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Twice a victim.
December 4, 2005 8:53 AM   Subscribe

Twice a victim. A 17-year-old girl in Beaverton, Oregon accused her then-boyfriend, 18, of raping her along with two of his friends. Not only was the case dismissed, but prosecutors then decided to charge the girl with filing a false report; she was found guilty this week: included in the judge's reasoning were such things as "she did not act traumatized" to his satisfaction, and "the woman's false accusations were serious enough to lead to charges." Several bloggers have touched on this story and its potential impact, including Kevin Drum, Shakespeare's Sister, and Kevin Hayden, who knows the victim personally.
posted by XQUZYPHYR (134 comments total)

 
I don't have the court documents and I don't know the alleged rapists and their victims, but surely it's possible that they didn't do it, right? Why then "twice a victim"? As much as I hate to see scumbags go free, it's even worse for the innocent to be falsely convicted.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:02 AM on December 4, 2005


Yes, there are some women (and men) who file false rape charges. They are, however, rare, usually quickly identified as false, and are almost always thrown out long before trial.

Roger Beardmore thinks otherwise.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:03 AM on December 4, 2005


Well, according to the law, she wasn't a victim even once, so saying twice is a bit too much. It's incredible to me that people are ready to take her side when all of the independent authorities in the case (the prosecutors and judge) have determined that she lied about it.
posted by grouse at 9:03 AM on December 4, 2005


A 17-year-old girl in Beaverton, Oregon accused her then-boyfriend, 18, of raping her along with two of his friends. does this mean that the girl and two guys were raped?

why not: accused her then-boyfriend and two of his friends of raping her?
posted by Postroad at 9:12 AM on December 4, 2005


Goodness, I hope those defending this position above didn't read the links. This seems like a pretty cut-and-dry case of prosecutorial malfeasance with incredibly chilling effects on rape victims throughout the state.

Optimus - it's not an either-or case between the accused men going free or the accuser being charged without filing false charges. It's possible that the men are innocent without her being guilty.
posted by allen.spaulding at 9:16 AM on December 4, 2005


Well we have to take it into account that all three men were asleep at the time.
posted by dgaicun at 9:16 AM on December 4, 2005


My family has just been through a false report situation related to a custody battle, so I'm not sure I can be objective. Or totally buy the assertion that only 1.6% of reports are false. It seemed pretty important to the judge that the girl's mother and friend didn't do much to back up her story.

That said, I'd prefer that there be more evidence of deliberate intent such as a revenge motive before this sort of charge, and most likely, what this girl needs is counseling and a public advocate, and maybe placement outside of that alcoholic home.
posted by dhartung at 9:22 AM on December 4, 2005


Goodness, I hope those defending this position above didn't read the links.

Well yeah, I did, and perhaps it's true that the prosector is bad at his job or a shithead or both, but I just don't like to see those who had their cases dismissed treated as if they were guilty. I am certain, especially considering the high visibility this last development has, that the charges against the alleged victim will be dropped.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:22 AM on December 4, 2005


This is why rape is such a messy part of the law. It seems like it would be almost impossible to 'prove beyond a reasonable doubt' that a rape was non-consensual based only on testimony of the rapist and raped. It's like the only defense against an accusation of rape, for a guy, is to come off as charming to a jury. More sympathetic then the girl. What else can they go on?

Some people believe that there are just as many female sociopath as there are male sociopaths, but that female sociopaths prefer fucking people over by lying and manipulation, more so then violence (although male sociopaths do this kind of thing as well)

It's a very tricky situation. Obviously rape should be illegal, but the current situation basically makes it very easy for woman to use the legal system as a weapon, if they're determined enough, especially with rules that prohibit using a woman's sexual history in court.

It's a sticky situation. I wouldn't have charged this girl with making a false accusation of rape myself. Men should be careful to avoid sex with sociopaths.
posted by delmoi at 9:23 AM on December 4, 2005


"This seems like a pretty cut-and-dry case of prosecutorial malfeasance..."

I disagree. After reading the article, I felt I did not have enough information to conclude the judge and prosecution acted improperly. If all the evidence of a false charge was presented in the article then, yes, that seems like a pretty weak case. I'm assuming that the OregonLive story is omitting substantial details of the case.
posted by justkevin at 9:25 AM on December 4, 2005


I just don't like to see those who had their cases dismissed treated as if they were guilty.

It seems that only the last link was implying that the men were actually gangrapists, the first two focused on how critical evidence was left out of the trial and that the prosecutors and judges applied a trully appaling set of logic to convict the woman. I think the outrage here isn't that the men weren't found guilty, but that the prosecution trully seemed so intent in attacking the accuser (perhaps moreso than than finding justice in the first place).
posted by allen.spaulding at 9:27 AM on December 4, 2005


Couldn't agree more justkevin.
posted by batou_ at 9:29 AM on December 4, 2005


Goodness, I hope those defending this position above didn't read the links. This seems like a pretty cut-and-dry case of prosecutorial malfeasance with incredibly chilling effects on rape victims throughout the state.

Prosecutorial and judicial malfeasance then. This is definitely possible. But I think saying it was cut-and-dry without even reading the court transcript is really a rush to judgment. And to say that both the judge and the prosecutor were both committing misconduct is a bit more unlikely.

I agree that there will definitely be chilling effects on actual rape victims coming forward, which is bad. But there will also be chilling effects on those who make false accusations, which is good. That's the reason you have a law against false accusations.

How do we balance the good chilling effects against the bad ones? By making sure that only those who file false reports get convicted of it, of course. Easier said than done, I know.
posted by grouse at 9:30 AM on December 4, 2005


Optimus - it's not an either-or case between the accused men going free or the accuser being charged without filing false charges. It's possible that the men are innocent without her being guilty.

I don't see how. I agree that in some cases it may not be possible to prove either one is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but it seems pretty clear that one of them must be guilty if a rape is reported.

If a girl reports a rape, and the guy is innocent, then no rape happened. If a girl reports a rape when no rape happens, then she is guilty of false reporting. Therefore, if a girl reports a rape when the guy is innocent then she is guilty of false reporting.

The only way we can really decide these 'he-said-she-said' rapes is to put the onius on the guy to prove he didn't rape her, which is basically the exact opposite of how our justice system is supposed to work.

The solution, I think, is to always videotape your sexual encounters. (There was actually a case recently where a girl had sex with six guys and accused all of them of rape. They were exonerated by the video tape they had made, clearly showing consenting…)
posted by delmoi at 9:31 AM on December 4, 2005


This reminds me of a speech by a feminist classmate, who proclaimed that rape should be considered guilty until proven innocent. Somehow, I get that this is a common feeling in some circles.

Little could infuriate me more. Innocent until proven guilty is a cornerstone of our law system.

Rape is an odd crime. If someone is murdered, a prime suspect can be found not guilty, and the murder is still a certanity, just not the one responsible. If a rape suspect is found not guilty, that means there was reasonable doubt the rape ever happened. The idea that some rape reports are false is an idea that as loudly as it's shouted down, just might be true.

As well, the "sex offender" label is for life. If you raped a woman and killed her, served your time, and lived to be a free man, you'd still be treated as a sex offender. An accusation of that magnitude should not be lightly thrown about, and outright false accusations of such need to be heavily discouraged.

When the accused rapist is the one to have his head on the block, our justice system owes him the presumption of innocence. If it is the accused's responsibility to prove innocence, the accuser should be liable for as much if not more punishment for false accusation.

She accused three guys of rape, they were found innocent, and she was slapped with a misdemeanor. She was found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and could likely appeal the case. Much as I have sympathy for real victims, perhaps she's the one in the wrong.
posted by Saydur at 9:38 AM on December 4, 2005


Please....Don't.....Stop....(repeat)
posted by hortense at 9:42 AM on December 4, 2005


Shakespeare's Sister nails it:

Again: The judge decided that the victim was not credible because her friend and her mother said she did not “act traumatized” in the days after the incident. He then filed a charge against the victim which turned the two people he had deemed credible witnesses into criminal conspirators. That seems rather confusing, that two criminal conspirators could also be credible witnesses, and experts on post-rape trauma no less.

Prosecuting this girl to send a message to others is unjustifiable viciousness. Let's get this straight now: A key to the prosecution is that the girl did not "act traumatized." One of the people whose opinion on the matter the judge used has a boyfriend who *just got out of prison for molesting his own daughter.* Come on, folks. Even if you buy the absurd line that there's a standard way victims of rape will act - and please show me any rape crisis professional who believes that - the "she didn't act raped" garbage is a dead giveaway that someone in that court needs a serious refresher course on what rape is and isn't.

That someone isn't the girl.
posted by mediareport at 9:47 AM on December 4, 2005


I'll give that it definitely seems she was prosecuted on seriously shaky grounds.

However, that does not prove the rape. Rather, the question of whether it happened is indeterminable by the courts, and rather than convict someone innocent, all should be free.

On the upside, I'm quite certain she'll have ample voluntary legal representation should she decide to fight this questionable conviction. Somehow, it still seems better than questionably tossing a few people into jail for several years.
posted by Saydur at 9:53 AM on December 4, 2005


mediareport nailed one of the many reasons why this conviction is appalling, but there's another more theoretical problem here.

but it seems pretty clear that one of them must be guilty if a rape is reported.

This is what gets me. Just because the three men were found not guilty does not mean that they did not commit this crime, but rather that a specific court did not find evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that they were guilty. Let's think about how high a standard this would have to be, it's he-said/he-said/he-said vs she-said with a judge who clearly has some misconceptions about rape (see mediareport's post).

