Should the "Lotto Rapist" have to pay his victim?

@ladyluna (7004)
United States
November 5, 2007 2:29pm CST
Hello all, Well, here's a sticky mess. How would you vote? In 1989 Mr. Iorworth Hoare raped a 59 year old woman, leaving her scarred and emotionally damaged. At the time of the criminal proceedings, the victim was told then that the rapist didn't have two nickels to rub together. So, she did not file civil charges for damages. The rapist was sentenced to life in prison. "But in 2004 he won 7 million pounds after buying a (lottery) ticket during 'day release' from prison shortly before being freed on parole...." Now, the victim is trying to sue for damages, yet she is being told that the 'six year limit to sue for damages' has expired. Here's the link to the story. http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSN0255365020071102?sp=true&rpc=92 What do you think?
6 people like this
14 responses
• United States
6 Nov 07
If we are to be ruled by law and not men, then we must follow the law. The difference between the rule of law and rule by men is the difference between living free and living under a dictator. We must follow the law, but change the law when the law proves to be inadequate. In this case the law is clear. There is a 6 year limit to file in order to sue. That has expired. The greater good of society is served by following the law, even in this case. Having a free civilized society is not about doing what makes you feel good in a complex situation like this. Having a free and civilized society is about following the law. The alternative is to live like they do in dictatorships or some other kind of backward country.
3 people like this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
6 Nov 07
Good morning Redyellowblackdog, You make a really powerful argument here. One that I would never dream of countering. "Having a free civilized society is not about doing what makes you feel good in a complex situation like this. Having a free and civilized society is about following the law." Three questions naturally arise from your stance: 1. Should The Crown amend the statute of limitations on such civil matters, thereby allowing the victim to compensate? 2. Should the status quo be preserved, so that a felon's family might benefit from his inability to work during incarceration? 3. Should the penal code be amended whereby the criminal justice system is re-imbursed (whenever possible) for the costs associated with the criminal's incarceration?
2 people like this
• United States
6 Nov 07
"1. Should The Crown amend the statute of limitations on such civil matters, thereby allowing the victim to compensate?" "2. Should the status quo be preserved, so that a felon's family might benefit from his inability to work during incarceration?" "3. Should the penal code be amended whereby the criminal justice system is re-imbursed (whenever possible) for the costs associated with the criminal's incarceration?" As to #1, that is a valid possibility. My own thinking is 6 years is plenty long enough to allow a law suit. As to #2, I have no understanding of the question and can not reply. As to #3, this is a great idea. Several jurisdictions in the USA do exactly this.
2 people like this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
6 Nov 07
I apologize for not wording #2 very well. Let me give it another go: Prior to the moment of the crime, every perpetrator has a life outside of that particular crime. Meaning, (s)he likely had some kind of family or financial obligations that ceased being attended to at the time of his/her arrest. As is often the case, although not referenced in the article, the perpetrator may have a spouse & children who ceased being provided for once the perpetrator is found guilty, and subsequently incarcerated. So, should the benefit of the felon's windfall belong to his family, who agruably suffered during his/her absence?
2 people like this
@MntlWard (880)
• United States
6 Nov 07
That's an interesting dilemma, for sure. This man did a horrible thing, but this woman isn't looking for alleviation of her pain and suffering: she wants to cash in. So, I think she should be allowed to sue based on the amount of money (adjusted for inflation) the rapist could have expected to earn at the time of the rape.
2 people like this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
6 Nov 07
Hello MntlWard, Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I'm somewhat at a loss for your supposition that the victim may have other than alleviation as her motivation. I don't believe that we're privy to her motivation(s). Yet, I don't want to totally dismiss this a speculation though, because you may have found other article(s) on this issue. Also, I wonder if you would expound on your compensatory formula. I don't really understand what you mean by "...amount of money (adjusted for inflation) the rapist could have expected to earn at the time of the rape." Do you mean expected earnings during the year that the rape occurred? Or, the projected earnings from the time of the rape to the windfall? Or, his calcuable earnings up until the moment he was arrested?
1 person likes this
@MntlWard (880)
• United States
6 Nov 07
My belief about her motivations very well may be mistaken, but do you think she'd have sued him if he'd simply gotten a good job after being released on parole? I really don't think so, but I guess we'll never know. As to my other statement: I mean that the judgment should look at the amount the rapist could have been expected to pay at the time of the rape. Then that amount should be adjusted according to inflation to its value today.
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
6 Nov 07
Thanks for the clarification MntlWard.
