Details on controversy (CW: non-explicit info regarding rape):
In 2007, Judge Teresa Carr Deni, a long time municipal judge, made a disturbing ruling in a sexual assault case. A sex worker had agreed to meet 2 men ahead of time but when she arrived, her phone and purse were taken and she was raped by 4 men at gunpoint. The perpetrator told her they weren't paying her anything and threatened to kill her if she resisted. Deni dismissed all of the sexual assault charges and instead charged them with armed robbery and theft of services. When asked about this case now, Deni refuses to discuss it and does not show any regret about her decision.
Quotes from Carr Deni to justify her ruling:
“She consented and she didn’t get paid. I thought it was a robbery.”
Prosecuting Gindraw for rape, the judge said in a newspaper interview "minimizes true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped."
Quotes from community leaders regarding the case:
"As Chancellor, a lawyer, and a human being, I am personally offended by this unforgivable miscarriage of justice. The victim has been brutalized twice in this case: first by the assailants, and now by the court," Chancellor Jane Leslie Dalton (of the Philadelphia Bar Assoc.) wrote. "We cannot imagine any circumstances more violent or coercive than being forced to have sex with four men at gunpoint."
"Her decision in this case was based on a pre-existing bias as to when sex can be consented to, and as to when that consent can be withdrawn, and reflects, in my opinion, a clear disregard of the legal definition of rape and the rule of law in this case," Jane Dalton said.
Carol Tracy, executive director of the Philadelphia based Women's Law Project, called Deni's comments "a throwback to the Middle Ages, when rape was a crime against property, not against a person."
Opposers of Teresa Carr Deni