Sunday, April 6, 2008

Was it rape or consensual sex?

The following was reported by The Raw Story on 3/27/08:

NZealand court sentences man after wombat rape claim

A New Zealand man has been sentenced to community service after telling police he had been raped by a wombat and the experience had caused him to start speaking "Australian".

Arthur Cradock, a 48-year-old orchard worker from Motueka on South Island, rang police on February 11 to say he was being raped by the slow moving Australian marsupial at his home, The Nelson Mail reported.

He rang back soon afterwards to say he was withdrawing his complaint against the wombat, a court was told Wednesday.

"Apart from speaking Australian now, I'm pretty all right you know," he told police in the second call.

Cradock pleaded guilty to using a phone for a fictitious purpose and was sentenced to 75 hours community work.

The article raises more questions than it answers. For example, did Mr Cradock already have a friendly relationship with the wombat, and invite it into his home simply to spend an evening socializing, with popcorn, tv, and beer? And did he lead the wombat on with suggestive flirting which got out of hand? Or was it more sinister--did the wombat break in while Mr Cradock was sleeping and have his way with an alcohol-addled victim?

Why did Cradock call back to the police and recant? Did the wombat threaten him, or did he realize that he really enjoyed the experience?

More important is the larger question of why the police charged him. Did they intentionally paint Mr Cradock as some kind of nutcase to keep an alarming rise in rape by wombat from being known to the general public? If so, other victims will be less likely to report these attacks, and the population of New Zealand will continue to be unaware of the danger they're in.

If anyone can supply additional information on these burning questions, please contact me, as I'm planning a trip to South Island and need to know more before I go.