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You read that right - an 18-year-old cheerleader at Silsbee HS in Texas was raped at a house party. One of the men involved pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of assault and was allowed to continue playing on Silsbee's basketball team. When it came time to cheer this player during a game, HS (this is how she is identified in court documents) refused to cheer, and simply remained silent. What happened next was a different kind of assault, suffered at the hands of the school district and the courts.

Richard Bain, the school's superintendent, ordered HS, then 16, to cheer or be expelled from the squad. She refused and was expelled, and she and her family filed suit in Texas courts on free speech grounds. Not only did two state courts rule against her, but a federal appeals court decided that her suit was "frivolous" and ordered her to pay $45,000 in damages to the school district.

The U. S. Supreme Court on Monday, refused to hear the case, letting the appeals court ruling stand, not only leaving HS and her family on the hook for $45,000, but denying justice on about as many levels as justice can be denied.

Should a rapist have been allowed to continue playing basketball for Silsbee as a "student-athlete?" I'm sure that decision was made with no regard to his value to the team, only with the good of the community in mind.

Should HS have been forced to cheer for her rapist? No snarky answer is possible. Mr. Bain's continued employment as school superintendent is beyond my imagination.

Should HS have retained her right to free speech despite her role as school cheerleader? The courts ruled that she was simply a "mouthpiece" and forfeited those rights when she put on that uniform. Where, at last, is their sense of decency?

Note that BentLiberal and Black Kos mentioned this case as part of more comprehensive diaries - I though it deserved a diary all to itself.Updated by proudhon at Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:46 AM PDT

My legal adviser Adam B. points out that the $45,000 HS and her family must pay are not in fact damages, but in fact legal fees. I stand corrected.


Updated by proudhon at Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:46 PM PDT

First time on the recommended list for me - a great thrill. An even greater thrill is reading the comments - a thoughtful and nuanced discussion of a many-faceted story - what a community we have! I'm proud to be part of the discussion - thanks to all.

Originally posted to proudhon on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:10 AM PDT.

Also republished by oo.

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  •  This is completely wrong, of course. (30+ / 0-)

    The "justice system" in Texas has a nasty habit of breaking down at the wrong times.

    But then again, this IS Texas; there's other kinds of justice out there.

    Stupid is as stupid elects.

    by TheOrchid on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:16:42 AM PDT

  •  were you a witness to the assualt incident? (26+ / 0-)

    If not, then this person is an alleged rapist and the incident was an alleged rape - although a confirmed assault.  That has been the finding of our justice system, just to be fair and consistent.

    But still, a cheerleader shouldn't even have to cheer her assaulter.  So on that part you are right.

    But the "student athlete" is not a rapist in the eyes of the law and we shouldn't sanction him like one (although we should sanction him as someone convicted of assault).  We are a nation of laws, not whims.

    •  Er... (21+ / 0-)

      ...so what is your point? Surely you're not trying to suggest that since the rape charge got knocked down to assault it was therefore appropriate to compel her to cheer for the guy.

      I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

      by eataTREE on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:27:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  *Rolls eyes* - Puh-leeeze... (58+ / 0-)

      ..it looks more to this reader as if the "justice system" in Texas decided that a rape shouldn't be counted as a rape, likely in an effort to protect that "student athlete".  Women very frequently get a lot less justice than they deserve when it comes to rape.

      Stupid is as stupid elects.

      by TheOrchid on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:29:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that may be (23+ / 0-)

        but that doesn't make this assailant a rapist.  People in our society are considered innocent of a charge until proven guilty in a court of law.

        I am amazed how people sometimes don't get that, or always want to make exceptions.

          •  Not in the eyes of the law... (11+ / 0-)

            yet how society views this young man may be completely different.

            From a legal aspect, the young man in question was never convicted of the crime of rape. He is an alleged rapist. He is a convicted assulter.

            But that doesn't mean that the cheerleader, her parents, and any defenders of hers don't view him as a rapist.

            Still, I am appalled by the actions of this man to even warrant a conviction of assault. The crime of rape hits very close to home for me. Why any man would ever treat any woman like that is beyond my comprehension.  

            "No one can survive as completely geek." - UnstableIsotope

            by kingyouth on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:33:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  There is "legal" truth ... (11+ / 0-)

          and there is "reality".  Unfortunately, "legal" trumps "reality" in today's world, especially in the minds of criminal coddlers.

          "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

          by Neuroptimalian on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:14:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Rape is very difficult to prove and there (34+ / 0-)

          is a strong and research-laden history of that fact. Women and girls are punished, badly (as in this very case, imagine that!), when they do come forward. Boys and men are very frequently offered excuses and provided reasons for why the girl/woman really wanted it, or whatever. Seriously, if you are interested in this issue, you can get informed. There are lots of texts, sites, and people who know a lot about rape culture, what it is, how its formed, examples, and the very predictable outcomes it creates.

          Innocent until proven guilty is in court of law. Here in the intertoobz, I can bring my incredible depth of knowledge about rape and the history of its use and abuse with women and girls and use that to inform my understanding of a case in which an accused young sports star plead from rape to assault.

          Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

          by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:15:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  tort case (8+ / 0-)

            Torts are less difficult to prove. And he would likely lose or he would "settle" in some fashion.

            If the statute of limitations is not up or doesn't apply, she should sue him and 1) require an apology 2) monetary damages 3) some form of community service or atonement to the community.

            --Mr. President, you have to earn my vote every day. Not take it for granted. --

            by chipoliwog on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:49:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So Correct, chipoliwog! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tookish

              Let the student athlete get an after school job and pay the court costs and damages. That'll teach him not to assault (which is a very strong word in itself, legally. It means hurt badly) girls!

              Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

              by rebel ga on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:06:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Although, I Have Complete Confidence In Pres Obama (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tookish

                chipoliwog!
                I'm an observer of society and I notice his earning it, every day! But your sig line is good.

                Constructive criticism is good. One cannot become a Kossack without learning that!

                Kossacks Rule!

                Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

                by rebel ga on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:13:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Why the Hell Wasn't This Guy Thrown Off The (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tookish

                basketball team after he was convicted of assault? Iwould also (naively) assume he would have to serve some jail time - how can he be in jail and be at basketball practice/games at the same time? If the Texas school had thrown him off the team after his conviction, AS THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE, it would not have put this cheerleader/assualt victim in the position of having to cheer for her assailant, and this case NEVER would have ended up in court. No offense to progrssives Texans, but the majority of people in that state are such ignorant yahoos.

