Advantages of Being a Woman in Criminal Sexual Conduct Cases
St. Paul, MN criminal defense attorney Deborah Ellis talks about what she believes are to be certain advantages to be a woman in the courtroom arguing for a criminal sexual conduct case.
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I think one of the advantages I have is that I am not afraid to cross examine a woman about details of what she claims was a sexual encounter and I think some men feel that they are overpowering and that they’re going to look like big, bad meany if they really go after the woman. And I am happy to just talk details and I don’t think that I’m doing it in a brash or a bullying manner but I don’t back away from it. So I’m not uncomfortable doing that so that is an advantage I think I have.
As a matter of fact, I can’t remember how many years ago but a male criminal defense lawyer asked if I would take over a case and I was surprised because that person had a lot of experience. And he said to me, “I do not think that I can cross examine those 10-year old girls without looking like a big, bad guy and this case needs you.” And so actually, I took the case and it was a winner.