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View Diary: Today's NYT: Downplaying A Rape At Harvard (342 comments)

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  •  Omit the part (5+ / 0-)

    ...about the Duke case and I agree completely.

    Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

    by Barbara Morrill on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 02:15:12 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Goddammit (12+ / 0-)


      Why omit the part about the Duke case?

      You can't pick and choose.

      We weren't there that night. We don't know what happened. None of us have spent time examining the evidence. None of us are qualified to speak out about the details.

      My only point about the Duke case was that immediately after it broke, and to the present day, people find it easy to default to a stance of distrusting the accuser and sympathizing with the accused.

      THAT is what I am questioning. I'm not saying we should assume the accuser is right and damn the accused. I'm just saying we should not go in the other direction either. The accuser has a right to have her story taken seriously.

      Whether the prosecution screwed up or not should not bear on how we as third parties assess that situation.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 02:25:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, we can (7+ / 0-)

        And equating the Duke case with this one (where the accused admitted guilt) is wrong.  

        There was nothing "default" about distrusting the accuser in the Duke case.  Among other things, her changing stories, her fellow-stripper's original account, the fact that one of the accused was on the phone, in a cab and at an ATM during the alleged attack, all made me distrust the story.  

        And please note that I didn't even mention the prosecution screw ups.  

        Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

        by Barbara Morrill on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 02:33:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What troubles me (5+ / 0-)

          Is how easily people reach a conclusion that she made it up and then that we're to feel for the poor accused (I know you didn't and haven't said the latter). And my ultimate point is that this case will and is being used to further the larger movement and effort to cast rape victims as untrustworthy and to cast rapists as sympathetic figures.

          Which is why I think we should be careful in condemning the accuser.

          I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

          by eugene on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 02:40:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What troubles me (5+ / 0-)

            is that NO ONE is outraged that Duke athletes think hiring strippers is a perfectly acceptable night's entertainment.

            •  Heh (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Welcome back!

              I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

              by eugene on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 03:29:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I am (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Swordsmith, Picot verde

              And I think some sort of assault very likely happened, which the men in question would characterize as "horsing around" or some such.  Why do I think that?  Because I live in a college town with lots of fraternities where at least two similar incidents have happened over the last decade - exotic dancer hired by frat, says she was sexually assaulted, some of the assault ON TAPE, and STILL the local prosecutor drops the case because "not enough evidence" - read, students' daddies are big movers and shakers as alums and in the state, and so nobody will go after them.

              The men were sleazes, were encouraged to be sleazes by the athletic culture of their campus, just based on their hiring of a stripper to start with.  They shouldn't go to jail for that, but Duke and every other campus needs to cut the bullshit about letting athletes get away with rape and assault (as was well documented at Colorado a few years ago).  A party culture that encourages hiring strippers as a central entertainment element is clearly not one that values women.  So, yeah, I'm outraged at the very fact of these women's presence there that night, let alone what might have happened afterward.

              •  An assault happened? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Alexander G Rubio

                Usually when an assault happens, there are scratches, blood, torn hair and teh like.  How is that taht if an assault happened no DNA evidence of ANY KIND has been discovered?!

                •  Evidence doesn't have to be DNA (0+ / 0-)

                  If they raped her with a broom handle, anally or vaginally, there would not be DNA evidence but she would have shown evidence of a sexual assault that would have supported the original issuance of the search warrants, etc.  I'm not saying that did happen, only that it could have - I'm convinced we will never know what really happened, for all sorts of reasons, including possible payoffs, or that the accuser is crazy or was on drugs or something and so cannot reliably tell anyone what did actually happen.  

                  •  That's a ridiculous assertion (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Mia Dolan

                    There would be her DNA on the broom handle.  There is likely to be their DNA under her fingernails if she tried to resist in any way whatever.  There would be splinters off the broom handle in her.

                    Payoffs?!  Really?!  Well, yes, there could also have been Martians who came in and destroyed all the evidence.

                    •  You clearly are blinded by advocacy (0+ / 0-)

                      I'm at least willing to say it's possible the accuser's story can't be trusted - you, on the other hand, are so clearly wedded to these sports goons' innocence that you can't admit any other possibilities.  

                      But believe me, if you'd ever been around Southern university sports franchises - hell, ANY big time university sports franchises -  you would know that money talks, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised to hear of money changing hands here to undermine any evidence against the players.  I'm NOT saying it's probable - but I wouldn't be surprised if it happened.  

                      I just find it interesting to see here, on a supposedly progressive political site, someone defending these privileged spoiled undoubtedly right-wing white elite athletes with such ferocity, to the extent of just dismissing the possibility that they did anything wrong.  What the fuck are you doing here?

