexy and fit, and touched or slapped her buttocks several times."

    Incident captured on video

    The interaction was captured on a video entered as an exhibit at trial and watched by the judge. It showed the girl smiling and giggling. The boy then pushed the girl into a locker, grabbed again at her buttocks, ran his hands over her body and tried to kiss her. She quickly moved away and told him to leave.

    The two moved out of camera range. The boy ignored the girl's demand and followed her, then pushed her into a closed doorway, Topolniski wrote. For a third time he grabbed her buttocks, then her breasts, and tried to kiss her as she tried to push him away and fend him off with a water bottle.

    The boy said she should "just let him do it."

    She said no and told him it wasn't right. The girl wasn't laughing anymore. She got away from the boy and left the school. But he approached her one last time outside school to ask for a hug. She said no and walked away, but he came back, grabbed her and hugged her.
    Upset, uncomfortable, disrespected

    The girl said she was upset, uncomfortable and felt disrespected. But later that night she texted a male friend about what had happened and attached a smiley face with tears and tried to make light of the incident. She testified that she thought if she had told her friend how upset she was, he would likely have tried to hurt her attacker.

    The trial judge decided the girl's actions did not match her words.

    Savaryn decided the victim appeared to be "complacent" because she didn't seem to be upset about the boy's advances or try to fend them off until the doorway incident, even though she said no twice at the locker and in the doorway.

    The trial judge found the girl "tried so hard to laugh it all off that I do not believe she was successful in communicating her discomfort … even at the end, I am not convinced she clearly expressed her objections."
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...sion-1.3694814

    People need to wise up about consent. It's pretty clear cut as to what it is.
    If she says no it means stop.

  2. #2
    I am Murloc! mayhem008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tennisace View Post
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...sion-1.3694814

    People need to wise up about consent. It's pretty clear cut as to what it is.
    If she says no it means stop.
    What if he says no?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by mayhem008 View Post
    What if he says no?
    Then you laugh at him and question his masculinity and tell everyone that you think he can't get it up, and society smiles and nods.

  4. #4
    The Insane smrund's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayhem008 View Post
    What if he says no?
    Some sexual humor is funny. This wasn't.
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  5. #5
    I am Murloc! mayhem008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smrund View Post
    Some sexual humor is funny. This wasn't.
    Asking op what his stance is on men being raped is a joke?

  6. #6
    Titan May90's Avatar
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    Guess the boy was a slow thinker.
    Quote Originally Posted by King Candy View Post
    I can't explain it because I'm an idiot, and I have to live with that post for the rest of my life. Better to just smile and back away slowly. Ignore it so that it can go away.
    Thanks for the avatar goes to Carbot Animations and Sy.

  7. #7
    Bloodsail Admiral Fenris the Shaman's Avatar
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    This is clear cut where she said no. The guy here was a fucking moron and didn't know when to stop obviously. Why are you making this out to be a bigger deal than it is?
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  8. #8
    Does Canada not have double jeopardy laws and does this not fall into it? Being "tried" for the same crime twice? And why did it even move to a higher court? Did a prosecutor just say " I don't like what that judge said" and issue an appeal to a higher court? I wasn't aware this was a possibility in a criminal case.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Kapadons View Post
    Does Canada not have double jeopardy laws and does this not fall into it? Being "tried" for the same crime twice? And why did it even move to a higher court? Did a prosecutor just say " I don't like what that judge said" and issue an appeal to a higher court? I wasn't aware this was a possibility in a criminal case.
    Yes we have a double jeopardy law (section 11(h) of the Charter), but unlike in the USA, acquittals can be appealed by the Crown and if the original trial judge and/or jury erred in their interpretation of the law (as happened in this case, by not following the standards set in a previous Supreme Court decision), that trial can be tossed out and a new trial ordered. For the purposes of double jeopardy, the original trial essentially never happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris the Shaman View Post
    This is clear cut where she said no. The guy here was a fucking moron and didn't know when to stop obviously. Why are you making this out to be a bigger deal than it is?
    Because he was incorrectly acquitted in the original trial, and in the USA, that would have been the end of things with no possible recourse for the victim.
    Last edited by Masark; 2016-07-28 at 04:51 AM.
    Warning : Above post may contain snark and/or sarcasm. Try reparsing with the /s argument before replying.
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  10. #10
    Pit Lord Flurryfang's Avatar
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    Hopefully she does not give him too huge of a judgement. He just seems like a guy, who don't know sexsual borders and a tough voice/hand will proberly straighten him out. I know some kids, who at that age, was quite confused about how to act around girls and some, who had a bit of an ego, would sometimes be a bit too aggresive against some girls. These guys did not become rapists, but did just have no experience, when communicating and handling girls. Few years later, these guys got normal relationships and are normal today.

