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Is Wayne Brady gonna have to choke a bitch?

wayne-brady.jpgLast month, a Maryland judge issued an acquittal of a man charged with domestic violence and, understandably, some folks are a bit tweaked. Judge Paul Harris acquitted a man charged with second-degree assault for allegedly slapping his girlfriends across the face three times, because the girlfriend wouldn’t come to court to testify. Judge Harris said that he needed her testimony to know that there was a lack of consent. He said that to rule otherwise would be “[t]he state … stepping into the shoes of the victim when she obviously doesn’t care” and that this was “that big brother mentality of the state.” And the kicker quote from Judge Harris: “You have very rare cases; sadomasochists sometimes like to get beat up.”

Fine point, Judge Harris - sadomasochists do enjoy a bit of the rough stuff. But the documents charging the man with assault allege that a cop saw him approach his girlfriend’s car at a gas station, and that he reached into the driver’s-side door and laid down three bitch slaps. Does that really sound like some S&M shit to you? Really?

The reason folks are pissed about this is because the notion that a domestic assault case can’t proceed without the victim is a dangerous slippery slope. While victims are often encouraged to testify, the impact of domestic violence often leaves them in such a bad mental state that: (a) they are truly fearful of testifying with their abuser staring them down; or (b) they’ve become so deluded that they are embarrassed because they think it’s all their fault. So if Judge Harris’ position were to become more popular, you’d basically be encouraging guys to beat their women up more and harder, to the point that they’re totally cowed and afraid to go to court. Then the guys get off, and can keep beating their women. Is that really what you want, Judge Harris? Maybe someone needs to bitchslap you? (*note - QuizLaw no way endorses or encourages the bitchslapping of a judge, although telling a judge to “suck my dick” is pretty damn funny.)

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On somewhat of a side note, what actually is the law concerning sadomasochism? I know their clubs get raided fairly regularly, and a friend of mine who owns a website says he has to get hosting in the Netherlands. Is it a state by state difference? Do some places not feel you can consent to assault? What would be the ramifications of that on something like a fight outside a bar - clearly both parties consented to the fight, yet they're still both charged with assault often.
As a long time DC resident, I often have to remind myself not to go on early-stage dates in Maryland's jurisdiction - should something happen to me, who knows what kind of crap their judicial system would pull. It's an unfortunate pattern...