Now, had the three men had credible alibis to show they couldn't have had sex with the 17-year old, then I'd would be all for filing charges against the accusor. Yet nobody denies that three older men had sex with a drunk girl. I'm willing to accept that this is a grey-area enough to acquit the accused, but I just can't see how you can possibly turn that around and convict the accuser.
posted by allen.spaulding at 9:58 AM on December 4, 2005


A key to the prosecution is that the girl did not "act traumatized."

You really don't know what the key to the prosecution is. You know what some journalist said it was.
posted by grouse at 9:58 AM on December 4, 2005


justkevin, The story claimed that the judge based much of his decission on her "not seeming traumatized," which sets a very bad precedent.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:00 AM on December 4, 2005


You know what some journalist said it was.

And what Kevin Drum has reported as his personal knowledge of the situation. But ok, as with all news stories like this, we always keep in mind that we don't have all the facts. Still, if the facts are close to those presented, this definitely seems to me a ridiculous, if not heartless, prosecution.
posted by mediareport at 10:03 AM on December 4, 2005


Prosecuting this girl to send a message to others is unjustifiable viciousness. Let's get this straight now: A key to the prosecution is that the girl did not "act traumatized."

That's one peice of many. According to the article:
After a day-and-a-half trial, Municipal Judge Peter A. Ackerman on Friday convicted the woman of filing a false police report, a class-C misdemeanor. Ackerman explained his decision, saying there were many inconsistencies in the stories of the four, but that he found the young men to be more credible. He also said he relied on the testimony of a Beaverton police detective and the woman's friends who said she did not act traumatized in the days following the incident.
So there are several bits of evidence, and she was only charged with a class-C misdemeanor, equivalent to getting caught with an 8th ounce of weed in most states (but not Oregon, coincidentally). The biggest problem would be the inconsistencies, and in addition to the friend, there was the testimony of the detective as well.

(That said, I can't believe the girl's lawyer didn't demand a jury trial. WTF is going on there? My dad recently demanded a jury trial for a lack-of-seat-belt ticket. By far the biggest problem with this country's legal system is the shitty public defenders)

One of the people whose opinion on the matter the judge used has a boyfriend who *just got out of prison for molesting his own daughter.*

Well, if that's the way she chooses her boyfriends, can we also assume she's just as 'picky' in choosing her friends?
posted by delmoi at 10:05 AM on December 4, 2005


...the girl did not "act traumatized."

Some people just don't act traumatized even when a dingo takes their baby. Some people react to honorific events by giggling.

Myself, I've been involved in some pretty traumatic situations and my demeanor becomes even more calm than usual.

This may be an adaptation supporting survival in times of danger, but it may also make me guilty by default in many situations.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:07 AM on December 4, 2005


Well, if that's the way she chooses her boyfriends, can we also assume she's just as 'picky' in choosing her friends?

Not exactly sure what you're trying to say there, delmoi, but were you aware that the person in question is the girl's mother?
posted by mediareport at 10:08 AM on December 4, 2005


You know what some journalist said it was.

And what Kevin Drum has reported as his personal knowledge of the situation.


Oooh, a blogger too!

Still, if the facts are close to those presented, this definitely seems to me a ridiculous, if not heartless, prosecution.

I agree. But the fact that the prosecution and adjudication (people seem to think it is just some out-of-control prosecutor, when the judge concurred with his case, and surely deserves the same amount of blame, if there is any) seems so preposterous makes me think that there might be more to it, and that people are picking on the most sensational aspects of the case.
posted by grouse at 10:08 AM on December 4, 2005


Rape is an odd crime. I've been trying to grasp just why it's considered just short of murder on the heinous scale, and worthy of a different burden of proof than other crimes ( I've encountered more than a few who would like it deemed "guilty until proven innocent").

The best way I have found to describe it is this: Rape is a physical assault, and deserves as much scorn. However our rituals and taboos around sexuality are so important (and some would say so messed-up), that victims are made to feel like they've been cast from society. That effect is as much our fault, as it is the attacker's.

I would argue that it will never be possible to objectively judge cases like this one until we can separate the assault from the "traumatization".
posted by Popular Ethics at 10:11 AM on December 4, 2005


Not exactly sure what you're trying to say there, delmoi, but were you aware that the person in question is the girl's mother?

Oh, I wasn't. But as you can see the bit of text I quoted from the main article didn't say anything about the girls mother, just her 'friends'. I see that Kevin Hayden, who has "known the victim since she was a baby." and "told the prosecutor and lead detective that they were “miserable pricks” and “a disgrace to their profession." has smeared the woman on his blog, though.
posted by delmoi at 10:15 AM on December 4, 2005


And what Kevin Drum has reported as his personal knowledge of the situation.

It was Kevin Hayden, not Kevin Drum with the personal knowlage.
posted by delmoi at 10:16 AM on December 4, 2005


(That said, I can't believe the girl's lawyer didn't demand a jury trial. WTF is going on there? My dad recently demanded a jury trial for a lack-of-seat-belt ticket. By far the biggest problem with this country's legal system is the shitty public defenders)

The Constitutional right to a trial by jury in criminal cases is limited to felony cases-- this was a misdemeanor.
posted by justkevin at 10:16 AM on December 4, 2005


That said, I can't believe the girl's lawyer didn't demand a jury trial.

I doubt the girl had a lawyer at all, the prosecutor would be responsible for all of this. In fact, an incredible number of women who file rape charges don't meet with a lawyer until they meet the lawyer for the man they are accusing.
posted by allen.spaulding at 10:16 AM on December 4, 2005


Oops, bad read on my part. I thought you meant for the prosecution of rape, not the prosecution of filing false charges.
posted by allen.spaulding at 10:17 AM on December 4, 2005


The Washington County District Attorney's Office declined to prosecute the case against the men. Robert Hermann, the county's district attorney, said prosecutors reviewed all the information and statements but didn't think they could prove a rape allegation.
Ted Naemura, the assistant city attorney who prosecuted the case, said the woman's false accusations were serious enough to lead to charges.


So the DAs office actually took the step of charging the men with the crime and then decided that they didn't have enough evidence to win in court so they let the men go. It would seem that their evidence was based on he said/she said testimony. Not enough to convict the guys but apparently enough to convict the girl:

Ackerman explained his decision, saying there were many inconsistencies in the stories of the four, but that he found the young men to be more credible. He also said he relied on the testimony of a Beaverton police detective and the woman's friends who said she did not act traumatized in the days following the incident.

As well, the "sex offender" label is for life. If you raped a woman and killed her, served your time, and lived to be a free man, you'd still be treated as a sex offender. posted by Saydur at 12:38 PM EST on December 4

And you have a problem with that?

The he said/she said issue has always been a problem with rape cases. Unless the woman shows physical signs such as bruising, tearing, drugs in system, etc. it always boils down to was the act against her will? I'm going on record as saying that while I believe "no" means "no" I also do not think women should go into hotel rooms, parked cars, deserted houses, etc. with men they are not ready to sleep with. And if anyone ever tried anything with me, you better believe there would be some physical evidence that I was forced against my will-- either his dick in my stomach or my busted nose.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:23 AM on December 4, 2005


bullshit.

this story can serve as a good example to all deranged parents who fear their child is sexually active (or is planning on it):

"You know, honey, there's nothing to stop Johnny getting together with his friends and gang raping you repeatedly, so make sure you know their character. What? No, so long as they maintain it was your idea, not theirs, they can do whatever they please. Stop crying, honey."

this begs appeal, not that it would erase the stigma.

and I've been accused of rape at a younger age than she, only to find out the girl had some unknown-to-me boyfriend who got her to make the charge. That sucked mightily.

This case's dodgy credibility assertions are mindboggling.
posted by Busithoth at 10:26 AM on December 4, 2005


I am certain, especially considering the high visibility this last development has, that the charges against the alleged victim will be dropped.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:22 AM PST on December 4


That should be "dismissed on appeal" or whatever it is you lawyerly types say; I'm not very smart this weekend.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:37 AM on December 4, 2005


sorry to say to the individual who posted this story, but if they filed charges against her, there is *likely* substantial evidence to the contrary of her claim. I would surmise that there is information that is not "public" knowledge and was reviewed in private by the judge.

Something like, oh.. say - a video. or pictures.. or previous and recorded indescretions.

The only precident that this case sets is that 1) less women will falsely file police reports and 2) men guilty of rape will, for a short period of time, get of scot free *BUT* the long term result is that, because women will regain the credibility that a few rotten apples have taken away from them, men will be held more accountable for their actions.

Get over yourselves, all of you retarded troglodytes who campaign for womens rights, but are absolutely short sighted in your approach.
posted by Milliken at 11:06 AM on December 4, 2005


milliken, I'm forming my group of pal's to ass-rape your [insert female family member here]. we better hurry, the short-term's only going to last so long, and I want to get off scot-free.

I'm actually just glad to have a glimpse of the evidence you imagine exists to justify an outcome you obviously approve of. nice.
posted by Busithoth at 11:12 AM on December 4, 2005


A 17-year-old girl in Beaverton, Oregon accused her then-boyfriend, 18, of raping her along with two of his friends.

he raped two of his friends as well? what a man!
posted by quonsar at 11:14 AM on December 4, 2005


crap. scooped by postroad.
posted by quonsar at 11:15 AM on December 4, 2005


As well, the "sex offender" label is for life. If you raped a woman and killed her, served your time, and lived to be a free man, you'd still be treated as a sex offender. posted by Saydur at 12:38 PM EST on December 4

And you have a problem with that?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:23 PM CST on December 4


In a nutshell, yes. If the point of prison is rehabilitation, then the "sex offender" label basically says that no sex offender can be truly rehabilitated. If the point of prison is punishment, then why would a sex crime warrant a special provision like that, when someone could be considered completely finished with their punishment for murder?

