What part of "woof" don't you understand?
June 20, 2005 6:40 PM   Subscribe

Should a rapist be given a harsher sentence if his victim dies as a result of the rape? A Campobello, South Carolina teen has been accused of a rape in his neighborhood. Now the victim has died, possibly because of injuries to her internal organs. And the charges are being upgraded, but prosecutors aren't looking for the death penalty.

Cruelty isn't just an American phenomenon-- a Danish caretaker has eaten some of his charges and the law can't touch him.
posted by Mayor Curley (57 comments total)
 
I wonder if there is a "Benji's Law", requiring the dimwit to inform his neighbors of his predilection towards man's best friend?
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 6:51 PM on June 20, 2005


This is going to be an interesting discussion.

a) Yes, of course he should be given a harsher sentence. What sort of question is that? The rape caused death. Or were you trying to be clever because he raped a dog?

b) I'd say there's a difference between raping a dog and killing animals for food. Or are we again trying to be clever?
posted by VulcanMike at 6:52 PM on June 20, 2005


And I'll be the first in this thread to say that past the clever benji and "woof" jokes, raping a dog is a pretty disgusting and offensive thing. Is this really funny to you?
posted by VulcanMike at 6:55 PM on June 20, 2005


This is probably the worst thing I have ever read. Not only was the dog violated but this creep violated himself beyond belief.
posted by Jikido at 7:04 PM on June 20, 2005


Wait a minute, there's a way to have sex with animals that isn't considered rape? What the hell?
posted by odinsdream at 7:05 PM on June 20, 2005


how the fuck can this "person" ever pretend "normality" again....it's beyond me.
posted by Jikido at 7:07 PM on June 20, 2005


I can't tell if this post is trolling for the Benji jokes, outrage, or the animal rights debates about whether non-human crime victims should get status equal to, or approximating human crime victims.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:09 PM on June 20, 2005


I was beginning to think cruelty was exclusive to US.
posted by gagglezoomer at 7:10 PM on June 20, 2005


Wait a minute, there's a way to have sex with animals that isn't considered rape?

Not that it prevents the relations from being rape but this guy and his dog are married "in the eyes of the Lord."

He added that his father shouldn't have to spend time in prison, but "he needs serious therapy."
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:10 PM on June 20, 2005


Credit for the title Mayor Curley. They shouldn't post the guy's pic. If he's guilty of molesting the girls then the upgraded animal cruelty charges probably won't mean too much I guess. Not sure about the Danish story's relevance here really (yeah, yeah..animal cruelty, in the weird league).
posted by peacay at 7:13 PM on June 20, 2005


he deserves severe punishment, whether it is equal to other types or not. I'll leave that up to the jurisdiction that he is in, but I cannot fathom something so weird. maybe I'm shocked...I dunno, my partner and I have four dogs and a cat whom I consider my family, perhaps that has something to do with my outrage toward such bizaare cruelty.
posted by Jikido at 7:13 PM on June 20, 2005


bizarre
posted by Jikido at 7:16 PM on June 20, 2005


Wow, this guy's a triple winner. Dog rapist, statutory rapist and accused in the molestation of a 3 year old. Is it too late for a 110th trimester abortion? I'd be willing shove a hanger in his ear and scramble his brains.

What in the fuck possesses someone to look at their neighbor's dog and say "Oh yeah, I'm gonna get me some of that hot pooch ass." Damn. Only 17 and already destined for the record books.
posted by fenriq at 7:21 PM on June 20, 2005


can't tell if this post is trolling for the Benji jokes, outrage, or the animal rights debates about whether non-human crime victims should get status equal to, or approximating human crime victims.

Lest anyone thing that I'm not properly depressed by the story, I am indeed depressed about the death of the dog. I love animals so much that I haven't eaten one (not even a fish) since 1988. And the thought that someone would hurt a dog in any fashion bothers me.

But the fact remains that some guy raped a dog. The degree of illness boggles my mind so much that I had to share it. And I do think that it's paradoxically amusing-- raping a dog is so insane that the Sizzler Sisters from "Kids in the Hall" wouldn't do it.

So the story presents a real contradiction to me and maybe to other people-- I want to beat that guy for cruelly killing a dog and also for cruelly touching kids, but on the other hand he's so crazy that he sexually assaulted something that wasn't human!

I was cagey about the article on the front page because it would diminish the presentation to actually editorialize or summarize. And I threw the muskrat story in there because it was another odd story about animal cruelty that happened to be behind the previous story on the wire and some people complain about just one link.

