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我相信Jian Ghomeshi 一案证人遭性侵
I believe Ghomeshi trial witnesses were sexually assaulted

3月24日,一纸无罪判决清除了CBC前名嘴Jian Ghomeshi所面对的四项性侵犯指控和一项以窒息制服反抗指控。主审法官在裁决书中对三名投诉者“使用欺骗和操纵手段”的证词提出严厉批评,并称投诉者不断改变证词的做法致使她们的可信度严重受损。

On Mar. 24, a not guilty verdict has cleared Jian Ghomeshi, the former CBC talk show host, of four counts of sexual assaults and one count of choking. In the ruling, the judge ruefully criticized the three complainants as “deceptive and manipulative”, saying the complainants’ credibility was shattered by their continually shifting testimony.

 
法官进一步指出,“每名证人都面临大量与其法庭誓言和证词截然相反的证据。三名投诉者的行为在某种程度上显示他们曾不止一次地,有意忽视他们要如实作证法庭誓言。而这种作证方式令法庭深感不安。”

The judge further stated that “each complainant was confronted with a volume of evidence that was contrary to their prior sworn statements and their evidence-in-chief,” he said. “Each complainant demonstrated, to some degree, a willingness to ignore their oath to tell the truth on more than one occasion. It is this aspect of their evidence that is most troubling to the court.”

 
的确,这些女性的法庭证词存在许多漏洞,她们对事件的追述出现许多不一致之处,而证词中甚至还出现了明显矛盾之处,令其证词可信度大打折扣。

Indeed, these women’s testimonies in court did have many flaws and inconsistencies in their accounts of events, and even some significant contradictions in their testimonies that may have seriously affected the women’s credibility.  

 
第一位证人声称自己在Ghomeshi家中遭其暴虐后,双方就再也没有联系过,但却有证据显示她在事发一年后曾主动向Ghomeshi发送电邮,其中还附上了她身穿比基尼的照片;第二位证人,女演员Lucy DeCoutere在作证时称自己在遭Ghomeshi施暴后便无意再与对方继续交往,然而却有电邮显示她在事发后一直与Ghomeshi保持着暧昧关系。在缺乏其他证据的情况下,证人证词的可信度和可靠性则至关重要。

The first witness claimed that she had not had any contact with Mr. Ghomeshi after he allegedly assaulted her in his home, but sent an email to Mr. Ghomeshi a year after, including picture of herself in bikini; The second witness, actress Lucy DeCoutere testified she had no desire for a romantic relationship with Ghomeshi after he assaulted her, while emails showed that she had maintained a flirtatious relationship with him.  In a case where was no corroborating evidence, the credibility and reliability have become crucial.

 
由于法院对刑事性侵案设定了极高的举证标准,既除非能将对刑事指控的怀疑排除于合理程度以下,则不能证实指控成立。如此之高的举证标准也有可能导致许多性侵确有发生的案件被法院驳回。在加拿大,每年都会发生约46万起性侵事件。而在每1000起性侵事件中,只有33起会报警,有12起会提起指控,有6起会受法庭审理,最终只有3起性侵案的被告会被定罪。

Sexual assault cases are very difficult to prove and the court sets an extremely high bar when it comes to standard of proof for criminal sexual assault cases – they must be proven beyond reasonable doubt.  Setting such a high bar may lead to many cases, where the alleged assaults did occur, being dismissed by court. In Canada, about 460,000 sexual assaults take place every year. Out of every 1000 assaults, 33 are reported to the police, 12 result in charges, and six are prosecuted and three lead to conviction.

 
这一难度巨大而证词漏洞百出的案件是无法令任何法官满意地断定对被告的指控之怀疑已被排除到了合理程度之下。因此,法官裁定Ghomeshi所有罪名不成立合乎情理,根本不足为奇。

Given the difficulty of the case and the flaws in witness’s testimonies, it is impossible for any judge to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt. As such, the judge’s verdict to clear Ghomeshi of the charges is reasonable and unsurprising at all.

 
同样不足为奇的是,性侵幸存者在遭袭后可能会继续和施虐者保持联系。据法律专家称,遭性侵的女性与其所控的施虐者继续保持朋友乃至浪漫关系是司空见惯的事情。而根据法律,这些女性并不会因为继续和施虐者保持这种关系而失去可信度。

But equally unsurprisingly, sexual assault survivors may stay in contact with their abusers after the alleged assaults. According to legal expert, it is not unusual that a woman continues to have a friendly or even a romantic relationship with the person they claim to have sexually assaulted them. Moreover, they won’t be considered less credible under the law for continuing a relationship with an alleged abuser.

 
而对于这些证人在法庭上试图隐瞒她们在遭性侵后继续和Ghomeshi保持联系的做法,“社会偏见”一词或许可以给出合理的解释。据法律专家称,有些女性认为如果将这些信息提供法庭,就没有人会相信她们的指控了。

A stereotype could provide plausible explanation for the witnesses trying to hide the information from the court -- that they kept further contacts with Ghomeshi after the alleged assaults, according to legal experts. They may think that their allegations would have never been trusted had they told the court the truth.

 
法律专家称:“这些女性自身误入偏见陷区,认为自己事后行为会严重影响其证词的可信度。”

“The women themselves bought into the stereotype that what they did after the alleged assaults reflected poorly on the truth of their allegations,” says a legal expert.

 
但是,尽管这些女性的证词漏洞百出,矛盾重重,但她们始终都坚称自己曾遭性侵,并且未对对方的行为作出任何许可,而这正是确定性侵行为两个关键因素。我相信本案证人曾遭性侵,只不过她们未能成功地向法庭证实其指控。

But despite all the discrepancies and contradictions in their testimony, the women were never contradicted that they were assaulted, and that they did not give consent -- two key elements in identifying sexual assault conducts.  I believe that the witnesses are the assault survivors. However, they’ve just failed to convince the court.  

 
DeCoutere在法庭宣判后称:“虽然我的证词可能无法通过较高的司法举证标准,但我仍会坚持原有立场,那就是在实质性问题上的证词绝无半点虚假。”

“While my story may not have passed the high legal test for proof, it remains my position that the evidence of the substantive issues is truthful, ” said DeCoutere after the verdict.

 

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