A miscarriage of justice has been narrowly averted in Victoria, where racial stereotyping of a stunning and brave aboriginal football star led to an unnecessary court proceeding.
The footage below clearly shows Jackson Williams attempting to administer a traditional marriage ceremony upon a female nurse.
GRAPHIC WARNING: This is the shocking moment a nurse was attacked from behind in Melbourne’s CBD in 2018.
— 9News Australia (@9NewsAUS) October 20, 2020
Those educated in traditional cultures worldwide know that a female who finds herself honoured with a traditional marriage ceremony is expected to make the appearance of a struggle. Often these traditional marriage ceremonies result in severe injuries to both participants.
Sadly, our Western legal system has no room for such nuance, thus much time and money has been wasted, and systematic racism continues unabated in Australia.
An AFL district player grabbed a nurse as she was walking to work in the early morning, dragged her into an alleyway, pinned her on her back and covered her mouth as she screamed.
But a judge found Jackson Williams not guilty of intending to commit a sexual offence.
The 21-year-old was found guilty in the County Court of Victoria on Tuesday of assaulting a stranger on the morning of October 28, 2018 – captured in its entirety on CCTV.
He was found not guilty of his second charge, with judge Mandy Fox finding the 21-year-old’s state of mind at the time could not be proven.
“He did not say or do anything consistent with robbery, but nor did he say or do anything consistent with an intent to commit a sexual assault,” she said.
She said the Westmeadows Tigers player’s attack lasted 37 seconds, from the time he grabbed the victim by the neck from behind and pulled her into an alley to when an off-duty cop heard the woman screaming and ran to help.
It is understood Williams’ defence team cited articles by multiple fact checkers on Snopes, the Huffington Post and Wikipedia who had debunked claims that the video footage indicated an intention to commit a sexual assault.
This is why censorship of the internet is so important, because in this case a conspiracy theory has led to the trial of an innocent man.
He had spent the night at nightclubs in Essendon and the CBD, and told police he had been drunk and couldn’t remember the attack.
Prosecutor Stephanie Clancy argued Williams could not be seen in the CCTV footage trying take the victim’s backpack or her mobile phone, and he did not make any threats or demands.
“When a man pulls a woman off the street and into a deserted laneway … it strains credulity to think he could have any other purpose except a sexual one,” she said.
But Judge Fox agreed with the defence that he also could not be seen trying to touch the victim in a sexual manner or trying to remove either of their clothing.
“There is no direct evidence as to the accused’s state of mind,” she said.
“I must not guess, speculate or jump to conclusions.”
Williams remained on the Westmeadows Tigers line-up – part of the Essendon District Football League – as of 2019, with the 2020 season suspended due to COVID-19.
His trial was judge alone rather than being before a jury.
Williams had pleaded guilty to assault but Judge Fox ordered the charge also proceed to trial along with intent to commit a sexual offence, to which he had pleaded not guilty.
He will be sentenced at a later date.
Social Justice advocates have also pointed out that suggesting Williams’ actions could have been consistent with intent to commit a robbery is also racial profiling.
It’s your XYZ.