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Rapists are getting too little jail time (Read 4038 times)
mothra
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Rapists are getting too little jail time
May 19th, 2017 at 3:18pm
 
Rapists are getting too little jail time


CONTENT WARNING: The following article contains a description of sexual assault.

Douglas Steele, the James Cook University (JCU) staff member who admitted to raping a 20-year-old indigenous student in 2015, will be released from jail tomorrow, having served just 17 weeks behind bars for the rape.

Seventeen weeks! Apparently that’s the going rate for raping a defenceless and vulnerable young woman in Queensland.
On the night of the assault, Steele entered a bedroom under the pretence of helping a barely conscious indigenous student. But once alone with his victim, he raped her.

He was charged in October of that same year, but was permitted to continue working at JCU and — unbelievably — was later promoted to Academic Adviser to indigenous students in the JCU Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Centre.

Steele pleaded guilty to the rape in September last year but was permitted to continue working in the role for another four months while he awaited sentencing. He was allowed to voluntarily resign immediately prior to sentencing in January this year.

Worse, he was supplied with a glowing character reference written by a senior staff member from the university, to assist at sentencing. It claimed that the rape was “out of character”.
After receiving the character reference, the judge awarded
Steele a two-year prison sentence to be suspended to just four months. That prison sentence ends on Tuesday and Steele will be released back into the community having completed his full 17 week sentence in the Townsville Corrections Centre.

But as Steele now prepares for his imminent re-entry into society having “repaid his debt” to the community, a number of questions remain unanswered.

For example, why did senior management allow Steele to continue working with indigenous students when they knew he had pleaded guilty to raping one?

And when it comes to the courts, is 17 weeks behind bars really a just punishment for raping a highly vulnerable student?
More to the point, how can the courts ever expect victims of other perpetrators to come forward and go through the harrowing ordeal of describing and reliving their rapes if this is all the justice they can expect to receive?

Frankly, 17 weeks is nowhere near long enough for rape. Especially the rape of a defenceless and powerless student by a person in a position of trust and authority.

I have condiments in my fridge that have been in there for longer than Steele was in prison. And most of us are probably still using the same tube of toothpaste that we were using when he went away.

This isn’t justice. This is a joke.

Even more staggering, in Queensland one in eight convicted rapists will be given a suspended sentence or some other lenient punishment — such as a community service notice — meaning they won’t spend a single night in jail. Often this is because it is their “first offence” or because the judge has been told the rape was “out of character”.

Imagine what that is like for the victim. To go through the harrowing and humiliating ordeal of invasive rape-kits, lengthy police interviews and cross examination, only to find out that even though a jury of peers has found the rapist guilty beyond all reasonable doubt, he will now be allowed to effectively walk straight out of the court, scot-free with just a suspended sentence.

It gets worse.

In NSW one in seven convicted rapists will walk out of jail with a suspended sentence or some lesser penalty such as a “bond without conviction”.

And in Victoria one in five will.

One in five. Really let that sink in.

Because what is the point of even asking rape victims to take their rapists to court if there is a 20 per cent chance that even if the person is found guilty, they will be let off with nothing more than a mild slap on the wrist?

In fact in Victoria, even paedophiles are getting off easy and the average jail time that convicted child molesters are receiving is actually decreasing. In 2014, those found guilty of persistently sexually abusing a child under 16 were given an average sentence of five and a half years, down from eight and a half years in 2011-12.

Try and wrap your mind around this: If a rapist were to carjack a vehicle in Victoria and drive it to NSW where he then raped a woman, the carjacking would be considered the far more serious offence. (The carjacking would carry a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison, where as the rape would carry a maximum penalty of just 14 years.)
The whole situation is absurd.

James Cook University has ordered a review of their culture which is currently being conducted by former Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick. This is to be commended.

But perhaps it’s time we also ordered a review of our broken justice system and of the woefully lenient sentences metered out to the offenders in such cases as these.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by sexual assault, support is available by contacting 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 and asking to speak to a trauma counsellor.

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/opinion-rapists-are-getting...
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If you can't be a good example, you have to be a horrible warning.
 
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Gordon
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Re: Rapists are getting too little jail time
Reply #1 - May 19th, 2017 at 3:25pm
 
Mothra I agree, but I'd also say that most violent offenders get a totally inadequate sentence.

Years ago a mate's little brother was jumped by a gang of thugs in the CBD and had the crap beaten out of him. Broken teeth , shattered eye socket.  One was caught and pled down to something that ended up with zero jail time. My mates brother was profoundly effected and is still just a shell of his former self.
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Wokka Wokka Wokka
 
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mothra
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Re: Rapists are getting too little jail time
Reply #2 - May 19th, 2017 at 3:34pm
 
You're comparing rape to a bashing?

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If you can't be a good example, you have to be a horrible warning.
 
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Lord Herbert
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Re: Rapists are getting too little jail time
Reply #3 - May 19th, 2017 at 3:41pm
 
Gordon wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 3:25pm:
Mothra I agree, but I'd also say that most violent offenders get a totally inadequate sentence.

Years ago a mate's little brother was jumped by a gang of thugs in the CBD and had the crap beaten out of him. Broken teeth , shattered eye socket.  One was caught and pled down to something that ended up with zero jail time. My mates brother was profoundly effected and is still just a shell of his former self.


Same thing happened to my girlfriend's son at that time.

Hope we're not talking about the same person ... ?
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Gordon
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Re: Rapists are getting too little jail time
Reply #4 - May 19th, 2017 at 3:44pm
 
mothra wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 3:34pm:
You're comparing rape to a bashing?



The level of trauma experienced by the victim may be the same.
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cods
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Re: Rapists are getting too little jail time
Reply #5 - May 19th, 2017 at 4:00pm
 
Gordon wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 3:44pm:
mothra wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 3:34pm:
You're comparing rape to a bashing?



