Intoxication and consent

Intoxication and consent I would like to commend the Yukon News for providing more balanced, respectful, and tasteful reporting of the current sexual assault trial featured in James Munson's article Mounties Drugged and Raped Me: Alleged Victim. As I hav

I would like to commend the Yukon News for providing more balanced, respectful, and tasteful reporting of the current sexual assault trial featured in James Munson’s article Mounties Drugged and Raped Me: Alleged Victim.

As I have written to the Whitehorse Star, this trial is a farce of the justice system Ð from the defendants’ status as trusted representatives of authority, to the location of the trial and the presence of potential RCMP witnesses in the courtroom. Not to mention the half a shift of off-duty officers that attended the trial on the day the alleged victim testified. The sensationalist reporting by media is only helping to sensationalize the story and victimize not only the alleged victim, but any past and future victims of sexual assault. After such unbalanced reporting, what victim would risk being tried by public opinion?

Ultimately, the question of guilt should come down to the line of the law, shouldn’t it? Ð the law that RCMP officers are sworn to uphold. Flirtation is not an invitation to sex. Seductive glances are not an invitation to sex. Heavy petting is not an invitation to sex. Even fellatio or cunnilingus are not invitations to sex. Voluntary consent is the only invitation to sex. And according to the Criminal Code of Canada (Section 273.1 subsection 2b), consent cannot be given if an individual is incapable of providing that consent.

The question here is: Was the victim capable of providing that voluntary consent? Drugged, drunk, inebriated É case law provides the answer. According to legal precedent, consent cannot be given if the victim is so intoxicated that consent is meaningless. And at what level of intoxication and inebriation was the victim that evening? That’s up to the judge to decide. And nobody else to judge.

Emily Smith

Whitehorse