Kenneth Rhodes, who was found guilty of raping a 26-year-old woman back in 2006, was sentenced last week to a paltry two-year conditional sentence that allows him to remain free in the community. Why? According to Judge Robert Dewar, because “sex was in the air” and the rape victim was “inviting,” hence confusing the “clumsy Don Juan.”
Dewar went on to specify that because the victim and her friend had been wearing tube tops with no bra, high heels, and heavy makeup, they had “made their intentions publicly known that they wanted to party.”
As he put it,
This is a different case than one where there is no perceived invitation … This is a case of misunderstood signals and inconsiderate behavior.
He went on to say Rhodes’ attorney, Derek Coggan, said that Rhodes never threatened the woman, didn’t have a weapon, and was simply “insensitive to the fact [that she] was not a willing participant.”
Though Dewar was quick to note that he doesn’t blame the victim, saying that he’s “sure whatever signals were sent that sex was in the air were unintentional,” he claims that the situation was too ambiguous to determine “moral blameworthiness.”
The victim—who still sports an impressive array of bruises scar from the attack—is justifiably aghast at the response:
This is beyond sexist. I don’t even know how to comment on it. No woman asks to be raped. … I’m a prisoner in my own home.
But never fear, folks, the hand of justice is kind. Judge Dewar has asked that Rhodes write his victim an “apology letter.” Because that is what will rectify the situation.
**Update: The original headline stated that Rhodes was pardoned, which was not the case. We regret the error and have changed the headline. Thanks to those who helped out.
—Image Ken Gigliotti/Winnipeg Free Press