Backlash over decision to drop Mason Greenwood's attempted rape case – despite audio recording
Yesterday it was announced that charges of attempted rape and assault against Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood had been dropped.
To recap, in January 2022 the 21-year-old was arrested after images, videos and audio recordings of his alleged crimes were uploaded to social media. He was later charged with attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
However, the Crown Prosecution Service later said the charges were discontinued. "In this case a combination of the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light meant there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction," a spokesperson said.
But, the move was – unsurprisingly – not welcomed by women's rights campaigners, who took to social media to highlight the impact that this may have on other victims, especially when it comes to reporting. Currently, five in six women who are raped don’t report the crime, and only one in 100 rapes recorded by police in 2021 resulted in a charge that same year, according to statistics from Rape Crisis. But, is it any wonder that these figures are so dismal, when even high-profile instances (with the sort of evidence there seemed to be)
result in a dropped case?
"I've seen men actually calling Mason Greenwood a victim. This [is] why women don't report violence against them. How much proof do you need to see or hear that this girl was abused at his hands?" one person tweeted, as someone else said: "One of the reasons why women and men don't come forward and report rape, abuse, torture is because the victim never gets believed, here is a prime example."
Similarly, dating educator and former social worker Lalalaletmeexplain criticised the justice system for failing yet another victim. "I'm not at all shocked or surprised that all charges were dropped against Mason Greenwood," she wrote on her Instagram Story, going on to point out how many people in society have a misconception when it comes to rape.
"Juries are not fit for purpose in rape cases. The outcome of this should have been decided by a qualified group of professionals, probation, expert police, sexual violence experts, social workers, psychologists, criminologists. People who understand how these offences work."
When questioned by a follower about the misconceptions around rape, the expert said: "Rape is not caused by being horny, it is caused by a need for dominance, power and control.
"In a scenario where a date/partner tries to have sex and you say no and they continue on to rape that is not because horniness took over, it's because the rejection was an affront to their ego, they need to dominate you to regain superiority."
She continued: "It is about entitlement and a total belief that they are owed whatever it is that they want when they want it. I think the reason that a lot of men find it hard to accept that this kind of situation can be rape is because a lot a them have done it."
Sadly – regardless of the backlash – it seems the CPS are unaware of the impact the decision to drop Greenwood's case will have. Adding in its statement: "We would always encourage any potential victims to come forward and report to police and we will prosecute wherever our legal test is met."
For help with any of the issues discussed in this article, visit: Rape Crisis England & Wales, Rape Crisis Scotland, or Rape Crisis Northern Ireland. RASASC provides emotional and practical support for survivors, families and friends.
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