A 34-year-old woman from Norwich faces years in prison after a juror found her guilty of 23 sex crimes. What makes Marie Black’s case unusual is that she played a pivotal role in the child sex ring:
Opening the trial, prosecutor Angela Rafferty QC said Black, previously known as Marie Adams, played an instrumental role in using the children as sexual play-things.
The abuse, which is said to have happened in and around Norwich and London, included forcing the children to have sex with one another.
On some occasions, the adults threw parties and played card games to decide who would abuse which child, Mrs Rafferty said.
In interviews the victims described how they were abused in front of one another and other adults. Some of the abuse involved children’s toys, including Barbie dolls.
Black denied all the charges, claiming that she was being “stitched up.”
Prosecutors initially charged ten people with crimes resulting from the sex ring. They accused the people of throwing parties in which they would play card games to choose which child they would force into sex:
Six other people, including four women, were cleared of all charges after a three-month trial.
The paedophile ring’s members threw parties and played card games to decide who would abuse which child, Norwich Crown Court heard.
The young victims were rewarded with certificates carrying slogans such as ‘secrets are good’ and ‘do not tell anyone’.
They were sexually assaulted in front of one another – and children’s toys, including Barbie dolls, were also used in sex acts.
The abuse became so routine that the victims, who were all aged under 13, came to accept it as normal.
Six of the accused are women. Four of those women were cleared of all charges. However, that does not negate the glaring evidence this case provides: women do rape children.
As a society we like to pretend this does not happen. We act as if women can do no wrong, yet when women do cross the line we claim some man must have made them do it. We have a hard time seeing women as potential predators because of the pedestals we place them on.
We also have a social movement in feminism that invests much of its time in portraying women as harmless victims. According to feminism, someone like Marie Black should not exist, but if she does, “The Patriarchy” made her do it. She bears no personal responsibility for her actions.
Cases like this one are important because they strip those myths and lies. We not only see that women are just as capable of abusing children as men, but that they have an added advantage in that they can play the victim despite being the abuser. Even the prosecutor admitted this:
Describing Black, Mrs Rafferty said: “Was she a helpless victim of abusive males or was she herself deeply involved with the children’s ill treatment?”
That may not be what people want to hear, yet that does not make it any less true. Women who rape children can hide in plain sight. They do not need to become respected members of a community. They do not need to be famous. They do not need connections or wealth. They can simply play the victim and typically walk away from charges altogether.
And should any of their victims come forward, who would believe them? The police? The community? The abuse victim support community? Most cases never get as far as this one did. Even in this case most of the women walked (although that could be for evidential reasons).
We need to see more reports about cases like this so that the public understands that women rape children more often than people think and that sometimes the women are the ones leading the abuse.