But the point is that things can be awful AND funny at the same time.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:22 PM on June 20, 2005


At this point it's not about how many years he gets, it's what room he wants in the goddamn nuthouse. Clearly this guy has a twisted sexual sense - molesting a three-year-old, rape of a 13-yr-old, and now raping a dog, these aren't things you get the book thrown at your for; in concert, they are a ticket straight to hell and/or the sanitarium.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 7:25 PM on June 20, 2005


Should a rapist be given a harsher sentence if his victim dies as a result of the rape?

Since no one is addressing this main point...

I'm not up on U.S. case law, but in Canada, I could provide you with three pieces of evidence that, yes, the penalty should be harsher for the consequences:

One. The "Thin Skull Rule" -- an aggressor takes his victim as he finds him. The idea that if a perpetrator of violence intends to only wound his victim but ends up killing him because of the victim's abnormally thin skull, the perpetrator is still to blame -- for death. In other words, the perp assumes the risk of the consequences.

Two. The unintentional victim. You go to punch someone in a bar and hit someone else accidentally. Does this meet the mens rea (mental/intent) requirement of assault? Yes. Why? Because you intended to do harm. The intended target (here) or intended degree of damage (thin skull) is not of consequence. The perp bears the risk.

Three: The most notorious -- and widely accepted -- form of this is the DUI charge -- drinking under the influence. If you hit someone while drunk, and they live, it's a heavy penalty. If you hit someone and they die, it's an incredibly heavy penalty. The difference is not something under the control of the perp -- it is entirely fortune/luck/chance/fate, and this stands as one of the great counterpoints in law with respect to appropriate sentencing. It does, however, fit nicely with the above two examples in terms of the assumption of risk.
posted by dreamsign at 7:31 PM on June 20, 2005 [1 favorite]


dreamsign, do you have a link that explains more about “One. The "Thin Skull Rule" -- an aggressor takes his victim as he finds him.” I ask because when I was in grade nine (in Canada) a friend’s cousin was murdered in the K-mart parking lot. The perpetrator got a lighter sentence (involuntary manslaughter) because the victim was shown to have a genetic condition that made his skull thinner than normal and the defense successfully argued he might not have died otherwise.

Also can anyone explain what this line from the linked article is trying to say? “When I got here we were laying on the deck looking at him and he had his pants down”. I don’t understand it.
posted by arse_hat at 7:41 PM on June 20, 2005


Mayor Curley - that was an interesting link to the piece covering Singer's inability to get anyone to actually come up with a clear argument (aside from prevailing on "morality," me - the consent issue is more than good enough for me) as to why it would be bad to engage in sexual activities with one's pet.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 7:49 PM on June 20, 2005


The perpetrator got a lighter sentence (involuntary manslaughter) because the victim was shown to have a genetic condition that made his skull thinner than normal

GET OUT!
No disrespect intended (at all) but I hope your memory is playing tricks on you.

I do legal research for no man, but I shall, forthwith!!
posted by dreamsign at 7:53 PM on June 20, 2005


dreamsign, I was young but I think I have the details right. It happened in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
posted by arse_hat at 7:55 PM on June 20, 2005


arse_hat, it's more commonly known as the 'egg-shell skull theory', at least around my parts. 'take the victim as you find them so batter at your own will'
posted by peacay at 8:01 PM on June 20, 2005


Ok... originated in England... (this might not be easy from home)

Dulieu v. White & Sons
[1901] 2 K.B. 669

That would be our root case. From that case: ". . . if a man is negligently run over or injured in his body, it is no answer to the sufferer’s claim for damages that he would have suffered less injury, or no injury at all, if he had not had an unusually thin skull or an unusually weak heart."

It appears that in this case, the plaintiff was pregnant, and working behind a bar, when the defendant's runaway horse crashed into the tavern. The plaintiff suffered severe shock and miscarried.

Interestingly, I see notes that we are moving toward the standard for tort, which is foreseeability, which would diminish or negate the effect of the thin-skull rule, yet it has a long tradition with many Canadian cases following suit. I'm sorry, I can't do much better without a law library or at least Quicklaw.

When did this case occur? Incredible that the victim in your case actually had the condition which bears the name of this legal principle. If I dig up more tomorrow, I will post it. You can also go to any law library and look up this seed case in a citation index. In one swath you will discover how many Canadian cases have cited it and what they found (F=followed; D=distinguished; A=applied; C=considered; R=referred to; N=not followed (disagreed with the judgment).
posted by dreamsign at 8:04 PM on June 20, 2005


Disclaimer: no part of the preceding is or is intended to be legal advice. Readers follow rely upon this information at own risk.

