Woman in Tunisia is Raped By Two Police Officers, Files Complaint, and is Promptly Arrested for Public Indecency

We have often discussed the plight of women in the Middle East where they are often treated as chattel and denied basic rights and privileges. A story this week out of Tunisia therefore may not surprise the readers of this blog but it again shocks the conscience in giving a glimpse into the desperate existence of many women. The victim in this latest case was pulled from a car with her fiance by three police officers. As the boyfriend was taken to withdraw money from an ATM and robbed, the other two officers took turns raping the woman. When she filed a complaint, the police responded by arresting her for public indecency. So much for the balanced scales of justice on the country’s coat of arms.

The couple had been parked on September 3rd in Tunis when the officers set upon them. Her complaint and the public outcry forced the police to charge the officers with rape, but the department then arrested her after the officers, for the first time, alleged that the two were in an “immoral position” in the car. Both the man and woman were charged with “intentional indecent behavior” and are now facing six months in prison.

The Tunisian government has repeatedly charged both reporters and human rights activists with “public immorality” and “public disorder.” It has also refused demands from the U.N. Human Rights Council to rescind discriminatory laws against women.

Tunisia has also seen widespread anti-American protests where President Obama has been called an “Ape” and thousands chanted their allegiance with Osama Bin Laden. This occurred after the White House celebrated its close friendship with Tunisia and how Tunisia “ignited” the Arab Spring movement.

The rape case of this woman should be an international cause for justice and galvanize the movement for greater rights for women in Tunisia and other Muslim nations.

Source: CNN

82 thoughts on “Woman in Tunisia is Raped By Two Police Officers, Files Complaint, and is Promptly Arrested for Public Indecency”

  1. kaysieverding 1, October 7, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Sometimes you need to cut your losses and sometimes you need to win. The wheels of justice turn slowly but as the old phrase goes they do turn slowly. My impression is that I am slowly winning.
    ======================================
    You are an item. I wish you well.

  2. Sometimes you need to cut your losses and sometimes you need to win. The wheels of justice turn slowly but as the old phrase goes they do turn slowly. My impression is that I am slowly winning.

  3. Malisha,

    Sometimes in life just like business you need to learn to cut your loses….that includes manipulatative people…..

  4. sorry, I missed a few words at the beginning: my money and my ability to support myself were severely impacted because I was essentially a victim of defamation per se.

  5. money and my ability to support myself was severely impacted because I was essentially a victim of defamation per se.

    It is extremely common for people who are victims of reputation crimes to spend long amounts of time and money trying to remedy the situation. In fact, people even go to lengths to fix the reputations of their dead relatives. The Supreme Court has recognized that a right to conduct a hearing on the merits in a defamation case is a constitutional right. This right is recognized in the Old Testament and in the Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts, from 1650 or so.

    Because this all affects my ability to support myself, I really have no choice but to continue.

    The record shows that crimes were done to me. One of the crimes I was a victim of was 18 USC 1512 witness intimidation. Judge Nottingham, Christopher Beall, David Brougham and others threatened both my husband and myself with physical force with their stated intent of preventing my testimony in an official proceeding. The law reads:

    “(2) Whoever uses physical force or the threat of physical force against any person, or attempts to do so, with intent to—
    (A) influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding;
    (B) cause or induce any person to—
    (i) withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document, or other object, from an official proceeding;
    (ii) alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal an object with intent to impair the integrity or availability of the object for use in an official proceeding;…

    3) The punishment for an offense under this subsection is—
    (B) in the case of—

    (ii) the use or attempted use of physical force against any person;
    imprisonment for not more than 30 years; and
    (C) in the case of the threat of use of physical force against any person, imprisonment for not more than 20 years.

    Even for misleading conduct with the intent of delaying presentation in Court, federal law allows for imprisonment of up to 20 years.

    Even for just harassment with the intent of delaying presentation in Court, federal law allows for imprisonment of up to 3 years.

    I was also a victim of witness retaliation 18 USC section 1513.

