The charges against Julian Assange were read out in a British court on Tuesday:
She said the first complainant, Miss A, said she was victim of “unlawful coercion” on the night of 14 August in Stockholm.
The court heard Assange is accused of using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner.
The second charge alleged Assange “sexually molested” Miss A by having sex with her without a condom when it was her “express wish” one should be used.
The third charge claimed Assange “deliberately molested” Miss A on 18 August “in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity”.
The fourth charge accused Assange of having sex with a second woman, Miss W, on 17 August without a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home.
Yes, “charges” is the appropriate word, used in both the applicable British and EU policies around extradition. Despite this, we continue to see people who insist, due to ignorance or some even less savory mental process, that no one should use that word until those charges are filed somewhere in Sweden other than the extradition warrant.
With all the rules-lawyering I’m seeing around what rape is, I kind of expected that. What I didn’t quite expect, maybe because it was so early in the morning, was this:
A careful reading of the charges…would cause some people to conclude that, with the exception of the last, this is an argument about contraceptive methods during a one-night stand which has now achieved an international judicial dimension.
The last, if it occurred, would be rape.
I pointed out that if consent is dependent on use of a particular type of contraception, and that contraception is not used, there is no consent and asked whether he (of course it’s a he) would care to explain why that’s not rape?
As I thought about it more, though, I realized that it reminded me of an old, ugly joke. I retell it here in its modern form.
Him: Would you please sleep with me? I’ll shower and treat you well. I’ll make sure you enjoy it too, and I’ll wear a condom to protect you. What do you say?
Her: Sure, why not.
Him: Let’s do it without the condom?
Her: What? No! What kind of idiot do you think I am?
Him: Well, we’ve already established that you’re a slut. Now we’re just haggling over how I get to use you.
I don’t think I’ve heard a bit of apologetics over the charges, including those indulged in by Assange’s Australian attorney, that didn’t amount to that in the end. Sums up the whole attitude toward women’s sexuality pretty well.