Monday, June 9, 2008
Bowen’s case is part of what some prosecutors and victim advocates see as a national trend in sexual assault cases.
“It’s a topic that’s coming up more and more,” said Joshua Marquis, an Oregon prosecutor and a vice president of the National District Attorneys Association. “You’re moving away from what a criminal trial is really about.”
In Jackson County, Senior Judge Gene Martin recently issued a similar order for the trial of a Kansas City man charged with raping a teenager in 2000. Despite the semantic restrictions, the Jackson County jury last week found Ray Slaughter guilty of forcible rape and two counts of forcible sodomy.
Slaughter’s attorney, who requested the pretrial order, declined to comment because she is preparing a motion for new trial. The judge also declined to comment.
Bowen’s case gained national notoriety and drew the attention of free-speech proponents after she filed a lawsuit challenging the judge’s actions as a First Amendment violation. A federal appeals court dismissed the suit, but Bowen’s attorney plans to petition the U.S. Supreme Court.
Although he dismissed her suit, a federal judge said he doubted a jury would be swayed by a woman using the word “rape” instead of some “tortured equivalent.” [Mark Godsey]