Aside from the usual script that tends to follow rape cases, from the immediate blame on the victim’s clothing, makeup, or location as opposed to the actual crime, there indefinitely exists the “one thing led to another” line of defense. This predictable and common excuse for rape was explored well in Britain’s commendable rape PSA, directed specifically at young boys, in which a rapist’s alter ego yells at him to reassess what he thinks is consensual sexual experience. Given how pervasive this cultural assessment of rape often is, it’s no surprise then that a Dublin man charged with rape floated along that same line — even though his victim was his own mother.
The Independent reports that in 2008, an Irish man was charged with raping his mom at her home on Mother’s Day. The 45-year-old son says that the sex was consensual, citing alcohol. The mother claims that no such consent was exchanged:
During three days of evidence the court heard that the accused admitted having sex with his mother on the evening of Mothers Day but he claimed it was consensual and that one thing had ”led to another”.
He said he had gone to her house that evening to borrow money but they had a drink together and began dancing. He claimed she told him she loved him and began kissing him on the mouth.
The alleged victim said that she couldn’t remember how she ended up on the floor of her living room but that when she realized her son was having sex with her she told him to ”leave me alone”.
The mother had been on a series of medications as she awaited surgery, finishing the day with three “small bottles” of wine and a four-course meal. She later took a sleeping pill and went to bed, awakening some hours later to her son knocking on her door and demanding a Mother’s Day drink.
But Mr. Justice Barry White prompted the jury to consider the truly illogical “rationale” that even if they did believe intercourse happened between mother and son without consent — they didn’t have to necessarily consider it to be rape. No, seriously, he said that:
Mr Justice Barry White, in charging the jury, said it could find the accused not guilty if it came to the conclusion that an act of intercourse had taken place, that the woman was not consenting but that he believed she was consenting.
The son was ultimately found guilty of rape and will remain in custody until his sentencing in the fall. But the fact that a member of the High Court in Ireland actually tried to construct rape loopholes for the sitting jurors to entertain is just as sordid.
I’ll say this for the “one thing led to another” defense. Even if you have the vast misfortune of being raped by your son, it’s consistant.