Conn. Supreme Court Frees Accused Rapist of Speechless Handicapped Victim because She Didn’t Resist by Biting, Kicking or Screeching

Sunday, October 07, 2012
Richard Fourtin Jr.

Convicted of raping a severely handicapped woman, Richard Fourtin Jr. is now a free man after Connecticut’s highest court decided his victim could have said “no” non-verbally.


Fourtin was found guilty in January 2008 of attempted second-degree and fourth-degree sexual assault and sentenced to six years in prison for attacking the woman.


The victim, whose disabilities include cerebral palsy, mental retardation and hydrocephalus, cannot speak and was only able to testify in court by using a keypad, on which she responded yes or no with just her right index finger. Her mother was Fourtin’s girlfriend.


Fourtin’s lawyer appealed, and an appeals court ruled the woman was not physically helpless. The state Supreme Court voted 4-3 to uphold the appellate decision after agreeing that the victim could have expressed her opposition through biting, kicking or screeching, as she had been known to do if she disliked the food she was given.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Supreme Court Sets Accused Rapist Free (by Daniel Tepfer, Connecticut Post)

State of Connecticut v. Richard Fourtin (Connecticut Supreme Court) (pdf)


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