Read Sex Crimes Online

Authors: Nikki McWatters

Tags: #Fiction, #Psychological, #Retail, #Suspense, #Thrillers

Sex Crimes (16 page)

BOOK: Sex Crimes
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‘But you can’t just burst in and disrupt court proceedings. There are rules about that.’

‘Sorry,’ she mumbled into her hand.

The girl didn’t look anything like the heavily made up woman in the photographs. She looked quite childlike and the idea that she was carrying a child of her own, disturbed me.

‘Libby is under enormous pressure and today is a pivotal day for her. She’s understandably nervous,’ Mia Bourke pleaded and put her hand out to pat the girl’s knee.

‘Yes, I understand,’ I began.

‘Just knowing that she will get some justice for the attack on her is so important for her healing…,’ she went on.

I put my hand up to silence her. I couldn’t drag this already difficult conversation out for any longer than necessary. I could see in the prosecutor’s flashing eyes that she knew what I was about to say.

‘I’m sorry Libby. Ms Bourke. But I am not committing this case to trial.’

The silence hurt me as much as it hurt them. No, that’s a trite and flippant thing to say. I was uncomfortable. Bourke looked furious and the girl looked …well, quiet. She just hung her head and picked at her nails.

‘It was all for nothing…’ she said in a low voice.

‘No it wasn’t,’ Mia Bourke said, putting her arm around the girl. ‘You spoke out. You were brave and strong and even though he won’t go to prison, his life will be prison enough. You did the right thing and everyone, all over the world, who has heard your story, knows him for what he is and they admire you.’

‘Rape convictions are notoriously difficult, Libby,’ I tried to explain. ‘Without the necessary evidence and I mean hard, cold evidence that we can put in front of us and look at, without that, these things fall over and a trial is most damaging not to the defendant but to the victim. To you. It would be a terrible ordeal for you with very little chance of raising a conviction. I’m sorry.’

She nodded.

‘And when she gives birth to Chris Bergin’s baby?’ Mia Bourke seethed. ‘What then Your Honour?’

‘Then she will have a case for appropriate child support and can launch a separate civil case for damages’

‘It’s bullshit!’ the prosecutor snapped. ‘Male bullshit.’

‘Don’t start that. I came to this hearing not as a man but as an objective Magistrate, a symbol, not of masculinity, but justice.’

‘That’s not justice. Where’s the justice for Libby?’ she continued, her sharp jaw quivering with anger.

‘Justice must play by the rules and there was not enough evidence to hope for even a chance at conviction. I did my job. You did yours and at the end of the day, this is how it has played out.’

I looked at the women. It was incomprehensible to think of this little girl and the scenario played out before me in my court room.

‘Listen Libby,’ I said softly to the girl. ‘What you must remember is that by choosing not to proceed he doesn’t get to defend the charge. He has not been found innocent. You understand? His name has not been cleared and all that the public will see is that there was not enough evidence to proceed. He will wear that question mark over his head forever.’

The two women stood and Ms Bourke gave me a curt, sharp nod.

‘Nice but hollow words.’

‘You move on from this Libby and concentrate on your health and well-being and I wish you the very best,’ I nodded sombrely.

Then I dismissed them. Waited a few minutes and then I stood, stretched, sighed and returned to the courtroom. I needed to give my address. Having broken with protocol and told the claimant and her counsel of my decision I decided not to sit and ponder over words, with careful construction. I would simply walk out and say my piece. Wrap it up and send that bloody troublesome rock star on his not so merry way.

The court was called to order and they all rose as I approached the bench and sat down.

I was about to speak when I saw one of the detectives in attendance stand again and asked the clerk if he could approach the bench.  What now, I wondered?

The heavily built detective stood before me and spoke in a low tone.

‘Before you give your decision, Your Honour, some delicate but critical evidence has come to light and I was only just made aware of it.’

I looked at him and there was something in his eyes that told me this was highly relevant.

‘I really think you should look at this,’ he said with slow, accentuated words.

‘Evidence for the defence or prosecution would you say?’ I asked looking down at him.

‘Evidence for the defence. Very much so,’ he whispered. ‘Enough I think, to dismiss the charges.’