                •  Because he WASN'T CONVICTED at the time (0+ / 0-)

                  of the basketball game. The basketball game was in Feb. 2009. He wasn't convicted until late 2010, after he was out of high school. At the time of the game, he wasn't even indicted, much less convicted. The school very likely had NO CHOICE.

        •  It would appear... (11+ / 0-)

          that he pleaded out to an assault change to forgo the obvious stigma of 'rape'.

          This reminds me of that case that the movie 'The Accused' was based on.  

          It usually comes down to the opinion that the DA wouldn't get a rape conviction.  That is where the family should have started.

          If I were the family, I would turn around and sue the guy in civil court to recoup the 45 grand they have to pay out.

          "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

          by smoothnmellow on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:44:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I wouldn't. (6+ / 0-)
            If I were the family, I would turn around and sue the guy in civil court to recoup the 45 grand they have to pay out.

            The family would almost certainly lose that case, and then be forced to pay his legal fees in defending himself against it. He didn't force her family to press what was deemed by the courts to be a meritless case against the district, nor did he force them to appeal. If her family's lawyers pressed such a case, it would be an act of profound legal malpractice.

            •  Civil Suits have a much lower bar (5+ / 0-)

              Given the fact that her attacher plead guilty to assault she couldn't certainly sue both the school and him for emotional distress and could win.

              Hopefully the school will decide they have caused enough grief to this girl and her family and decide to not try and collect on the judgement.

              •  He should also be listed (4+ / 0-)

                as a registered sex offender, so other women know to avoid him like the plague.

                It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

                by Betty Pinson on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:05:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So you would like a person (11+ / 0-)

                  convicted of assault, not sexual assault, to be listed as a sexual offender?

                  In order to gain justice for one person's rights not be defended properly, we should erase another person's rights?

                  How is that just?

                  "No one can survive as completely geek." - UnstableIsotope

                  by kingyouth on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:13:04 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The only way to end the rape culture (4+ / 0-)

                    is to send clear signals that rape is complete unacceptable, and to have plenty of  highly visible examples of what happens to "boys" who rape.

                    That is the only way the message gets through.

                    So sorry if that hampers the male primordial "style" and privilege... (well, no, actually I'm not sorry. The male "style" and privilege badly need to be hampered in this area.)

                    •  Once again, you want someone (12+ / 0-)

                      who was not convicted of rape or SEXUAL assault to be labelled as a registered sexual offender.

                      Think about that.

                      You want revenge for an injustice that you deem worthy enough to erase the protected rights that this young man has in order to protect those same rights that the young woman has.

                      So simply because some sects of society view a man as a rapist, even if it's not through the legal system, he should be legally viewed as sex offender.

                      What I am getting at is this: should the three young men that were accused of rape at Duke be legally labelled as convicted sex offenders even though: they were never convicted of such a crime and some sects of society will always see them as privileged young, white men who "got away" with the crime of rape.

                      If I am reading your opinion correctly, you believe those players should be registered sex offenders simply to prove a point and to get some message through in the hopes that it would prevent other men from sexually assaulting and/or raping women.

                      "No one can survive as completely geek." - UnstableIsotope

                      by kingyouth on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:43:56 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Since the patriarchal law will only enable rapists (2+ / 3-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Betty Pinson, page394
                        Hidden by:
                        Rick Aucoin, KiB, Cream Puff

                        maybe we need a sort of "Women's Online Registy" for misogynistic people like this young footballer.

                        There has to be a reputational cost for abusing women and girls. You would no doubt work to close such a site down, thereby revealing your real sympathies for all to see.

                        •  That sort of ad hom is crap. (6+ / 0-)

                          Sorry, that's an HR.  Kingyouth hasn't indicated in any way he's any sort of misogynist and doesn't deserve your accusation.

                          The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10

                          by Rick Aucoin on Wed May 04, 2011 at 01:41:05 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  It's pretty sad (4+ / 0-)

                          That you can separate your justified outrage over rape culture and how it affects our justice system from someone else's equally justified concern over maintain basic civil liberties.

                          Your earlier posts show a deep understanding of the history of human rights and how they've been too often discarded for the benefit of the privileged few. But if you can't apply those lessons outside of discussions of patriarchy to broader issues of human rights and civil liberties, then all that knowledge is wasted.

                          If you can't understand the dangers of allowing the state to label people who were never convicted of a sex offense (or any offense at all, if I correctly understand your argument) as sex offenders, then you truly have lost your way from anything resembling liberal morality or a concern for social-justice.

                          I'm not going to say we shouldn't call this asshole in Texas a rapist, and I already chewed out the guy here who said we shouldn't. But us stating the obvious is a long ways from what you demand: that the state deliberately violate the offender's rights, making due process a dead letter.

                          Fortune Favors the Bold

                          by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 05:19:33 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  There was no "due process" (0+ / 0-)

                            there was what patriarchy calls a "due process".

                            Since it doesn't work for women, I advocate non-violent extra-legal action to create a substantial reputational cost for rapists -- until the dysfunctional legal system evolves to work in a way that meets the needs of women and girls.

                            Or until hell freezes over. Whichever comes first.

                          •  I'm not going to argue (5+ / 0-)

                            That there was no due process in this case, but as I said earlier, destroying the village in order to save it isn't an answer either.

                            Punishing someone for a crime they haven't been convicted of is not due process in any shape and form. It is a violation of the most basic notion of due process. be

                            I don't find your extralegal solution to be inconsistent with a value for human rights, but the idea of the state labeling people criminals with no criminal conviction? You write like someone with a keen understanding of oppressive societal forces.

                            If you can't see how such a power would be instantly abused by the state (and mostly against minorities, if you don't think so I suggest you check your own white privilege), you are not being realistic. If you think having people designated as sex offenders without a sex offense conviction will in any way make women safer or lessen or reverse institutional patriarchal attitudes, you are fooling yourself. It will be used as a tool of social control by the existing white, patriarchal power structure at the expense of those who already are critically vulnerable to oppressive state power.

                            Fortune Favors the Bold

                            by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 05:55:15 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  WikiRapes (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Goldfish, Betty Pinson

                            I'm not advocating an extra legal state solution. I'm advocating a solution for women everywhere on the planet to undertake outside state control.

                            Name and shame. Online and real time. With photos and videos for all: WikiRapes.

                            If guys don't like it, let them work to eliminate the need for it.

                          •  As I mentioned down thread (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            KiB, HRs Kevin

                            This is the kind of creative extra-state thinking we need more of these days, but I have real concerns over how entries could be properly vetted to insure the site wasn't exploited by trolls for cyber-bullying campaigns, and maintained the accuracy it would require to be a credible and useful source of information.

