‘Why are the police withholding evidence?’ The young man’s cry of bewilderment is understandable. The PhD student came to Australia from a country where citizens have good reason to be nervous about facing its justice system. But he expected more from his chosen place of study, a liberal democracy boasting adherence to the rule of law.
That’s the claim. The reality is different, at least when it comes to sexual assault. He’s been accused of rape by an ex-girlfriend who was angry when he refused to get back together with her after their initial breakup. He has phone recordings of her telling him she’ll drop the charges if he falls into line, plus her social media messages pleading for sex long after the alleged assault.
But the police aren’t interested. They refused to properly examine the accuser’s mobile phone, claim they’d been unable to view her chat messages apart from a few carefully selected messages, and refused to examine copies of the full conversations from the student’s phone.
‘My chat messages were enough to prove perjury, yet the police still decided to go ahead and charge me. It seems like everything I have worked for in my life is on the way to destruction,’ wrote the despairing student.
The role of phone evidence in proving guilt or innocence in sexual assault cases is a hot button issue. Police and prosecutors are now routinely withholding or deleting phone evidence that could be used to exonerate accused men. The feminist demand for privacy for victims trumps the search for truth regarding the alleged crime.
Everything is political, comrades.