A British man was on trial for rape and in real danger of being convicted when a defense lawyer noticed striking similarities between the “victim’s” story and the plot of the book Fifty Shades of Grey, The Telegraph is reporting.
Defense attorney Cathy McCulloch said that the “victim,” identified only as a teenage girl, had given police a pretty compelling – and consistent – account of what she described as a series of eight rapes by her father over the course of six years. The father, whose name and age have also been withheld, had no alibi and no defense, other than his insistence that he was innocent.
“The complainant’s interview was going to be really tough to crack. She had described not only what her father had allegedly done, but how her body felt as a result. The only odd thing was the use of certain words, phrases and descriptions of how she felt which seemed beyond her years.”
The crack in the girl’s story came when the father, while meeting with his defense team, told them off-hand that his daughter’s favorite book was Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L James’ novel about a young woman who becomes smitten with an exotic millionaire and is then introduced to the world of sadomasochistic sex. The novel contains graphic scenes of bondage, beatings, and similar kinky sex acts.
The father, for his part, had no idea what Fifty Shades of Grey was about and believed, as his daughter had apparently convinced him, that it was about a young woman who takes up with an art teacher and is taught about art, according to The Independent.
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A member of the defense team went to a bookstore and quickly snatched up a copy of the book. As soon as he or she started leafing through it, they started discovering shocking similarities between the girl’s testimony and various words, phrases, and plot points in the book.
The defense attorney asked the judge for some more time to prepare her client’s defense and to incorporate the book into it.
Once the cross-examination of the “victim” started, her story started to fall apart almost immediately, as McCulloch explains.
“I started my cross-examination gently to put the complainant at ease. She agreed her father was strict, and that she was really annoyed with him for ‘ruining her life.'”
She then went for the jugular.
“I raised the striking similarities between her interview and the book. She suddenly broke and said I was absolutely right. She had made the whole thing up because she was angry with her father and wanted to teach him a lesson. Asked her whether she had got all the ideas from Fifty Shades of Grey. She confirmed this book, and others – which she named. After seven minutes we were finished.”
At that point, the judge directed the jury to acquit, and the defendant was let go a free man.
McCulloch went on to say that the judge told her he had never seen anything like the case in his entire career as both a lawyer and judge.
As of this writing, it is not clear if the girl who falsely accused her father of rape will face any criminal charges for her false accusations against him.
[Image via Shutterstock/Maryna Pleshkun]