Rape accusers to be asked to hand their phones to police Watch

CommanderKeen
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The phone is taken from you when you get arrested. It might be full of personal stuff, and being accused does not equal being guilty. I would not give them password, just tell them I do not remember ... and it's long enough to be unhackable...
(Original post by Decahedron)
Obviously you don't understand the article. It is voluntary to hand over your phone, so who is going to give them their phone but not the password?
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username4454836
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(Original post by CommanderKeen)
The phone is taken from you when you get arrested. It might be full of personal stuff, and being accused does not equal being guilty. I would not give them password, just tell them I do not remember ... and it's long enough to be unhackable...
Again, this is about accusers passing their phone to the police to aid their investigation.

Why is this such a tricky concept for you to grasp?
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sophia5892
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I imagine trauma would help... at least, I imagine a jury is more likely to believe/convict in a case where there's clear evidence of a struggle or trauma... but a good defence lawyer could quite truthfully bring in experts to testify that it's irrelevant/that the trauma proves intercourse but not non-consensual intercourse.

Definitely agree with your other reply about thorough investigation. I'm also in favour of tightening rules on media coverage - in rape cases I think it's quite common for the accused to be immediately portrayed as guilty. I think perhaps it would be better if names weren't allowed to be released. Especially as rape cases are quite often very complex and rely on nuance/small details. At least that way, the accused would have some protection while the police investigated.

The problem with phone evidence is that you can't just extract the relevant data, as you don't know what's relevant until you've looked at it. And legally, the defence has to be given access to all evidence/information collected that may assist in the defence or undermine the prosecution's case, even if the police think it's irrelevant and the prosecution aren't using it at trial.
If the prosecution don't disclose the evidence to the defence, then any conviction could be later overturned on appeal on the basis that the first trial wasn't carried out properly/fairly


(Original post by Wired_1800)
Interesting. I thought vaginal trauma added to the evidence. I know the DNA swabs are done to check for a match with the accused. Rape cases should be fully investigated, so that the rapists go to jail.

I think a major discourse now is about consent. No means no, but what happens when it was “Yes” during the case and “no” afterwards?
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CommanderKeen
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I know, I am sorry. I misread the word. But still, once you give it them, you have no control over what is going to happen with your stuff and who is going to have access to it..
(Original post by Decahedron)
Again, this is about accusers passing their phone to the police to aid their investigation.

Why is this such a tricky concept for you to grasp?
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username4454836
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(Original post by CommanderKeen)
I know, I am sorry. I misread the word. But still, once you give it them, you have no control over what is going to happen with your stuff and who is going to have access to it..
It will be treated like any other personal data which is dictated by GDPR and Data Protection.

If you have anything incriminating on your phone you should probably get rid of it before passing your phone over.
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by sophia5892)
I imagine trauma would help... at least, I imagine a jury is more likely to believe/convict in a case where there's clear evidence of a struggle or trauma... but a good defence lawyer could quite truthfully bring in experts to testify that it's irrelevant/that the trauma proves intercourse but not non-consensual intercourse.

Definitely agree with your other reply about thorough investigation. I'm also in favour of tightening rules on media coverage - in rape cases I think it's quite common for the accused to be immediately portrayed as guilty. I think perhaps it would be better if names weren't allowed to be released. Especially as rape cases are quite often very complex and rely on nuance/small details. At least that way, the accused would have some protection while the police investigated.

The problem with phone evidence is that you can't just extract the relevant data, as you don't know what's relevant until you've looked at it. And legally, the defence has to be given access to all evidence/information collected that may assist in the defence or undermine the prosecution's case, even if the police think it's irrelevant and the prosecution aren't using it at trial.
If the prosecution don't disclose the evidence to the defence, then any conviction could be later overturned on appeal on the basis that the first trial wasn't carried out properly/fairly
I agree with you on anonymity. When the media portrays one as guilty, it is quite difficult to get back from that.

In that case, I would think that all evidence should be brought to the fore. I think the police should be allowed to gather all evidence. Yes, it is tricky when it comes to how the defence would play the evidence, but this is not limited to the phone details and can be anything.
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sinfonietta
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Makes perfect sense.

I've a friend (incidentally, someone I've slept with) whose marriage and career have been destroyed by false rape claims. He managed to clear his name but the damage is irreversible. Much of the evidence he supplied to clear his name would have been obtainable through her phone.
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sophia5892
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(Original post by Wired_1800)
Yes, it is tricky when it comes to how the defence would play the evidence, but this is not limited to the phone details and can be anything.
True, but with how much data most people keep on their phones these days, phones will provide a whole host of irrelevant details that the police wouldn't even ask for from other sources.

I mean, as a random example, assume you're raped after a night out clubbing by a guy you went home with ... the police aren't likely to ask you to physically hand over all the photos you've taken on random nights out as part of the investigation, just photos from the night in question... but if those photos on your phone then the defence can use them to show you're a "party girl", you dress provocatively, you dance provocatively, you're regularly out with different guys, maybe you regularly go home with different guys, maybe you just had sex and changed your mind the next day, maybe it's perfectly reasonable that the accused thought you'd consented because look at your pattern of behaviour from all these nights out etc etc.

