Until 2003, groomers in the UK would have been guilty of gaining sex under false pretences. This law was abolished leaving their victims largely unprotected.
As I understand it, the law that would have covered this, Rape by Deception, was limited by a high court judges’ ruling in 1995 (R v Linekar), where only three conditions allow an act to be considered Rape by Deception:
- pretending to be someone of the opposite sex
- pretending to be someones husband/wife
- deliberately passing on HIV
This obviously needs challenging. (Please note that this law is applied differently in different countries.) It is not only leaving groomer’s targets with no protection, it is particularly worrying for gay and trans communities.
Back to grooming: I was absolutely explicit with my groomer before we entered into a sexual relationship.: I would never willingly sleep with a man who was married or seeing someone else (he was both – current count is five simultaneously and a history of 30 years abusing women.). I needed to know that he had a clean bill of sexual health – he promised he hadn’t had sex for years. (It has since emerged that the truth was more like hours at the time we discussed it)He also claimed to have had a recent check to join back with the Royal Navy Reserve. He repeatedly noted to me the lack of morality in affairs and promised he wasn’t married. As far as I’m concerned, any sex has been rendered entirely non-consensual – I would never have consented knowing the truth.
Thames Valley Police were brilliant and checked whether the’Rape By Deception’ law could be applied. It apparently can’t. Men and women who get duped into relationships like this have no legal comeback at all. Offenders remain free to re-offend as many times as they like. It is, after all, ‘only sex’.
Except it’s not. It’s life ruining, horrendous behaviour with serious consequences for all of its victims and the people around them.
Please note that this article was written in the very early stages of this blog. It has been amended to avoid any further abuse from the originally named groomer, and I would highly recommend legal advice before taking the information given here, as it is not written by a legal specialist.