    (b) Whoever knowingly engages in any conduct and thereby causes bodily injury to another person or damages the tangible property of another person, or threatens to do so, with intent to retaliate against any person for—
    (1) the attendance of a witness or party at an official proceeding, or any testimony given or any record, document, or other object produced by a witness in an official proceeding; or
    (2) any information relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense or a violation of conditions of probation, supervised release, parole, or release pending judicial proceedings given by a person to a law enforcement officer;
    or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

    Because a bogus attorney fee shifting judgment was entered against me without a rule 11(c)(6) order, without a trial, and without rule 11 motions and with no stated statutory basis and that damaged my credit, my business, and caused me to lose my home.

    So if you take the sentencing guidelines for these crimes and compare them to crimes with comparable sentences, you find that these crimes were severe. Typing sentencing guidelines for rape into google for instance we find

    The sentencing guideline in cases of criminal sexual abuse is placed at base offense level 30, meaning a minimum sentence of 97 months imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 210 months imprisonment if convicted.

    Personally I think what happened to me was comparable in severity to forceable and repeated rape. If I was a rape victim, and could identify the rapists, and could prove the rape, but there was no prosecution and no compensation, would you be telling me to “get over it” and “move-on”?

    The other factor is that because I did not get a hearing on the merits, a man named David Engle is dead. Dead. He was killed in a fire in his home which was in gross violation of basic permit requirements (having a second entrance/exit) because people in Steamboat Springs Colorado learned from Kay Sieverding v. Kevin Bennett that zoning ordinances are optional if you have the right connections.

  6. AY, when people are in negative states of mind because of negative states of the circumstances in their lives, the idea that they can change the world by changing from a “negative” to a “positive” state of mind is usually not very useful. It calls to mind that hilarious Monty Pythion scene with the crucifixes and the light-hearted song.

    Telling folks to “get over it” can sometimes be experienced as a sophisticated insult. Being denied justice is a reality for many people, and to some, it is a damaging reality that affects the very fabric of their lives. If in fact the denial of justice is real (and it certainly seems to be real in the case of Kay S and Matt J), there’s almost a form of unkindness in the idea that they should just stop being “negative” about it. We are, after all, all taught that there IS justice and that we are all entitled TO it.

    Let me take a shot now at the system, not at you or anyone else on this blog. The system protects itself from being identified as wrong and unfair by the people it chooses to victimize by promoting the idea that those victims are crazy, are obsessed, are obnoxious, etc. etc. IF IT DOES NOT MAKE A FINDING that their cases are without merit, however, if it simply rides by on the force of “moot” or “procedurally barred” or something like that, then what the system is practicing, in my opinion, is self-protection by victim-blaming. Remind us of anything?

    It is an indictment of the system that folks like Kay and Matt know that they have been done to, and know that they have been subjected to an organized and cynical course of victimization. And with every abuse they heap upon people like Kay and Matt, they plead guilty as charged.

  7. Kay,

    Why do you persist on this course? When you learn to accept your position without being in a negative state of mind, things will probably change for the better….. When you live in a mind set that is incapable of acceptance…. You’ll get in returned to you what you have sent out in thought, word and deed…..

  8. Kay,

    Hire an attorney if you can find one who will take your case. If you can’t? Maybe that should tell you something too.

    Questioning my training will not get you any other response than that.

  9. Kay, I took it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and I lost. That’s the end of the game. I wouldn’t stop until it was done, but now it’s done.

    1. well if you didn’t get a hearing on the merits then it was not adjudicated at all. All you got was BS from the courts. And you could potentially file a Rule 60 motion to have the original judgment found invalid and reopen your case. That is if there are no orders that the clerks should ignore Rule 5 and refuse to docket your pleadings and if you are not afraid that you will be imprisoned without a criminal charge for filing in Court as I was.

      Look at the Supreme Court dockets. They haven’t taken pro se cases in years. And they got over 1,000 petitions per justice per year. Supposedly 2/3rds of them are pro se. And they have a secret process for taking complaints. Apparently the clerks pick them from law firms on the inside. The pro ses spend thousands of dollars on filing fees, printing and mailing. Apparently U.S. Courts likes that because it is a source of revenue. Then the clerks take the pro se petitions, set them on a table for two or three weeks, and then throw them in the trash.