Not that I think the sentencing is terribly far off in general, just the idea of a lifetime "sex offender" legal status.
posted by Saydur at 11:15 AM on December 4, 2005


If a girl reports a rape, and the guy is innocent, then no rape happened. If a girl reports a rape when no rape happens, then she is guilty of false reporting. Therefore, if a girl reports a rape when the guy is innocent then she is guilty of false reporting.

If this was true, every losing plaintiff could be charged with false reporting, even if they brought their complaint in good faith. Instead, I expect that while no rape occurred she could only be charged with false reporting if it's determined that she did so willfully. And that's the issue here: what evidence is there that she knew what happened to her wasn't rape and brought charges anyway? I would think there's a pretty high burden of proof, so there may indeed be evidence we're all unaware of.
posted by schoolgirl report at 11:22 AM on December 4, 2005


If this was true, every losing plaintiff could be charged with false reporting, even if they brought their complaint in good faith.

Every losing complainant can already be charged with false reporting. It is mostly true, but the key to remember that being innocent and being found not guilty by a court are not the same thing.
posted by grouse at 11:25 AM on December 4, 2005


Does the idea of reasonable doubt apply differently in a false reporting case becasue it's a less severe charge? Is the burden of proving the charge different for a misdemeanor? (IANAL & I don't watch enough law & order to really know.)

Oddly, the judge that convicted her is a tech law guy.
posted by neda at 11:27 AM on December 4, 2005


saydur, the 'rehabilitation' point of prison was abandonned long ago by our government. you specific 'lived to be a free man' not, 'lived to be rehabilitated'. So if you're going to rape and kill someone, do it young, or else you'll die in jail?

I think there should be an appeal to still appearing on those GPS maps of being a sex offender, where those who are rehabilitated could go. It's kind of stupid to think that just by having these lists, the offenders are paying their debt to society.
posted by Busithoth at 11:28 AM on December 4, 2005


Saydur: so there's no such thing as lifetime "murderer" status? once you get out of jail, your legal records are deleted and no one will ever find out you killed someone and been to jail?

What about theft? speed driving? drug smuggling? does it all get generously forgotten by the law and police?

Cos if it works like that in the US, then, well, let's not tell anyone, or visa applications would triple.
posted by funambulist at 11:36 AM on December 4, 2005


A few years ago, a documentary entitled Raw Deal: A Question of Consent was released. It concerned the events of one night in February, 1999, when a stripper named Lisa Gier-King was hired to perform at a frathouse party at the University of Florida. The next morning, King ran to a neighboring fraternity, saying she had been raped. When the police came to investigate, they found there was a video record of the prior night's proceedings. Upon watching the video, the police arrested King for making a false accusation of rape.

Because of Florida's sunshine laws, all the footage introduced as evidence in the case was released into the public domain. This footage, laced between interviews with the protagonists in the case, makes up the documentary. We see the alleged rape occur, and all the events that lead up to it, in graphic detail. Two people watching this film can come to completely different conclusions about whether rape did or did not occur.

I commented about this film in a thread about rape a few years ago. I think anyone who wants to genuinely begin asking the question, "What is rape?" should see it. I refer to it again to make the point that rape is a crime that can happen or not happen in a completely psychological space. Those of us sitting here reading secondhand reports of what happened have no clue what is and what is not credible in this instance.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 11:36 AM on December 4, 2005


Does the idea of reasonable doubt apply differently in a false reporting case becasue it's a less severe charge? Is the burden of proving the charge different for a misdemeanor?

No it doesn't, but you're probably less likely to get the proper attention of a public defender for a misdemeanor. And you won't necessarily have a jury trial (like in this case).
posted by grouse at 11:38 AM on December 4, 2005


Is it safe to say that a 300 word article is not enough information to make a lot of the statements made here? Regardless of your position on rape/accused rape/not guilty vs. innocent, this article really isn't enough to back your arguments up, other than on speculation. Until we can get any other evidence on the matter, it's just one person's interpretation of a very vague article vs. another.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 11:51 AM on December 4, 2005


The Constitutional right to a trial by jury in criminal cases is limited to felony cases-- this was a misdemeanor.

Are you sure about this? I know from personal experience that you can request a jury trial for traffic tickets in Iowa and Texas. The state doesn’t need to provide a lawyer for you unless they want to seek jail time in IA, though.
posted by delmoi at 11:55 AM on December 4, 2005


Can someone help out a bit? I'm interested in the Hayden link, but I can't even seem to be able to get it through Coral, much less directly.
posted by Samizdata at 12:03 PM on December 4, 2005


I doubt the girl had a lawyer at all, the prosecutor would be responsible for all of this. In fact, an incredible number of women who file rape charges don't meet with a lawyer until they meet the lawyer for the man they are accusing.

Also, they mentioned the girls lawyer right in the first linked-to article.
The woman's attorney and advocates for rape victims say the prosecution sets a dangerous precedent and could discourage others from reporting sexual assaults.
Sheesh. Speaking of not paying attention when reading
but it seems pretty clear that one of them must be guilty if a rape is reported.
--[delmoi]

This is what gets me. Just because the three men were found not guilty does not mean that they did not commit this crime, but rather that a specific court did not find evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that they were guilty. Let's think about how high a standard this would have to be, it's
--allen.spaulding

The entire sentence I wrote was:

I agree that in some cases it may not be possible to prove either one is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but it seems pretty clear that one of them must be guilty if a rape is reported.
There's a difference between being guilty and being proven guilty but if a rape is reported one person (we don't know which) must have committed a crime. We may never know which one, and maybe the best option is to let both of them go.
posted by delmoi at 12:04 PM on December 4, 2005



Can someone help out a bit? I'm interested in the Hayden link, but I can't even seem to be able to get it through Coral, much less directly.


This is what I got by going to "work offline" mode and looking at my browser's cached copy of the document

I attended this trial. It was especially interesting that the prosecutor kept referring to the three men involved as ‘boys’, when they were fully grown men. The woman was 17.

The judge found inconsistencies in all of the stories, thus establishing reasonable doubt in every story. Yet he convicted the victim. ‘Boys’ will be ‘boys’.

The young woman’s friends were a classmate at high school and her mother. The mother a) has always been seen with an alcoholic beverage or high on prescription pills by all who know her, b) provided the 17-year old with the alcohol she’d had that evening, which she stole from the store she cashiers at and c) was awaiting her boyfriend’s return to her home within two months of the rape. That boyfriend was in prison for molesting his own daughter. That’s hardly a credible witness with any sympathy for victims of sexual assault. But none of this could be introduced into evidence. Only the 17 year old’s sexual history could be exposed.
Additionally, the two ‘friends’ were the ones who convinced the 17 year old that she should report it to the police. So if the young woman is guilty, the instigating accessories to her ‘crime’ are considered credible experts about how a rape victim should act.

The outcome took me completely by surprise, as it did many others. But then, boys will be boys.

(My report cannot be truly objective as I’ve known the victim since she was a baby. I was sufficiently upset at the proceedings that, in the hallway outside the courtroom, I told the prosecutor and lead detective that they were “miserable pricks” and “a disgrace to their profession.”)
posted by delmoi at 12:08 PM on December 4, 2005


Are you sure about this? I know from personal experience that you can request a jury trial for traffic tickets in Iowa and Texas. The state doesn’t need to provide a lawyer for you unless they want to seek jail time in IA, though.

IANAL, but I believe the right to trial by jury guaranteed by the consitution is limited to felonies punishable by more than six months in prison. Individual states are free to extend the right to trial by jury even further, but right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution stops there.
posted by justkevin at 12:57 PM on December 4, 2005


Is it safe to say that a 300 word article is not enough information to make a lot of the statements made here?

This is what I am left feeling. My initial (kneejerk?) reaction was outrage, but I'm feeling a lot less certain. The story as reported has so many huge holes that I have no idea what to believe.

A few questions I have:

Was she drunk, and if so, is that not enough to prove the men had sex without her consent?

Why were charges filed against the men and then dropped?

What evidence did the policeman give in her trial?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:09 PM on December 4, 2005


the biggest hole would be accounts of her conduct after the alleged incident. like: did she continue to the party with the boys after the fact? good luck finding a credible witness at a kegger full of 18 year olds.

the article is preciously sparse in information, I'll grant that. still, something's rotten in Beaverton.
posted by Busithoth at 1:20 PM on December 4, 2005


grrarrgh00: i was looking for a "what is rape?" docu just a few weeks ago, thanks so much (dl'ing it right now)
posted by suni at 2:18 PM on December 4, 2005


I'll second the recommendation of Raw Deal: A Question of Consent. It's an incredibly powerful, pretty disturbing film; one that really does make you question your views on rape, and worry (even more) about the way it is handled by the legal system.

Two people watching this film can come to completely different conclusions about whether rape did or did not occur.

That was my experience. After watching it with a decidedly hardcore feminist friend, she stunned me by siding with the accused men, while I was very much in support of the alleged victim - we argued about it for weeks, to the point of 'phoning each other up whenever a new point occurred to us. Can't say that about many documentaries.

As for this case - there definitely isn't enough information to go on in these reports, though any legal decision that discourages women from reporting rape is a poor one.
posted by jack_mo at 2:19 PM on December 4, 2005


Here's a link to the bittorrent of Raw Deal: A Question of Consent (Page perhaps NSFW)

clicky
posted by WetherMan at 2:19 PM on December 4, 2005


without seeders, that torrents not gonna help. (it was uploaded within the last week, so maybe it just needs more time, but...

netflix don't carry it, either.
posted by Busithoth at 2:43 PM on December 4, 2005


Is that THE Shakespeare's Sister?

