Can we truthfully say that all rapes are equal in law?
Sex without consent is definitely rape, but will 'consent' laws make it harder to convict
Obviously we can't continue like this. A man confesses to repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting a woman but walks free from an Irish court with his entire sentence suspended? In 2015? You've got to be kidding.
The case of Magnus Meyer Hustveit, who admitted that he had regularly raped his partner while she was unconscious on heavy sedative medication and unable to give consent, rightly scandalised many of us. Justice Patrick McCarthy was of the opinion that there were a number of extenuating circumstances - for example the rapist had done good by admitting his crime, and cooperated with the authorities after he left the country - that justified not imposing a custodial sentence.
After Hustveit's conviction there was the usual chorus of "well, it wasn't rape-rape" (as Whoopi Goldberg might say) - sure his victim was already sharing a bed with him.