Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop: Sex crimes are hard to prosecute -- so give judges some guidelines
THE Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) operates the 24-hour Freephone helpline 1800 778888 for victims of rape and sexual abuse. The line received an unprecedented number of calls when the news broke that Graham Griffiths, who was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl, was handed a four-year suspended sentence and ordered to pay his victim €15,000.
The callers were members of the public and victims of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse.
There was a lot of anger expressed at how the sentence didn't reflect any real understanding of the impact of the crime on the victim -- that it gave a very bad message to the public that this type of crime can be compensated with money: if you have money you can avoid a custodial sentence.