:)
posted by dreamsign at 8:05 PM on June 20, 2005


dreamsign, it was in the 70's and I might be able to find the names of those involved.
posted by arse_hat at 8:07 PM on June 20, 2005


Hnyuk hnyuk hnyuk.

Dog fucking.

Hehehehehehehehheheheheheheheheheh.
posted by scarabic at 8:08 PM on June 20, 2005


Mmm... my sig other and I are in agreement. That movement toward the tort standard is probably only for civil tort law. The criminal law is mostly likely adhering to the thin skull rule as always. I can picture no other course, and it is quite usual for the two to diverge in this way.

That is a shame. I hope that, perhaps unbeknownst to you, a subsequent appellate court overturned that decision. Otherwise, methinks it is a lone case distinguished by the rest.

Cheers.
posted by dreamsign at 8:12 PM on June 20, 2005


arse_hat: google them. You may think it morbid, but it may be the only way to find the details of the case. Or check here if you know the name of the accused.
posted by dreamsign at 8:14 PM on June 20, 2005


Kudos to this guy for hitting the trifecta of abhorrence. Any one of his actions on their own would be reprehensible, but in concert they reach a sublime level of WTF.
posted by Falconetti at 8:15 PM on June 20, 2005


Yeah. WTF is a good way to put it.
posted by slf at 8:30 PM on June 20, 2005


raping a dog is so insane that the Sizzler Sisters from "Kids in the Hall" wouldn't do it

OTOH, you just know that Chicken Lady would do it for a toonie.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:35 PM on June 20, 2005


Dude raped a dog to death. Haw haw haw. Woof means woof. Har Har Har.
posted by squirrel at 8:40 PM on June 20, 2005


Ah, the dog was lucky, it could have been this guy.
posted by snsranch at 8:54 PM on June 20, 2005


"mom! i've discovered my special purpose!"
posted by quonsar at 9:10 PM on June 20, 2005


From the picture in the Fox article, Princess (the raped dog) was a pit bull. Although pit bulls are not the naturally vicious canines they are made out to be, they are extremely strong and agile animals with phenomenal bite strength and the ability to lock their jaws. I'm surprised that kid got the better of the dog. Pit bulls range in size from around 50 to over 100 pounds, so maybe Princess was a smaller dog.
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 9:22 PM on June 20, 2005


Of course it's the dog that captures the public attention. Never mind that he sexually abused two young female human being who will be scarred for life. He killed a dog! OMG! As a prosecutor, I have seen this phenomenon all too often. Jurors blasé about the cruelty that one member of humankind can inflict on another.

But a dog?! A poor dog?! The horror!

I wrote a short piece about this topic here.
posted by coyotelaw at 9:42 PM on June 20, 2005


Of course it's the dog that captures the public attention. Never mind that he sexually abused two young female human being who will be scarred for life. He killed a dog!

Well, I don't see anyone saying never mind the two humans, but if you're outraged at the emphasis this story is getting because of its spectacle value, we have that in common, coyotelaw. You're apparently outraged that the human suffering has been overshadowed by animal suffering; that's just the nature of spectacle journalism, I think. What angers me is that both animal cruelty and human suffering are being exploited for a cheap adolescent joke. Major Curley ought to grow up.
posted by squirrel at 10:20 PM on June 20, 2005


When it's a dog, it's rape. When it's a mule, you're just making love to your girlfriend.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:29 PM on June 20, 2005


I was just posting elsewhere, coyotelaw, about the (possibly apocryphal) story of the anti-war student group on campus who threatened to napalm a puppy. As you can expect, students turn out in droves to do anything necessary to prevent this. The message being that the majority of students cared more about this puppy than they did about the human victims of napalm (at the time).

But then, we have weird value systems about victim (categories) of all kinds.
posted by dreamsign at 10:32 PM on June 20, 2005


But the point is that things can be awful AND funny at the same time.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:22 PM PST on June 20 [!]


Um, yeah, some things can. But I do not see anything remotely funny about this article. Please direct me to the amusing parts.
posted by crapulent at 12:07 AM on June 21, 2005


On another note, I've eaten muskrat and it is quite tasty... The descendants of the original french settlers around Detroit, Michigan maintain annual muskrat feasts. During the pioneer period the Catholic Church made a decision that muskrat was "not meat" allowing the French Canadian voyageurs to eat it during lent.