      Justice in this country is only for the 1% says Kay Sieverding.

  10. Kay,

    The only legal advice you’re going to get from me is hire an attorney. If you can find one willing to take your case. If you can’t? Maybe that should tell you something too.

    1. Gene

      It would tell me something if they wrote and said that my claims aren’t valid or can’t be pursued because……

      All I hear is that they don’t do this kind of case or that they don’t take cases on contingency. I asked Professor Turley to represent me and he wrote back that he is too busy and had to hire an assistant. I have blogged on his website a lot and years ago he wrote a column about my blog “Judge Nottingham’s Victim” and called me plucky. Ask him why my claims aren’t valid, it he thinks so.

      What I think is that lawyers don’t want to take cases that involve any judicial misconduct or any attorney misconduct because they think it will be bad for their law practice. In fact, my Colorado attorney William C. Hibbard told me years ago that he would help another attorney but he was worried about retaliation towards his law practice if he represented me in a lawsuit. I put this in the complaint I filed in the District of Colorado, 02-1950, and in the complaint I filed in the District of Columbia, 05-01672. I sent it to him and he sent me a letter saying that he read it and offering some consultation, basically encouraging me. see District of Columbia Case 1:09-cv-00562-JDB Document 20-3 Filed 07/08/2009 Page 92 of 173. His phone number is on his letterhead. Call Bill Hibbard at 970 879 4330 and ask him why Kay Sieverding’s claims weren’t valid and why he encouraged me to sue. Back in 2002 a lawyer told me that he didn’t want it because it was “a can of worms”.

      If you are a lawyer, then you know that Rules 8 and 12 govern replies and answers. There is a lot published about abuse of Rule 12(b)(6) by the filing of basic B.S. as to how someone can state a recognized cause of action and then bet a B.S. motion that there shouldn’t be a hearing on the merits. In my case, David Brougham a partner at Hall & Evans filed for Colorado Intergovernmental Risksharing Agency, the City of Steamboat Springs, CO and Kevin Michael Bennett, the convicted felon who was Steamboat’s city council president, saying that my claims should be dismissed because I was “obsessed”. Then Magistrate Schlatter, who stated in Court that he had discussed my claims with Brougham and that he drinks with lawyers, said I was “obsessed”. But even if I am “obsessed”, a nebulous term, that would be character evidence unrelated to fraud, and isn’t supposed to be admissible. I’m not supposed to have to prove anything about my character or personality in order to get a hearing that is confined solely to my claims as to what they did and the basis for damages.

  11. She has also been told several times that she needs to hire a lawyer. Nothing you say will matter. It falls on deaf ears. She can’t help it.
    ===================================================
    I’m listening, Gene. So if you are a lawyer then you should tell me why my claims aren’t valid and what would stop me from eventually getting a “hearing on the merits’?
    ===================
    Your claims are valid, Kay. So were mine. My case has been fully adjudicated.

  12. I’m listening, Gene. So if you are a lawyer then you should tell me why my claims aren’t valid and what would stop me from eventually getting a “hearing on the merits’? And, if you are a lawyer, or know a lawyer who would do a good job in representing me, then they should call Kay Sieverding at 781 728 5274 or 617 894 5274 or email to me at kaysieverding@aol.com. I am broke but the Privacy Act has a provision for payment of legal fees.

    To say that I am “obsessed” is irrelevant. I had a business years ago that had problems but instead of walking away I turned it and made a million dollars. I was intimidated by MIT but I stuck with it and got my graduate degree published. There is no reason to throw out the baby with the bath water. I was criticized for writing long complaints. Well, these long complaints are filled with factual details that are easily proven.

    Above I described valid claims against the government and no one has said why they aren’t valid. My proposed amended complaint is on PACER District of Columbia 11-01032 document 62-1. If you use less than $15 of PACER per three months it is free. Download it and read it and then tell me why it isn’t valid.