Also, god that Oregonian site is annoying. Give me free content or don't. You know my zipcode is not 90210, yet you insist I tell you it is.
posted by Eideteker at 4:49 PM on December 4, 2005



without seeders, that torrents not gonna help.


5 Seeders, 3 Leachers?
posted by WetherMan at 5:24 PM on December 4, 2005


Optimus Chyme: I don't have the court documents and I don't know the alleged rapists and their victims, but surely it's possible that they didn't do it, right?

And surely it's also possible that these three genius boy wonders coordinated their fucking stories [no pun intended] so they'd seem credible and have all their facts/ducks in a row, whereas she wouldn't, right? I mean, damn. Pardon my French, but this has got to be the most appalling thing I've ever read.

I used to work for a lawyer in Boston. I watched judges routinely ignore evidence, favor wealthier clients, write off womens' testimony because they got more emotional on the stand...you name it. I'd be willing to bet some decent scratch that somebody knows somebody knows somebody, and that's how the "boys" got off.

Would someone kindly point me to the modern guidebook for just exactly how one is supposed to act, post-rape or gang-rape? I don't believe I learned that in school, and I'd like to be prepared, just in case. Wouldn't want to display the improper behavior and have my story discounted as a result...

:: end ranty rant
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:17 PM on December 4, 2005


wetherman, at the time, it was 0 - 0.

bitter-girl, first off, make sure you're properly prepared, and don't have a drunk mom who'll make disparaging remarks on your behalf, subverting your case.
posted by Busithoth at 6:47 PM on December 4, 2005


And surely it's also possible that these three genius boy wonders coordinated their fucking stories [no pun intended] so they'd seem credible and have all their facts/ducks in a row, whereas she wouldn't, right? I mean, damn. Pardon my French, but this has got to be the most appalling thing I've ever read.

Well, fuck, what do you want? No trials at all for anyone accused of rape? Shall we just go straight to execution?

Did they do it? Maybe. Who knows? You and I don't have the records of this case so it's pretty ridiculous to condemn me for not condmening those found innocent by the justice system.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:53 PM on December 4, 2005


Rape is physical assault, plus the possibility of pregnancy, plus the psychological trauma of sexuality as a negative experience, plus the psychological trauma of breach of social customs which restrain sexuality. Though being generous about it, those customs can be seen as an attempt to ensure sexual expression is not a negative experience. Compare this to a non-sexual assault of comparable duration and force, which also induces the psychological trauma of helplessness and of breach of the social custom of not physically assaulting other people. That act seems marginally less cruel, because of the absence of sexual trauma. Compare it also to other psychological traumas, induced without physical assault - a person can be psychologically scarred for life by cruelty of another, but the physical trauma makes the rape worse. However, compare it to actually getting a knife or a power drill and cutting into someone, even cutting off their hand or drilling out an eye. That seems far worse to me.

I think it's clear that with this comparison, the conclusion is that rape ought to be punished as just short of grevious bodily harm (the eye-cutting example), but not murder. It should be pointed out that in every "plain" rape ever committed, the perpetrator could have, but did not, murder or cut up or otherwise inflict grevious harm on his victim. If he had, he would be charged with that. He therefore ought not to be punished as if he had, when he hadn't.

Because of the nature of the crime, rape usually takes place when the victim and perpetrator are alone, with no witnesses. Usually he is known to her, usally a friend. However, it's comparitively rare for a rapist, especially a friend, to wear condom and gloves. It's rarer still for a rapist to force his victim to shower off every trace of his semen and clean every scraping of his skin from under her nails. That she does this, alone after he has gone, is the woman's natural reaction to the trauma - to wash her body clean.

That natural reaction is where a proper societal response to rape needs to start. Tell your daughters--perhaps not your sons, cruel as it seems to deprive them, a male is greatly more likely to be a rapist than to be raped, and so needs to not have this information clearly in his mind--that if raped, they must not bathe, but should instead go straight away to a hospital or a doctor, and have any semen or blood or skin from their rapist preserved, and any bruises or cuts they have photographed. Then she can think over for sure whether the sex was really consensual, and if she's clear in her mind that it was not, at all, then she ought to report it to the police.

Of course this comes with two caveats. Firstly, girls need to be taught to avoid being raped, which starts with the realization that although few men will rape, almost all men can. We are almost universally stronger--the average man can overpower a woman quite a bit taller and heavier than he is--and on the average, we are taller and heavier. Be aware of the idea that she is alone with a man. Be aware also that the male desire for sex is vast and near-insatiable, and so any implication that might be taken to mean a sexual invitation, will be at least examined for that possibility by the man. At all times goes through a man's mind these things: "Is she hitting on me? Should I hit on her?". Even if the answer is a clear No and No, he's still running the program. Biologically, he needs to. Just accept that.

It's important that this shouldn't lead to fear of men, which is the second caveat: she needs to be clear that she can in theory consent to sex, that she can't always be in a state to exercise that consent responsibly, that she for similar biological reasons may be unclear as to whether or not she is consenting, and that she needs to take a moment to clarify for herself what the consequences are.

Boys need to know that too, of course - the idea of "consent" comes with a whole bunch of underlying assumptions about personal sovereignty and state of rationality. Teach your sons not just about the mechanisms of sex, and all that "beautiful thing" and "when a man loves a woman" crap ... ideally, don't teach them that crap, teach them that sex is better with love, and both are needed for a marriage, but the two are separate drives, and importantly, teach them what consent means. In general, not just sexually, and when you're doing it, include the fact that as a parent, you've been limiting your child's capacity to consent to anything for years and will continue to do so.

Schools should teach those things too - I'd say must teach those things, over and despite any objections from idiot parents whose desire is to raise stunted, traumatized, drone children without moral awareness or intellectual curiosity. Then we'd have less rapes.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:55 PM on December 4, 2005


He also said he relied on the testimony of a Beaverton police detective and the woman's friends who said she did not act traumatized in the days following the incident.

Holy Cow, this is disturbing. I personally know a rape survivor who in the days immediately following the rape acted anything but traumatized. I certainly hope that anyone who had to deal with abuse survivors would recognize that as a coping mechanism and not a reason to doubt the survivor's credibility.

Ellis, who provided peer support for the woman during the trial, said she was especially disturbed by the judge's comments about the woman's believability.

"There's no typical response for a rape survivor," Ellis said.


Word.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:55 PM on December 4, 2005


"There's no typical response for a rape survivor," Ellis said.

Word.


Is this a law of nature though, or an absence of education? It seems to me that rape prevention and reaction is an important part of sex education.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 7:04 PM on December 4, 2005


Let's all be clear on something, shall we?

These "boys" were charged, and found not guilty. They will not be officially labeled in any way as sex offenders. They have an arrest record; they do not have a record of conviction.

They have no stigma.

The girl, OTOH, will do jail time.

Stigma.

Given the known facts -- the reported facts -- if you were date-raped in that town, or if you were gang-raped*, for that matter -- would you report it?

I didn't think so.

--
*I would endeavor to point out that gang-rape by a small gang is easier to get off from than a solo accusation. After all, you've got three against one, here -- all three of them say she's a promiscuous orgy-slut, not a rape victim. (Nope, no stigma here, just move along, folks....) The point isn't that we make an exception to anything for rape; the point is that finding the accused not guilty is not the same as saying that the accuser is guilty. Anyone who thinks so is not using his/her imagination.
posted by lodurr at 7:46 PM on December 4, 2005


Firstly, girls need to be taught to avoid being raped

No, firstly males need to be taught not to rape. The onus is not on women to change their behavior to avoid other people's violent, illegal and inhumane acts.
posted by Dreama at 8:54 PM on December 4, 2005


I was best friends with a female rape counselor who's job was to comfort the rape victim right after the rape in the hospital, and the follow up. She told me probably about 1/2 of them were fake, for various reasons. As a female its a very easy thing to cry if your ticked off at a male, or a group of them. But then again the lack of facts of this case makes all points pointless and iterative.
posted by highgene at 9:01 PM on December 4, 2005


lodurr, yes, let's be clear: the boys didn't go to trial, the case was dropped when the prosecution realized they weren't going to score a 'win'. That's not the same as being found not guilty. just as not guilty doesn't always equal innocent.

My favorite part of this article is that the names are withheld because the case is 'unresolved' and involves sexual assault.

Excuse me? how can she be convicted of claiming a false report if the case is unresolved? it really seems too egregious for any prosecutor/judge duo to just wantonly hand down.
posted by Busithoth at 10:08 PM on December 4, 2005


"The onus is not on women to change their behavior"

Ever hear of compromise?
posted by mischief at 10:20 PM on December 4, 2005


Its not that the onus is on women to change their behavior but that the woman should realize how men think and how potentially dangerous men can be, and to take steps to either protect themselves or avoid the dangerous situation in the first place.

This doesn't mean curtailing your freedom; it does mean having a certain level of self-awareness. And this advice, in the abstract, would apply to men too and the situations and places they may end up.
posted by pandaharma at 12:22 AM on December 5, 2005


Enough men have been falsely accussed and convicted, if the work is turning and a few gals now suffer that fate then tough toodies.
posted by HTuttle at 12:26 AM on December 5, 2005


That Raw Deal documentary is very alarming. That anyone could possibly claim that was not consensual is very disturbing. The video shows her having sex in multiple positions, including her on top and in complete control, as well as giving a hand-job to someone else in the room. She even plays with herself while taunting the person she accused to come and show how "he's a man". At one point, she even falls off the person she accused, and then climbs back on top of him to continue having sex. It also shows her giving hand-jobs to people in the hot tub earlier in the evening.