@sigma77 (5385)
• United States
5 Nov 07
Interesting case. I would think that since the perp is in prison for life, there is no limit for the vitim to be able to sue for damages. In comparison, suppose 20 years later they discover this guy was not the rapist (this has happened before) and they let him go. That means there is no limitation as to the possibility of him being freed at some time in the future if new evidence is discovered. Apparently the facts all led to this guy being the guily party, and so too it is a fact that he won a boatload of money. I would expect that the victim would be entitled to sue for damages. Now if mister perp was sentenced to 12 years, did his time and was released, then won the lotto, I would think the victim has no recourse. I don't know if I am making this clear, but as long as the dude is in the slammer, she should have the right to sue him. In most cases, she could wait 50 years and not get a dime. But in this case, he hit the jackpot and so should she. What is he going to do with it all? lol
2 people like this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
5 Nov 07
Hello Sigma, Yes, it is an interesting case, isn't it? The rapist was sentenced to life in prison, but later released on parole. Yet, your argument is accurate in that he won the lottery while he was still an inmate. He was just out on a day workleave. Now that's just about the craziest thing I've ever typed. A convicted rapist allowed a work furlough, involving interaction with the public? Now, this is an interesting take on this: " That means there is no limitation as to the possibility of him being freed at some time in the future if new evidence is discovered." This is an excellent point. There is no time limit for the felon to seek justice, i.e. the conviction being overturned. So, by this logic, the victim should also have no time limit to seek justice via compensatory damages. Somebody's sure got his thinking cap on. Nice argument Sigma!
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Nov 07
Unfortunately, if the statute of limitations have expired she can't sue for damages.There shouldn't be any statute of limitations on rape.
1 person likes this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
5 Nov 07
Hello Sararuthbeth22, Nice to visit with you again. Interesting point. However, the Crown Judiciary is reviewing the statute of limitations in this matter. I'm not sure what the criminal statute of limitations (for rape) is in the UK. However, this is a civil case. I don't imagine that any inmate has ever won the lottery, while incarcerated before, so this really is a potentially whole new legal precedent. It will certainly be interesting to learn how The Crown decides.
3 people like this
• United States
6 Nov 07
If the Crown can make a law that says that all money that a inmate wins in the lottery and other places goes to their victims, then she could get the money. And I don't mean just part of it ,I mean she would get all of the money.
1 person likes this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
6 Nov 07
Hello Sararuthbeth, You would certainly have the support of victim's rights groups with this suggestion. Yet, the taxpayer could argue that the felon's windfall should actually be considered the property of the state, because the felon was a ward of the state at the time of his winning.
2 people like this
• United States
6 Nov 07
Hi Ladyluna, Interesting story there. I think the woman should have filed a civil suit against him anyway, at least she would have been entitled to the money she felt she deserved at the time of the rape. A judgement like that against you doesnt expire, that portion would have been removed before he even collected the winnings. I think with that kind of money he should be remorseful for his actions and give something to her. But at the same time, if it was just about justice being served for a crime he committed, which seems more important than money, she wouldnt be asking for it now. He served his time. I think this is just ill fate, the man certainly doesnt deserve this. I see Karma coming back to him and having all that money will be the worst thing that could have happened to him. Lottery winnings can be a curse. Bay Lay Gray xx
1 person likes this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
6 Nov 07
Hello BayleighGray, Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Hmmm, this is interesting: "Lottery winnings can be a curse." And, I do wonder whether victim's truly believe that a criminal has 'done his/her time', when they're sentenced to life in prison, yet released on parole. I'm not suggesting any personal opinion about parole -- just trying to speculate about how a victim might feel about it. Any thoughts?
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Nov 07
Thank Lady! Fortunately I have never been a victim to this extent, so I really couldnt say. I mean I guess, no I wouldnt feel justice had been served. Especially if they had gotten out on parole early. They possibly could be reformed, but highly unlikely, especially in a rape case. If they say they can fight the urge after experiening prison, then they should have been able to fight the urge before hand too. So while the lottery can be a curse, what he won might be part of the real punishment, I can see where the victim wouldnt feel this way. Sometimes, when things are out of our hands, we just have to trust that they will be taken care of one way or the other. Bay xx
1 person likes this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
6 Nov 07
Thanks for the follow up, Bayleigh. You'll get no argument from me on this: "Sometimes, when things are out of our hands, we just have to trust that they will be taken care of one way or the other."
@drannhh (15211)
• United States
6 Nov 07
I would think that the fact that the perp was on day release from prison when he won the lottery should make it possible for creative lawyers to somehow claim that the proceeds should go to the prison. Think of the OJ book case where the courts turned over publishing rights to the family of the victim on the theory that one should not be able to profit from a crime. Red/y/b/dog has a valid point about the law, though. Had the woman timely sued regardless of the perp's then status, the clock presumably would have started over on the collection bit, so as sad the case is, I think she is going to lose.
