What do you think of the Aborigine gang rape case involving a10 year old girl?

According to BBC News: "The prosecutor in a child rape case which has sparked outrage in Australia has been stood aside pending an investigation into his actions. Steve Carter did not seek prison sentences for nine indigenous males who admitted the gang rape of a 10-year-old Aboriginal girl in Northern Queensland. The female judge in the case let the men walk free after saying the girl had probably given her consent.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has said he is appalled by the case. When news emerged that the self-confessed rapists had been allowed to walk free, Judge Sarah Bradley was vilified for her comment that the girl had probably agreed to have sex with them all.

Court transcripts show that Steve Carter, the senior legal officer for that part of Northern Queensland, described the 2006 gang rape as childish experimentation and said it was consensual in a general sense."

Just how does a 10 year old give sexual consent in a "general sense" to 9 juveniles?

18 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Shingoshidao: In Australia, the age of criminal culpability is 10 years old, at which time children before the courts are considered able to determine 'right' from 'wrong', at least in a limited (legal) sense.


    What I think is this: There is a 10 year old child in the middle of this who lives in a tiny, divided community where her life is being made a daily misery by the self serving media.

    Good on the media for bringing her situation to public attention, but it is getting out of hand.

    The comments made by the judge in this case have been taken out of context to create inflammatory headlines. What she said in her judgement is that, effectively, the girl was not dragged screaming off the side of the road and tied up and tortured. The males involved approached her and she apparently agreed to go with them.

    Does that make it 'consent'? I don't believe so, and most reasonable people would also not say so, but this comment was made when the judge was recapping the events of the offence.

    Six of the nine defendants were themselves under the age of 16.

    None of this excuses the behaviour of the males, or the adults involved in what is a distressing and horrible situation, but there's no magic wand here.

    The girl's situation is appalling and not only because of this terrible rape, but also because she has previously been raped and was returned to the community, despite the protests of her parents.

    There are systemic problems that will not be addressed by saying how nasty and bad two or three individuals are in this case.

    In fact, scapegoating individual people (such as the judge and the prosecutor) in this case will work out very nicely for the bureaucrats and politicians who find the underlying causes of indigenous violence and despair 'too hard' and want to sweep it under the carpet.

    Be careful making decisions about this based on what the newspapers are saying, especially when the tone is breathless.

    These remote communities need a LOT of work, and firing a couple of people who attract some headlines will simply ensure that the media attention drops away while nothing is actually DONE to rectify the problems which generate a culture of extreme violence and self harm in these places.

    Best wishes.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The judge should be put off the bench. In most of the cultures of the world, it is against the law (or morals or mores) to have sex with pre-pubescent children. Almost anyone in any country in the world would recognize that any child cannot give consent to sex. Adding a decreased cognitive function only increased her inability to give consent.

    What a travesty!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I saw this article on the web a few days ago and I am appalled that anyone could condone this act of violence, no matter what ages the men/boys involved turn out to be. That judge is off her rocker. No 10 year old has the ability or the right to consent.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A 10-yr-old child can't. A 13 yr old can't. Anyone under 18 can't. I know whereof I speak. I was raped by my father when I was 10 (and hospitalized from the injuries). To think that the child was gang-raped by 9 men is infuriating. That young girl is going to go through life with so many problems and issues.

    That judge and defendants should all have been strung up from a tree for that "judgment" & crime, or put through something similar themselves - just so that they could have an inkling of what that child went through...true empathy is in order. For starters.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    This question raises far more than the evidence here can provide answers for. For one thing, what is it about rape, that the race of the rapist has any bearing on the one who is raped. Is this a question of rape or race. If it is strictly a question of rape, why was race introduced as a factor? And this can't be denied, since the very mention indicates the perception of it as a factor. Since there is no mention of the girl's race, it would be likely assumed (subliminally by suggestion) not to be the same. The introduction of such is itself prejudicial.