                            Fortune Favors the Bold

                            by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:24:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, maybe that is a topic for a separate diary (0+ / 0-)

                            Part of the problem of course would be funding, as is also true for WikiLeaks. Vetting takes time and people, and I suspect such a website would be flooded with material very quickly. But that is not a bad thing, and I don't think it should be restricted to women who have reams of legal documentation. There are women raped all over the world every day who have no voice at all, and such a site could begin to equalize that.

                          •  I think funding (0+ / 0-)

                            would be fairly easy as long as you could establish a channel for payment (easier said then done).

                            I agree that extensive legal documentation shouldn't be a prerequisite to publication, especially since many of the types of cases this would be best suited for would not be cases with a long legal paper trial. One useful purpose for a site like this would be for women who don't wish to report an assault through the criminal justice system would still have an outlet to seek a different kind of justice. As you point out, giving voice to the voiceless would be an important part of this project.

                            The problem I'm seeing more distinctly after mulling this over is how do you provide that forum but at the same time keep it from becoming an anything goes troll fest where some 15 year old boy poses as a 14-yearold girl to accuse another boy at his school of rape as part of personal grudge or cyber-bullying campaign? Would some sort of independent corroboration be required? What do you do in the event such corroboration isn't available? Would the site's staff act as investigative reports and research submissions? How do you take on the role of investigator without becoming a doppelganger of the criminal justice system?

                            I don't think any of these questions are insurmountable, but I do think they all need serious consideration.

                            If you write a diary about this, please send me a PM when you do so, as I would look forward to reading and recommending it.

                            Fortune Favors the Bold

                            by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 07:13:02 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  She has said repeatedly (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Ana Thema

                            that if innocent male persons are harmed in this scheme, that's just too bad: In order to make an omlette you have to break some eggs. She has also repeatedly implied that the point is virtually moot, for if you're a male there's hardly such thing as "innocent" anyway. True, she says, individual men may be technically innocent in some cases, but it's not an overwhelming concern. The justice system sucks: the innocent few can pay for the crimes of the guilty hordes who always get off scott-free.

                            Honestly, I suspect if you don't stop pearl-clutching about your (very real and legitmate) fears of false accusations and the need for corroboration, it won't be long before you too are accused of being a member of "the Men's Rights crowd." Because in this person's vision of how the world ought to run, men wouldn't have any rights at all--and certainly nothing that grants them such intolerable license as basic civil liberties. Over and over again you have asked, "what about people's rights?" Has she ever answered you satisfactorily? I've seen no sign of it.

                            Like most level headed human beings, you believe in fairness. You want to see some notion of human rights brought to bear upon the discussion, and because you're a nice person, naturally you think she would want that too. But--and she has said so herself six ways 'til Thursday--she's not interested that at all. Where her interests do lie aren't clear and I won't speculate. But make no mistake, "WikiRapes" would have unfairness and injustice built right into it, on purpose and by design. Look again at her posts in this thread alone: could her meaning be any clearer?  

                            God bless our tinfoil hearts.

                            by aitchdee on Sun May 08, 2011 at 03:41:02 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Um, no. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Rick Aucoin

                            You are definitely advocating an extra-legal solution. In fact, it sounds frighteningly like you're advocating frontier justice.

                          •  What's wrong with an extra-legal solution (0+ / 0-)

                            When the law has consistently and systematically failed to deliver justice?

                            Fortune Favors the Bold

                            by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:10:20 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The number of rapists in prison would disagree. (0+ / 0-)

                            Last I checked, there was a number greater than zero, population of rapists in prisons in this country.

                            This nonsense about the system consistently and systematically failing or worse yet the accusation that the entire system is set up to deliberately NOT protect women from rapists is bull.

                            Are enough convicted?  No, likely not.  And likely due to the difficulty in some cases of proof.  But these days, with the DNA evidence science we now have it's not exactly an "easy" crime to get away with if it's pursued.

                            The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10

                            by Rick Aucoin on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:00:41 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh please give me a fucking break (0+ / 0-)
                            This nonsense about the system consistently and systematically failing or worse yet the accusation that the entire system is set up to deliberately NOT protect women from rapists is bull.

                            I'm sorry, I have nothing to say to you. Talking to you is beneath me. Go suck on your male privilege.

                            Fortune Favors the Bold

                            by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:10:02 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Go find comfort in your faux outrage. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            KiB

                            Civil liberties truly are dead if this sort of dreck passes on a liberal blog.

                            I've donated $20 to the ACLU in your name.  I hope you never find yourself on the receiving end of false accusations and prosecution.

                            The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10

                            by Rick Aucoin on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:13:15 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If you didn't notice (0+ / 0-)

                            I've been arguing tirelessly on this thread for the sanctity of civil liberties. Except I did it without being a condescending, dismissive, privilege denying, accidental misogynist.

                            It's one thing to argue a position of sanctity of the law. It's quite another to deny that laws have for centuries up and into the present been written to systematically discriminate against women. How you can be that out of touch with reality, I don't know, and I'm not really curious to find out.

                            Fortune Favors the Bold

                            by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:28:26 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You have obviously (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Rick Aucoin, KiB

                            lost all sense of proportion, objectivity and grasp of civil rights.

                            I would caution you that if you had a son who somehow got caught in a net that wrongly had him forced to plead down to assault in a rape case where he was not guilty, perhaps you might feel very differently about this.

                            The laws exist for a reason. Protections exist for a reason. Sometimes people who aren't guilty of larger crimes plead to lesser crimes of which they are not guilty to avoid juries that they feel would be tainted, or long trials they could not afford... Sometimes that pleading to a lesser charge saves an innocent person untold grief.

                            Please take several steps back and think about all of this.

                        •  If you are going to create a site (3+ / 0-)

                          that labels men who have not legally raped someone as convicted sex offenders, then yes, I would advocate the shutting down of such a site.

                          How is your view any different from pro-life advocates who call abortion doctors murderers even thought they have not murdered anyone and abortion is legal?

                          "No one can survive as completely geek." - UnstableIsotope

                          by kingyouth on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:39:43 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  I wonder if we know all the facts (0+ / 0-)

                          I don't feel competent enough to judge this to be a rape situation from my distance. It would be helpful to have someone much closer to the situation offer more specific information before I, as an outsider, come to a conclusion about it. The young man does deserve to have his name spread all over the internet as a dangerous assailant who has a conviction for attacking young women.

                          All that being said, I'm sure glad I didn't raise my kids in Texas!  (Lecture to my darling daughter: If he wants to move to a state with a bad record on women's rights and protection, ignore everything else and divorce him!)

