“No,” the woman said quietly.
“No,” she replied, then added, “Do you think somebody after rape makes a video?”
This is how the Associated Press in October last year reported on an exchange in court between Alan Jackson, the lawyer for former film producer Harvey Weinstein, and the woman – identified as “Jane Doe 1” – who accused Weinstein of raping her at a hotel room in Los Angeles in 2013.
Jackson, in his closing arguments defending Weinstein during a trial in Los Angeles, said that the prosecution’s case could be summed up as “take my word for it”.
A similar question has surfaced during the investigation into sexual harassment allegations by India’s top wrestlers against Wrestling Federation of India President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
On June 11, The Indian Express reported that the Delhi Police had asked the wrestlers to submit any photographic, video and audio evidence available with them. This prompted criticism that the police were placing the burden of proof on the wrestlers.
The police, however, clarified that they were “trying to collect the smallest evidence available in the possession of the accused as well as the victims.”
The recent developments have brought to the fore questions about how to prove sexual offences in a court. Scroll spoke to lawyers and legal experts who specialise in such…