A few weeks ago, I wrote about the acquittal of an alleged rapist who was accused of having forced himself on his colleague inside a police station. In that case the accused admitted he had raped the victim when interrogated by the police but the judge ruled the evidence inadmissible because when he was served with caution that he could incriminate himself and that he had the right to remain silent, the font size on the paperwork was deemed by the judge to have been too small.
At the time I criticised the police for bungling up the case against the man who (allegedly) raped one of their colleagues. I worked on the assumption that the judge was right.
The judge was Consuelo Scerri Herrera.
Yesterday she decided the appeal of the serial molester at the national orchestra that cost a musician her career because she couldn’t take his harassment. In other words, the victim had to quit because she was a woman and the men who ran her office thought her dignity belonged to them.
The court decision is replete with citations and references. It looks anything but spontaneous and unstudied. But the simple fact is that her decision was not a review of the quality of the evidence against the convicted molester and was not a change in the determination of his guilt or innocence.
The decision boils down to whether a suspended prison sentence was appropriate punishment for harassing an employee. Judge Scerri Herrera didn’t think so and she downgraded the punishment to a fine which means it will no longer be part of the perpetrator’s criminal record.
Like the (alleged) rapist in the police station he can go on to the next job unhindered, preying on a fresh batch of victims.
Did Consuelo Scerri Herrera have to downgrade the punishment from a suspended sentence to a fine? Is a suspended sentence genuinely excessive when guilt has been determined and is not being reviewed?
Is our justice system and the judgements of Judge Scerri Herrera giving women the protection from abusive men at work that they are entitled to?