                          Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

                          by tikkun on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:30:16 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  last I checked (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Betty Pinson, schnecke21, BYw

                        the duke guys never plead to a lesser charge.

                        Please, these pleas are just a symptom of any overworked and broken legal system.  Prosecutors rather have an easy assualt charge, then a hard rape charge.

                        Many prosecutors are all about their personal scorecard since they have higher professional aspirations.

                        There is nothing "pure" in our legal system.

                        Bad is never good until worse happens

                        by dark daze on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:12:28 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  My point was that this young man (0+ / 0-)

                          in question was neither indicted for rape nor convicted of such a crime, therefore it would be illegal to label him a convicted sex offender.

                          "No one can survive as completely geek." - UnstableIsotope

                          by kingyouth on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:44:19 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  So your solution (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      BYw

                      is to destroy the village in order to save it.

                      Sorry, but I don't see how inflicting systemic injustice can remedy systemic injustice.

                      Hampering male privilege is good. Destroying the basic notions of due process to do so isn't.

                      Fortune Favors the Bold

                      by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 05:05:46 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes (5+ / 0-)

                    Other women have a right to know.  Their safety is of paramount importance. If the creep doesn't want to harm his reputation, he should keep his dirty hands off women.

                    The assault conviction is a technicality. He's a rapist. He's a dangerous person, a future rape and assault waiting to happen.

                    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

                    by Betty Pinson on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:58:32 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  HELL YES, kingyouth: He made a PLEA DEAL (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Betty Pinson, CA TreeHugger, page394

                    defendants don't commonly make a deal like that unless they have little hope of being set free by a jury.  He's a sex offender. He should be required to register as such.

                    LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

                    by BlackSheep1 on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:02:47 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  But he wouldn't plead then (5+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Rick Aucoin, Sparhawk, BYw, Goldfish, kingyouth

                      The plea deal was, possibly among other things, for the purpose of avoiding being labelled, legally, as a sex offender.

                      Your argument is: he denied a heinous charge and admitted to a lesser charge to end the legal case. Ergo, he should legally be considered as having admitted to what he explicitly denied.

                      WTF?

                      •  No, my argument is the system is flawed (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        alizard, Betty Pinson

                        and allowed him to get away with a crime, and then the school (not to mention the court system) further abused his victim.

                        LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

                        by BlackSheep1 on Wed May 04, 2011 at 01:11:45 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  frankly, and sadly, not true (11+ / 0-)

                      I've been a prosecutor, and I have been a criminal defense attorney, and that's not the way the world works.  Defendants often plea, even if they are fairly confident they would win at trial.

                      Many reasons for this.  Some just want the case over with.  Others may be sitting in on bail they cannot make, and are made a plea offer that would in effect get them out of jail faster than going to trial and winning.

                      Plus, nothing is 100% certain, and that uncertainty has to be accounted for in decision making.

                      For example- you are charged with a rape that you did not commit.  At all, no gray area, no issue of consent, you flat out did not touch the victim.  The only evidence against you is her testimony.  (Which, if you are like many of my clients, you may be suprised to learn is enough evidence to convict).  Your lawyer tells you that he has dug up evidence that in the past the alleged victim has made false accusations against others.  He tells you that he is 99% certain that if you go to trial, you will be vindicated.  He also tells you that, in the event you are convicted, you will be in prison for at least the next seven years, and maybe a lot more.  The prosecution offers you a misdemeanor assualt, with no jail time.

                      Not an easy decision.

                      The best pizza comes from New York.

                      by JakeC on Wed May 04, 2011 at 01:29:02 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Once again, he is didn't plea (0+ / 0-)

                      to a count of SEXUAL assault, just assault.

                      According to the legal documents that Adam B posted, he was not even indicted on the rape charge.

                      In order to get "justice," you want to throw his civil rights out the window because he was neither charged with the crime you wanted him to be charged with nor found guilty of either sexual assault or rape.

                      Society may views him as a sex offender, but the law does not.

                      "No one can survive as completely geek." - UnstableIsotope

                      by kingyouth on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:50:56 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Really? Was he convicted of a sex crime? n/t (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fizziks, BYw

                  Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... --RFK

                  by expatjourno on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:29:36 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  He was convicted of assault on a woman (4+ / 0-)

                    during a sex act.  He was incredibly lucky to avoid conviction for rape.  His next potential victim should know that he's a pig, a dangerous person.

                    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

                    by Betty Pinson on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:59:51 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm still a believer in due process. The rule... (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      BYw, Goldfish, kingyouth

                      ...of law. For everyone.

                      Bush and Cheney certainly showed what happens when you ignore due process and the rule of law just because you think someone is a bad guy.

                      Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... --RFK

                      by expatjourno on Wed May 04, 2011 at 04:30:56 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  holy shit (5+ / 0-)

                  now you are advocating criminal penalties for someone who has not been convicted!

                  •  Assault its a crime (5+ / 0-)

                    Check it out.

                    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

                    by Betty Pinson on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:00:26 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  yes but it is not a sex crime (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      AaronInSanDiego, BYw

                      your comment:

                      He should also be listed as a registered sex offender
                    •  It's not a sex crime (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      kingyouth, zett, Wednesday Bizzare

                      And while I'm pretty disgusted they offered this asshole an easy out like that instead of taking him to trial, the idea your advocating is totalitarian in nature.

                      Fortune Favors the Bold

                      by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 05:27:15 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  If they offered a plea (0+ / 0-)

                        like this it's because they didn't have enough evidence to be confident of a conviction for a sexual assault charge. As such they use the fear of the more severe charge to get him to cop to the lesser charge.

                        This is a very common tactic used by DA's to keep their conviction rates up. It relies on the fact that it is expensive and time consuming to fight a charge combined with the fear of the worst case scenario of what happens if you lose.

                        You can be pretty sure that had the DA had any DNA or other physical evidence they'd not have offered the plea which makes the entire case somewhat questionable to my mind.

                        Teenagers almost by definition are crazy and even they don't know what's going on in their heads most the time. They routinely lie as a matter of habit particularly if it allows them to avoid some consequence (like admitting to a strict religious father that they're sexually active, or conversely the boy realizing that having sex with a drunk girl could be considered rape) and generally don't have any real conception of the long term repercussions of their actions particularly to others.

                        Parents of course take the sides of their children assuming they are 100% truthful and innocent even when they know that those same children are dishonest lying little scumbags, because even if they are dishonest lying little scumbags your job as a parent is to protect them.

                        The DA's primary interest is in scoring a conviction by any means necessary whether the accused is actually guilty of the crime or not.

                        As Johnnie Cochran said

                         

                        ..because while you may guarantee that you will not commit a
                        crime, you cannot guarantee that you will not someday be charged with a crime.

