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Home | Blogs | JoeU's blog

Rep. Henriques’ Crime – If Genders Were Reversed?

Massachusetts Democrat and Republican leaders have called for the head of Rep. Carlos Henriques, recently convicted of assaulting his girlfriend, and publicly parading him handcuffed to the state house in an effort to shame him into resigning. ‘Man beats woman’ is a convenient club to pressure him but so far he has refused.

He is right to do so and the political leadership would do well to reconsider their actions.

If the genders were reversed in the case it’s unlikely that a complaint, much less a conviction and jail sentence, would ever have been filed.  Simple assault cases rarely result in doing six months’ time.

In contrast, when there is clear and convincing evidence of men murdered by women the killers get a pass.  Consider the Cape Cod doctor Ann Marie Gryboski who admitted to but was not prosecuted for killing her husband in 2007 or Therese Rogers stabbing her husband to death in 1987. Claiming prior ‘abuse’ has been a ‘get-out-of-jail’ card for decades when women murder. The engine behind gender determined justice really began to roar with release in the 1990s of the ‘Framingham 8’.

In both law and practice ‘Lady Justice’ now routinely lifts her blindfold and tilts the scales in favor of women. The preferential weight given to a woman over a man’s word is sufficient to land him in jail.

This is neither just nor equality before the law.

In ‘she said-he said’ cases the court rule is to believe the ‘she’ and toss out the ‘he’.  Part of this phenomenon is human nature. To both our credit and detriment we men are trained to be sympathetic and believe the best of the opposite sex – giving them the benefit of the doubt even when, as in this case, no physical injury is reported. Henriques’ conviction by a jury not immune from social prejudice highlights the common discrimination faced by men in the courts.

The legal definition of simple assault generally means an act of violence against another person but can actually include any physical contact made without consent.

Charges of partner violence pit cold ‘law’ against the reality of physical contact in intimate relations.  Witness some of the evidence introduced at Rep. Henriques trial, not of assault, but of sexual intercourse.  The law provides that claims of unwanted physical contact can be a crime even when based solely on the statements of one person. Thus used between couples it is ripe for abuse.

Henriques’  incarceration was political, not legal, punishment - punctuated by his public handcuffing. Such discriminatory legal abuse against men is routinely seen in abuse prevention restraining orders in Massachusetts where some 30-50,000 are issued every year even though, according to at least one former judge, there are no acts of violence in some 90% of cases

.Men targeted by these restraining orders often lose their children, financial security and even their freedom.

Given this anti-male environment the outcome of Rep. Henriques’ show trial was preordained. Though political leaders argue that he brings disrepute to the legislature they think too highly of themselves.  Much of the public has taken the legislature’s measure and found it wanting.

Henriques is said to be appealing but given the history of appellate and SJC courts denying fair treatment to men the good money says an appeal is futile. Nevertheless, he will do well to not relinquish his seat, not for himself but to help put end to sexist discrimination in our courts.

-------------------UPDATE----------

It's unfortunate that Carlos Henriques who was today expelled from the Mass. House of Representatives did not use the occasion to question the so called 'domestic violence' epidemic but instead took the opportunity to trot out the canard that the majority of 'domestic violence' perpetrators are men and emphasize his own support for government programs supporting 'domestic violence' programs.

While proclaiming himself a victim of false accusations he insulted the thousands of men and fathers whose lives have also been ruined by false accusations by insinuating he is the exception to the rule.

He was foolish if he thought such statements would win over allies in the House. Instead, the speakers supporting  his expulsion doubled-down on the 'domestic violence problem' with the female reps in particular highlighting the need to 'protect their sex' from violence.

We can only hope that the expulsion and jail time will educate Henriques on the need for unity in fighting these sexist and discriminatory laws and that trying to save his own skin at the expense of others was a selfish and ultimately futile endeavor.   

His public statement can be viewed here:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/204858946/Public-Statement-by-Carlos-Henriquez