The Connecticut court released convicted rapist Richard Fourtin Jr. due to insufficient evidence against him. Fourtin's 2008 conviction was just overturned by the State Supreme Court.
Richard Fourtin Jr. was found guilty in 2008 for raping an unnamed woman suffering from severe cerebral palsy. The then 28-year-old was convicted to six years in prison at the time, Huffington Post
The defendant was released after defense attorneys proved a lack of resistance from the victim. Even though the woman's motions are restricted to the use of her right index finger, the defense argued she could have communicated her lack of approval for the man's actions throughout "biting, kicking, screaming and gesturing.”
As the woman was not “unconscious” or completely “uncommunicative,” Fourtin's appeal led to his release.
“When we consider this evidence in the light most favorable to sustaining the verdict, and in a manner that is consistent with the state’s theory of guilt at trial, we, like the Appellate Court, ‘are not persuaded that the state produced any credible evidence that the [victim] was either unconscious or so uncommunicative that she was physically incapable of manifesting to the defendant her lack of consent to sexual intercourse at the time of the alleged sexual assault,” the Supreme Court ruling reads.
The victim that didn't resist the alleged assailant's advances with enough conviction can neither speak nor move her limbs. Her mental capacity has been described as the "intellectual functional equivalent of a 3-year-old."
The defense's case revolved around legal terminology, and won the case based on a technicality.
The state of Connecticut "defines physical incapacity for the purpose of sexual assault as 'unconscious or for any other reason…physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act.'"
Women's rights groups, human's rights groups as well as agencies assisting persons with disabilities are outraged by the supreme court's decision, believing it prejudicial to people with disabilities.