And her story is completely full of holes. She makes the rape claim to the police, then when the police confront her with the video that complete torpedos her accusations, she claims that she cannot remember doing any of that. Then, for the documentary, she is some how able to explain in detail what she was actually thinking while having sex, and how she was really trying to get away. This is despite the video showing her doing the complete opposite. How convenient.

Way to discredit the stories of actual rape victims, lady.
posted by jsonic at 1:32 AM on December 5, 2005


highgene: I was best friends with a female rape counselor [...]. She told me probably about 1/2 of them were fake, for various reasons. As a female its a very easy thing to cry if your ticked off at a male, or a group of them.
WORD to the muthah-fuckin' google-ty power! I have long maintained this very point: that there are very real rape cases, and that's an awful thing, but that doesn't mean no one would ever lie about it, that there's never anything to gain... because there most certainly is. If "all men" can be potential rapists, then can't we say "all women" can be potential psychopathic liars? Are our Victorian era notions of women as the "fairer sex" still so ingrained that we can't imagine anything but sugar and spice from girls and snails and puppy dog tails from boys? Or that boys are some how orders of magnitude "worse", for no explicable reason?

jsonic pointed out above that we have video proof of a woman being an apparently active, consensual participant deciding the next day that what happened was rape. Uh, no. Maybe she wanted to believe it, or maybe she realized she could wring the frat boys for reasons of fun/profit or extortion/weird psychological issues by claiming falsely to be raped.
pandaharma: Its [...] that the woman should realize how men think and how potentially dangerous men can be, and to take steps to either protect themselves or avoid the dangerous situation in the first place.
You know whats more dangerous than just any "men"? All them nigger men. So much more dangerous! A woman should definitely never be alone with one of them, they're savage, illiterate, Kong-like beasts of unchecked agression and sexual rapacity. Really, any sensible woman in this day and age should understand that not all niggers are violent, but she should take steps to either protect herself or avoid the dangerous situation in the first place.

Let me spell it out for you: I'm using offensive hyperbole to draw a parallel to your statements and the kind of racist, Victorian-era hysteria about delicate flowers of femininity and the bestial ravages of the untethered black man. You've simply updated it for the 21st century by ignoring the skin color. As a guy... thanks!!!!

This culture of fear and sexual one-sidedness is not exactly unprecedented, yet you happily continue it. Why not teach your daughters that most men are perfectly normal, okay people who aren't hellbent on raping their precious gold-plated holy poontang? And that god forbid they meet such a person, that their first course of action is as unambigous and direct as if they got mugged. But painting this picture of men as out of control and hard to predict muddies the water. Rape is a crime of power and of violence, and as such "real" rape is pretty straightforward.
HTuttle: Enough men have been falsely accussed and convicted, if the work is turning and a few gals now suffer that fate then tough toodies.
EXACTLY. Rape is a crime of power, and violence- the sex is incidental, but apparently the only part we want to think about.

If a few men can exercise their power in a rape situation- namely, the power of superior strength- cannot a woman exercise a similar power: the power to lie and use leverage to crush a man? Fuck, teenage girls do this shit to each other all the time, for sport... ruin each other's reputations, lie, slander, mislead... without batting an eyelash.

But despite this, we're to believe no woman has ever lied about a rape to either exercise power and control over a man, or to wipe away/rewrite history on a regretted, but at-the-time consensual, action? Or that the capacity of men to apparently snap and become robotic sex machines that will lunge at the first female they see is far greater than the capacity of women to lie and deceive and manipulate to get what they want?

Bull. Shit.
posted by hincandenza at 3:05 AM on December 5, 2005


Me: "Firstly, girls need to be taught to avoid being raped"

Dreama: No, firstly males need to be taught not to rape. The onus is not on women to change their behavior to avoid other people's violent, illegal and inhumane acts.


I meant "firstly" in the sense of the first member of a list of things, not the highest priority or soonest thing to do, so probably should have used "(a)" or something. Anyway, teaching these two things are not exclusive, I think they are even complementary. Anyone here taught, or recently taken, a high school sex education class? Was the subject of rape discussed? How?

Hincandenza: But despite this, we're to believe no woman has ever lied about a rape to either exercise power and control over a man, or to wipe away/rewrite history on a regretted, but at-the-time consensual, action?

Definitely not - the law is required to assume, unless proven otherwise, that a victim of a crime is telling the truth. There is supposed to be a large psychological barrier in front of false accusation, even to the extent of discouraging a person who thinks he/she might have been a victim of a crime, but isn't sure, from reporting the matter to police. This is a chilling effect, and rightly so. It's an axiom of Western criminal law: "it is better that the guilty go free than that the innocent be punished".

It is easy to set up situations, not just rape, where a person can be falsely accused of a crime. Rape is just a particularly sensitive issue, due to the social customs and the psychology of sexual activity. My guess is that the number of false accusations of, say, shoplifting, exceeds false accusations of rape. The highest rate of false report of crimes is for those that generally have a civil remedy and don't generally involve prosecuting anyone: theft. A false accusation of theft against an unknown person is the core of a fraudulent insurance claim. A deranged and vengeful person could even set up their own suicide in such a way that an enemy of theirs is left suspected of murder. The legal system is fully and thoroughly aware, more than those of us who don't work in it usually credit, of the possibility of false accusation.

This is why, if after a properly objective and fair trial (something I'm not sure happened in the case in question, but hopefully will occur further up the court heirarchy), the girl here is found beyond reasonable doubt to have falsely accused the boys of rape, she should be punished for it. The legal system needs its chilling effect against unclear and uncertain accusations. Accusations should only ever be brought with evidence and in good faith. That is the lesson to be learned from this case: not "if you are raped the cops won't believe you", but "if you are raped make sure your actions, such as going to a doctor and telling a friend as soon after as possible, are such that the cops will believe you".
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:34 AM on December 5, 2005


If there weren't enough reason already, here's another huge reason to go to the doctor ASAP: the semen should be tested for STDs. The victim can hopefully minimize suffering the disease if warned of it and treated for it.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:40 AM on December 5, 2005


hincandenza, from the tone of your comment I really have no idea how to respond to you save to congratulate you on the record number of straw men in a single comment. Let's see: we're racist, we're claiming women are all fragile, we obviously believe all men are violent thugs, we're claiming that no woman has ever falesly claimed rape... have I missed any? Given that you're apparently the only person who can see these invisible comments you'll understand if I did.

I suppose this ongoing "revelation" that women can lie about rape is spouted to justify the equally-ludicrous suggestions from many that there's a vast cabal of evil women out there who want to ruin the lives of men by lying to cops. (The have their meetings at the same restaurant as the Axis of Women Who Sleep With Men Just for Child Support, don't you know) When you're done calling people racist by all means I'm anxious to hear how they're all out for your essence and you must deny them your precious fluids. Jesus.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:42 AM on December 5, 2005


Enough men have been falsely accussed and convicted, if the work is turning and a few gals now suffer that fate then tough toodies.
posted by HTuttle at 12:26 AM PST on December 5


Uh, just because injustice was done to some does not mean injustice should be done to others. We're looking for truth here, not scoring a fucking game.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:56 AM on December 5, 2005


I wonder if technology could solve the eternal (?) "he said/she said" problem upon which the verdict in so many rape cases depends.

What if everybody could (voluntarily) carry a sort of (tiny, hidden) black box that would record (remotely, via transmitter) your location, sound, and motion? There would be no off switch -- you'd have to make a phone call and there would be a long delay between call and shutdown -- and the data would be sealed (you couldn't even look at your own) unless you volunteered it for a police investigation. And you could refuse to go anywhere with someone whose black box didn't work (maybe it could be tested automatically at the pub or wherever). Then you would be able to know what he said and she said before, during, and after an encounter, where they said it, and maybe even what sort of motions their bodies were going through at the time.

I know there would be worries about the police possibly using this data without probable cause, but besides that (and maybe having a non-police non-governmental service do the recording would fix that), do you think it would work? If it was small and cheap enough that you could carry it like you might carry mace or a police whistle, maybe something in a belt buckle?
posted by pracowity at 6:32 AM on December 5, 2005


pandaharma: This doesn't mean curtailing your freedom

Yes it does, because how and where do you draw the line? Nevermind those assumptions about men being 'wired' like that and women being wired like this, what is "the" typical dangerous situation, seen as rape can happen in different circumstances? Not all cases can be reduced to one conveniently predictable model.

Sure we could all raise a grown-up moral police finger and tell the youth and not-so-youth of the nation the amazingly little known fact that it'd be best not to go and get completely drunk you fall unconscious at a party on in the street, as that would increase the probability of being mugged as well as raped and beaten up and god knows what.

But if you do, and you do get mugged or raped or beaten, the point is that is no mitigating circumstance for the perpetator (not saying anyone specifically implied that here, but that's what some people think), and where sadly it does becone a mitigating circumstance in practice, it shouldn't, because it often prevents assaults being reported and lets perpetrators get away with it.

That happened to a gay male friend of mine. Beating and attempted rape. He didn't report it. He'd gone out drinking and picked up the guy who beat him up and tried to rape him. There was no way he could be persuaded to go to the police, as he thought he wouldn't stand a chance of being believed, and maybe he was just being realistic about that. (This was in Britain, but it could have been anywhere). And he was blaming himself for being an idiot and not being more careful - his words, not mine - but what if we accept that was reckless behaviour of him, does it change anything? How many other times he'd done that without running into a bastard with some issues about gay men? How could he tell this was different? Should he have started assuming everyone was like that? That'd be crippling paranoia, not precaution.