‘Alright,’ I announced loudly. ‘I apologise for the delay in my address but could the defence and prosecuting counsel accompany me to my chambers?’

‘All rise,’ the clerk announced.

I nodded and sighed at the detective, indicating that he should follow and present us with the new evidence.

Back in my chambers, we assembled around a blue i-phone.

‘This has just been found left in the female wash-room. A member of the public found it and looked at it, trying to determine who might own it and….’ He coughed into his palm. ‘…and she stumbled upon this video.’

We all peered at it as the detective played it. A wobbly image appeared and we stared as Libby O’Neil came in to focus. What followed was truly horrific.

The film depicted some events from the evening in question, the evening of the 4
th
or more specifically, the morning of the 5
th
of April.

The film showed the two girls, O’Neil and Proudfoot, slurring their words, laughing and taking it in turns to film themselves around a naked and unconscious man on the bed. The man of course, was Chris Bergin.

‘Check out that boner,’ O’Neil laughed. ‘Viagra will do that to you.’

‘He took Viagra?’ Proudfoot giggled.

‘I put it in his drink. The champagne had a blue tinge and he didn’t notice, haha,’ the dark-haired girl laughed loudly. Harshly.

‘He’s does have a big pecker,’ the blonde laughed and took the camera. ‘Go and play with it,’ she urged her friend.

Libby crossed the room unsteadily and began to fellate the man. He did not move. She looked up at the camera and pulled away, the penis still being steadied in her hand.

‘Gross, I can taste you on him,’ and she stood up and moved to the head of the bed. ‘I should sit on his face.’

‘Go on,’ laughed her friend. ‘Or just fuck him while he’s out. Or get out of the way and I will.’

‘No, it’s my turn, but I’m not getting naked. I don’t want anyone looking at that.’

‘Who are we gonna show this too, anyway?’

‘Stick it on Facebook, I reckon. Our own sex film like Paris Hilton. Hahah,’ O’Neil laughed.

‘Go on then,’ came the voice off-screen.

We watched, horrified, as the young girl, pulled down her tights and pulled aside her underwear, perching herself about the unconscious man. She pressed down and pulled a face.

‘Ow,’ she said. ‘He’s big.’

Wriggling and moving above him, she fell over and laughed. ‘I could only get it in a bit.’

‘Stupid virgin,’ Proudfoot giggled.

‘But if I keep sucking him off do you reckon he’d come?’

‘Dunno,’ the friend replied. ‘Give it a go and see. We could sell his jiz on ebay. Celebrity jiz,’ and the two girls began to laugh.

The film ended with Libby performing oral sex on the still unconscious man.

‘Holy fucking hell,’ Tim Murphy was the first to speak after a very long and shocked silence.

‘Jesus,’ Mia Bourke muttered.

‘You do realise what this means?’ Murphy said, standing up and pacing the room. ‘Those girls are guilty of raping my client. And goddamn it, I want to see them go down for it.’

I thought about it. The adrenalin was coursing through my bloodstream and my face prickled. Those girls were clearly inebriated but I could not get the Steubenville case out of my head. Those teenage boys had filmed themselves sexually humiliating and interfering with a drunken, unconscious teenage girl. This was exactly the same but with reverse genders.

‘A crime has been committed,’ I nodded. ‘Of that there is no doubt.’

‘You must issue a warrant for their arrest. Immediately. And dismiss the charges against my client as false. Goddamnit! You should also charge the O’Neil girl with making a false claim and that other little bitch with lying under oath….’ Murphy was literally purple with rage.

‘This is new ground,’ Mia Bourke whispered. ‘Can you recall a single case brought against a female minor for sexual assault on an adult male?’

No-one spoke.

‘Not in my entire career. Not like this,’ I shook my head and raised my eyebrows.

‘I investigated a case of a mentally ill teenage girl who molested a younger child in foster care,’ the detective said. ‘But due to her mental illness it was dismissed.’

‘The press around this would get ugly,’ Bourke said almost to herself. ‘Did the girls understand what their actions….he was the adult in the room.’

