Greens support rapists' privacy

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    Sydney judge should not release the names of those involved in the city's notorious gang rapes because there was nothing to gain from it, the NSW Greens said.

    Sydney District Court Judge Michael Finnane said the identity of a 20-year-old man jailed for 55 years for being the ringleader in three separate pack rapes could be revealed next month.

    His name has been suppressed because his brother is awaiting sentence for his part in two of the pack rapes carried out in August 2000, and Judge Finnane will hear argument on whether to release the ringleader's name on September 6.

    But Greens MLC Lee Rhiannon said no names should be released.

    "Justice Finnane should not release the names of the rapists because there is nothing to be gained from doing so," she said.

    "We need to refocus the debate back on the whole raft of violence prevention measures and not just on increasingly punitive sentences.

    "So-called lenient sentences make for great headlines but this conveniently obscures the legal system's daily examples of sexism that sees courts discard valid sexual assault cases and rape victims degraded during cross-examination."

    The Greens have called on both major parties to step back from "court-bashing exercises" and talk about how the community can take responsibility for stopping male violence that sees women frequently abused, she said.

    "Politicians talk about the 'ethnic' gang rape to hide behind the awful truth that rape of women is most often committed by a family member or a man known to the victim," Ms Rhiannon said.

    ©AAP 2002
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