Friday, April 23, 2010

Oh Canada

A man is facing prison in Canada because he had sex with his adult sister. This article calls it “nonconsensual.” The charge, though, is incest, not rape, and you’ll see why if you keep reading.

A former senior officer with the Vancouver Police Department will be sentenced May 5 after pleading guilty to committing incest in an incident involving his sister.

He is 47. She is 46.

The brother and sister had been to the World Police and Fire Games in Vancouver in August 2009, and after drinking at a sports bar, the pair went back to a condominium the brother shared with his girlfriend.

Court heard that the brother later entered the bedroom his sister was in and had unprotected, non-consensual sex with her while both were in an alcohol-induced semi-conscious state.

Sounds to me like they were both intoxicated. If she couldn’t consent because she was drunk, how can he be held criminally responsible if he was drunk as well? They do not indicate that he raped her, though considering that she was married, and considering the bigoted shaming against consanguineous sex to the point of his prosecution, she is definitely under pressure to deny there was consent, or she could be prosecuted as well.

He has resigned from the police force and has to live with the stigma of a ruined reputation, the lawyer said.

Yes, destroy his life because he had sex. What kind of sense is that? What danger does he pose to anyone?
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  1. If the sex was consensual then how were they caught?

    It seems to me that his sister is very upset about what happened and does not consider that sex to be consensual at all. Otherwise she would not have filed a complaint with the police.

    If you'll notice, he plead guilty. He plead guilty to a lesser charge (incest) in order to avoid a lengthy sentence for the actual crime he committed (rape). I agree that the charge of incest is bogus in this case. But not because this is a case of consensual sex, but precisely because it is not.

    I agree that consensual adult incest should not be legal, but this case does not sound like an example of consensual adult incest at all. It sounds like rape.

    Consensual sex that happens in private and that no one involved in ever reveals to anyone is impossible to prosecute. If this sex had been truly consensual no one would ever hear about it because these two would keep it to themselves.

  2. Hans, thanks for both this comment and your other recent comment.

    You're probably right. Unfortunately, news coverage is generally lacking these days. If she did not consent, then this was rape or assault. While she may have reported it herself, it is possible someone else was there and reported it. You'd think that would be mentioned in the story, but I know first hand how much news articles can leave out.

    I want to see a sharp distinction made in the media and the law between rape/assault and consensual incest. That word - "incest" - gets used in such wildly divergent examples, such as a father raping his 13-year-old daughter and... say, consensual (married, even) sex between cousins in their 30s. If they happened in the same city, the news might as well report that, too... "Bostonian sex."


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