                        So yes men can get a little defensive of this sort of thing even those of us who are truly sympathetic to women in these situations.

                        Because we are not without experience with the less pleasant side of the "fairer gender" with their vindictiveness their pettiness and their almost instinctual ability to lie and manipulate.

                        And don't give me that gender bias crap. I've got both a son and daughter, my son is just now figuring out how to lie (badly) at 7 while my 3 year old daughter is already a practiced pro.

                        There is probably an evolutionary factor behind that having to deal with the different roles men and women generally play in society but that's a bit tangental.  

                        So yeah expect men to react badly to assertions that all women should be taken at their word and a man considered guilty of any charge someone lacking a Y chromosome levels at them until they are proven innocent.

                         

                •  Wow, Betty. (8+ / 0-)

                  I just... I just can't get over someone wanting someone who was never convicted of rape to be registered as a sex offender.

                  Frankly, I can't believe any liberal would support "sex offender registration" in the first place, considering the well documented cases of people being put on such lists inappropriately as well as young people being put on such lists for "crimes" that would fall under another state's Romeo and Juliet laws.

                  The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10

                  by Rick Aucoin on Wed May 04, 2011 at 01:40:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Welcome to the wonderful world (4+ / 0-)

                    Of extremist radical feminisms, where civil rights such as due process become quaint tools of the patriarchy we'd all be better off without.

                    You'd think people who's ideology spends so much time analyzing power relations would understand how dangerous these ideas are to basic human rights, but no such luck.

                    Fortune Favors the Bold

                    by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 05:32:22 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Thing is... (0+ / 0-)

                      ... I really respect Betty, I've found myself in agreement with many many posts of hers here.

                      Guess everyone has their one thing that someone else will find them irrational about.

                      (note: I'm not calling Betty irrational, I'm saying I find her position on this one issue irrational)

                      The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10

                      by Rick Aucoin on Wed May 04, 2011 at 07:11:13 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  We all have our biases (0+ / 0-)

                        And the more emotion we have invested in them, the more the can cloud our vision.

                        Obviously, I can understand how sexual violence against women is an emotional issue. Given that the morality of our society treats women as literally subhuman, there's a lot to be pissed off about.

                        Fortune Favors the Bold

                        by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 07:52:06 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  True. *sigh* (0+ / 0-)

                          It's always a warning sign in these diaries too when the commenters start personalizing the subject matter.  

                          I have to avoid the LGBT diaries because of this sort of thing and I'm a dedicated supporter of gay marriage and equal rights.  *sigh  

                          The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10

                          by Rick Aucoin on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:46:08 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Extremist? Radical? (0+ / 0-)

                      Ridiculous.  

                      No, men don't have the right to victimize those who are less powerful.  Yes, there is such a thing as a sex crime and those who engage in abuse of those less powerful than them are cowards.

                      It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

                      by Betty Pinson on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:27:46 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  things which have nothing to do with my comment (0+ / 0-)

                        That's not what I was referring to. I was referring to trying to correct centuries of patriarchal oppression by redefining due process. If that's not what you're suggesting and I misunderstood, then I apologize, but if that's what you did indeed mean there's no other word for that besides extreme.

                        For the record, I don't think radical politics are a bad thing. My politics are pretty radical, at least by the standards of this country. I was simply identifying the general school of feminism I believed your comments are consistent with, and modifying it with the word extreme to defenestrate it from radical feminists who don't want to repeal the Enlightenment.

                        Fortune Favors the Bold

                        by Goldfish on Thu May 05, 2011 at 12:50:14 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You call women "extremists" and "radicals" (0+ / 0-)

                          when they try to defend others against sex crimes and institutional discrimination of the worst kind.

                          That's not only wrong and offensive, its disgusting.

                          I can't imagine anyone who calls themselves a Democrat would have the gall to attack women with such venom when they're defending others against sex crimes and discrimination.

                          Rape is wrong, sexual assault is wrong, whether or not they're successfully prosecuted in a broken justice system or whether they're still allowed in a sick society. They are still wrong, they are still crimes committed by sick, twisted people who will go on to prey on others.

                          If you choose to defend that behavior, go ahead. But don't engage in sexist name calling against those who oppose it. If you do, expect to be called out for it.

                          It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

                          by Betty Pinson on Thu May 05, 2011 at 08:55:32 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  As a woman and a feminist (0+ / 0-)

                    I view it differently.  

                    Yes, sex offender registries are necessary to protect the rights and safety of women and children.  If someone doesn't want to appear on one, they should avoid those crimes.

                    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

                    by Betty Pinson on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:25:19 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And the accuracy of conviction is 100%? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Occulus

                      Or close enough that you're willing to sacrifice the occasional innocent man in the name of security theatre?  

                      Because many guys who are guilty of being 19 and having a 16 year old girlfriend end up on these lists.  Lives destroyed for the appearance of security.

                      Sex offender registries don't protect the rights and safety of women.  They are simply additional punishment past the sentence issued by a court.

                      I've three daughters, I'm far from unsympathetic to the cause of helping women be safer, learn to protect themselves from those rare men who are simply evil.  

                      But this isn't the way.  Especially when people here are talking about adding names of men who haven't been convicted of rape.

                      The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10

                      by Rick Aucoin on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:33:55 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  One problem I have with registries (0+ / 0-)

                      is that at least in some states you get caught peeing in public and end up listed as a 3rd degree sexual offender.  I am highly skeptical that there isn't the slightest hint of sexual assault in this act.

                      Also questionable are those who get charged with statutory rape when the guy is just a couple of years older than the girl.

                      Another problem I have with registries is that it sometimes leads to situations where dangerous offenders can then find nowhere to live and end up living on the street where they will be exposed to far greater temptation and will be provided with a much lower motivation to reform their behavior.

            •  Presumably (0+ / 0-)

              The tort she would sue on would be battery (i.e., unwanted touching).  Considering the overlap between his plea and the elements of the tort of battery, it would be a pretty easy case to win, assuming she can prove damages (which would not have been an element of the criminal charge).

              "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

              by Old Left Good Left on Wed May 04, 2011 at 03:29:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  or how much money the assailant has. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rebel ga

            just sayin'.

            blink-- pale cold

            by zedaker on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:57:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  or 'star-power' which in this case was atheltic (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Betty Pinson, melo

              ability.  If this guy had been a "bad apple" or "loner" or even just a regular student, most likely there would not have been a plea available to him.