1 person likes this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
6 Nov 07
Good morning Drannhh, I was waiting for someone to make this argument: "... the proceeds should go to the prison." There is a strong case for this argument, as the felon was a 'ward of the state' at the time of his windfall. What I further surmise from the article is that the victim will claim that she was advised to ignore any civil pursuit at the time of the criminal case, by the Prosecutor, i.e. The Crown. I presume that her civil barrister will argue that this constitutes judicial malfeasance. This would be very bad P.R. for The Crown, raising a rally cry from every sort of 'victim's rights' groups.
@drannhh (15211)
• United States
6 Nov 07
Yeppers, once again you put your finger on the exact point I was leading into. Quite right! Her best case is not against the perp, but against the "state" and the perp, in my opinion owes the "state" not the victim. Yes, well, in many cases these advisers are the same people who tell women not to fight back if they are attacked. Rubbish, I say.
1 person likes this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
6 Nov 07
Rubbish is right, my friend!
@favefive (178)
• United States
6 Nov 07
I think if there is any lawsuit that can be allowed legally in this case, she should. At least for fees paid if she had seeked professional help because of the pain and suffering he had caused her. Nothing exurbetant...jsut what can be deemed legally right as restitution.
1 person likes this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
7 Nov 07
Hello Favefive, Yours sounds like a very reasonable compromise. Yet, the law is the law. There are so many questions surrounding whether she will be able to seek actual damages. And, if so, then the logical next step for any lawyer is to seek punitive damages for her pain & suffering. So, I guess we'll just have to wait and see what the British judiciary decides.
@roberten (3131)
• United States
6 Nov 07
Never too overcome for greed; no, he should not have to pay since already paying with his life (inside prison).
1 person likes this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
6 Nov 07
Hello Roberten, I'm really not sure that I understand what you mean by "Never too overcome for greed;...". Perhaps you might further explain? As for the felon having paid with his life, I'm not sure that I can jump on board with that. Incarceration is paying one's debt to society. The victim derives no benefit from the criminal being incarcerated. The benefit is society's -- i.e. the criminal not having the ability to further prey upon the innocent.
@angelface23 (2498)
• United States
6 Nov 07
I mean if the statue of limitations has expired then she just can't sue. It's sad but that's just her bad luck I guess.
1 person likes this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
6 Nov 07
Hello Angelface23, You may be right, she may simply be out of options. Then again, she may not be. I'll refer you to Drannhh's response on the first page of this post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this issue.
• United States
6 Nov 07
Money is not going to ease the victim's pain and suffering. She legally can't sue anymore since the expiration date has expired.
1 person likes this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
6 Nov 07
Hello Spiderlizard, Yes, your observations are accurate as the law is currently written. However, The Crown is apparently reviewing the case and the current statute of limitations. There are alot of shades of grey in this case. The statute of limitations is just one of them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!
@ian1010 (459)
• Philippines
6 Nov 07
very interesting indeed., really caught my attention., it's like a novel but the story is for real.,
1 person likes this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
6 Nov 07
Hello Ian1010, Yes, this certainly is surreal. I can't help but call to mind the old saying "Fact is stranger than fiction."
• United States
6 Nov 07
Why in the world would she want anything to do with that guy??
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
6 Nov 07
Hello MikesWifey, We, the reader, are not privy to her reasons. So, any speculation would be just that -- speculation. In the spirit of speculation I'll share a very common plaintiff's argument against the defendant: A victim suffers both actual damages from such a violent offense, specifically: lost wages, medical bills, the cost of counseling, etc... As well as emotional damages. Rape is the single crime most easily linked with intentional infliction of emotional distress. So, as is often the case when a rape victim civily sues the convict, juries tend to award larger settlements because of the violent, deliberate, nature of the crime.
@gloria777 (1678)
• India
6 Nov 07
Its all depends on the law of the land & law makers. Personally I think he is not entitled to give any compensation because he won the lotto after 5 years of the incident.
1 person likes this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
6 Nov 07
Hello Gloria777, If I'm understanding your perspective, then you do not think he should have to turn over any of his winnings to the victim? Should he then be able to keep his winnings, or have to literally 'pay his debt to society', by re-imbursing The Crown for the costs associated with his incarceration?
• United States
6 Nov 07
She should of persued it at the time not just because he has money now
1 person likes this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
6 Nov 07
Good morning Aninspiration, Your point is valid. Yet, there are so many grey areas in this case. For example: the article specifically references the victim having been advised to not pursue a civil case. This opens up a whole can of worms that The Crown was negligent in ill-advising the victim to no seek compensatory damages. Also, the felon was in the process of 'paying his debt to society' at the time of his windfall. So, if taken literally, to whom does he reimburse for said crime: the victim or The Crown?