    Now for another issue, that being of consent. It has been stated by many or most, that no one under the age of eighteen can give legal consent. Does that mean by definition then, that each and every minor male child who engages in voluntary sex with a minor female peer, is legally guilty of rape? If "the lack of mental awareness" of a minor is the basis for denying legal consent, why isn't the same "lack of mental awareness" used to dismiss the possibility of intent. Isn't there a legal and moral necessity of "mental awareness" for the formation of both consent and intent.

    If a minor cannot consent to rape, how can another minor have the intent to rape, strictly within the legal definitions of "mental awareness? Are we to prosecute each and every minor boy for rape for having sex with a minor girl? If any minor cannot have legal authority concerning and governing their own conduct, how can any minor be held legally accountable for the protection of another's conduct? If any minor cannot be held legally accountable to safeguard their own conduct, how can any minor be held legally accountable to safeguard another minor's conduct? It appears as though the boys (6 of the 9 who were minors), are being held to a higher standard of legal responsibility, than is being afforded the alleged decision of the girl. Are boys (and all males by extension) more legally responsible than girls (and all females by extension), where both are inclined to engage in the same conduct?

    Shingoshi Dao

    The more I research this, the more mystified I am by the apparent hypocrisy of the law here. It seems that the only reason why this is being called rape, is because the girl is not viewed as having the legal capacity of consent (being age twelve, in Australia). While ten year olds are legally bound to "right and wrong".

    How can Australia hold any 10 year old child as having the capacity of "knowing right from wrong" for criminal prosecution, but then claim a ten year old doesn't have the capacity of consent. If sex by a minor is consider by law to be a "wrong", why is there no question of her not knowing choosing to have sex would be wrong?

    Source(s): Thing: Thanks for your in depth perspective on Australian social reality, which few of us outsiders have any true knowledge of. Being legally culpable at age 10, would make many of those (especially liberal Americans) casting judgment here cringe. But then I have the question of how these minor boys aren't assumed to be under the influence of the adults (no longer minors) who were present.
  • 1 decade ago

    According to American law, one has to be over the age of 16 to give consent to any sexual act. There is no way that a 10 year old girl can even conceptualize the act of sex. Furthermore even participating in it has severe detrimental effects on a child. This is so wrong.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I took the trouble to look this one up. According to the press reports the girl is mildly intellectually impaired. It is also a crime in Queensland for a child to have sex under the age of twelve. The girl went to a health center asking for condoms so it appears that she was having consensual sex and not being gang raped per se but taken advantage of by unscrupulous males.

    Just letting them go scott free seems to me to be a travesty of justice.

  • 1 decade ago

    I agree that the concept of statutory rape and age of consent should be enforced. I don't know anything about aboriginal culture, though. Native Americans have their own law to deal with these things, within their cultural norms.

  • 1 decade ago

    Thank you for putting up all the great questions. Of course a 10-year old can't give consent. Even in cases of molestation, the child is often seduced, not forced, but it's still molestation---seduction is a child molester's best friend and that's how they usually go about...and this is a known fact. I have no idea how they can claim consent. There isn't much I have to say except "sad," but you get my star.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Once again, shoddy reporting -- and it means NOTHING until more sides are heard from... namely the parents/guardians of the GIRL!!! Where is her family's reaction to this... and who comprised this 'gang'... where they strangers? did she know them? family/group/area members?

    Does it change the fact that WE can be apalled by this? (no) is it elemental to any reader's understanding -- heck YEAH... and welcome to Reporting 101, 2007-style where all you do is slap 5 paragraphs and ANY image onto a website, and voila! -- instant head-shaking, sour-puss tsk-tsking across the world by Bobbleheads reading the News.

    I'd like to know what happened, when -- and this is a 2006 OCCURENCE by the way... it's nearly 2008. Where was the coverage -- all the way through?

    How does a court of law rule "childish experimentation" -- what are the DETAILs of who, what, when, where, how... why? My God, but reporting is pathetic from ocean to ocean... Any moron knows a 10-yr old is a minor.... BUT, we should also know that in nature such occurences happen ALL THE TIME.. so, is the Judge saying these people are savages, by this? are they saying THAT COMMUNITY has no problem, with this...??? in essense, and therefore it was thrown out/over...

    Again -- everything goes BACK to her family's response.

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