              I also wonder who offered the plea?  Don't the parents and the girl have a say in that?  I'm also sure that they didn't want to go through a long drawn out battle and put their daughter at even more risk of trauma.  Of course, I'm sure they never thought that she'd be made to suffer further by the school system.

              Would we be so happy to have a military that dwarfs all others combined if it was a line item deduction on our paychecks next to FICA."

              by Back In Blue on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:40:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  According to local press, (0+ / 0-)

                they were ok with the plea. Of course, I have no idea if that's true.

                If I were the prosecutor after one grand jury refused to indict at all, I'd want the victim to understand that the chances of a trial jury reaching a unanimous guilty verdict in a case with all the complicating variables of this one were a long way from certain.

        •  please (0+ / 0-)
          People in our society are considered innocent of a charge until proven guilty in a court of law.
          umm what country you living in?

          Bad is never good until worse happens

          by dark daze on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:06:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  yeah (0+ / 0-)

          so for you I have to point out shit like, when I call a person a douchebag, I dont actually mean they are a hygiene product?

          Bad is never good until worse happens

          by dark daze on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:08:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

          "Innocent until proven guilty" has no part to play in this--it's not even an actual part of any jurisprudence.  If it was, how could you explain arrest, pre-trial detention, or bail requirements?  After all, if everyone is innocent until proven guilty, it must take a guilty verdict to lock someone up.  There is such a thing as a presumption of innocence--but that is basically a presumption that says the prosecution must prove a crime, not that a defendant must prove innocence.  Practically speaking, the presumption is overcome by any smidgeon of evidence that tends to prove a defendants guilt.

          For example, I think bin Laden is a murderer, based on my analysis of his role in 9/11.  The lack of a jury conviction doesn't mean he was not a murderer.

          In this case, it appears that the "alleged" rapist plea bargained down to assault.  The victim--who is in possession of the relevant facts--says she was raped.  Nothing about plea bargaining to assault vitiates or conflicts with her claim.  Whereas in a criminal court he would not be required to prove he was not a rapist, this is not a criminal court and those who wish to credit the victim's account are entitled to consider him a rapist on these facts.

          "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

          by Old Left Good Left on Wed May 04, 2011 at 03:25:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  God (0+ / 0-)

          Could you be any more misogynistic and dismissive?

          The phrase "mansplain" was invented for creeps like you.

          Fortune Favors the Bold

          by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 04:58:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  As horrified and nauseated as I am (0+ / 0-)

          on a personal level, I agree with you on a legal level.

          I have to. We must have the same standards, legally, for everyone, or they mean nothing for anyone.

          If someone is accused of rape but only found guilty of assault (regardless of the means of the prosecution achieving the assault conviction or losing the rape conviction), that man is guilty of assault, not rape.

          But that doesn't mean the woman wasn't raped. It just means she got fucked over by the justice system after being raped.

          (I don't like using the term "raped" when referring to anything but actual rape; whereas some would say she was raped again by the justice system, I avoided that particular metaphor on purpose, and said "fucked over." I said "fucked over" instead of "fucked" because - well, read it. It's offensive as hell, so, that's why.)

        •  Nonsense (0+ / 0-)

          people are only considered innocent in a court of law. The rest of us our perfectly free to make our own judgement.

          Also not that he was not in fact found not guilty of rape, he merely plead to a lesser charge, so it is not even remotely like he was exonerated. In fact, one would have to assume that he would not plead guilty to assault if that is all he were guilty of.

          The press may feel an obligation to use words like "alleged" in cases like this, but I don't see that applies to us. Frankly, I get annoyed when I hear reporters talk about "alleged" crimes that were witnessed by many people or caught on video tape.

    •  I was not a witness to the assault (12+ / 0-)

      Rakheem Bolton pleaded guilty to assault and so is an assailant in the eyes of the law. I made no claim in the diary that he'd been convicted of rape - the appellation "rapist" is based on HS's accusation and not on any conviction. The next time I see Mr. Bolton, I'll apologize.

      •  you made a claim that he was a rapist (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        khereva, expatjourno, Rick Aucoin

        repeatedly, in fact, while in fact he has been convicted of no such thing.

        Does the mere accusation of someone being a terrorist make them a terrorist?  Nope, that needs to be determined by the justice system.  Same here.

        •  No. When we call wall st. financial goons (40+ / 0-)

          Financial terrorists, we are not naming something they have been proving of doing. We can use our familiarity with the way our financial systems work, how various experts explain the situations we find ourselves in and the role that the most important people likely played in this fiasco to understand their probably culpability whether they are ever convicted of anything.

          Rape has a long and ignoble history of being extremely difficult to prove and women/girls as a class of not being believed. I'm not obligated to hold that the ruling for the plea was what he actually did anymore than I must believe that pedophilic priests who weren't convicted are innocent until they are held guilty in a court of law.

          The horror and punishment that the accused frequently go through in order to make the accusation, coupled with a history of plea bargains that allow rapists to continue on their merry way, allows me to feel quite comfortable with brandishing that moniker.

          New information is always possible, but as a rule, accusers don't lie about being raped. They are far, far more likely to not report than to lie about it once they do.

          Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

          by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:21:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  this is a really good comment actually (7+ / 0-)

            much food for thought.  Thanks!

            •  Thanks, fizziks, I appreciate that! (6+ / 0-)

              Esp. b/c I was really angry when I wrote it and I clearly had some editing issues. Thanks for having an open mind.

              Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

              by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:26:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  for sure (6+ / 0-)

                although let me state that while I am seeing that it is appropriate for people to share their opinions on what they thing might have happened in this incident, I am truly apalled by those who are saying that there should be criminal penalties applied to people who haven't been duely tried and convicted.   That is disgusting.

                •  Agreed n/t (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fizziks, Strange New World, BYw, kingyouth

                  Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                  by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:53:38 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  HE PLED OUT TO AVOID A CONVICTION. ADMISSION (9+ / 0-)

                  OF GUILT in a lesser charge to avoid having his football scholarship forfeited and potentially going to prison where IMHO he should be anyhow. No, the girl / her family have no say. Deals like this are done by lawyers. Listen to the video of the $%#@& special prosecutor's comments on the "state's satisfaction" in this case.

                  It stinks to high heaven. This girl was raped by schoolmates who just happened to be star ballplayers. She was a cheerleader, meaning she was herself an athlete and popular in the school, but when she felt she justifiably could not applaud the jerk who had sexually assaulted her, the SCHOOL piled on.

                  This particular defendant in the case PLED GUILTY to a LESSER CHARGE to avoid going to trial and potentially getting the punishment he deserved.