                      •  What the fuck are you doing here? (0+ / 0-)

                        People are defending these players because the overwhelming evidence shows they aren't guilty.  

                        •  And you know this because...? (0+ / 0-)

                          Are you a member of the prosecuting team?  Or are you getting all your news about the evidence from the defense?  Look, I'm perfectly willing to entertain the possibility that there wasn't an attack - perhaps there wasn't, perhaps this woman is crazy - it's certainly possible.  But knowing what I know about jock culture on university campuses, and given that this was a house full of drunken young men, I don't find it at all difficult to also entertain the other possibility - that they were pissed at the lack of the dancing or whatever they wanted, and they took it out on her.  Either is possible - and we don't know fuck about the real evidence, and won't unless there's a trial.  And even then, as the OJ Simpson trial demonstrated, it is possible for a good lawyer to convince practically anybody that up is, in fact, down.  I don't take anything the defense lawyers say particularly seriously unless they say it in a courtroom - and even then, they're advocates, not seekers of truth.

                          And I've been here a hell of a lot longer than you have, so fuck off.

                          •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

                            How do I know this?  Because the information released by the defense is what the prosecution has disclosed.  The prosecution is required to turn over its evidence to the defense before trial.  That has happened, and the evidence shows the players are not guilty.  So we do "know fuck" about the real evidence.    

                            And again, that evidence does not show that either is possible.  It shows that the accusers claim in not possible.  You wouldn't need a good lawyer to win this case - a first year law student would have a hard time losing with this evidence.

                            What the OJ trial demonstrated was that with crooked, racist cops and incompetent prosecutors, even a guilty man can go free.  If you are ever charged with a serious crime (especially one you didn't commit) you better fucking hope your defense attorneys are advocates.  

                            And I've been here a hell of a lot longer than you have, so fuck off.

                            Look, you are the one who is trying to make this into a progressive issue. Its not.  This woman is a liar, and she is hurting legitimate victims of rape.  When this is all said and done, these players are going to be well compensated for the wrong that has been done to them.  That in addition to all the money the prosecution has spent on this case instead of prosecuting real criminals.   Not the way I would want to spend taxpayer money.    

            •  Why isn't it?! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corndog, Alexander G Rubio

              Everyone involved is an ADULT.  The activity is LEGAL.  That you might not like it is your own business.

              Some people don't like college one-night stands.  Are we supposed to get outraged and prosecute people for that too?!

              •  There is a huge difference (0+ / 0-)

                between two consenting adults having sex and an entire athletic team choosing to ogle women for entertainment.

                Throughout this case, the lacross players have been presented as preppy young men whose lives are being ruined.

                Maybe instead the media might focus on how those nice young boys got a free $180K education while the young black single mother and VETERAN was forced to take her clothes off for money to survive.

                •  First of all she is not a "veteran." (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Alexander G Rubio, Mia Dolan

                  She was discharged from the armed forces without finishing her tour (and from what I understand it was not an honorable discharge).  Under the law, that doesn't make her a veteran.

                  Second, it is utterly irrelevant whether it is 2 adults or 3 adults or 10 adults.  They are ADULTS.  They are CONSENTING.

                  And it is most certainly not the boys fault that their families are well-off and that this woman is poor and that she chose to strip to make money.  That was her choice.  As was the fact that she worked for the escort service doing "one-on-one dates" (aka prostitution).  

                  Again, that you may not approve of this form of entertainment is no one's concern but your own.  The team did absolutely nothing wrong.

                  •  Do you want your son to join in? (0+ / 0-)

                    So you'd be perfectly happy if it was your son or brother who thinks that strippers are a good way to alleviate a night's boredom?

                    Should we, as a society, celebrate their behavior? A stripper in every dorm! A prostitute in every frat house!

                    How is it even remotely acceptable that they did this? I'm not arguing that it's illegal. I'm arguing that it's sexist and crude, and that these boys' behavior flies in the face of the "upright, preppy students" image that the media presents.

                    •  I have zero problem if my (3+ / 0-)

                      future son decides to ogle strippers.  Same applies to my future daughters if they want to ogle strippers.  I think it is generally a waste of money, but if my son is an adult, he can decide for himself how to spend his money.

                      Celebrating the behavior and being non-chalant about it are quite different propositions.

                      I do not think that it is sexist.  These women are not enslaved.  (Yes, yes, I know that some are.  Those who do that to women should be prosecuted and jailed for a long long time).  But many women (and men) CHOOSE to strip, or to do photoshoots, or to do porn, or to be prostitutes.  That that does not live up to your moral standards is of no concern to anyone else.

          •  Well... (11+ / 0-)

            You're right and wrong to an extent, eugene. On the one hand, there is a long history of female rape victims of being given more of a burden of proving their case than other victims of non-sexual based offenses. The reason for this were based on stereotypical gender roles and the view of women as property and that was pernicious and destructive to the notion of equal justice, not to mention peoples' lives.