    If you want to get into my underlying third party complaint — Colorado Intergovernmental Risksharing Agency insured the City of Steamboat Springs Colorado for employee errors and omissions and law enforcement claims. It is a $5 Million policy. They have something like $29 Million in reserves for claims. A copy of the policy is on http://www.what-is-cirsa.blogspot. I have to go someplace but I am perfectly willing to discuss why or why not CIRSA shouldn’t pay.

  13. Matt,

    Exactly. I’m trained in the field and I’ve been personally injured by malfunctions in the system. In my case, it was bad law creating a confluence of factors that made pursuing justice impractical. Not impossible mind you, but the cost would not have been commensurate with the benefit. It made me angry. Very. But that doesn’t stop me for promoting justice as a social necessity and a social good just because the system let me down once. It has also worked in my favor before. When the justice system works properly, it is a thing of beauty. Learned Hand once called the law once called law a “pale shadow of justice”. The law is what the law is, but justice is an ever changing aspiration as informed by both ethics and social context. Justice, as it is intimately tied to the concepts of good and bad actions, is as much a socially defined context as good and evil are. There are some absolutes that revolve around human nature in their regard – such as murder is wrong common to all legal systems – but everything else changes as we do as both individuals and as societies. Perfect justice is a goal that can never be reached for we as a species are imperfect creatures but our Constitution tasks us with ever establishing it. Even so, the machinery of justice itself is incapable of perfection. It’s complicated (by necessity though) and it has a lot of moving parts. Anyone with an appreciation of complex systems knows as complexity increases so does error. Some errors can be reversed. That’s why we have an appeals system; error correction. Some errors cannot be reversed. In either case, the best we can do is take injustices and let them inform how we operate moving forward. To either fix them systemically or learn to avoid them by modifying your approach to process.

    However, that being said, your wise advice to let a loss go and move on with your life is something that some people just cannot do. Obsession is a sad and ruinous thing. It can make people chase after the unobtainable, all the while giving them the illusion that they are in control when it is their obsession making the rules.

    Your advice to Kay was wise. It has been similarly given to her here before, several times. She has also been told several times that she needs to hire a lawyer. Nothing you say will matter. It falls on deaf ears. She can’t help it.

  14. Well, if someone would tell me why my case is completely unwinnable, that would be one thing. But that hasn’t happened and every time I look to the law I find what I need. For instance, I know that statute of limitations is an issue but I found the extension based on misrepresentation.

    The big problems I see are 1) I think someone paid off some people 2) people trashed my reputation 3.) pro se prejudice.

    Well, if someone pays judges then they should pay me instead.

    As far as my reputation, it’s better now than it was. In 2005, the Denver Post was quoting David Brougham, one of the lawyers who asked Nottingham to put me in jail without a criminal charge, as saying that nothing that I wrote could even be understood, that it was total gibberish. I know that sometimes I ramble, and sometimes I make typos that Microsoft Word doesn’t pick up. One advantage lawyers have is proof readers. But you can see that I have been typing away here and no one is claiming that they don’t understand my meaning.

    The reputation problem was a huge issue for me and one of the big reasons why I stuck with the lawsuit so long. I’m not saying that I am the smartest person in the world, but I did graduate from MIT. I have a certain kind of mental energy that I need to focus on something constructive or I get depressed. I heard my third party defendants say one time that they had fixed it so that all I would be able to do for the rest of my life is minimum wage jobs. But I am always comparing myself to people with comparable educations and I know a lot of educated people and to feel that I was totally unsuccessful when they were so successful makes me miserable. I need to accomplish something substantial with my life and so far I haven’t mostly because of the burden that my defendants put on me. But if I could create some good case law and establish pro se rights then I would have accomplished something really substantial and significant, that I can be proud of.

    I already have made some progress for pro se rights. I heard about a woman who was threatened with imprisonment if she filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the City of Denver. I think that also involved the same lawyers and insurance company that had me imprisoned. But, to the best of my knowledge, not one other person has been put in jail for litigating without a lawyer. I think that if I hadn’t resisted so strongly, that it probably would have happened to a lot of people and become established legal procedure. I know that people associated with U.S. Courts and DOJ have searched my name and know who I am.

