Rapist cops found not guilty - but Schollum and Shipton are convicted rapists!
Update: The three rapist cops were found not guilty by the jury. However, suppression orders related to a previous conviction for Schollum and Shipton have finally been lifted. They were convicted in 2005 of the rape of a woman in Mt Maunganui 16 years earlier and are currently serving jail sentences. [ More ]
Louise Nicholas, who took the three men to court on rape charges last year, was in the court for the verdicts this afternoon. She was there in support for the complainant, who has name suppression, she said. Asked what she thought of verdict she said: "We did our best. We did our best. We did our very best. The justice system has let us down again".
This woman is not the only woman who was raped by these men. Last year these three men were all charged with many counts of rape on Louise Nicholas. The jury eventually found the men 'not guilty', but in the media it was Louise Nicholas's behaviour rather than the defendants, that was put on trial. The injustice of this case was so blatant that many New Zealanders broke suppression orders by giving out leaflets or forwarding e-mails that contained information that was not available to the jury. Those suppression orders are still in place and make it difficult to discuss the injustices of the trial last year.
What is clear is that these three men, and many other police officers, used their power to rape women and girls. The young women they abused had no-one they could turn to for help. Many people knew of this abuse while it was going on, but did nothing. While convictions for a small number of these police officers is a step forward, we have a much larger problem ahead of us. Every system that allowed these men to rape with impunity for a decade is still in place. Police power and a misogynist rape culture mean that this could happen again, and probably is.
The Peter Ellis website is the most complete archive of the case. It has copies of most press articles about the case. While the website appears to come from a view point that most allegations of sexual assault are false, the information this website contains is very useful.
There have been several previous indymedia articles about thise case:
Police Rape Verdict is a Crime
Louise Nicholas - we believe you
New Charges Vindicate Louise Nicholas
Scumbag cops going back to court for another rape
Christchurch activists found guilty of breaching suppression orders