And let's be practical here, you (impersonal, generic you, not saying anyone said this) just can't expect people to stop having fun they way they want to, however 'reckless' it may seem to you. Or expect that only of women, and maybe gay men, just because they're the ones more likely to get raped than straight men.

And what about cases of women doing nothing careless but walking to/from work - there's been a few recent stories like that in my area. No drinking, no partying, no 'recklessness' involved. Just women going home or to work, morning or evening, in highly populated urban areas. What would be the "take steps to protect themselves" there? Never leave the house unless accompanied by a trusted male partner or family member or friend, like in Afghanistan or Iraq now? Another recent case, a gang stopped a couple at night, dragged them out of their car, raped the girl in front of her boyfriend. Not such a unique case either. So, oops, there goes the male accompaniment "precaution" step.

Sure you could take some precautions in general, but if you let cases like that affect the way you think and behave in your daily life, you are losing your freedom, because there's no end to the list of "potentially" dangerous situations. If you get paranoid about seeing terrorists/rapists/paedophiles everywhere, then you stop taking the bus or subway, stop going out for a walk on your own, stop letting your children play in the park, stop dating or even going out non-dating with anyone unless you've had, what, a list of references?

And, of course, not all or most rapes are stranger assault, but let's also not imply they're all some version of acquaintance rape where the border between rape and consensual sex is supposedly so "fuzzy", it goes as far as hired strippers changing their minds after the fact and deciding they didn't really want to do what they did (if not flat out lying). That's not rape, that's regret. Sure, even strippers, even prostitutes can get raped, if they're forced to do something they didn't bargain for. Or even get assaulted and beaten up too, sadly it does happen and obviously it gets even less reported because of that victim credibility problem.

But let's not pretend the kind of situation as described in that Raw Deal documentary illustrates how "rape is a crime that can happen or not happen in a completely psychological space". Sorry, but that's just bollocks. It comes close to saying it's all in the woman's mind, so how can a poor well-meaning man tell the difference? (Or, men are sex machines incapable of understanding consent and women are dumb delicate flowers also incapable of understanding consent...)

I'm not saying that was the intent here in bringing up that example, but I've heard that conclusion before, so, that's another distorted mentality to be aware of.

We can't redefine rape by taking as example cases with very debatable allegations that may even be false. Otherwise we should also redefine attempted theft or murder based on all cases where it wasn't that clear due to lack of evidence and conflicting reports and motives, or maybe it was just a misunderstanding, or maybe even the alleged almost-victim made it all up for some sort of personal vendetta. Sure it happens. That doesn't reduce those crimes to a question of psychological perceptions.

And regardless of the lack of clarity in this one Oregon case, it's always a relatively rare occurrence that people make up serious allegations for retribution or attention seeking or anything. It's a small part of reports of any crime. More so with rape where the rate of reporting is already so ridiculously low. We should also keep things in perspective when making generalisations, there's lots of places in the world where rape is also a lot more difficult to report or prosecute than the US.

er, sorry for going on so long about this.
posted by funambulist at 6:37 AM on December 5, 2005


pracowity, I hope you're not serious. I'm going to be brutal and say that rather than live a sad paranoid monitored life like that, I'd rather be gang raped by terrorist pedophiles with HIV and charged with a false report. - Speaking metaphorically.
posted by funambulist at 6:43 AM on December 5, 2005


Not serious and serious at the same time. For starters, I'm just curious about whether it could work.

But also... if people go out armed with pepper spray and police whistles and self-defense lessons and so on during their normal (sad paranoid unmonitored) lives, it's not a big step to carrying a black box when they're out on the town living their sad paranoid self-monitored lives.
posted by pracowity at 6:52 AM on December 5, 2005


Hmm, when you're saying "people", you actually mean "women", do you?

But if we're going to talk extreme measures, why not put the burden of physical precautions and black boxes and maybe even electronic chastity belts on males only, since they're the rapists? Why not the penis tax, even, as provocatively suggested in Sweden?

No I'm not serious either, but I would put these all in the same category of loony suggestions, however ultimately originating from reality.
posted by funambulist at 7:04 AM on December 5, 2005


> you actually mean "women", do you?

Nope. Men and women.
posted by pracowity at 7:19 AM on December 5, 2005


Eh yeah but... if all women are potential victims and all men potential rapists, then it should only be the men to bother with carrying around these magical electronic black boxes.

Then we could put electronic devices on all potential paedophiles too, ie. all men above the age of 21, not on children or teens. It obviously shouldn't be them to have to go through that hassle.

And we could do the same to all Muslims too, just in case.

Ok, scrap that, let's do that to everyone. We're all potential criminals.
posted by funambulist at 7:34 AM on December 5, 2005


Pracowity's idea sounds like a partial version of Overwatch, which originated with a SF writer, I think Larry Niven or Neal Stephenson. The idea of Overwatch is that the data from almost all of the security cameras in the world, including tiny ones mounted on people's glasses or clothing, gets copied to a database, with time and camera location and camera angle information. This data is then accessible to anyone, including members of the public, law enforcement, and marketers. Want to know what happened somewhere at a particular time? Ask Overwatch. My guess, based on 1 GB of data per camera per day, is that Overwatch will be feasible within a decade.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 7:42 AM on December 5, 2005


> We're all potential criminals.

Nah, we're all potential victims. So I'm suggesting a voluntary system for self-defense. Wear it or don't. If you don't, you're no worse off than you are now. If you do, you've got an invisible witness with you, and not just to rape, but to muggings and so on.
posted by pracowity at 7:49 AM on December 5, 2005


...Overwatch will be feasible within a decade.

Overwatch will never be feasible. Data storage is irrelevant: No "open data" system will ever be implemented, because there are too many powerful interests who are capable of manipulating access (and then, usually capable of obscuring that fact).
posted by lodurr at 7:54 AM on December 5, 2005


Fuck women.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:00 AM on December 5, 2005


lodurr: After all, you've got three against one, here -- all three of them say she's a promiscuous orgy-slut, not a rape victim. (Nope, no stigma here, just move along, folks....)

My point exactly. I'm not exactly a delicate little flower, and I'm fairly strong to boot. Let's say me & three of my Amazon gal-pals decided to hold down a willowy emo boy and make him bend to our will.

Assuming he reports it, and we get charged, we three can sit down & concoct a reasonable-sounding story / back each other up and voila! Emo boy's credibility is shot and he's the laughing stock of the next Bright Eyes concert. Please, I wouldn't even need a lawyer to walk out of that courtoom scott-free.

As for educating young women and men to prevent rape?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh my golly, I just spilled my coffee to think of it.

Surely you jest. Because abstinence education works, and no 17-year-old in their right mind is going to have sex, let alone a gang-rape, without being in a committed heterosexual marriage. (Or so believeth the crazed fundies infiltrating our school systems, one district at a time).
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:08 AM on December 5, 2005


I strongly urge everyone to read Our Guys, which addresses some of the issues we are talking about here. It is about a group of suburban high school boys who invite a mentally handicapped girl down into a basement and rape her with a baseball bat. It isn't a "traditional" story of rape-- the act itself was questionably consensual; Leslie wanted to be friends and agreed to much of what happened to her.

I am also haunted by a case of rape I read in a memoir by a public prosecutor. (Sorry can't remember the title of the book.) A young gay man went home with a stranger and was raped so badly with an overly large dildo he ended up in the hospital with a colostomy bag. His rapist was found not guilty because by agreeing to go home with him and engage in sexual acts, the victim was found to have engaged in "consensual sex" even though there was most definitely not an agreement to being penetrated with a foreign object.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:18 AM on December 5, 2005


pracowity: I see, but if we're talking Minority-Report-like futuristic scenarios of giving up privacy for the supposed sake of crime prevention, a compulsory device for all potential perpetrators makes more sense than a voluntary device for all potential victims. As a paradox. I don't actually agree with the idea we're all potential anything.

I find these scenarios only an entertaining distraction from considering what's at hand, like, I don't know, starting with not allowing the victim's previous sexual history - or wether they were drunk or took home some stranger - become a losing proposition in court.
posted by funambulist at 8:37 AM on December 5, 2005


bitter-girl.com: ...Oh my golly, I just spilled my coffee to think of it.

Short term, sure: It's potentially a coffee-snorter. But we at least know that cultural norms can, potentially, change. It's just that the time scale is long. For example, a thousand years ago Scandinavia was ruled by the laws of blood-feud.

Otoh, thirty years ago Beirut was a beautiful, cosmopolitan city....

The only way that any of this changes is that people report the crimes, so that there's a reasonable fear of being prosecuted. If people are more afraid to report the crime than to commit it, then how can we expect to decrease incidence of the crime?
posted by lodurr at 8:50 AM on December 5, 2005


No, funambulist, you want a compulsory system and I wouldn't. And you want to lock up potential burglars rather than give burglar alarms to people who want them.
posted by pracowity at 9:03 AM on December 5, 2005


lodurr: bitter-girl.com: ...Oh my golly, I just spilled my coffee to think of it.

Short term, sure: It's potentially a coffee-snorter. But we at least know that cultural norms can, potentially, change.


Sure they can. But they won't as long as we let religious zealots run our health ed and science classes. And as easy as it is to be amused when the daughter of the town preacher gets pregnant out of wedlock or the pillar-of-the-community church elder gets busted with gay porn (purely for the hypocrisy factor -- not because there's anything inherently wrong with pregnancy or porno), it's not going to get any better so long as we hand over the parenting reins to the schools.

Amen to that town in Pennsylvania who just said no to intelligent design. I bet they're not trying to implement abstinence-based sex ed.

