The accuser in the “banned words” trial [previous coverage here and here] has sued the state court judge who ruled that the words “rape”, “sexual assault” and “victim”, among others, couldn’t be used during the trial. She filed suit in Federal Court and things aren’t looking up.
“I have serious reservations about whether this action was commenced for the improper purpose of forcing Judge Cheuvront to recuse himself … or for the improper purpose of generating pretrial publicity,” U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf of Lincoln wrote in his order.
Kopf warned the 24-year-old Bowen and her attorneys that “sanctions may be imposed for failure to show cause.” The sanctions could include dismissal of the case, fines or “such other sanctions as the court deems proper.”
Kopf said in his order, “There is something profoundly disturbing about the notion that a federal judge has the power to tell a state judge how to do his job, particularly when that state judge is presumably trying to do nothing more than protect the rights of a citizen who may have been wrongly accused of rape.”
Kopf also expressed his doubts about whether the lawsuit “has any legal basis whatsoever.”
“For example,” he said, “I cannot find any precedent for a suit of this kind.”
As I’ve stated before, I don’t think it’s that big a problem to ban the use of the word “rape”. The same act can easily be conveyed with the use of the words “sex”, “without”, “consent”, “against” and “will”.
The very reason that the accuser wants to use the word “rape” is why the judge banned its use. Because it is loaded, it is a powerful accusation and it does inflame passions. Besides the fact that it is a legal conclusion.