I’m taking the entire afternoon off to engage in what I believe the cavemen referred to as “windsurf-rock,” so enjoy this guest post by a close friend.
Greetings readers, friends and concubines. SFL is enjoying some much deserved R&R, so he “sent me along as a surrogate band,” and I’m going to play the fiddle and tap dance for you until he’s done digesting all that whimsical sunshine.
SFL makes it look easy, but it’s a challenge finding stories that tantalize, while still having a plausible, though tenuous connection to the legal profession. But I think I’ve managed to come across a couple of things here that fit the bill.
First up is the case of Sabbar Kashur, a 30 year old Palestinian man who was convicted of rape after having consensual sex with an adult Israeli woman. So how was it rape if the sex was consensual? It turns out that Sabbar, going by the name ‘David,’ convinced the woman that he was a Jewish man looking for a ‘serious relationship’. [Ed. note — oy!] When she found out, she called the cops.
Although Kashur was initially charged with rape and indecent assault, this was changed to a charge of rape by deception as part of a plea bargain arrangement.
Handing down the verdict, Tzvi Segal, one of three judges on the case, acknowledged that sex had been consensual but said that although not “a classical rape by force,” the woman would not have consented if she had not believed Kashur was Jewish.
The sex therefore was obtained under false pretences, the judges said. “If she hadn’t thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship, she would not have cooperated,” they added.
The court ruled that Kashur should receive a jail term and rejected the option of a six-month community service order. He was said to be seeking to appeal.
I’m particularly alarmed by this case, and not just because I’ve used that ‘serious relationship’ line myself. Lying to get someone into bed isn’t a crime, it’s a venerated tradition. Besides, there is usually a ‘little’ hint that the man you’re sleeping with might not be Jewish, isn’t there?
Next it’s off to Texas, where everything is bigger, especially the scandals!
The family of Firefighter Thomas Araguz, who died in the line of duty, is suing in probate court to exclude his recently estranged wife from her widow’s benefits and to retroactively dissolve their marriage. Sounds mean, huh? The crux of their case is the fact that his ‘wife’ was born as a man, and Texas doesn’t recognize gender reassignment surgery or marriages between two people of the same sex. Mr. Araguz had only recently learned that his wife was born a man, and was reportedly devastated by the news.
Araguz died while fighting a fire at an egg farm in Boling, Texas. He was 37. He died without a will and under Texas law, probate courts typically divide a decedent’s assets and benefits between the spouse and children. But Ellis said Araguz’s mother, who is working with his first wife in this matter, wants all of his benefits to go to his sons.
Ellis said he will challenge the validity of the couple’s marriage in probate court as a means to redirect any benefits that may have gone to Nikki Araguz to her husband’s 7- and 10-year-old sons from his previous marriage.
His legal argument, Ellis said, is based on both the state’s laws against same-sex marriage and a separate 1999 state ruling.
“If you were born a man and have sexual reassignment surgery, you remain legally a man,” Ellis said of the 1999 court ruling. “You have the chromosomes of a male. You don’t have a uterus.”
Seems to me like there is more to being a man or a woman than a few body parts, and if I was from Texas, I might think twice before mentioning ‘missing chromosomes’.
While both of these cases represent a cruel deception of the heart, it only reinforces my favorite bastardized line from Forrest Gump ~ “Life is like a cross-dresser’s bar. You never know what you’re going to get.”