    But this is Canada, so they are proberly gonna do something horrible to this kid, was overdoing it when it comes to his punishment.
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  11. #11
    I am Murloc! Sicari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kapadons View Post
    Does Canada not have double jeopardy laws and does this not fall into it? Being "tried" for the same crime twice? And why did it even move to a higher court? Did a prosecutor just say " I don't like what that judge said" and issue an appeal to a higher court? I wasn't aware this was a possibility in a criminal case.
    Considering the video evidence...there was more than enough grounds for an appeal or, to be more accurate, a review of the judge's decision.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Flurryfang View Post
    Hopefully she does not give him too huge of a judgement. He just seems like a guy, who don't know sexsual borders and a tough voice/hand will proberly straighten him out. I know some kids, who at that age, was quite confused about how to act around girls and some, who had a bit of an ego, would sometimes be a bit too aggresive against some girls. These guys did not become rapists, but did just have no experience, when communicating and handling girls. Few years later, these guys got normal relationships and are normal today.

    But this is Canada, so they are proberly gonna do something horrible to this kid, was overdoing it when it comes to his punishment.
    So, you're going to go with a "boys will be boys" argument?

  12. #12
    Pit Lord Flurryfang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sicari View Post
    Considering the video evidence...there was more than enough grounds for an appeal or, to be more accurate, a review of the judge's decision.

    - - - Updated - - -



    So, you're going to go with a "boys will be boys" argument?
    Yes, that is the argument i will go for. Children, or specific young people in puperty are in a constant confusion when it comes to sex, feelings and social interaction with both sides of gender. This confusion can lead to overaggresion, but it is often not meant in any harmful way. It is just, that nobody have told or shown how these kids are to interact. So they try things out. Some people try to extremly nice, some try to shine with a huge ego and some try to be the aggreser, being the one to always take the "first step". This is not saying, that this kid does not deserve a punishment, he clearly does, but there is no need to look at his action and see him as a future rapist. He is just a teenager doing what he thinks will get him girls. All he needs is somebody clearly saying, that such behavier is not accepted and is especially not how you get girls. There is no need for jail or sexsual predator lists, just a firm hand and some clear clarification.
    May the lore be great and the stories interesting. A game without a story, is a game without a soul. Value the lore and it will reward you with fun!

  13. #13
    I am Murloc! Sicari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flurryfang View Post
    Yes, that is the argument i will go for. Children, or specific young people in puperty are in a constant confusion when it comes to sex, feelings and social interaction with both sides of gender. This confusion can lead to overaggresion, but it is often not meant in any harmful way. It is just, that nobody have told or shown how these kids are to interact. So they try things out. Some people try to extremly nice, some try to shine with a huge ego and some try to be the aggreser, being the one to always take the "first step". This is not saying, that this kid does not deserve a punishment, he clearly does, but there is no need to look at his action and see him as a future rapist. He is just a teenager doing what he thinks will get him girls. All he needs is somebody clearly saying, that such behavier is not accepted and is especially not how you get girls. There is no need for jail or sexsual predator lists, just a firm hand and some clear clarification.
    There's no indication that he's going to be sentenced as an adult...if that's what you mean.

    I'm not saying he should have his dick cut off or anything like that...but he needs more than a slap on the wrist. At 15 years old...you should damn well know better than to just start grabbing at girls asses and breasts...especially after she tells you to stop.

  14. #14
    Pit Lord Flurryfang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sicari View Post
    There's no indication that he's going to be sentenced as an adult...if that's what you mean.

    I'm not saying he should have his dick cut off or anything like that...but he needs more than a slap on the wrist. At 15 years old...you should damn well know better than to just start grabbing at girls asses and breasts...especially after she tells you to stop.
    You don't need to be an adult to be hit with a hard sentence. Especially in a time, where people are very sensitive about sexsual assualt.

    Well, what would be a prober punishment then? I think, that it is very hard not to give a too hard punishment to this kid, if some strong words and some at-home punishments is not enough. The system of law can do very little to this kid, unless they want to send him to jail or brand him as something bad, which will impact his life.
    May the lore be great and the stories interesting. A game without a story, is a game without a soul. Value the lore and it will reward you with fun!