    When I look back at documents I wrote years ago, I can see where they didn’t include cases or points that I know now, but I think they were good enough that I would have won if the judges had been open minded to pro se litigants. I took an aptitude test that said that I was in the 99th percentile in reading speed, reading comprehension and long term thinking. Because I didn’t sit on my rights I don’t think there are any fatal flaws.

    I never was trying to practice law. I could have gone to law school when I was younger but I didn’t want to. All I was trying to do was defend my own rights. The legal system is supposed to let you do that. It’s supposed to be possible to do so. US Courts needs to adjust their systems so that I and other pro se litigants can get through the process. Maybe not everyone will be able to defend themselves in Court, but Justice demands that most people be allowed to do so.

    An example is Brandon Moon. He was in college and I think a veteran when he was convicted of rape. Now he has completed a graduate engineering degree. He was the only blue eyed white man in the lineup — which was over a year after the rape. So he studied up on eye witness identification and filed a lot of petitions in Court. His petitions were all denied until a lawyer filed one. But I’m sure that they were good enough to get the point across and that the reason they were denied was invidious animus.

    This would be a completely different conversation if it were easy to get a lawyer. It’s not just a matter of them being expensive. Probably 95% of the cases of people suing local government officials are pro se. That’s how we got into this discussion on a woman being raped by police officers. I’ve heard of police officers pressuring people for sex and intimidating that they would be arrested if they didn’t comply. Given the fact that half the prisoners who are sexually assaulted and victimized by guards and that prisoners are frequently raped, I think it is unlikely that police don’t sexually molest and extort the public. But you don’t hear about people suing for that. Why? — Because they can’t get a lawyer.

    Other professions are required to offer their services to the general public. Every store you walk into will sell to you, unless you are a minor. Every restaurant will serve you. Historically, people who shoed horses were required to shoe everyone’s horses, at least during normal work hours. But lawyers claim to have a right to refuse service. You cannot go to a lawyer and buy an hour to have them review your claims or three hours to review your document. And if you look at the representative cases that many law firms publish you will see that most of them are interested only in selling to corporations or the wealthy. The major exception is criminal defense. They will take your money for DUI, murder, even child molestation, but in general it is hard for an individual to get a lawyer to sue someone unless there is something special about the case. For instance, in Colorado, the same lawyers who asked Nottingham to put me in jail, Faegre & Benson lawyers I think Thomas Kelley and Christopher Beall, lost Quigley v. Rosenthal. The judgment for the Quigleys was $10 million and the facts were similar to mine. What I think now is that one reason that the Quigleys were able to get a lawyer was that the defendant was the Anti-Defamation League and that part of the context was antisemitism and that if the defendant had been a different organization but everything else was the same that the Quigleys might not have been able to get a lawyer.

    There are a lot of lawsuits that have dragged on and the defendants eventually paid. The CIA paid Richard Horn $3 Million after 14 years. I need money. And I’m not that old, I will continue to need money. They screwed me up financially.

    My father always said that if you want to get someone to do something you want then you have to give them an alternative they can live with. So far the only alternative my defendants have given me is suicide, which I obviously can’t live with. They should settle with me or the Court should rule in my favor. Or the Court can rule that it is OK to just lock people up so that you can extort them, that the U.S. Judiciary Act can be ignored, that the Rules of Procedure don’t have to be written, that lawyers can lie in Court in order to win, etc. If that’s how its going to be, let it be public and let everyone know.

    Speaking of publicity, William Windsor and LawlessAmerica.com has hundreds of film clips of people complaining about unfair legal procedure. There should be public discussion about why this is and what can be done about it. You know that one of the main reasons for the War of Independence was dissatisfaction with the Courts and it probably is at the same level of dissatisfaction now. Probably more than half the public thinks that they won’t be fairly treated in U.S. Courts.

  15. Gene H. 1, October 6, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    “For lawyers, botched up pro se cases could be a gold mine.”

    Or a completely unwinnable quagmire created by someone thinking they are competent to practice law when they are not.

    ==========================================

    I lost. Sometimes you just have to let it go. That doesn’t mean the law is correct. I should have won, but I didn’t.

    The Law is what it is. And you are what you are.

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