                  LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

                  by BlackSheep1 on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:06:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Indeed. And here we have example number (10+ / 0-)

                    4,455,231 of how we create a rape friendly culture. Lather, rinse, repeat. These are the conversations we need to be having. And until we do, we can look forward to the next million examples of how we create rape-friendly culture. We may not be able to label someone legally without a conviction, but we've got to start dealing with the ease with which boys and men avoid those convictions.

                    Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                    by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:36:22 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  not everyone who pleads guilty to a lesser charge (4+ / 0-)

                    is guilty of a greater charge.  

                    I'm not claiming to know anything about this case particularly, for I don't know the facts.  But all over our justice system, DAs propose plea bargains and defendents take them, because they figure it is the best they can do, and they know the public defender won't put a lot of effort into their case.  That doesn't mean that every one of those defendents was guilty, or that they were also guilty of something else too.

                    •  In almost all cases, when we're talking rape (6+ / 0-)

                      and sexual assault, that is the case. It's very rare for someone to start out accusing rape and then for the accusation to change. What's far more likely is the evidence isn't there or there's a knowledge of juries not wanting to convict based on the specifics of the case/knowledge of the surrounding community values.

                      Rape/sexual assault isn't like other crimes. There just isn't the same pervasive history, across race and class, of blaming the victim with other criminal charges. Of course when you add race and class into the mix, it becomes even more obvious how messed up and unprotected women and girls are. And I'm not suggesting race and class don't have their own history of affecting justice. That history is horrific and it's also currently difficult for people with no money or brown skin to achieve the same justice as people with money and/or white skin.

                      But rape/sexual assault are tied to women/girls as property. It wasn't until the 1990's that the last U.S. state put marital rape as a crime on its books. For most of U.S. history, you could rape your wife and it wasn't even considered a crime.

                      Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                      by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 01:19:56 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  For the protection of other women (5+ / 0-)

            The perp should be labeled a rapist.  

            These are never isolated instances and young men who sexually assault women usually continue to victimize more women throughout their lifetime.

            Women are entitled to know who presents a danger to them.

            It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

            by Betty Pinson on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:08:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  nope (9+ / 0-)

              it is one thing for people to argue that they know better than the courts about a particular incident.

              It is quite another to apply a criminal penalty for a crime to someone who has merely been accused, not duely convicted in a fair trial in a court of law.

              Here's a link to the Fifth Amendment in the Bill of Rights.  You need to read it.  Over and over.  Stat.

              •  Women have their own way (4+ / 0-)

                of getting this information out.

                Their safety is more important than this creep's rights.  His crimes will likely escalate in the years ahead and could end up costing someone their life.

                It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

                by Betty Pinson on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:55:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  well my safety is more important (6+ / 0-)

                  than some accused terrorists' rights, so we had better throw people in Guantanamo, no trial, and throw away the key.

                  Safety is paramount.

                  •  Defending rapists (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    rebel ga, Tookish, CA TreeHugger

                    isn't exactly honorable.  Engaging in hyperbole and false equivalence to do so... well...

                    Sorry, but sexual and violent crimes against women and girls are still unacceptably high in this country, despite decades of trying to educate and elevate the male population.

                    Decades of empirical evidence have shown that males who begin offending at such an early age (in this case, high school) are on the path to becoming very dangerous people.   The justice system has treated this perp very, very well.  It may have even emboldened him to believe that his sick attitude towards women is just and correct.  

                    God help the women who encounter him in the future, not knowing how dangerous he is.

                    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

                    by Betty Pinson on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:14:04 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  you advocated putting someone on a sex registry (8+ / 0-)

                      who was not found guilty of a sexual crime.  

                      You say I am "defending rapists" when I insist on the protections of the Bill of Rights for the accused.  Other people say I am "defending terrorists" when I do the same.  Congratulations, you are the same as those people!

                      •  fizziks--you are clearly and rightfully passionate (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Betty Pinson, page394, CA TreeHugger

                        about the protections afforded to you via the bill of rights. Do you recognize that there is an enormous class of people (women and girls--age doesn't matter) who are not protected by that document wrt this issue? We lack protection. We are not being protected. And the conversations for that protection aren't happening. There is desperation, fear, despair, anger, rage, and trauma. We are asking for this to be taken seriously. Even tho' violating the Bill of Rights isn't an acceptable action, action is needed. This situation is deplorable.

                        Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                        by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:44:13 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I hope you would agree with me that (5+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Sparhawk, AaronInSanDiego, BYw, kingyouth, zett

                          putting someone on a sex offender registry when they haven't been found guilty of a sex crime is not consistent with the Bill of Rights?

                          If so, then the position of the commenter I responded to is indefensible.

                          As to what to do about the problem of rape and people getting away with rape, there are no easy solutions, just like there no easy solutions to the very real threat and reality of terrorism.  But overriding the 5th Amendment is not an acceptible remedy for either.  

                          •  I agree that we can't put someone on an offender (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Betty Pinson, CA TreeHugger, Goldfish

                            registry without a conviction. What I'm speaking to is what you are definitive about. You and I agree with the bill of rights as inviolate. But when you write this:

                            As to what to do about the problem of rape and people getting away with rape, there are no easy solutions, just like there no easy solutions to the very real threat and reality of terrorism.

                            You misunderstand the nature of rape, the culture we are actively creating to support it and the ways that yes, it can be solved. Easy doesn't matter. Solutions matter. CA Treehugger's comment includes this:

                            Go outside the US institutions... like Wikileaks. Host a rapist repository website outside the reach of US lawyers and their slander & libel lawsuits. The domain .ru has plenty of suitable servers.

                            We have some process whereby victims can submit cases to be considered by the women who run the site. All the information will be posted online, including that which was "impermissible" in court in the US. And we include photos of the perps, etc.

                            This should be a global website, serving women globally, and not only US women.

                            because she recognizes the intolerable situation occurring and that the laws that currently exist are actively supporting a second tier of perpetration on women and children. So, I was inviting you to generalize your passion for the protections afforded to you by the bill of rights to a greater understanding of legal protection, what it means when some classes have it and others don't, and why it's just as important as maintaining the integrity of the bill of rights. I'm hoping to help you shift your focus and realize the 4 billion or so of us who are at the mercy of laws that usually don't protect us vis a vis rape and assault. I say 4 billion b/c it's a global problem, not just a U.S. problem.

                            Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                            by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:57:10 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I should qualify that we can't put someone (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Betty Pinson, CA TreeHugger, Goldfish

                            on an OFFICIAL registry without the formal conviction. But see the thread below and esp. CA Treehugger's comments for why a Wiki is a very appropriate idea in response to the continued lack of protection our fabulous legal system affords women and children re; rape.