  15. #15
    Stood in the Fire
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    He will most likely have probation, community service and have to register as a sex offender, all of which I agree with. At 15 he's nearly an adult, he should know better. Using a "boys will be boys" is the worst excuse in the book.
    Araya of Med'ivh

  16. #16
    Legendary! Flutterguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayhem008 View Post
    What if he says no?
    Males can't say no.

  17. #17
    I am Murloc! Sicari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flurryfang View Post
    Well, what would be a prober punishment then? I think, that it is very hard not to give a too hard punishment to this kid, if some strong words and some at-home punishments is not enough. The system of law can do very little to this kid, unless they want to send him to jail or brand him as something bad, which will impact his life.
    He did do something bad though. His life needs to be impacted. He needs a serious course correction or he could end up thinking he can get away with this kind of behaviour.

    Does he need to go to jail? Maybe not...but there are lots of options the system has to deal with this kind of thing. Community service, counselling, probation...etc.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Araya View Post
    He will most likely have probation, community service and have to register as a sex offender, all of which I agree with. At 15 he's nearly an adult, he should know better. Using a "boys will be boys" is the worst excuse in the book.
    I don't agree with registering as a sex offender. I tend to believe that a 15 year old is still figuring things out, giving him a label that sticks with you the rest of your life doesn't make any sense. If a high school sophomore gets in a fight, is he labelled as a violent criminal and have to register that way for the rest of his life? No, because that's silly.

    I think the same thing is true, even more so, with sex crimes. This kid at the end of the day is trying to have sex with a girl, which is a totally normal thing for a kid to want to do. His methods are totally inappropriate and he needs a serious punishment/incentive to straighten out.

    With regard to "boys will be boys": there is some truth to this and I think relates to why men view these things differently from girls. Boys are more violent and fight a lot through teenage years. We violate each other's personal space all the time - fighting, wrestling, etc. I was not a particularly violent kid, but when I was 12 I was thrown to the ground at recess and had the wind knocked out of me so I literally couldn't breathe. I also got in a fight where I punched a kid in the face and he fell to the ground. I spent hours in gym class in high school wrestling another kid in my class who was on the wrestling team, and sometimes I got thrown to the ground pretty hard. I was a swimmer and we regularly used to wrestle at the end of practice. I could go on. That's all totally normal for a boy. However, girls don't experience anything like that. Once girls reach around age 11, they're not fighting anymore and they're respecting each other's space.

    So when a 15 year old grabs a girls butt, he doesn't recognize how jarring that is for her. He also doesn't recognize how helpless she feels because he's likely a lot bigger and stronger than she is. He's used to getting physical in ways that girls are not. He's totally wrong, but I also don't think he's an irredeemable sex criminal who needs to register so everyone in his neighborhood knows where he lives. He needs a swift kick in the pants.
    Last edited by Tonus; 2016-07-28 at 04:53 AM.

  19. #19
    Stood in the Fire
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    We have mandatory sex ed starting around grade 4. So the excuse of he didn't know what he was doing is BS, unless he has a mental disability of some kind that hasnt been mentioned. If he doesnt want a label like that he shouldnt have done it in the first place. The incentive to not do it, is to not get a label/mark on you for the rest of your life. Though I don't know for sure in Alberta as I don't live in that province, but here, if you get into a serious enough fight, even in grade school, you can and will be charged. And no none of this is silly, what you are suggesting is silly.
    Araya of Med'ivh

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Araya View Post
    We have mandatory sex ed starting around grade 4. So the excuse of he didn't know what he was doing is BS, unless he has a mental disability of some kind that hasnt been mentioned. If he doesnt want a label like that he shouldnt have done it in the first place. The incentive to not do it, is to not get a label/mark on you for the rest of your life. Though I don't know for sure in Alberta as I don't live in that province, but here, if you get into a serious enough fight, even in grade school, you can and will be charged. And no none of this is silly, what you are suggesting is silly.
    Boys also know they're not supposed to hit people, but they do it anyway because they are immature. And this wasn't that serious, he groped a girl far too aggressively, obviously way over the line but he wasn't violent about it. Violence would have me worried.

    With regard to the label, do you honestly think that this act makes him irredeemable to the point that others need to be warned if he's living near them for literally the rest of his life?

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