The level of trauma experienced by the victim may be the same.



violation   no matter what or where   is something one never gets over... this obviously doesnt come into any sentencing in Qld.. its like hicksville up there..the hillbillies from Tennessee... Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

whatever happened to womens lib! did it not reach Qld females?....

its incredible this happens in 2017....

I did hear they had a female Premier....maybe thats not true.
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John Smith
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Re: Rapists are getting too little jail time
Reply #6 - May 19th, 2017 at 4:17pm
 
Lord Herbert wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 3:41pm:
Same thing happened to my girlfriend's son at that time.



you? a girlfriend?
Grin Grin Grin

come on, admit you just made that up  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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REPORTER: The condition of the budget will not be an excuse for breaking promises?

TONY ABBOTT: Exactly right. We will keep the commitments that we make.
 
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Karnal
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Re: Rapists are getting too little jail time
Reply #7 - May 19th, 2017 at 4:25pm
 
Gordon wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 3:44pm:
mothra wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 3:34pm:
You're comparing rape to a bashing?



The level of trauma experienced by the victim may be the same.


Not if you take them out.

There's that forest near where Greggery lives. Rhino knows the one.

The dead tell no tales, dear. And no trauma.
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Karnal
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Re: Rapists are getting too little jail time
Reply #8 - May 19th, 2017 at 4:27pm
 
cods wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 4:00pm:
Gordon wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 3:44pm:
mothra wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 3:34pm:
You're comparing rape to a bashing?



The level of trauma experienced by the victim may be the same.



violation   no matter what or where   is something one never gets over... this obviously doesnt come into any sentencing in Qld.. its like hicksville up there..the hillbillies from Tennessee... Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

whatever happened to womens lib! did it not reach Qld females?....

its incredible this happens in 2017....

I did hear they had a female Premier....maybe thats not true.


Only there's the small matter of the Separation of Powers, dear.

If it wasn't for that, good old Joh would still be there.
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Rhino
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Re: Rapists are getting too little jail time
Reply #9 - May 19th, 2017 at 4:40pm
 
I think if we were able to break down sentencing by race it would tell a little more of the story. Immigrants and Aboriginals tend to get dealt with more leniently while middle class whites more harshly.
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Re: Rapists are getting too little jail time
Reply #10 - May 19th, 2017 at 4:41pm
 
Karnal wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 4:27pm:
cods wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 4:00pm:
Gordon wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 3:44pm:
mothra wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 3:34pm:
You're comparing rape to a bashing?



The level of trauma experienced by the victim may be the same.



violation   no matter what or where   is something one never gets over... this obviously doesnt come into any sentencing in Qld.. its like hicksville up there..the hillbillies from Tennessee... Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

whatever happened to womens lib! did it not reach Qld females?....

its incredible this happens in 2017....

I did hear they had a female Premier....maybe thats not true.


Only there's the small matter of the Separation of Powers, dear.

If it wasn't for that, good old Joh would still be there.


True Karnal....but.....Government has a very direct and legitimate influence on these matters through Appeals initiated by the Attorney General or by Legislation for mandatory minimum sentences.

The later amounts to a legitimate Government attack on the Judiciary and that is why they back off........because when it (The Judiciary) fights back (through retired Old Boys,) they are a powerful political opponent and influence.


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Karnal
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Re: Rapists are getting too little jail time
Reply #11 - May 19th, 2017 at 4:43pm
 
Rhino wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 4:40pm:
I think if we were able to break down sentencing by race it would tell a little more of the story. Immigrants and Aboriginals tend to get dealt with more leniently while middle class whites more harshly.


That's right, Rhino. That's why they're in Villawood waiting to be deported, or the highest population per capita in our prison system.
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Rhino
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Re: Rapists are getting too little jail time
Reply #12 - May 19th, 2017 at 4:47pm
 
Karnal wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 4:43pm:
Rhino wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 4:40pm:
I think if we were able to break down sentencing by race it would tell a little more of the story. Immigrants and Aboriginals tend to get dealt with more leniently while middle class whites more harshly.


That's right, Rhino. That's why they're in Villawood waiting to be deported, or the highest population per capita in our prison system.
Deportation is deportation, theres no length of jail sentence involved in the process of deportation itself. Aboriginals represent a high proportion of prisoners because of recidivism rates, not because of longer sentences.
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Karnal
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Re: Rapists are getting too little jail time
Reply #13 - May 19th, 2017 at 5:08pm
 
Rhino wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 4:47pm:
Karnal wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 4:43pm:
Rhino wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 4:40pm:
I think if we were able to break down sentencing by race it would tell a little more of the story. Immigrants and Aboriginals tend to get dealt with more leniently while middle class whites more harshly.


That's right, Rhino. That's why they're in Villawood waiting to be deported, or the highest population per capita in our prison system.
Deportation is deportation, theres no length of jail sentence involved in the process of deportation itself. Aboriginals represent a high proportion of prisoners because of recidivism rates, not because of longer sentences.


Immigrants get deported for a crime worth 2 years in jail, Rhino.

Aborigines do time predominantly for unlicensed driving, and you're right. Repeatedly.

They wouldn't be in jail if they were getting special treatment, now would they?
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Re: Rapists are getting too little jail time
Reply #14 - May 19th, 2017 at 5:14pm
 
Karnal wrote on May 19th, 2017 at 5:08pm:
Aborigines do time predominantly for unlicensed driving, and you're right. Repeatedly.



Who told you that?

Quote:
The most common offence/charge for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners was acts intended to cause injury (33% or 3,309 prisoners) followed by unlawful entry with intent (15% or 1,506 prisoners).


http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4517.0~2015~Main%20F...
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In the fullness of time...
 
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