Monday, July 11, 2011

Justice Denied. Again.

[Trigger warning for sexual violence.]

Jamie Leigh Jones, the Halliburton/KBR employee who reported being gang-raped by her co-workers, only to then be held hostage by her employer, and who had to fight through an absurd stipulation in her employment contract that required sexual assault allegations be addressed by private arbitration in order to take her case to court, has lost the civil rape case against Charles Boartz and KBR.
The main attacker named in the complaint defended the case by saying the sex he had with Jones, while she was unconscious, was consensual. And it was enough for a Houston jury to believe.

To beat the charges the defense did what the defense had to do: they went after Jones' character. They produced medical experts that testified that her injuries "may" have been consistent with rape. They introduced evidence that Jones had alleged rape before, that she had a book deal and that her success post-attack was inconsistent with someone who was claiming psychological injuries.

The defense was shooting for reasonable doubt. Except there is one problem here. Reasonable doubt is the standard in a criminal case and Jones' claims were civil. All the jury had to do was believe it was more likely than not that Jones was correct and then they were required to find for her. Think of it as about 51% that Jones was telling the truth.

Instead, the jury found it was more likely than not that Jones consented to sex while unconscious.
I don't believe there's anything I can say that I haven't already said a thousand times before. This is the rape culture in action.

I'm so sorry, Jamie Leigh.

[H/T to Shaker InfamousQBert.]