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High Profile UK VC Stefan Glaenzer Faces Jail After Sexual Assault Conviction (techcrunch.com)
30 points by mrkmcknz on Nov 30, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 18 comments

I don't know. I'd like to hear his side of the story. The news reports [1] are kinda vague:

"Mr Glaenzer was standing unnecessarily close to one female, looking down at her back," said prosecutor

He got off the train at Bond Street and travelled back to Oxford Circus, all the while standing behind women on the train and platforms.

On a second trip to Bond Street, Glaenzer was seen by plain clothes officers standing close to another woman on the packed train.

They looked on as he thrust his groin against her backside.

The last segment is clearly problematic, but the rest sounds just like some random creepy guy roaming the streets.

Considering that we are now at a point where standing close to another women on a packed train is qualifying for being a sex offender, the only way out is introducing segregated wagons for males and females...

[1] http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/tube-pervert-radio-mill...

No, standing close is not qualifying for sex offender. It's the "problematic" bit that makes him a sex offender. The fact that you suggest otherwise is rather disingenous.

And given that he pleaded guilty what else of his story do you need to hear?

Can we please stop making excuses for sexual assault?

> And given that he pleaded guilty what else of his story do you need to hear?

I agree with the rest of what you say, but in general it's rather dangerous to assume that somebody pleading guilty to a crime necessarily means they did something wrong.

I don't really think you can dismiss what's presumably the key point as merely "problematic" ;)

Shocking. I know him because he was an investor in one of my previous companies. While I won't say he always comported himself in the most ethical manner in business matters and I would not let him take a board seat in the future for this reason, like everyone else I thought of him as a good person of high moral character.

The chorus of people defending him in the article comments because he is otherwise so charming worries me. Sure, he has a winning personality and is fun to hang out with but that should not give him a free ticket to assaulting women and this was not an isolated incident. I understand that cool guys tend to be given a bit more leeway but this goes too far.

First you say he did not act "in the most ethical manner in business matters". Then you say "I thought of him as a good person of high moral character". Are those statements not at direct odds with one another? I don't think business ethics and morals are exactly orthogonal to one another.

Believe there's an extra or missing logical operator there.

This is sad - I don't know Stefan but have met him a few times, and can attest to the fact that he is a decent guy.

Obviously his behaviour here is way out of line - it should act as a wake up call for him to sort stuff out.

I hope, given time, he can be given a second chance though - everyone does stuff they regret, and no-one should be completely beyond the pale.

From the article: debilitating addiction to cannabis

Medically, this makes no sense.

There is such a thing as addiction to marijuana. He may or may not have it, and it may or may not have something to do with his actions here, but it does exist.

Some people in the comments at that link are trying to make a distinction between "physically" and "psychologically" addictive. This is a common belief, but medically, there are no such distinctions. Addiction is defined as continued use despite consequences, and whatever the mechanism, it occurs with marijuana in some people.

That is not the definition of abuse. Per DSM-IV criteria for substance abuse addiciton:

"One of the following must be present within a 12 month period: (1) recurrent use resulting in a failure to fulfill major obligations at work, school, or home; (2) recurrent use in situations which are physically hazardous (e.g., driving while intoxicated); (3) legal problems resulting from recurrent use; or (4) continued use despite significant social or interpersonal problems caused by the substance use."

I know that we technically-minded people like to be precise in our wording, but I think that "continued use despite consequences" is a reasonable summary of that exhaustive definition. :)

Medically this is untrue. You need to understand the actual definition of "addiction" before making statements like this.

i believe mike was fighting for any excuse of his action.

knowing stefan (a small bit) i can only agree that he is one of the most charming, smart and helpful people in the london scene. that offense is super-far out of character for him

as a journalist... his job is the very OPPOSITE of "fighting for any excuse for his action." REALLY weak

Guess that's fair. It just stood out to me that the writer seemed to be calling out drug addiction, rather than the acute influence of the drug.


> "How do these actions constitute sexual assault? They're creepy and weird at worst"

The law in England & Wales is pretty straightforward. Sexual assault is when:

1. You intentionally touch another person

2. That touching is sexual in nature

3. The other person doesn't consent and you don't reasonably believe consent has been given

Stefan Glaenzer's actions fulfil all those requirements - he approached a random woman, thrust his groin repeatedly against her backside (intentional touching, and pretty clearly sexual), and there's no consent here.

There are many degrees of sexual assault. Women (and men) should be able to take the train home without fear of a random stranger coming up and molesting them.

He hasn't actually been sentenced yet, so I couldn't really comment on whether it's appropriate or not. I will say that he's at the magistrate's court[1], so he's not going to be receiving lengthy jail time: the worst case would be six months, but it would be then halved because he pled guilty so he'll in reality he'd only serve three.

That's if he's sent to prison and given the maximum sentence, which hasn't happened yet. The TechCrunch article is a little sensationalistic: he could well be given a suspended sentence instead.

Would you be giggling if a grown man approached your wife/girlfriend/mother/sister/daughter on a train and thrusted his groin onto her backside?

The use of the term sexual assault is probably a bit neglectful here, but I doubt that's what he's charged with. And, I'm in agreement that the Registry is overused and ruins too many people's lives unnecessarily. However, to discount it as just a "giggle story" is ridiculous and lacks perspective.

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