A woman was told by the Crown Prosecution Service that a decision to drop the case against her alleged rapist was partly because she was wearing Spanx underwear.
The woman, who has remained anonymous, told police that she was raped by her partner in December 2012, after he became aggressive throughout the night. She said the couple argued in his car outside and when followed her into the house he raped her.
She received a letter from a male CPS lawyer in September 2013 which said:
‘I have taken into account all the surrounding circumstances, including the exchange of text messages between you before and after the incident.
‘I have also considered your account of the incident, particularly bearing in mind the type of underwear that you had on at the time,’ the letter added.
Spanx undewear. Credit: Rex
Shocked by what the letter had implied, she appealed the decision and later received a second letter from a CPS prosecutions manager admitting that the previous lawyer had “made an unnecessary reference to the underwear that you were wearing which on my consideration of the evidence has absolutely no relevance to the issue in this investigation”.
The CPS said it was upholding its decision to drop the case based on text messages sent between the pair before and after the incident, however its initial reference to the woman’s choice of underwear playing a role has provoked anger.
The case has emerged as new figures released to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism by the CPS, show that there were 129 fewer rape suspects convicted of any offence in 2013 than in the year before, and 1,747 fewer rape cases sent to the CPS by police than in 2010, despite a rise in the number of offences recorded by police.
Image: A sign held up by a woman during the Slut Walk in London in 2012, protesting against women being blamed for rape. Credit: REX
Words: Michelle Fowler, Images: REX