Rape victims to be spared court ordeal – New law to ban grooming of children

Alleged rape victims will no longer face cross-examination live in court under reforms announced today by Elizabeth Truss, the justice secretary and lord chancellor.

From September victims will be able to give evidence in a pre-recorded video that will be played to the jury once the trial begins.

In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Times, Truss revealed that she is bringing forward plans for recorded cross-examination for all adult sexual offences tried in crown courts after three cities used taped evidence in child sex cases.

She said the pilot schemes showed that defendants, when confronted with the strength of the evidence against them before the trial, were more likely to plead guilty early, reducing the trauma for rape victims, speeding up justice and saving money.

Pre-recorded evidence is already being launched nationwide for child sex cases.

The justice secretary also announced a crackdown on paedophiles grooming children on social media with a new offence of “sexual communication with a child”. Those convicted will automatically go on the sex offender register and face up to two years in jail.

Read on… http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/rape-victims-to-be-spared-court-ordeal-q2nd8d29t

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One Response to Rape victims to be spared court ordeal – New law to ban grooming of children

  1. Alex says:

    Under the current circumstances this is a terrible idea that is more likely to lead to widespread miscarriages of justice than an increase in court proceedings for genuinely criminal activity being expedited with less stress for victims.

    As much as this system might benefit genuine victims of truly horrific crimes, it is just too much of a risk that a single false allegation could be presented as a fait accompli leaving the defendant the option of attacking the alleged victim’s account/character in the absence of cross-examination and receiving a hefty sentence if they lose, or choosing the sentence reduction of an early guilty plea.

    It also increases the possibility of police and CPS bringing pressure to bear on people who, for whatever reason, have no wish to make a complaint and so forcing through prosecutions that would otherwise never succeed by reducing the ability of the defendant to challenge the evidence against them.

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