Rape Trial of Lanah Sawyer
Rape Trial of Lanah Sawyer. Lanah Sawyer was a 17-year-old seamstress who, in 1793, claimed to have been raped by prominent New York socialite, Henry Bedlow. Sawyer took Bedlow to trial but he was acquitted by an all-male jury after only fifteen minutes of deliberation. Protests following the trial incited debate about upper-class privilege and gender bias in the American court system. The trial is cited by many authors as evidence of the sexual double standard that existed in colonial America.