In Ireland, a man can actually confess to rape and still serve no time in prison

Hustveit

MAGNUS MEYER HUSTVEIT wrote to his former partner and told her that he had, over a year, regularly raped and sexually assaulted her while she was asleep and incapable of giving consent. He had, he told her, been using her “body for (his) gratification”.

Handing down a seven year sentence on Monday, Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy said that he had to consider that there might have been no prosecution if not for Hustveit’s confession. “In truth, the case comes here today out of his own mouth,” the judge said, before suspending the entire sentence.

Rape is the second-most serious crime on our statutes, after murder. Imagine a judge lending such weight to a confession of murder that it mitigated the entire case to a suspended sentence.

Rape is the second-most serious crime in our country due to – as Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre says – “the dreadful, and far too often, lifelong debilitating effects it can have on the victim’s life”.

Rape is the second-most serious crime in Ireland and yet it seems a man can actually confess to rape here and still serve no time in prison.

Please read more in my column in TheJournal.ie

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