Manchester, UK- Looks pretty innocuous, right? But this convicted sexual predator is guilty of assaulting two women through an elaborate scam. In one case he violently forced her. In another, he used a blindfold to trick her. His means of contact? Plenty of Fish which ranks highest on my list of e-dating sites for sex crime offenders.
Devereux’s hoax combined aspects of other convicted scammers, Mario Antoine in the US and Gayle Newland in the UK . Note to Devereux… not a good idea to copycat people who got caught!
Devereux hooked his targets by assuming the name “Dean,” posting an attractive profile, and grooming them to desire him over several months. Then he proceeded to convince them to have sex with his terminally ill friend “Rob” before meeting him. He also threatened to post intimate photos of one of the women on the internet.
Sexual Offense Prosecutor, Martin McRobb, explained Devereux’s method:
“Devereux worked on the emotions of these women over a long period of time, enticing them with a persuasive but utterly fake persona until they were desperate to meet him.”
“The decision making on this case was complex as on the face of it the women had consented to have sexual relations.” But, “this was not true consent as in the case of one victim she would not have submitted to sexual activity had she not been the victim of blackmail.”
McRobb’s understanding is on target in most aspects, but his terminology is flawed. He should watch my TEDxTalk! If we could straighten out society’s understanding, and enact the actual meaning of consent in our laws, his error would be visible to both McRobb and society.
“As on the face of it, the women had consented” is an oxymoron. Consent is freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement. “Agreement on the face of it,” is “assent,” not “consent.” They are both forms of agreement. But consent, not assent, is required for sex.
McRobb should have stated: “On the face of it, the women had agreed, but agreeing on the face of it is assent, not consent. Consent is required in sexual conduct. The victim did not consent.”
In the instance where a victim was threatened, such as by threatening to disclose intimate photos, that victim would be “acquiescing,” agreeing under duress. Agreeing under duress is not “freely giving agreement,” therefore, it is not consent.
Kudos to Prosecutor McRobb for successfully locking up a sexual predator. He was absolutely correct when he said:
“The effects upon Devereux’s victims are life-long and catastrophic. Their self-confidence and desire to find a meaningful relationship may never return.”
In three separate studies, one in the Midwest, one in CA and one in Canada, separated by 30 years, men were asked, “If you could force a woman to have sex with you, and you knew you wouldn’t get caught, would you do it.?” Consistently, over 30% of the participants said “Yes.” Then they were asked, “If you could rape a woman, knowing you could get away with it, would you do it?” The number of “Yes” responses dropped to approximately 13%. Obviously, 17% of the participants had no idea they were simply being asked the same question a different way.
Why so many words for “rape?”
Today, states have adopted a variety of words for “rape” in order to get the defilement of non-consensual sex across to their populations…. sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual misconduct, etc. They seem to be throwing the baby out with the bath water; however, because the public doesn’t grasp that it’s all the same horrid defilement of sexual sanctity….. just using different words. I even saw a recent argument that Brock Turner didn’t rape the woman, he “only” sexually assaulted her….. so his punishment shouldn’t be so harsh!
Consent. Do we really need to say more?
The principle premise for all sex crimes, no matter what you call them, is lack of consent. And a great many folks don’t really know what “consent” means. It doesn’t mean that you nodded your head and said “yes” when someone tricked you into doing so. Nor does it mean that you didn’t object because you were too incapacitated at the time, or froze because you were terrorized.
Most folks, including legislators and police officers don’t clearly understand that there’s a cavernous gap between “assenting” and “consenting” to sex. When you nod you head, “yes,” if the person has tricked you, drugged you, intoxicated you, or pursued sex with you upon finding you in those conditions – or unconscious – they know full well that you’re not “consenting” to sex.
Violence is an aggressive, aggravated form of rape, which deserves the utmost penalty. But there are quiet, insidious, covert forms of rape as well. All should be punished. Consent means that you are fully knowledgeable, informed and voluntarily cooperating. Model Penal Code distinctly tells us that consent that is “tricked” from us is not “voluntary.” Any sex act performed without consent is a crime.
Not all sex crimes can be prosecuted; not because they didn’t happen, but because there is insufficient proof for a conviction. But whether there is or is not a sufficient body of proof to try the case, the offender committed a criminal act and knows that they did so. Our penal codes in every state should be consistent in dealing with and prosecuting sexual defilement.
Nazi Germany and Consent
The Nuremberg Trials from World War II gave us a clear understanding of what “consent” truly means. I have included the explanation in (soon-to-be-released) Combating Romance Scams, Why Lying to Get Laid Is a Crime!What follows is how “consent” should be explained by the penal codes of every state. This explanation has been adapted directly from the Nuremberg Code appearing in Federal regulation that was established due to medical experiments conducted on concentration camp prisoners. It guides our knowledge of both “assent” and “consent” today.
Assent – Superficial agreement which is given “on the face of it.” Assent provides acquiescence and compliance, but lacks the characteristics of being informed and knowledgeable about the action taking place. Example:, a child who is not yet the age of “reason” can only provide “assent,” but their parents are required to provide “consent” on their behalf. Consent – A person providing consent must have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the sexual partner and action taking place to enable her or him to make an understood and enlightened decision.
Brock Turner’s father showed us exactly why Brock Turner is a sex offender!
Dan Turner, Brock’s father, never taught his son the defilement of rape because he failed to understand it himself. He wrote to the judge to request leniency for his son who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.
His minimization of the harm the victim endured in his statement that his son shouldn’t have to go to prison “for 20 minutes of action,” reflects a grossly flawed misconception about the impacts of violating a person’s sexual sanctity.
He also stated: “He has no prior criminal history and has never been violent to anyone including his actions on the night of Jan 17th 2015.” Somehow, in Mr. Turner’s eyes, violence is the only harm one person can inflict on another. Defiling a person by touching their genitals without their permission is inconsequential to him. I wonder what he’d say if this happened to his daughter.
An absurd statement also came from Brock Turner’s long-time friend, Leslie Rasmussen, drummer for the band, Good English. “Rape on campus isn’t always because people are rapists,” she said. She expressed concern that alcohol changed people’s behaviors and made them do things they otherwise would not do. Perhaps Brock Turner’s case can serve as a warning to college students who think drinking and partying are benign behaviors…. just fun and “normal” entertainment.
When it comes to sex, every human being on the planet is responsible to only engage with people they haven’t tricked, overwhelmed, or taken advantage of. What is so hard to understand about that? People who do so are, in fact, rapists. A person’s life can change in an instant when they lose control of themselves and harm others while in that condition. That’s why drunks who kill people in DUIs go to jail. People who rape in that condition should go to jail as well.
India is one of few countries where rape law properly applies the term consent. But K. V. Dhanajay, a Supreme Court Advocate there, has gone to a great deal of trouble to display his abject ignorance. He has condemned the Judges of India as “ignorant” because they understand the meaning that he either ignores or fails to comprehend. Continue reading Ignorant Upheaval Against Rape by Fraud in India→