‘What?’ Murphy yelled at her and banged his fist down on my desk. ‘Are you and your militant femme-nazis going to argue that these poor girls were driven to do what they were doing…I don’t know….after being encouraged by evil male lust…or because they were abused previously…or because they are not sexually able to make rational choices or some such bullshit?’

‘I’m not saying that! I’m saying…he had consensual sex with the sixteen year old and perhaps that infers he was…’

‘Implied consent? Am I hearing you right?’ he yelled again, louder, looking positively febrile. ‘A feminist pulling out the archaic and obsolete implied consent card? Come on. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander or in this case vice versa…’

Murphy was getting really irate and I had to caution him to contain himself.

‘Bergin hasn’t made a formal complaint,’ Mia Bourke said softly in contrast to the defence lawyer’s fury. ‘Maybe he’ll be quite fine about the attention he received. Maybe he wasn’t actually unconscious. You’re just jumping to the assumption…’

‘I know Chris and this will come as a completely abhorrent shock to him. I can say quite categorically that we will be pressing charges.’ Murphy growled like a man readying himself for a fight.

The detective nodded and took a seat in the Wing Back chair in the corner and shared his thoughts with us.

‘I’m with Murphy. That was in my opinion, a crime. The girl admits that she administered a drug and I could see that as being an intention to render Bergin incapable of providing resistance to an act of sexual penetration. And then of course, the subsequent crime of sexual assault. The other girl was clearly an accomplice. Cut and dry.’

‘The drug was a Viagra pill,’ Bourke argued. ‘That was not what caused him to be comatose.’

‘Can still be interpreted the same way. He was asleep and the erection was an unconscious and unbidden physical state that he had not consented to,’ I chimed in.

‘That kid last year, the Markham boy,’ Murphy said, pointing an accusational finger at the woman in the room. ‘You got him locked up for four years for filming that drunk woman and putting his penis in her mouth and then ejaculating on her face. How, pray tell is this any different, Madam Prosecutor?’

‘Well. It’s not, I suppose,’ she concurred. ‘But Bergin might not want to drag all this out again. He might be happy just to have the charges against him dropped….’

‘Call him in,’ I nodded to the detective. ‘We’ll see what he has to say.’

I felt nauseous at the thought of showing the footage to the man. It was humiliating to have his naked body so vilely ridiculed. Murphy was right though, completely right. I am a staunch observer of gender equality. I am the father of two very high achieving strong women. My wife is the greatest partner and friend I have ever known and I defend their right and every woman’s right to be treated with equal respect and to be afforded every opportunity a man has without any discrimination. And with that fundamental right to equality, they must also take equal responsibility for their successes and their failures. They must be equally accountable for their transgressions.

And with that in mind, I resolved, that if Chris Bergin wished to proceed with charges against the two young women, I would issue an immediate order for their arrest and detainment for questioning. Murphy was right. What was good for the gander was also good for the goose.

***

 

15.

Mia Bourke

For me to be speechless is really quite something. But I was. Horrified. Confused. Disgusted. Disturbed.

What drove those girls to behave that way? It must have come from a place of great anger and powerlessness, I think. Young girls, still unsure of their own sexuality had felt so intimidated by this grown man, a famous celebrity, that they felt driven to exert power over him when he was unconscious. Perhaps it was their way of rebalancing the power imbalance. I have no doubt that Chris Bergin’s fame was wielded by him to corrupt those girls and get them to service his lust. After he’d passed out, from his own consumption of drugs and alcohol, they ‘paid him back’ by touching him inappropriately as he had done them.

I’m not the only one who sees it this way. The media had a field day with this case. Two teenage girls charged with the rape of a rock-star. A grown man. They did the wrong thing. Granted. But these girls needed counselling and it was the consensual sex with a sixteen year old and the drug-taking which hurt Bergin the most. What could he hope to get out of destroying these two girls, one of whom is pregnant? Revenge?

The girls were mortified that the phone had been turned in and the film viewed by so many. A court ruling was made preventing the footage from being shared on the internet or otherwise distributed. How it got out, I’ not sure. Presumably one of the girls had loaded into a social media site before it was confiscated. Due to Libby’s age, the footage was considered to be child pornography. At least two people were charged after posting the footage on the internet. It was a serious crime.

BOOK: Sex Crimes
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