And sometimes I come across a story that makes me want to curl up into a little ball and cry. Sometimes I come across a story that just makes me want to get up and walk away from the computer for the rest of the day. Once I’m done with this post, that’s precisely what I’m going to do.
Because I cannot make any sense of this story that doesn’t involve telling the judge to fuck off and die.
A 24-year-old man raped a 12-year-old girl repeatedly. The articles don’t say for how many months he continued to rape her. They do call this repeated rape of a child “sex” and “a relationship.” They do refer to the 12-year-old girl as the 24-year-old man’s girlfriend. And I guess that’s only appropriate insofar as that’s the narrative the judge is broadcasting to the world, and to this girl, in his ruling that does not involve any sort of jail time for the full grown adult who repeatedly raped her.
In sentencing, Judge Wayne Chivell said Hean had met his now-former girlfriend in March 2007.
She was 12 years old at the time, but lied and said she was 16 – Hean, who was 24, lied and said he was 20.
“When you learned she was 12, you continued to have a sexual relationship with her,” Judge Chivell said.
“By that time, you say you were in love with her, and somehow convinced yourself it was appropriate to continue.
“That was immature and irresponsible on your part, but I accept that you were not acting as a predator.”
Judge Chivell said the relationship – Hean’s first – persisted despite authorities warning the couple to stay away from one another.
After he was arrested for unlawful sexual intercourse, Hean saw the girl on nine more occasions – resulting in the breach of bail charges.
Although he faced a maximum of life imprisonment, Judge Chivell said Hean’s crimes were “at the lower end of the scale”.
“Girls and young women need to be protected from their own immaturity and sexual curiousity at that vulnerable age,” he said.
He imposed a 20-month non-parole period, and said there was “good reason” to suspend the sentence.
“You are unlikely to offend again, and the relationship is now over,” he said.
Fucking . . . no.
- Rape is not “immaturity.” A rapist can be immature, but immaturity does not cause rape. I am 24-years-old. Me. The same age as this man was when he raped a 12-year-old girl. And do you know how long I’ve known that it’s wrong for an adult to “have sex” with a 12-year-old? Oh, probably since I found out what sex was. If this man was/is immature? Doesn’t make a fucking difference, the fact that he couldn’t find a way to grow up doesn’t mean that children should have to pay for it with rape. And rape is still rape, regardless of the offender’s personal issues.
- Not acting as a predator??? That’s what this judge says in relation to a grown man who rapes a pre-teen girl, including after he was ordered by the courts to have no contact with her. That’s not predatory? That’s not fucking predatory? Guess what — saying that you romantically love a 12-year-old girl, as an adult, is predatory. Even if you actually do “love” that child, it’s still predatory. That is not a fucking relationship it is rape.
- This abuse is at the lower end of the scale? Why, because he failed to stab the girl, or beat her to a bloody pulp? The fact that the girl is physically fine makes the fact that she was repeatedly raped just not a big deal? Just think: if this is how the judge views the rape of a 12-year-old girl, imagine how he views adult rape victims, the ones who are imperfect, may have been wearing short skirts or drinking. One would imagine that kind of rape wouldn’t even make it on the fucking scale.
- Unlikely to offend again? What to you call a man who violates his bail charges at least 9 times in order to continue raping her? Because I’d call it that man proving the most concrete way possible that he is likely to offend again. We know he’s likely to offend again because he already has.
- Again: Raping a 12-year-old girl is not the same as a relationship.
- “Girls and young women need to be protected from their own immaturity and sexual curiousity at that vulnerable age.” I’m guessing this is the judge’s way of saying that this is all the parents’ fault. Because from this ruling, I’d sure as hell guess that he’s not insinuating that children need to be protected by adults who should know better than to rape them. Sure, they need to be protected. Just not by you and me or by the fucking legal system.
Judge Wayne Chivell said it was an unusual case because it was clear the girl was highly sexualised before the pair had met and an enthusiastic participant in the relationship.
Translation: the girl had been sexually abused before, so what’s one more rape gonna hurt her, right?
This makes me want to puke. This man’s very existence in our world, let alone in the legal system, makes me want to puke.
As Lauredhel said: “Repeating this abuse, taking advantage of it to repeatedly rape her, doesn’t mitigate the harm done, it compounds it.”
Here’s what I find myself thinking. As a rape victim — and I know — one of the things you need most from the world around you is to simply have your experience believed, to have the fact that the rape was wrong acknowledged by others. This is particularly so in a culture where women are almost always blamed for rape, where victims blame themselves, and tell themselves it wasn’t really rape because of X, but fuck they’re still traumatized. This girl has been abused how many times? At this point, she probably believes it to be the way of the world. If sexual abuse is all you’ve ever known, you’d probably just automatically assume it to be right. And Judge Chivell waltzed on in with his “gotta reserve the right to rape” male privilege and told this girl precisely that: what was done wasn’t wrong. What this man did to you, it didn’t count. And off she will go, perhaps for years, perhaps forever, believing him.
That is what I find myself thinking. That is what makes me want to break down sobbing.
Fuck you Judge Chivell. Rot in hell you piece of shit.