The police might well interview friends/family to find out about your relationship with the accused and your behaviour before and after the alleged rape etc etc. And having access to your electronic conversations would be more helpful as it doesn't rely on the memory of others and you then have a verbatim record... but then the defence can use any conversation you've ever had against you.

It's compelling accusers to hand over a whole wealth of data that the police don't need and wouldn't otherwise have access to, to prove/disprove the alleged rape, just because a small amount of the data on the device might be relevant.
Last edited by sophia5892; 3 weeks ago
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by sophia5892)
True, but with how much data most people keep on their phones these days, phones will provide a whole host of irrelevant details that the police wouldn't even ask for from other sources.

I mean, as a random example, assume you're raped after a night out clubbing by a guy you went home with ... the police aren't likely to ask you to physically hand over all the photos you've taken on random nights out as part of the investigation, just photos from the night in question... but if those photos on your phone then the defence can use them to show you're a "party girl", you dress provocatively, you dance provocatively, you're regularly out with different guys, maybe you regularly go home with different guys, maybe you just had sex and changed your mind the next day, maybe it's perfectly reasonable that the accused thought you'd consented because look at your pattern of behaviour from all these nights out etc etc.

The police might well interview friends/family to find out about your relationship with the accused and your behaviour before and after the alleged rape etc etc. And having access to your electronic conversations would be more helpful as it doesn't rely on the memory of others and you then have a verbatim record... but then the defence can use any conversation you've ever had against you.

It's compelling accusers to hand over a whole wealth of data that the police don't need and wouldn't otherwise have access to, to prove/disprove the alleged rape, just because a small amount of the data on the device might be relevant.
I think there may be clear boundaries during an investigation. For example, if you went home with a guy and you were raped, the police would obtain information surrounding yourself, the accused and any other person that can act as a witness to the events before, during or afterwards. When they are reviewing electronic communication, i don't think they would admit random irrelevant evidence to the record.

If a person said they were raped in a bar. The police ask for witnesses, go to the said bar and obtain cctv evidence, check for people living around the scene to obtain any comments or notes from the said night etc. This will be similar to electronic communication. I doubt the police would ask a randomer about the event and admit the nonsense they might say to the official record.

My point is that accuser’s should not really have anything to hide, if they hand their phone over. A good defence lawyer can look for loopholes any where, so the phone is not the be all and end all.
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CommanderKeen
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When it comes to forensics they will extract everything from your phone, including stuff you thought that you've deleted. Also, GDPR does not apply when it comes to criminal investigation. It's just really awkward. but I understand where you coming from...
(Original post by Decahedron)
It will be treated like any other personal data which is dictated by GDPR and Data Protection.

If you have anything incriminating on your phone you should probably get rid of it before passing your phone over.
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Jenx301)
I think this already happens. When I reported rape to the police there were texts from him apologising for what he had done. The police took my phone.
and what was the final outcome, do you know?
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Jenx301
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There was no final outcome as such, I went through the video evidence etc but then became mentally unwell and was told I was not well enough to go through a court case
(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
and what was the final outcome, do you know?
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sophia5892
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But you're ignoring that the police legally have to hand that information over. Once that phone enters their possession, any evidence on it can be given to the defence. It's not up to the police to decide what evidence is irrelevant and what gets admitted to the record. They must record all information they receive and disclose all that information to the defence if there's a chance it may help the defence's case. Regardless of how irrelevant it is.

If things worked like you describe, then I'd have no problem with it. But unfortunately, that is not how the system works!
(Original post by Wired_1800)
I think there may be clear boundaries during an investigation. For example, if you went home with a guy and you were raped, the police would obtain information surrounding yourself, the accused and any other person that can act as a witness to the events before, during or afterwards. When they are reviewing electronic communication, i don't think they would admit random irrelevant evidence to the record.

If a person said they were raped in a bar. The police ask for witnesses, go to the said bar and obtain cctv evidence, check for people living around the scene to obtain any comments or notes from the said night etc. This will be similar to electronic communication. I doubt the police would ask a randomer about the event and admit the nonsense they might say to the official record.

My point is that accuser’s should not really have anything to hide, if they hand their phone over. A good defence lawyer can look for loopholes any where, so the phone is not the be all and end all.
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AngryRedhead
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Do you support the same for victims of other crimes? Because the rate of false reporting for rape is the same as other crimes yet you act as if the majority of people making rape accusations are false


(Original post by ANM775)
For a genuine rape victim it is somewhat intrusive however too many women these days are making false allegations and this is an attempt to cut down on dodgy cases being put before the courts so I welcome the changes.
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ANM775
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(Original post by AngryRedhead)
Do you support the same for victims of other crimes? Because the rate of false reporting for rape is the same as other crimes yet you act as if the majority of people making rape accusations are false
I don't know anyone who has been falsely accused of a "other" crime that could land them in jail for 10 yrs, but know of more than one person falsely accused of rape.
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xoxAngel_Kxox
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I think they should only have their phones checked in a couple of situations.
1) If there is evidence of the rape on there (in which case surely the victim would be offering it up willingly)
2) If the accused claims that there is evidence that rape did not take place (for example if someone had text saying they were going to accuse them) but if that were the case then the accused's phone should be useful too.

