Thursday, 7 April 2016

Bad News for Kesha's Court Case

Kesha's ongoing legal battle received a huge blow yesterday, when a New York Supreme Court Justice dismissed all but one of Kesha's counterclaims against Dr Luke (Lukasz Gottswald). The counter-claims were made in another attempt to free Kesha from her contract with Sony, and stated that both Sony and Gottswald have violated the New York State Human Rights Law by exposing her to sexual harassment and "gender-motivated violence", which can be qualified as a hate crime.

The Judge, Shirley Kornreich, disagreed, writing that "every rape is not a gender-motivated hate crime" in her decision, a hugely offensive statement that I'll get back to later.

The truth is, Kesha's claims have been dismissed purely based on technicalities; one of the main reasons that that any abuses that happened were "outside New York and beyond the legal limit." Kornreich also declared that Gottswald's emotional abuse didn't reach a high enough level of "emotional distress".

It's a pretty well-known fact that victims of rape and sexual abuse are often slow to come forward, and it's largely due to their stories being dismissed or used against them so often, something we're seeing being played out in the public eye with Kesha right now.

To further prove the point of this case being dismissed purely on technicalities, Kornreich also acknowledged the reasons Kesha kept quiet for so long, but admitted these were irrelevant under the law.

Back to Kornreich's statement of "every rape is not a gender-motivated hate crime", a statement that shows just how dismissive the law is when it comes to rape. The suggestion here is that there are degrees of rape, and that for for them to be taken seriously, they must adhere to strict legalities. Kesha's claims of being assaulted on a airplane and raped in a hotel room in 2008 do meet the legal standard of "physical violence", but were dismissed due to the five-year statute of limitations.

Kesha's lawyer has called this a "first-if-its-kind case" which, in some ways, is very true. But, as I've said in my previous posts about this case, there are so many ways that this case isn't unique. We've seen these themes play out so many times in sexual assault cases. Crimes of this nature are taking place every day and, as Kesha said herself on Facebook "unfortunately I don't think my case is giving people who have been abused confidence that they can speak out, and that's a problem."

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