(And don't say the two are unrelated...I'm pretty well convinced that letting the fundies run the sex ed programs just makes this stuff get worse...)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:18 AM on December 5, 2005


no, pracowity, I don't want that... come on, I even said that clearly already. I'm responding paradoxically to your suggestion. I don't believe any sort of advanced technology is a solution or alternative approach.

The point I was trying to make sarcastically is that crime prevention doesn't start where you think it starts... Nevermind.

And an alarm system is something you install in your home and forget about. If you're picturing some sort of personal black box recording all conversations, we're in a whole other sphere there.
posted by funambulist at 9:30 AM on December 5, 2005


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh my golly, I just spilled my coffee to think of it.

posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:08 AM PST on December 5


You still didn't answer my question. Should we forgo trials for those accused of rape and proceed instead to execution on the spot?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:13 AM on December 5, 2005


Uh, just because injustice was done to some does not mean injustice should be done to others. We're looking for truth here, not scoring a fucking game.

Finally someone is talking sense.
posted by grouse at 10:24 AM on December 5, 2005


grouse: Prosecutorial and judicial malfeasance then. This is definitely possible. But I think saying it was cut-and-dry without even reading the court transcript is really a rush to judgment. And to say that both the judge and the prosecutor were both committing misconduct is a bit more unlikely.

David Dow argues fairly convincingly that judicial and prosecurial misconduct is much more common than we would like to believe.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:24 AM on December 5, 2005


bitter-girl.com: (And don't say the two are unrelated...

I wouldn't dream of it. After all, what's a good Puritan without something to be abstinent of?
posted by lodurr at 10:29 AM on December 5, 2005


Ellis of the Sexual Assault Resource Center disagreed. She said this case could make others think twice about reporting sex crimes.

This is nonsense, essentially saying that word of any woman carries more weight than the word of any man. Filing false charges is a crime, & should be treated as such, unless you buy the idea that women are such paragons of virtue they would never ever do such a thing. Acquaintance rape is hard to prove, which is why women need to use good judgment. Neither I nor anyone else on this thread knows what happened, but if you buy the idea that she's a victim just because she says she is, that's something to examine
posted by beautifulatrocities at 10:33 AM on December 5, 2005


Optimus Chyme: You still didn't answer my question. Should we forgo trials for those accused of rape and proceed instead to execution on the spot?

No, but I think not taking the word of an alcoholic mother with a sex-offender boyfriend over that of a rape victim might be a start... And really, what's being served by prosecuting her, even if (for the sake of argument) she's lying?

If we, as Molly Ivins says, "git tuff" on her, how many actual rape victims will end up thinking twice about reporting their assault?

The Washington County District Attorney's Office declined to prosecute the case against the men. Robert Hermann, the county's district attorney, said prosecutors reviewed all the information and statements but didn't think they could prove a rape allegation.

Not being able to prove a rape allegation in a court of law does not mean it didn't happen. Criminy, watching a few episodes of Law & Order'll tell you that...how many plotlines have they squeezed out of the "we know s/he did it, but we can't make the judge/jury believe us because those wicked opposing attorneys managed to keep out our only decent evidence" twist?

And I still don't like the whole "she didn't act traumatized enough" line of reasoning, either.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:43 AM on December 5, 2005


I guess the problem I see here is what should be the standard for judging false accusations. At a minimum, I'd want to see some evidence produced beyond the failure of the accuser to convince a jury. I'd want to see evidence that the victim destroyed, manipulated or fabricated physical evidence. I'd want to see evidence of malice, intent and motive.

Be aware also that the male desire for sex is vast and near-insatiable, and so any implication that might be taken to mean a sexual invitation, will be at least examined for that possibility by the man. At all times goes through a man's mind these things: "Is she hitting on me? Should I hit on her?". Even if the answer is a clear No and No, he's still running the program. Biologically, he needs to. Just accept that.

I think you should speak for your own sexuality. I don't think there is anything inherent in male sexuality that mandates that men must run amok at every hint of a sexual advance. And while I think it would be prudent for women to avoid getting into situations where rape is likely, it also should be prudent to teach young men to avoid situations where they might be accused of sexual misconduct.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:47 AM on December 5, 2005


Actually, quite a few rapists use condoms. They know that it makes them nigh invulnerable to prosecution. They are calculated preditors who seek out the best victim. This is further complicated because the best victims are the ones that don't fight back (Often due to childhood trauma and abuse) and the best victims are the ones that are the least believable in the courtroom.

Whether or not this woman told the truth during this trial, I'd say that the twice a victim title holds if only because it seems clear to me that she's been victimized in her past. I mean, the alcoholic mother angle alone would signify neglect.
posted by Skwirl at 10:53 AM on December 5, 2005


beautifulatrocities: This is nonsense, essentially saying that word of any woman carries more weight than the word of any man. Filing false charges is a crime, & should be treated as such, unless you buy the idea that women are such paragons of virtue they would never ever do such a thing. Acquaintance rape is hard to prove, which is why women need to use good judgment. Neither I nor anyone else on this thread knows what happened, but if you buy the idea that she's a victim just because she says she is, that's something to examine"

"Nonsense" would be if you assume that trial results actually had any necessary or determinative relation to truth.

And we certainly don't have to "buy the idea that she's a victim just because she says she is" in order to know that prosecution for false reporting will have a chilling effect. I'm really really unclear on why you would think that we did.

Sure, false reporting is a crime. And if there are grounds, then it probably should be prosecuted. But what constitutes proper grounds? That's a problem you don't address.

For example, if we just approach this logically, we could say that every time someone is found "not guilty", it ought to provide grounds for a charge of false-report against the accuser. Which would be nonsense, of course. Unless you want to argue that it's not...

But let's not be so extreme; let's say we reserve false-accusation charges only for cases that don't go to trial. Again, that presumes that any time a case doesn't go to trial, it's because the accusation was groundless. And any adult ought to know that's not true.

This whole discussion reminds me of an old Julian Symons novel, The Color of Murder. An odd (slightly simple) young man is accused and found guilty of murder; throughout the trial, his mother stands by him, but in the end as the guilty verdict comes through, she turns from him.

Why? Simple, really: "They found out he did it."

That's what this whole thing reminds me of. It smacks of applying logical rules to the world that simply don't apply. It's not the case that if we don't find someone guilty, they're innocent, any more than it's necessarily the case that if we find someone guilty, they are.
posted by lodurr at 11:12 AM on December 5, 2005


Not to mention her dutiful mother's boyfriend, convicted of sexually abusing his own daughter. Man. I bet that house is a virtual paradise of psychological disorders.

KirkJobSluder: I guess the problem I see here is what should be the standard for judging false accusations. At a minimum, I'd want to see some evidence produced beyond the failure of the accuser to convince a jury. I'd want to see evidence that the victim destroyed, manipulated or fabricated physical evidence. I'd want to see evidence of malice, intent and motive.

Me, too. And in this case, she didn't even have a jury to convince -- it was a bench trial. Judge having a bad day? Coffee not warm enough? His own teenage daughter sassed him the night before? Well, well...he's the only one with the decisionmaking power here.

Like I said, when I worked for a lawyer in Boston, I saw more than my fair share of total asshole judges making calls based on their dislike of our (usually) female clients. I watched one actually physically step over our client on his way out of the courtroom. And she was an upstanding citizen/ good mother / the works. (She'd passed out after some exceedingly bad news regarding her children). Not a single "is she ok?" or direction to the court officers to call for medical help. She ended up being admitted to the hospital. Ok, that was just him being an asshole, but judicial malfeasance is WAY more common than you'd think.

It's "not wanting to know how the sausages are made". For every case like this, there are dozens more. Go sit in a probate (or family) court for a morning sometime. You'll learn a lot about how justice is actually executed in this country.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:14 AM on December 5, 2005


bitte-girl.com: It would also strike me that if something came out as sensational as a accuser framing evidence of a crime, that it would be all over the national news.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:21 AM on December 5, 2005


KirkJobSluder: "bitte-girl.com: It would also strike me that if something came out as sensational as a accuser framing evidence of a crime, that it would be all over the national news."

Especially in a rape case. So many American men feel that vice on their scrotum every time anybody even whipsers the "r"-word....
posted by lodurr at 11:24 AM on December 5, 2005


And really, what's being served by prosecuting her, even if (for the sake of argument) she's lying?

Fort he sake of argument, if she is lying, then she has used the powerful machinery of the state to attempt to ruin the lives of innocent men. Such egregious abuses should not go unnoticed or unpunished.

Look: I don't know if she lied or not. For all I know, she is a victim twice over. But I don't even know if there was any physical evidence or if the entire case hinged on they-said/she-said and the admittedly stupid and worthless "she didn't seem traumatized" bullshit. I mean, if I get assaulted out of the blue one day, and there's no physical evidence - blood, bruises, etc - I'm not going to report it, because the cops and the state don't give a shit unless you hand it to them on a silver platter. It's true for property theft, for burglary, assault and battery, murder, and yes: rape.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:07 PM on December 5, 2005


funambulist: I don't believe any sort of advanced technology is a solution or alternative approach.

Yep. Same goes for those darned new-fangled DNA tests. The only proper solution is a he-said, she-said argument after the fact.
posted by pracowity at 12:19 PM on December 5, 2005


DNA tests are useful only insofar as they are both widely (fairly) and honestly applied. Technology will never guarantee honest application -- not as long as we live like human beings rather than ants.

Relying on technology for solutions to behavioral problems is quite a bit like arguing that good fences make good neighbors: Fences break, and when they do, the only thing that keeps good neighbors "good" is the neighbors' behaviors.
posted by lodurr at 12:25 PM on December 5, 2005


pracowity, you're my new favourite straw man machine...

