Philly Bar Condemns Dismissal of Rape Charges in Prostitute Case

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The chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association is condemning a judge’s decision to dismiss rape charges against a man accused of forcing a prostitute to have sex with him and three other men at gunpoint.

The judge, Teresa Carr Deni, ruled on Oct. 4 that the appropriate charge is theft of services, the Legal Intelligencer reports. Chancellor Jane Dalton released a statement saying she is “personally offended by this unforgivable miscarriage of justice. The victim has been brutalized twice in this case: first by the assailants, and now by the court.”

Local news reports outlined the accusations, the Intelligencer says. The prostitute agreed through a Craigslist ad to meet the defendant for sex for $150 for one hour. When they met, she also agreed to have sex with the defendant’s friend for an extra $100. But the friend had no money, more men showed up, a gun was pulled, and the woman was allegedly forced to have sex.

“Judge Deni’s belief that because the victim had originally intended to have sex for money and decided not to because she didn’t get paid posits that a woman cannot change her mind about having sex, or withdraw her consent to do so, regardless of the circumstances,” Dalton wrote. “We cannot imagine any circumstances more violent or coercive than being forced to have sex with four men at gunpoint.”

A lawyer for Deni told the Intelligencer she “made her decision based upon the evidence presented, not upon some newspaper account of the story.”

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