If the second situation is occurring, I think the accuser should be prosecuted if they are found out to be lying. It's a disgusting thing to lie about, and can ruin lives - even if they are found not guilty, as suggestions such as these do tend to stick, unfortunately.
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AngryRedhead
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(Original post by sophia5892)
It's definitely an awkward one as it's absolutely awful for those falsely accused, especially when mobile phone data could very easily be used to clear them.

But the questions you're asking are exactly the kinds of questions which lead to real rape victims not being believed or their testimony being ripped apart at trial.

Take my own case, assuming I'd pushed for it to be investigated...

I was acquainted with the "accused". He was a long-time friend of my new friends at college. I'd met him twice and got on really well with him, probably could have fancied him if it weren't for the fact he's gay and so I just didn't even look at him like that. I'd hugged and kissed him on a night out before (he was very huggy/kissy with his female friends when drunk). The night it happened we were camping. We could have all stayed in my friend's tent, but I chose to stay in a separate tent with just him (he was being maungy as he'd bought a new tent and wanted to use it but wouldn't use it just for himself). He was drunk. I wasn't. I spent the evening with him looking happy and friendly - there's photos of us sat smiling cuddled up. When he raped me I didn't scream for help even though my friends were in the tent just a metre or so away. The morning after the rape, I told at least two of the friend's I'd been camping with that I was raped. I went to the hospital and said I was raped. And then to the GUM clinic and said I was raped. However, at college, some of my other friends didn't believe me cos they'd known him years - they thought I'd had a one-night stand I regretted/was embarrassed about as I wasn't as "sexually liberal" as them. So I played it down, made excuses, said he was drunk and he didn't know what he was doing etc etc.

So looking at that story... about the only thing I have going for me as a "victim" is that I disclosed the rape immediately the next morning, and maintained I was raped when I went to the hospital and the GUM clinic. Aside from that, there's plenty of "evidence" that can be used to make it look consensual. If I'd reported it, and if I'd been forced to hand over my phone, then the defence would have access to those photos and the messages downplaying it.

By answering the questions you're suggesting, I look like I wasn't raped.

The nature of the relationship and what happened before/after should be irrelevant - what matters is was consent given, or could the accused reasonably believe consent was given, at the time of the alleged rape. Whilst asking those questions might reveal a false rape claim, they're much more likely to rip holes in the story of a genuine claim and put victims off reporting.
Why would a gay man want to voluntarily have sex with a woman? I’m sorry if this really happened to you and I don’t want to sound like a prick but this doesn’t make any sense. He was unlikely to be really gay and lying about his sexuality
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smarley101
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(Original post by ThomH97)
A tricky one this. Having their phones and everything being scrutinised by the police will obviously deter many accusers from coming forward to the police, which is clearly a bad thing. However, the move towards gathering as much relevant information as possible on the accuser and the accused from likely sources (such as phones) is motivated by several such cases collapsing after it being found that the police didn't find or disclose exonerating evidence in time, such as here.

I think it would depend on the accused's defence, if they claimed (as Allan did) that the accuser had sent them many messages pestering for sex, but then this undermines the right to a fair trial if one side has to disclose their strategy (even if it is 'tell the truth') before getting to court. It also wouldn't have found that Allan's accuser had often discussed Allan with others (so he would have no idea of it from the messages he shared with her), including rape fantasies.

Is it reasonable to require an accuser's phone and information to check if there is any information on it that would discredit them? Obviously with the burden of proof being on the accuser, it is sensible to see if there is a gaping hole in their story as soon as possible. But even if nothing were found, an absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence so this line of evidence gathering can only hurt the accuser, not help them (that I can see). They would be compelled to give evidence that can't help them (unless it contradicts the accused's story later, but we can't know what that will be), or the prosecution may not go ahead.
Well, I'd expect nothing less of the politically correct neo-progressive oppressor mentality orgaisations like the Guardian to make a big deal of rape accusers having their digital records "strip search". But its nothing more than the police fully investigating an alleged crime which is what they are paid to do.
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AngryRedhead
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Your lack of experience with people falsely accused of other crimes does not invalidate the statistics.

https://www.researchgate.net/profile...ication_detail

http://kunskapsbanken.nck.uu.se/nckk.../197/different
(Original post by ANM775)
I don't know anyone who has been falsely accused of a "other" crime that could land them in jail for 10 yrs, but know of more than one person falsely accused of rape.
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smarley101
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(Original post by ANM775)
For a genuine rape victim it is somewhat intrusive however too many women these days are making false allegations and this is an attempt to cut down on dodgy cases being put before the courts so I welcome the changes.
Does anyone know what the cause of false rape allegations is? Why are those women who are doing that doing it?
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