|there is no chain of reasoning appropriate to a court of law that from the evidence of her weight can prove or even strongly suggest consent to sexual activity.|
I think this is the nub - using a common prejudice to try to encourage the jury to make an intuitive leap is not on. But I'm interested as to how far barristers routinely present 'commonsense' argument that are completely unreasonable and offensive arguments to support the contention that someone has consented to sex. As I understand it, because predicting the likelihood that a person will consent to sex is near to impossible, they often build on really shallow foundations - here, not thin = grateful for attention = consenting, but also common (I think) is the idea that certain clothes = sexually active, grateful for attention = prone to having sex at short notice with strangers*. Past sexual history is used a lot - in one way understandably, as people can have patterns of behaviour, but in another way it just cements this idea that there is a type of person who has sex a lot, and as a result can have no legal protection of their right to refuse. (Which makes me really aware that every time I have a new sexual partner or engage in a non-normative sexual activity, my chances of helpign a successful conviction for rape or assault dwindle frantically.)
(There's a big gap here between 'what I think can be feasibly prosecuted under the present system' and 'what I think constitutes rape or assault' - sorry if I appear to be callously blurring that distinction. Obviously, no matter how often or how you have sex, you still have the right to consent or refuse.)
So how far is this commonly taken, and in which directions? I've seen a lot of this particular case, but I don't know if it's more unpleasant than others (not that one shouldn't haul it up to account and complain anyway). Are barristers allowed to encourage the jury to generalise from a person's class, or regional background, or ethnicity, that they're more likely to be having sex in certain circumstances? Or would that be considered too much - in which case, why is the grateful sex-starved overweight girl an acceptable stereotype to bring up?
(*rather than arguing that clothes had giving the impression to the accused that a person consented, which is slightly different)