I don't even understand why this was necessary. A man is on trial for a rape that was apparently caught by a security camera. So what does the judge do? He forces the rape victim to watch the video of her own attack so she can be cross-examined by the defense. Mohammed Azim was accused of smashing a bottle over a woman's head, dragging her by the hair into a factory, and raping her for 25 minutes. He was convicted. But did the victim really have to go through this in order for Azim to be found guilty?
I think Rape Crisis chief executive Yvonne Traynor speaks for most of us when she says, "I am appalled this woman had been through enough and then to be shown this in court to torture her again shows an appalling lack of consideration and common sense." Lack of consideration, ya think? Maybe I'd put it this way: Just plain cruel.
And lack of common sense -- can someone please explain why the victim needed to sit there in court and watch her own goddamn 25-minute-long rape? What questions did the defense need to ask about that? "Is that you in the video?" "Was this excruciatingly long attack done against your will?" "Are we a bunch of insensitive assholes?" Yes to all three. I would think the video is there as evidence more for the jury's consideration, and they could watch it with the victim out of the room.
And if, for whatever reason, the defense truly needed to question the victim on details in the video, couldn't the victim at least view the video in private, and not in court with everyone else?
Not to mention, how useful is the victim's testimony even going to be after she's gone through the emotional turmoil of watching her own rape? Wouldn't she be a more reliable witness if she were in a calmer, more emotionally neutral state? I think so.
Anyway, like I said, Azim was convicted, so I suppose this story could be worse. He faces 16 years in prison, which seems a little short to me. The judge said something about "you're lucky you didn't get mandatory life," and I'm kind of thinking, Yeah, why didn't he get life? What is with this judge?!?
Do you think a rape victim should ever have to watch a video of her own attack in court?