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Rapist’s Questions Spark Proposal

March 7, 1998

LONDON (AP) _ Outrage over a rapist’s questioning of his victim for six days during his trial prompted Britain to propose barring rape defendants from interrogating victims in court.

``I am determined we will stop putting victims through this traumatizing experience,″ Home Secretary Jack Straw was quoted as saying in the Times of London on Friday.

The proposal was sparked by outrage over last year’s trial of Ralston Edwards, who _ acting as his own lawyer _ subjected the London woman he raped to an exhaustive cross-examination before he was convicted.

``No other other woman should go through this again,″ said victim Julia Mason, who has allowed the media to identify her.

The measure will be included in a criminal justice bill to be introduced next year. The proposal also would make it an offense punishable by up to life imprisonment for knowingly infecting a person with AIDS.

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