            That said, the burden should always be on the state in our system of justice whether for murder, rape, or a moving violation in a car. Just because someone says something happened doesn't ultimately make it true or entitle it to immediate respect by society at large (even if a prosecutor and police should give it respect and pursue the claim fairly and zealously).

            In my (limited) experience with the justice system you'd be amazed at the stories you hear of innocent people pleading guilty. 18 months of house arrest for a rape offense sounds like a pretty good deal considering the other option is going to prison for much longer if you proceed to trial and lose. Even if I were completely innocent of a crime, I'd have to consider it.

            One of the things that I've experienced working in this field for a short time is that it is extremely difficult to  ascertain truth in criminal trials. There are always holes in stories (for example, in this case, she never asked the guy who was groping her to leave her room). We assume the justice system will find out the truth. But in reality what we've created with our justice system is a hope that the adversarial system, with sufficient protections for the accused, will reach a practical result that everyone in society can live with and  that will be functionally the truth.

            Adam B.'s larger point is correct though. The victim's side of the story should have been presented.  And it's unfair to rape victims everywhere that it wasn't.

            •  I agree with that (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vcmvo2, Albatross

              Especially the burden of proof points, as well as your other ones.

              What I'm saying is that I like the idea of leaving this up to the justice system and ensuring that the system treats all sides fairly and seriously. I don't care to speculate as to whether the accuser in this case is making it up because I don't feel it's my place to do so, and that if I did then I might be furthering the notion that we should treat women who make rape accusations skeptically instead of neutrally.

              I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

              by eugene on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 03:29:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  No (5+ / 0-)

            And my ultimate point is that this case will and is being used to further the larger movement and effort to cast rape victims as untrustworthy and to cast rapists as sympathetic figures.

            That is exactly why the case should not have been pursued and why it should be dismissed.  The longer it goes on, the more damage it does for legitimate rape victims.  The accuser in this case has hurt the cause of rape victims and has helped enable rapists.  

        •  thx for reminding why I don't frequent DK anymore (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ja of Anoroc

          The sexism and racism displayed on this site is beyond despicable.

      •  We do need to omit the Duke case (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alexander G Rubio, GoldnI

        I think rapists should be castrated by means of hanging. And 99%+ of all rape claims are legitimate. That does not mean that the scant cases that are false claims need to be prosecuted just because it would be wrong to state that a woman never lies.

        All of us lie about something. Some lie about terrible things. Most people don't. The Duke accuser's story has changed multiple times, and before we prosecute these people, we need to get it right.

        A whole bunch of people are in Gitmo right now because we believe the people who sold them out for $10,000. Most of them are likely terrorists, but I would like all the facts in before I pronounce judgement.

        While not as egregious as the "woman deserved it crowd", the ALL claims are valid on their face types are just as wrong. Almost all claims are true. Big difference.

        You can lead a Republican to knowledge, but you can't make him think.

        by trifecta on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 03:17:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  All I'm saying about Duke (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Swordsmith, Albatross

          Is I don't see why we as a third parties need to speculate about the validity of her claims.

          I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

          by eugene on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 03:31:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Other than to say (2+ / 0-)

            She is telling the truth.

            You are speculating that to speculate she is lying is wrong, in effect endorsing her as telling the truth.

            She could have been assaulted. I don't know. That is all I am saying. There are enough questions that I don't want to hang these men by the scrotum at this point.

            Rape is serious, it is a fundamental breach of the social contract and must be vigorously prosecuted. But that also comes with responsibility. I believe in the two witness standard. The woman's testimony, and any supporting physical evidence are two good enough witnesses for me. I give the woman the presumtion of telling the truth and the guy being guilty, unless they keep changing their story like was done in this case. The fact that one of the accused was physically at an ATM on film at the time of the attack certainly doesn't help either.

            You can lead a Republican to knowledge, but you can't make him think.

            by trifecta on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 03:37:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am saying (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Albatross, Picot verde

              That to speculate she is lying is wrong. But that doesn't imply endorsing her as being truthful. What I'm saying is, what business is it of ours to speculate at all?

              I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

              by eugene on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 03:44:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Do you apply the same standards to (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Alexander G Rubio

                all accusations of anyone?

                Do you apply the same standard to say teh NSA surveillance program?!  I mean, you were not there.  You don't know how useful the information is.  You are not the expert in either national security law or fourth amendment law.  yet, I bet you have an opinion on the matter.

      •  The "default" position in a criminal case... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alexander G Rubio

        is, innocent until proven guilty.

      •  If you don't pick and choose (2+ / 0-)

        You'll never get any justice.

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