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Grand Theft Auto cited in sex attacks trial

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 10 Nov 2008 3:27 User comments (19)

Grand Theft Auto cited in sex attacks trial Is there anything you can't blame video games for? A recent trial saw a 19 year old sentenced for multiple sex attacks against women. The teenager from Ashford, Kent reportedly took to the streets drunk and stoned looking for women. In one case he broke the arm of a woman in her 40s by dragging her down a hill before sexually assaulting her. In a search of his home, police found a video game that they evidently thought was significant enough to note.
It was, of course, one of the Grand Theft Auto series of games. Remembering that the teenager was reportedly drunk and high at the times of the two attacks that he admitted, the Prosecutor, Eleanor Laws (yes, the Prosecutor!) noted that the amount of time the defendant spent playing the game "may go some way to explaining his attitude towards women."

Perhaps the prosecutor should consider another line of work where her opinion is professional and not intended to make an excuse for a sex offender as she did, in fact, weigh in on a debate that is unresolved by experts who actually study it. He is also 19 years old, this is not a case of a minor being exposed to a game rated for an adult. He is an adult. Or maybe I am wrong, and the Prosecutor only intended it as personal opinion.

Judge Philip Statman noted in his judgment, though "it is not for this court to enter into this controversy as to whether such conduct is encouraged by pornographic material and video games such as Grand Theft Auto which seems, in my judgment and from what I have heard and read, does show scant respect for women."

While the game can be perceived as showing disrespect for women, elements of the game exist in reality. Prostitutes are real (although using their services probably won't boost your health significantly), and while you can literally hack a woman to bits with a chainsaw in some of the GTA series titles, you can also do the same to a man.

Whether or not women are singled out in the GTA series for extra hate is not something I can answer, and I do understand that some people are genuinely upset about their contents. Regardless, linking the games to crimes in the real world of this nature (and in the past to firebombing and even murder) in the course of a trial doesn't seem logical, and once again it singles out "video games" as somehow separate from an influential point of view to the content in movies or song lyrics.

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19 user comments

110.11.2008 6:15

Everybody with more than 2 brain cells knows that when you are caught red-handed or beyond reasonable doubt as being guilty of such heinous crimes , the first thing the defence lawyers do is look for a way to blame the entire episode on somebody or something else - in this case a video game , how convenient. Usually they blame and lie about the victim ( who is dead ) but of course they don't get away with that so easily when the victim of such an attack survives and is able to face them in court....not so easy to slander the living.
In the rare cases where they can't find a suitable scapegoat either in video or human form then they fall back on the next best thing " the defendant was temporarily insane but he's fine now "

210.11.2008 6:37
susieqbbb
Inactive

Hey lets blame grand theft auto when there is no getting drunk or stoned in the game.

310.11.2008 10:10

There is an important lesson to be learned here: ALWAYS save before the commission of a felony.

410.11.2008 10:17

You know when I play the game I kill indiscriminately..men, woman, hell anything that moves I kill..I wish RS would through animals into the game...I have over 600 hours playing the GTA series..and I still know right from wrong...even when drunk and stoned...castration is the best thing for the bastard

510.11.2008 10:50

I think the prosecutor is looking for another line of work considering what happened to the last person who used GTA as an excuse or a reason for criminal behavior, Mr Thompson. Hope that goes well with this prosecutor before she is put on her a$$ and fired for even suggesting such an "excuse"

610.11.2008 12:06

Cool, I can go on a sexual rampage, but before I leave the house, must remember to leave a copy of GTA on my coffee table for the authorities to find.

710.11.2008 12:14

Originally posted by BludRayne:
Cool, I can go on a sexual rampage, but before I leave the house, must remember to leave a copy of GTA on my coffee table for the authorities to find.
To add to the fun, place an empty Viagra bottle and two empty Red Bull cans along with GTA.


810.11.2008 12:42

The prosecutor had no reason to mention a video game other than to state her own personal opinion. Two thumbs up to the judge for casting it aside.

910.11.2008 13:23

Oh God, why do people always reckon that video games causes violence? I can't imagine myself, or anyone, killing someone in GTA and do it in real life. If someone does do it, they're either mentally disturbed (I'm serious) or they were somehow forced to do it. Even if drunk or high, it still shouldn't be a problem.. OK, maybe it is a problem but how people criticise games (especially GTA) is really stupid.

1010.11.2008 14:23

just follow Ice-Cube's lead and say "gangster rap made me do it"

1110.11.2008 15:00

If the prosecutor is smart she will immediately stop blaming GTA for the guy's actions. Obviously she hasn't heard of Jack Thompson, the infamous crusader against violent video games, being zealous over them caused him to be disbarred.

1210.11.2008 15:51

The people who do this already have problems before they even start playing the games, so you cant really blame the games.

If anyone would have noted his actual behavior before he ever played the game,he probably would have been exactly the same, the only thing GTA did was made him think he could do it in real life, but those are the idiots that cant realize reality from game.

1310.11.2008 16:18

Great another reason for jack thompson to use in his little crusade.

1410.11.2008 16:36

Originally posted by SSSJDanny:
...the only thing GTA did was made him think he could do it in real life, but those are the idiots that cant realize reality from game.
Exactly, my friends and I were talking about this the other day.

Part of the reason games like this are rated "Mature" is because the ESRB believes that when you hit that age you are mature enough to handle the games contents and, in cases like GTA, tell the difference between reality and a game.

Originally posted by Leningrad:
Great another reason for jack thompson to use in his little crusade.
While he still can complain and try to "crusade" about stuff like this he permanently lost his attorney license a while ago for the crap he was pulling.

So, other being just a semi-loud voice against violent video games, he can't do crap in court unless he hires someone else to do it for him, and good luck with that after how he ended up.

Peace

1510.11.2008 19:06

Quote:
Originally posted by BludRayne:
Cool, I can go on a sexual rampage, but before I leave the house, must remember to leave a copy of GTA on my coffee table for the authorities to find.
To add to the fun, place an empty Viagra bottle and two empty Red Bull cans along with GTA.
And a user guide for gta4 left open with circled pictures of getting drunk, stoned and sexually assaulting people.

I leave no secrets ^.^'

1610.11.2008 21:55

Sounds like a 19 year old idiot with a lot of problems. Only the fools think GTA is the problem.


1712.11.2008 11:20

If someone is playing GTA all the time, there is probably a psychological/social problem that is rooted deeper than the game itself.

1812.11.2008 22:07

that not gta that caused that, there are to many ill people on the planet filling our jails.

1927.11.2008 17:05

I live in ashford, kent and this is the first iv heatd of it.. pretty sad really, this happend to ALL GTA games and theres no way to stop it.

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