When ‘Opportunity’ Knocks.

I have no commentary on what comes below except to say *headdesk*. Repeatedly. From the Curvature:


Trigger Warning

Three years ago in B.C., Canada, a woman woke up in the bed of the man in the image to the left. She was bleeding and bruised, and though she remembered going out for a night on town, she didn’t remember how she got in this bed, or what had happened to her. Medical examinations determined that a man had vaginally penetrated her, and also found sedatives in her system.

The man’s name is Fernando Manuel Alves, and he pleaded guilty to sexual assault in the rape of this woman. He was initially charged with sexually assaulting three other women, and administering a noxious substance, though those charges were eventually dropped.

Despite pleading guilty, though, to the rape of a woman who has described since feeling the loss of both her will to live and ability to feel safe, Alves is not going to spend a single day in jail. No, instead, he received a 9 month conditional sentence, and placement on the sex offender registry.

Why, exactly, is Alves not being sent to jail for his violent crime, when non-violent criminals are sent there all the time? Well, that would be the point of particular interest:

In sentencing, the B.C. provincial court judge said Alves was not pathologically dangerous but had committed a crime of opportunity.

The judge ordered that Alves be placed on the sex-offender registry for the next 20 years but that he not spend time in jail.

Yes. Seemingly, since the judge felt the need to express as much during sentencing, Alves is not going to jail because he is believed to be not pathologically dangerous. And the way we know he is not dangerous is because his crime, his rape, was one of of opportunity.

One can only assume that when a rape is called a “crime of opportunity,” the “opportunity” in question is a woman being in the rapist’s presence.

That’s right. According to that judge, a woman’s mere presence means she’s presented an opportunity to any man in the vicinity to rape her. Go read the rest of Cara’s post. Send it to your friends — especially the ones who think it’s a woman’s job to protect herself from all the men out there who only rape when given the ‘opportunity’ to do so.

8 thoughts on “When ‘Opportunity’ Knocks.

  1. LaJane Galt August 20, 2009 at 4:18 pm Reply

    He used to be a pub owner. He’s familiar with all types of booze. He DRUGGED his victims. Doesn’t sound like opportunity to me. That’s an intentional act. Dime will get you a donut the reason he owned the pub was for access to victims that could not consent.

  2. K. August 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm Reply

    It seems that Canada is pretty soft on crime. I’ve read equally bizarre statements from judges regarding many other cases, including murder.

  3. FilthyGrandeur August 20, 2009 at 6:51 pm Reply

    how unbelievable. what does this say to the victims when their rapist is allowed to go free with nothing more than a wrist-slap???

  4. lemu August 20, 2009 at 7:23 pm Reply

    There has to be a higher court in Canada to review tomfoolery like this.

  5. ladyfresh August 20, 2009 at 7:50 pm Reply

    that’s…that’s insane

  6. universeexpanding August 21, 2009 at 9:28 am Reply

    The ruling is RIDICULOUS, but the thinking of the judge underpins a lot of the talk we hear about sexual assault and rape. A lot of the onus for preventing an attack is places on women which says a bunch of horrible, problematics things.

    – A woman’s body is an inherent invitation to abuse.
    – Men are animals who cannot control themselves.
    – Only “certain kinds” of women are sexually assaulted: “sluts” or women who dress like them, women who are out are “questionable” places at night, women who drink, women who are out without a male escort.
    – If you meet any of the above criteria you were asking for it.

    ( vomits )

  7. fern hill August 21, 2009 at 5:32 pm Reply

    You can write to the Crown Prosecution service to urge that his sentence be appealed.


    Please do.

  8. […] Rapists are responsible for stopping rape, not victims. It’s like the Canadian case I posted about a few weeks ago: rape is never a ‘crime of opportunity,’ and especially not if you […]

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