Anybody want to attend the annual Monroe Muskrat Banquet?
"Muskrat town, muskrat town-
Detroit is all right to see,
But Monroe is the place for me.
Roast 'em brown, roast 'em brown,
Gravy, gravy, gravy, gravy-
Choke 'em down."

posted by zaelic at 12:15 AM on June 21, 2005


I find it interesting that y'all claim he "abused" two girls. He raped a little girl, and he is accused of "statutory rape" of the 13 year old. The latter is used simply to indicate she was under the age of consent. Usually this also means the minor in question said YES. I find it not at all strange that a 13 year old would wish to have sex with a 17 year old (and feel damn good about it).

But the over all picture of this guy is someone who needs serious help, not prison time. I wonder if he is even in full possession of his faculties. I'm not inclined to worry about punishment for crazy people. Its sad for victims, but I don't believe the law is supposed to be an instrument of vengeance.
posted by Goofyy at 12:36 AM on June 21, 2005


How can they publish this kid's photo? His life as a functional human being is officially over, you can pretty much forget the possibility of rehabilitating him now. gg american justice system. what a mess.
posted by mek at 1:32 AM on June 21, 2005


he deserves severe punishment

If he raped a little girl and he's put in the general prison population, he'll get it. It just won't be precisely the state-sanctioned kind.

That is, after the tougher cons get over being weirded out over the dog thing.

Man, I've heard of "man bites dog" stories, but this...!
posted by alumshubby at 3:23 AM on June 21, 2005


Today's dogs run around the streets practically naked, then go barking to the authorities when they get what they deserve. It was asking for it and no amount of posing pitiably for the camera can take that away. Slut.
posted by biffa at 4:02 AM on June 21, 2005


The most notorious -- and widely accepted -- form of this is the DUI charge -- drinking under the influence.

Um.
posted by blacklite at 4:02 AM on June 21, 2005


What an odd story... as coyotelaw pointed out, some seem to have their priorities a little out of whack. The fact that he likely has raped *children* has somehow been shuffled to the back burner because of the plain weirdness of the dog thing. I like dogs as much as the next guy, but find it hard to get to get too worked up about Princess when there are, you know... people involved.
The Solicitor's office says it wants to make sure Williamson is out of this neighborhood while he's awaiting trial on the molestation and dog rape charges so they are requesting that his bond be revoked. Williamson's bond hearing will be held next Friday.
This makes it sound like he is still free. I find myself curious about why someone accused of multiple sex offenses involving children was ever out on bond in the first place. I find it apalling that they aren't even going to consider revoking it until next Friday. This guy clearly poses a risk to pretty much anything with an orifice -- WTF?
posted by cedar at 6:02 AM on June 21, 2005


The fact that he likely has raped *children* has somehow been shuffled to the back burner because of the plain weirdness of the dog thing.

I will say it here now, he did mean, nasty, abusive things to children and that is very very bad. If not writing that before somehow makes it look like it was not noticed then there it is. What he did to the dog and himself I believe that is the bizarre, wretched part of these particular crimes.
posted by Jikido at 6:20 AM on June 21, 2005


Holding a pit-bull down against it's will is not an easy task. Just saying.

odinsdream: Wait a minute, there's a way to have sex with animals that isn't considered rape"

I watched the 'Animal Passions' programme last night, in which a woman described losing her virginity to a dog, semi-consensualy. Quite the eye-opener!

'Brian says that he was in love with Glenn for seven years. He visited him once or twice a week and looked after him at weekends or when his cousin was on holiday When Glenn and his owners moved out of town, Brian became depressed and bought a puppy. But the physical side of that relationship was not a success. "He was very submissive, never showed any mounting behavior towards me..." (Brian's preferred modus operandi, in case you were wondering, is to be penetrated by his canine partner, and to perform oral sex on him.) '

"The best part is when she falls asleep in your lap or licks your face," says Ed James, a New York Zoophile, of his dog. "I have sexual contact with my dog because it makes her happy, and it makes me happy to make her happy "

Just FYI

As they one person remarked - 'What is the point of miniature stallions?'

Truth stranger than fiction.

However, it is clear that this young man has serious issues around sexuality that need treatment. Someone needs to instill some boundaries.

