Justice and power must be brought together, so that whatever is just may be powerful, and whatever is powerful may be just.
- Blaise Pascal
This past week in Harris County, Texas, a long-time criminal judge was found guilty of Oppression. From the Houston Chronicle story (12/18/09):
Harris County Criminal Court-at-Law Judge Don Jackson, who is accused of offering to help a drunken-driving defendant in his court get her case dismissed in exchange for a sexual relationship, has been found guilty on Friday of official oppression.
Go here for the stories by Brian Rogers:
I watched some of the trial - as much as I had time for and as much as I could stomach. The victim in the case is a brave young woman and has my deep appreciation and respect. Like many victimized women, she had to endure the "whore test." The defense tried to show that she is an untruthful woman who posted flirty pictures of herself on Facebook and also used her looks to get what she wanted. All they had to do was convince just one juror that she wasn't to be believed when she testified that the Judge's sexual advances were unwanted and offensive. I am greatly relieved (and frankly pleasantly surprised) they were not able to convince even one juror.
Here is something to consider: Even if she is a woman who a) put pictures of herself on Facebook and b) used her looks, that doesn't equate to c) that she has to accept EVERY man who makes sexual advances towards her. This is akin to accepting the idea that a woman can be sexually assaulted by her husband and that a prostituted woman can raped. Just because we say "yes" sometimes - and in even some ways people don't like or accept - doesn't mean we can't say "no."
This woman in this case not only said "no" - she said "no more."