The boy was 12 in 2014 when he lost his virginity and was subsequently accused of rape by the 13 year old girl in question.
He had been at a sleep-over at a friend’s house. The boy was a first rate pupil, getting top grades, and had not previously been in trouble. He was arrested by police in his pyjamas and placed in an adult cell. Adult male prisoners were later placed in the adjacent cell. He had to give a semen sample, a DNA sample, a sample of pubic hair and had his finger prints taken. (Personally I would have been physically incapable of obliging on the first of these when I was 12). He was finally released in the middle of the night. His Mum took him home and put him to bed. But he had to return at 10:00 the next morning to be ‘interviewed’.
Upon being accused the boy was thrown out of school and forbidden to be around females under the age of 16 – despite being only 12 himself. His mother’s entire world collapsed as she realised that ‘guilty until proven innocent’ was the order of the day. She would get no assistance from the police or the social services.
It took 14 months for the trial to be held, a trial which lasted four days! We hear a great deal about grown women in rape trials having to be protected from the trauma of a court appearance by being allowed to give evidence by video. But subjecting this (now 13 year old) to four days of trial in which his life was in the balance – that’s OK, it seems. Any comment from the rape activists on that at all? Of course not – because he is of the sex which deserves the worst the world can throw at him. And, remember, there is no such thing as an innocent male, of any age.
For God’s sake, why did the trial last four days when his accuser admitted in court that the sex between them was consensual and she had said it was rape only so her boyfriend would not be angry that she had had sex with someone else?
The boy was acquitted in 2016 and left the court in tears. He had lost a year of schooling and felt so stigmatised that he preferred to move to the other end of the country to start a new life afresh, living with his father.
A woman police officer compassionately commented after the case, “It is not uncommon for a child to be placed in a cell for a serious crime, as the age of legal responsibility is 10. It is not unusual for us not to tell an adult prior to a child’s arrest what the child is being arrested for. This is to protect the integrity of the investigation.” I see.
This case reminds me of a caller to James O’Brien’s programme on LBC radio (a couple of years ago – unfortunately it is no longer online). A mother told the story of her 12 year old autistic son who had been accused of rape by a 15 year old girl. He too was carted away by the police to a cell, to his mother’s great distress and amazement. The girl eventually admitted that she’d made it up to punish the boy for refusing to take her to the cinema.
Rape, in English law, is an explicitly gendered crime. It is, by definition, the possessor of the penis doing the penetrating who is guilty. And this is justified – how? Because the possessor of the convex genitalia is “powerful”, feminism tells us, whereas the possessor of the concave genitalia is a powerless, innocent victim. Irrespective of one’s views about this when applied to adults, how does it play out when applied to a 12 year old boy and a 13 year old – or 15 year old – girl? It is likely that the 12 year old boy would be physically smaller than these girls – and could hardly be said to be in a dominant social position, as feminists will often claim in the adult context. Why, then, should we not equally regard the 12 year old boys in these cases as having been raped by the girls?
How can the existing law be interpreted as anything other than the most flagrant institutionalised sexism in such circumstances?