Is This Good Justice If A Rapist is Allowed To Escape Criminal Prosecution By Marrying The Victim?
Unfortunately we can't really have an opinion about it because if the other drops charges, then that person can no longer be considered a rapist by law. Though the victim can get charges for "falsely reporting" and etc. I don't think it's right, but it's up to them to do what they are going to do, and if they marry each other, they are married. Though being married won't prevent a rape, it makes it harder for the person to report because of social pressures.
Rape is a difficult crime to judge. The problem is that just saying the word RAPE causes a reaction. There is a reactive concern for the welfare of the innocent. And yet, for such a powerful word, it is inexact. Rape ranges from minor to major offenses. It could mean that an eighteen year-old, who had a birthday was ten minutes ago today at 11:50 p.m., who had consensual sex with a minor, who will no longer be a minor tomorrow at 12:01 a.m. They could have been born ten minutes apart, but the younger of the two could still be charged with rape, right?
The other end of the wide-ranging spectrum is that rape could also mean sadism and torture that leaves the victim paralyzed. These are two different crimes, but they fall under the same word. So, the answer whether a rapist should escape prosecution by marrying the "victim" is, that it all depends on what actual crime you're talking about. No matter how volatile the reaction to the word is, just saying rape isn't enough, is it?
If it was consensual sex, but one was mildly under-aged, then I don't think it should judged or prosecute this crime with the same vitality as we might apply to a serial rapist who uses a knife or a gun and gives their victims AIDS. If the crime is this insignificant, then I think his (or her) punishment ought to be to pay fines which are pooled and used for the education of minors in appropriate responsible sexual behavior. They ought to do community service. I think each case has to be judged intelligently and according to its merit, not just a knee-jerk response to the word rape.
We are assuming the rape in this case was statutory and the act was technically, although not legally, consensual.
The idea that a rapist is somehow exonerated through marrying the victim is found in the Old Testament. The logic (if you could call it that) of the Bible in forcing marriage upon the victim is thus:
1) Dude. If you want her that badly, then she's yours. Apparently, they believed that the constant reminder of his act would be more of a punishment to him than to her. Not that a womn's feelings were considered anyway.
In no way would I advocate a 'biblical solution'. (Atheist here.) However, I know a couple who married a few years after the man was imprisoned for having sex with the girl. After years of marriage, he is still required to register as a sex offender even though he married the 'victim'.
It is difficult to measure the level of pressure or emotional force that a chronologically older 'adult' might or might not wield over a 'minor'. However, the law doesn't have time to split hairs over this or to forgive, in the face of rampant child sexual predation and rape, those cases where the end result turns out better than we might expect. The courts may be bureaucratic and mysterious, but they operate for the greater good.
Perhaps there should be special way to petition in the courts in these cases.
2) In those times, a violated woman would be difficult to 'husband'. So, they figured her rapist would have to do.
3) Parents might want to cover up the crime to throw suspicion off their daughter and save the family's reputation.
Crazy worlds spin faster!
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