Today in Rape Culture

[Trigger warning.]

Dozens sympathise with sex offender:
Dozens of people queued inside a Co Kerry courthouse yesterday to shake hands and sympathise with a man who was jailed for five years for sexually assaulting a woman in Listowel.

Danny Foley (35), a nightclub bouncer, Meen, Listowel, was sentenced to seven years with the final two suspended by Judge Donagh McDonagh in the Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee. He had been found guilty two weeks ago of sexually assaulting a woman who was discovered by a Garda patrol in a semi-conscious state and naked from the waist down alongside a skip in a car park early on June 15th, 2008.

In her victim impact statement, the woman spoke of being "judged" in north Kerry, but said she was not sorry for telling the truth. Everyone in Listowel knew who she was, despite the press respecting her anonymity, she said.

"Even though my name has never been mentioned in the press, Listowel is not a big town and everyone knows it's me," the woman said. "I feel as if people are judging me the whole time. I've been asked by people I know if I am sorry for bringing Dan Foley to court. I am not sorry for it. All I did was tell the truth."

About 50 people, mostly middle-aged and elderly men, queued yesterday to shake hands with the convicted man and hug him tearfully after he was brought from the cell to the dock, before Judge McDonagh entered the courtroom.

Before passing sentence, the judge criticised a character statement made by Castlegregory parish priest Fr Seán Sheehy. The priest had said Foley was always "respectful of women", but Foley's actions "gave the lie" to Fr Sheehy's statement, the judge said.
Emphasis mine.

All of this despite video evidence of Foley carrying his victim to the area: "It also emerged he had met her earlier in the night club and she had become ill and quickly incapacitated after he bought her a Black Russian to drink. He had insisted on walking her home, against her wishes. Her recollection was hazy and she had blacked out but she remembered trying to prevent him from removing her clothing."

Foley has not apologized to his victim.

Dozens lined up to comfort him after he was sentenced. Dozens.


[H/Ts to Shakers Sarah, Emma, Natalie, and Insomniax.]

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