Male defendants to be granted anonymity in rape cases
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 5:24 PM on 20th May 2010
Defendants in rape cases will now be granted anonymity under new rules set out in today’s Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition document.
The move will turn the clock back to the 1970s when the Sexual Offences Act introduced anonymity for those accused of rape, something later repealed.
Officials said details of the change were yet to be decided but it is likely the ban will be lifted once a suspect is convicted.
But it stands in the face of a report by Lady Stern that recommended independent research should first be done into the scale and nature of false rape allegations.
Ruth Hall, of Women Against Rape, said the decision was an ‘insult’ and a backlash against the rising number of rape reports.
She said: ‘More attention needs to be paid to the 94% of reported cases that do not end in conviction rather than the few that are false.
‘If men accused of rape got special rights to anonymity, it would reinforce the misconception that lots of women who report rape are lying.