Please add: yep, and fingerprints are retarded; and police records are useless; and while we're at it, let's do away with computers.

You do realise you're talking about some non-existent bizarre notion of a voluntary personal recorder of all conversations one has all day (that's the "advanced technology" I was talking of, sorry for wrong wording, I was obviously referring to your futuristic "black box" suggestion, as I'd already said before, duh, just to make this double tedious), do you seriously think that's even comparable to actual DNA tests used in trials?
posted by funambulist at 12:30 PM on December 5, 2005


there is *likely* substantial evidence to the contrary of her claim. ... Something like, oh.. say - a video. or pictures.. or previous and recorded indescretions. - Milliken

1) Pictures could not demonstrate if an act was consensual or not.

2) Previous acts on the woman's part have ZERO to do with this situation. Why would you suggest they relate? Once a person has had sex once that means they've consented to all future sex at anytime with anyone? Or... what? Even if they've had threesomes, sex in public, anal sex, made videos with lovers, BDSM, or any other thing, this is no way relates to if this was a consensual act.
posted by raedyn at 1:10 PM on December 5, 2005


Previous acts on the woman's part have ZERO to do with this situation.

I would guess he's actually talking about the men, raedyn.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:41 PM on December 5, 2005


Firstly, girls need to be taught to avoid being raped - aeschenkarnos

Umm, what? This suggests that rape is preventable and more importantly, it seems to imply that if a woman is raped she wasn't trying hard enough to protect herself. Bullshit. With any crime (example: home invasion) it's wise to take some precautions to lower your risk (locking your home, installing an alarm system) but you can't completely avoid being a victim. Even if you weren't being cautious, it's still up to the perpetrator to not commit the crime.
posted by raedyn at 1:53 PM on December 5, 2005


I don't think there is anything inherent in male sexuality that mandates that men must run amok at every hint of a sexual advance. - KirkJobSluder

Hear, hear! Suggesting that men have some sort of overwhelming impossible-to-control drive to fuck everything in sight is inaccurate and it benefits no one. It diminishes men into one dimesional beings, which they aren't. And it demonizes men for things most of them don't do and have never even thought about.

And while I think it would be prudent for women to avoid getting into situations where rape is likely, - KirkJobSluder

And what are those, exactly?

Optimus - I don't see how hidden evidence of "previous and recorded indescretions" on the part of the men would lead to her being charged with filing a false report. I can't imagine how you would read it that way. I'm willing to allow that Miliken may come back and help me understand. But I've re-read that multiple times and I can't read it the way you do.
posted by raedyn at 2:42 PM on December 5, 2005


On re-examination, I agree with you.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:17 PM on December 5, 2005


And what are those, exactly?

What are the statistical commonalities in assault cases (not just rape)?

Other than happening on planet earth the number one commonality is: excessive alcohol or drug consumption. Either the perps or the victim. Usually both.

So maybe avoid getting really fucked up or hanging out with men who get really fucked up.
posted by tkchrist at 3:29 PM on December 5, 2005


What tkchrist said. We can insist that people should do what they want to do until tho cows come home. Drug and alcohol abuse are huge risk factors in regards to sexual assault. There are predators out there who work the bar and party scenes looking for targets. And I don't think that it's a good idea to pretend being drunk around a group of drunks doesn't involve higher risks becoming a victim or perpetrator of a crime.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:14 PM on December 5, 2005


Sure, but maybe it's also not a good idea to pretend that being drunk around a group of drunks is the one most common situation for rapes.

Where are these statistics showing this number one commonality? US only? or whole of planet earth?

Cos if it was so much about drinking then rape would be virtually unknown in places with no drinking culture.
posted by funambulist at 4:28 PM on December 5, 2005


US statistics. The other higher "commonality" was taking place on planet earth. Unless there have been frat parties on the moon.
posted by tkchrist at 4:32 PM on December 5, 2005


And. ALL violent crime in the US in general has some very tangible statistical connection to drugs and alcohol.
posted by tkchrist at 4:34 PM on December 5, 2005


It's just, you know, you said "other than happening on planet earth", not the US...

But ok, I'll keep in mind it's implied that US=planet earth. I'll take your word on those statistics too. Thanks.
posted by funambulist at 4:41 PM on December 5, 2005


There are predators out there who work the bar and party scenes looking for targets.

So...you don't just have to avoid abusing alcohol to reduce your chance of being a victim, you also have to avoid what most Americans would consider normal social environments?

Telling women to not to get drunk in order to avoid being raped is more than just a reasonable suggestion that can't do any harm. It creates an environment where a victim who was drunk is even more reluctant to come forward and her rapist is more likely to avoid any consequences.
posted by transona5 at 5:17 PM on December 5, 2005


It creates an environment where a victim who was drunk is even more reluctant to come forward and her rapist is more likely to avoid any consequences.

Uh. What?

So. Ok.

Go get wasted, everybody!

In conjunction with Seattle PD and a couple other organizations I used to teach a women's self defense course for At Risk (Re: domestic violence victims) women. Rule: You HAVE to address lifestyle and living circumstances.

If your interested in really protecting women you just have to talk to them about what they do and the choices they make.
posted by tkchrist at 5:48 PM on December 5, 2005


funambulist: Sure, but maybe it's also not a good idea to pretend that being drunk around a group of drunks is the one most common situation for rapes.

Certainly, which is why I never said anything close to this.

transona5: So...you don't just have to avoid abusing alcohol to reduce your chance of being a victim, you also have to avoid what most Americans would consider normal social environments?

Telling women to not to get drunk in order to avoid being raped is more than just a reasonable suggestion that can't do any harm. It creates an environment where a victim who was drunk is even more reluctant to come forward and her rapist is more likely to avoid any consequences.


I think that if we were talking any crime other than rape, that intelligent risk management would be just accepted as a necessary strategy to reduce one's chance of becoming a victim. Would you also advise that children be friendly with strangers, that we should not lock our doors, or that we should give out personal information including account numbers and SSNs to callers?

Perhaps I'm just jaded, but after living in a college community for much longer than is good, I find the binge drinking culture to be profoundly dysfunctional. If I focus on it, it is because it is a strong contributor to a fair quantity of violent crime and accidental injury or death I see around me.

And I'm not advocating locking one's self away in a monastery/nunnery. What I am saying is that if you are going to have fun with a drug that impairs your judgement and reflexes, that you should have a good friend with you as a designated brain to say, "you know, I don't think that crashing here is a good idea, let me take you home."

I don't see how this mitigates guilt on the part of the rapist. But you know, the criminal court system can't do anything to prevent rape. It can only punish after the fact.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:10 PM on December 5, 2005


I think that if we were talking any crime other than rape, that intelligent risk management would be just accepted as a necessary strategy to reduce one's chance of becoming a victim.

There is a time and place for advice on intelligent risk management. Can you imagine if every thread we had about a Matthew-Shepard-like incident was dominated by straight people giving well-meaning advice about how gay men shouldn't approach strangers in bars in conservative areas?
posted by transona5 at 7:41 PM on December 5, 2005


Well, I was thinking about it from the other angle. If my fellow men would be so horribly traumatized by an accusation of rape, or even lesser forms of sexual misconduct, then perhaps they should be modifying their behavior accordingly.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:21 PM on December 5, 2005


Kirk, that's really the trick, isn't it?
I've been wrongfully accused of it (though the police weren't involved in it, because that would have been a prosecutable lie, I suppose), I've also known a rapist (college experience really does expose one to all sorts) who wasn't terribly traumatized by the accusation at all. In fact, his spin on it was a really reprehensible thing to watch.

And it seems to come down to pleasure taken from the experience. When the debate gets onto that ground, the 'victim' is pretty much certain to lose.

Because a male gets hard, secretes, then becomes flaccid (without helper pills, anyway), it's pretty tangible how aroused a man may be. A woman, with pretty much only lubrication as a physical sign of arousal, (ignoring vocalizations, etc.) leaves much mystery as to whether she really invited/enjoyed it. At least in the eyes of the law, which looks for evidence.

Growing up in Lesbianville, USA, I learned to parse enjoyment and initiation at a young age. It seems many, many people never make the distinction.
posted by Busithoth at 9:30 PM on December 5, 2005


KirkJobSluder: no you didn't say or imply that, but my comment was referring to tkchrist talking about drinking and drugs being the "number one commonality" according to "statistics". Which is the same as saying "being drunk around a group of drunks is the one most common situation for rapes" (in the US).
posted by funambulist at 2:45 AM on December 6, 2005


What are the statistical commonalities in assault cases (not just rape)?

Other than happening on planet earth the number one commonality is: excessive alcohol or drug consumption. Either the perps or the victim. Usually both.

So maybe avoid getting really fucked up or hanging out with men who get really fucked up.
- tkchrist

Well that's a very nice theory, but when I was raped both the perp and I were sober. Thanks for the condescending advice, though.
posted by raedyn at 6:25 AM on December 6, 2005


Well that's a very nice theory

Not a theory. Statistical fact. However, statistics have exceptions. There are stranger and intruder rapes. And some where there is a even a guy who was raped by a girl. But a majority of rape is acquaintance rape and also involves alcohol and drugs. So should we throw out our entire criminal justice or crime prevention strategy based upon these exceptions? No. Not if your actually interested in PREVENTING rapes. A strategy of preventing that is, not just getting vicitms to report ones that have already occurred. A different matter entirely.

but when I was raped both the perp and I were sober. Thanks for the condescending advice, though.

Uh. Your welcome. Thanks for the completely needless attempted bullshit guilt trip.
posted by tkchrist at 2:13 PM on December 6, 2005


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