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Wednesday, August 02, 20061154532573

California Empowers Victims To Fight Back Against Sexual Crime

"Dancer's Suit Puts Corrupt Lawyers on Their Toes," by Wendy McElroy, FoxNews, 1 August 2006, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,206615,00.html (courtesy Brendan of I Hate Linux).

Early experiences have made me interested in sexual predators. I have been able to see more sides of this phenomenon than many people. Thus I have written on pedophilia on this blog, as well as rapists like Elisabet Sunde and convicted criminals like Crystal Gale Mangum.

Some news is bad. Other news, like this, is good:

What would you do if a lawyer threatened, "Give me a million dollars or my client and I will publicly brand you as a rapist and destroy your life?"

On July 27, the California Supreme Court expanded the range of choices possible to one man who was presented with that threat.

The dance phenomenon Michael Flatley of Riverdance fame can proceed not only with a lawsuit for defamation against his accuser but also with one for extortion against her lawyer.

The very fact that the attorney faces possible civil liability may impact how aggressively attorneys proceed in lawsuits that allege sexual misconduct. A common reason for settling such suits is fear of publicity.

Flatley's lawyers contend that the drama started when their client achieved wealth and renown as the creator and a lead dancer of the theatrical show Riverdance. At that point, he became a celebrity target.

In October 2002, Flatley and his accuser Tyna Marie Robertson had a sexual encounter in a Las Vegas hotel. Twenty-five days later, she called Nevada from Illinois to report a rape.


While the decision is limited to the State of California, it is heartening to know that one state now allows victims to go after the accomplices and conspirators of sexual predators. Because, according to the facts of this case, that Tyna Marie Robertson is a sexual predator. Rape-blackmail is nothing less than sexual assault, and Michael Flatley is a great man for fighting back.

Comments

This is introducing a little negative feedback into the court system.

That there could now be a greater cost associated with an accuse-for-payoff scheme to the accuser, reduces the incentive to try an accuse-for-payoff scheme (at least the blatent ones).

Reducing abuse incentives is a good thing.

Posted by: purpleslog | Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Makes sense to me. Sometimes its amazing what things aren't already law.

Posted by: Adam | Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I agree with Purpleslog about reducing incentives. Which Shakespeare play had the line "first, kill all the lawyers"?

I've spent years working with ethical members of the legal community and it's way past the time that we start spraying Roundup on these legal weeds!

Cheers,

Mike

Posted by: Mike | Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Matt,

Purpleslog has been running a great series on "Lawfare" [1] which ties into this nicely.

Adam

Agreed. Fortunately the courts read the laws to show that victims have this right.

Purpeslog,

I agree completely.

[1] http://purpleslog.wordpress.com/tag/lawfare/

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Thursday, August 03, 2006

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