UK Man on Trial for Allegedly Raping Woman to Cure Her of Being Gay
A man from Yorkley, a village in Gloucestershire, England, is on trial this week for allegedly attempting to rape a woman in 2012 because he thought it would "cure" her of being lesbian, the British newspaper the Telegraph reports.
A jury at Gloucester crown court heard that Ronald Paton, 50, allegedly spewed anti-gay slurs at a 63-year-old lesbian woman before he tried to rape her, dislocating her hip in the process. The incident took place on June 30, 2012.
Paton allegedly knocked on the woman’s door, asked her to have a drink at his home and then assaulted her and subjected her to a 20-minute sexual attack.
"Same sex marriages have just become legal but there are still some men who think that being gay is an illness and that if a gay person has sex with a member of the opposite sex they will be cured," Prosecutor Kerry Barker told the court. "Such issues are at the very core of this case."
The woman, who cannot be named due to legal reasons, took the stand and said that in May she was having a garden party with gay friends when Paton passed by and started yelling anti-gay comments.
"On the evening in question he knocked on my door and gave me the impression that he wanted to put things right between us," the woman, who was previously married and has four children, told the court. "He invited me to his house for a drink and we sat in his living room on opposite sofas.
"As the evening continued he became quite drunk and I felt uneasy with the way the conversation was going," she continued. "He invited me to come and sit with him, but I laughed it off and reminded him that I was gay."
She said she went to the bathroom and when she came back, Paton "brushed past me and I noticed that he had turned the main lights off in the lounge." She went on to say she realized that she didn’t tell her friends or family where she was, so she called her son "but Ronald told me that I would regret that."
"I said it was time I left, but he asked me if I’d mind him taking his shirt off," the woman said. "I said he could do what he liked as it was his home but I was going anyway. But then he put his hands under my bra and top and pushed them up to my chin. I was shocked and tried to push him away. I said ’stop it, don’t touch me."
She said Paton then pulled off her shorts and underwear and tried to rape her before sexually assaulting her while she tried to push him away. She added that he then "became violent and very angry" but she was able to get her clothes back on and run away from Paton. She says she locked herself in her own bathroom.
"I felt really dirty so I had a shower," she added. "I have a condition where my joints can easily become dislocated and when he attacked me I heard my hip click - it was very painful."
The woman then called London’s rape crisis hotline but no one answered. She then told the jury she wanted to talk to a professional before reporting the alleged attack to police, but she was unable to get an appointment with a female doctor the day of the attack. She later contacted Gloucestershire Rape Crisis Centre but canceled the appointment because health officials could not make a house visit. A month later, she spoke with the county’s sexual assault referral center, who brought the woman to the police station to report the incident.
Police, however, lost her video interview, forcing her to detail the alleged attack in the courtroom this week.
The case is still underway.