One question though: did Sylvia Jones take her dog to the vet after discovering Cory in flagrante delicto? Or did she wait two weeks for the dog to slowly die of internal bleeding?
posted by asok at 7:06 AM on June 21, 2005


There's a lot of talk in this thread (and even, bizarrely in the original article) about the "rape" of this dog, but can an animal actually legally be the victim of rape? You can't murder a dog, you can't commit assault against a dog... that's why there are animal cruelty laws, etc, precisely because we don't directly equate crimes against animals with crimes against humans. You can't mug a dog for his collar, for example.
This is pretty disgusting, but is it actually rape? I can see it being against animal cruelty laws, and I assume that beastiality's illegal in the states so he can be prosecuted for that with any luck but rape in a legal sense? I very much doubt it, and I assume even the journalist who wrote this ridiculous article knows it, too. I'm greatly surprised that the alleged abuse of two children takes a backburner in this article to stoking the fires higher on an "animal rape". I can't help feeling this article is more for the jurors ...

edit : Holy crap! How 'bout a (big, glowing neon) warning on that miniature stallions link. Icky. Going to scrub brain clean now ...
posted by kaemaril at 11:07 AM on June 21, 2005


alumshubby : If he raped a little girl and he's put in the general prison population, he'll get it. It just won't be precisely the state-sanctioned kind.

I beg to differ. If he's put in general population after being found guilty of raping a little girl it most certainly will be state-sanctioned. The prison authorities will know exactly how he'll be treated, and will have, in effect, turned an approving blind eye. The phrase "cruel and unusual punishment" springs to mind, but I'm sure it's completely constitutional, using other prisoners as torturers and (very possibly) executioners.
posted by kaemaril at 11:14 AM on June 21, 2005


I believe it's sad that the dog story is taking up the attention over his child victim(s). Both are very sad stories. But it's hardly surprising that the more sensational story is given more coverage. That's standard fare.

For one thing, there isn't a lot of around the water-cooler talk about the small children being molested. For one thing, it's just too damn depressing to think about, and - tragically - those stories happen every single day. But dog-fucking! Goodness! Whodathunkit?

Those weird sensational stories are often what gets people talking, and reading or tuning in. It's sad, but predictable.
posted by raedyn at 12:20 PM on June 21, 2005


I'm frankly surprised the kid is around to be tried for anything. You'd think after all of his shenanigans someone in that neighborhood would have administered some good old fashioned justice on him. Just saying . . . cause had I found someone doing that to my pet, I probably would have done some serious damage. Much less a CHILD.
posted by Medieval Maven at 1:59 PM on June 21, 2005


Um, yeah, some things can. But I do not see anything remotely funny about this article. Please direct me to the amusing parts.

Laughter is a necessary survival mechanism among humans, and all that keeps us from going insane or succumbing to despair.

Or so I grok.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 2:07 PM on June 21, 2005


Not only in South Carolina. And, sadly and unsurprisingly, the last story in this article (of African asylum-seeking women being kidnapped to be gang-raped and "star" in bestiality movies), was also the one that got the least coverage (indeed, very, very little coverage).
posted by Skeptic at 2:15 PM on June 21, 2005


The fact that humor exists, per se, makes this story funny, Milton? Help me grok the connection. If you say that it's so sad one has to laugh, I'll say you're wrong in this case.
posted by squirrel at 5:05 PM on June 21, 2005


The reason the dog is rightly getting more attention that the humans is because as far as I can see, morally, the dog incident IS the worst (that we know of). I don't like dogs, and put people over dogs without hesitation, but the dog incident is the one with the most bite:

The 13 year old was not raped, they had sex, almost certainly consentual, and one (or both) were under the legal age of consent at the time, ie statuatory rape. That's a different crime/charge, and exists for different reasons. Two kids having consentual sex, with one of them a few months over the age of consent and thus legally culpible, is Bad, I'm not defending it, but is it as horrible as killing a dog with bestiality?

The 3 year old is thought to have been molested. That could have been quite horrible, or it could have been an inappropriate grope - which while also horrible, is not as horrible as killing a dog with bestiality. We don't know.

Given the lack of details, it seems entirely possible that the dog offense is the one most rightly deserving of the attention.
posted by -harlequin- at 10:32 PM on June 21, 2005


Should a rapist be given a harsher sentence if his victim dies as a result of the rape?

Well, regardless of whether the sentence should be harsher, under the laws of many American states, the sentence is very likely to be harsher under the so-called "felony murder" rule. In 2001, the Florida Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of James Demetrius Stephens in a case in which Stephens took part in a robbery in which a three-year-old boy was kidnapped in Stephens' car. Shortly afterward, Stephens abandoned his car, leaving the child inside. It was a warm day in June and the child was dead when the car was found. The evidence was inconclusive as to whether Stephens strangled the child or whether the boy died of heat exhaustion. The jury was instructed: "In order to convict of first degree felony murder, it is not necessary for the State to prove that the defendant had a premeditated design or intent to kill." The jury did not determine whether the child's death was premeditated or accidental. In upholding the death sentence, the state supreme court wrote, "there is substantial, competent evidence that [the child] died as a result of the felonies Stephens committed."
posted by bluffy at 3:43 PM on June 26, 2005


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