                            Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                            by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 01:36:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  How does violating someone else's rights (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Tookish

                          protect yours?

                          Fortune Favors the Bold

                          by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 05:40:10 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  If laws are set up to protect perpetrators (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Betty Pinson

                            and convictions are very difficult to get, and we have an unofficially sanctioned rape-culture that prevents us from seeing how many threads work together simultaneously to communicate the availability and public ownership of women;s bodies, then we have a stacked deck. Your question presumes an even deck. It's not even.

                            Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                            by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:59:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Women are not the only group (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            zett, Tookish, fizziks

                            the justice system systematically oppresses.  If you can't see how weakening due process rights would lead to even greater oppression, then I would respectfully suggest it may be you who are not seeing all the threads and are perhaps blinded by your own privilege.  If you think that the result of rearranging our justice system to provide less protection to accused rapists than to other criminals, would not be the near universal application of the "enhanced" due process to the detriment of minority defendants, you are ignorant of history.

                            You may or may not be aware of this, but the same "victims rights" arguments being brought up on this thread have been a hobby horse of certain right-wingers for a long time now, and a codeword for post-Jim Crow racism.

                            You're right, the deck isn't even, and not just for women. You don't solve anything by shifting the burden of oppression on to someone else, not even as a stop-gap measure.

                            Fortune Favors the Bold

                            by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 07:46:17 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't consider the burden being shifted (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Goldfish, Betty Pinson

                            in anywhere near equal degree by setting up something extra-legally such as a Wiki for offenders. I don't support anything in violation of the bill of rights, which I stated up thread multiple times. A lot of people broke a lot of laws to show the unfairness of Jim Crow. We don't have an obvious Jim Crow for women. It's far more difficult to identify. I agree that there are many oppressed groups. In terms of rape and sexual assault, women and girls are by far the main group affected. For crimes that affect any group (and in this case we're talking freaking half the population!) to the disproportionate degree that rape and sexual assault does women and girls, I do support looking at extra-legal and non-violent ways to address it.

                            Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                            by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:05:15 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm not talking about the wiki idea (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            fizziks, Tookish

                            I'm talking about what was mentioned earlier about things like designating people as sex offenders without a conviction or other procedural changes to the existing criminal justice system.

                            I've already stated several times that I support extra-legal remedies. I think one or both of us is getting our threads mixed up, because we're clearly talking about two different things.

                            But actually, now that you mention the rapistwiki again, that is another concern I have about it: that it could be, inadvertently or maliciously subverted into a tool of racist propaganda. How do you stop the Andrew Breitbart from flooding it with false reports accusing random black men of rape? How do you sort out false claims from the legitimate ones? What do you do if it after being operational for a while, there are a lot more reports against minority offenders than white ones?

                            If you're serious about this idea, these are questions you need to start asking now.

                            Fortune Favors the Bold

                            by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:20:03 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I think the best way to do that is to do (0+ / 0-)

                            everything I can to combat racism. In every form, at every opportunity. So that Breitbarts don't carry as much weight and there isn't as much racist angst to channel. And frankly, the same questions exist about the status quo. There is rampant, extra-legal and thoroughly culturally supported misogynistic belief about the ownership of women's and girls bodies. This is not theoretical. I don't have to imagine it or come up with anticipatory solutions for problems that might happen. It's happening. It's intolerable. And I guess I'm curious if you have asked such hard questions about what to do about a legal system that was designed to protect perpetrators and how that disproportionately and legally affects women and girls?

                            Sometimes laws are really wrong. And sometimes those who are hurt by them need to take creative action. And I support non-violent and creative action that is directed at those who are doing harm. For any issue.

                            If there were a judge who was notorious for racist rulings I would support that fact being made known, publicly. I would support a church that donated to a homophobic campaign being picketed even tho' they have a soup kitchen. I would support a business that uses the labor of immigrants and refuses to provide safe work conditions being boycotted and publicly shamed, even if some of their money goes to scholarships for Latinos to go to college. People are going to get hurt no matter what we do. Innocent people. Children. It's not ok and something (non-violent, and within our current framework of rights) needs to be done.

                            If I were talking with someone of color as a white person, and they were suggesting some type of political action that I thought would threaten me as a woman (my marginalized status) I would consider the need for it in relationship to the loss of my safety. Many white people are bitter about affirmative action (they imagine they lost jobs due to "other, less qualified" people cutting in line). I think that if that did happen (and I know that it mostly doesn't but even if it did) fuck that is the price we pay as whites for owning other human beings for as long as we did. I don't care that I am not a decedent of slave owners. The transfer of privilege, wealth, power, and education is increased when made through white ancestral lines. I don't mind the pendulum swinging a bit away from my personal best interests when there is a greater justice being served.

                            Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                            by Tookish on Thu May 05, 2011 at 09:50:26 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  What you are actually demanding is that legal (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Tookish, Betty Pinson, Goldfish

                        institutions known to be biased in favor of rapists should be the only institutions with any power over the reputations of rapists.

                        That is rubbish. There are other ways to make rapists pay a reputational cost and to shame the legal institutions at the same time.

                        Go outside the US institutions... like Wikileaks. Host a rapist repository website outside the reach of US lawyers and their slander & libel lawsuits. The domain .ru has plenty of suitable servers.

                        We have some process whereby victims can submit cases to be considered by the women who run the site. All the information will be posted online, including that which was "impermissible" in court in the US. And we include photos of the perps, etc.

                        This should be a global website, serving women globally, and not only US women.

                        •  I think such a thing would slander many innocent (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Sparhawk, AaronInSanDiego, BYw, zett

                          people, in addition to the guilty ones.

                          But legally, it probably couldn't be stopped.

                          •  Perhaps that should be the cost of rape culture (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tookish, Betty Pinson, page394

                            in the 21st century.

                            If cyber vigilantism is what it takes to "persuade" proponents of due process to change their due processes so that they begin to protect women and girls, so be it.

                          •  But if it's known (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            fizziks

                            that many innocent people were caught up in the dragnet, how would anyone know when the website profiled someone who was in fact guilty? It would have no credibility, and therefore be ineffective at its stated purpose.

                            Fortune Favors the Bold

                            by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:07:16 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If innocent people are worried about (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            CA TreeHugger, Betty Pinson

                            being put on a Wiki-type registry for rape offenders, I would strongly suggest that they get more informed about rape culture, what it is and how it's formed and maintained. B/c the truth is, the sooner we get rid of the fertile ways in which it's fetid practitioners are created and protected, the safer we'll all be. It's the RAPE CULTURE you need to be mad about/concerned about/dealing with--not women who are appropriately angry and choose to take action to protect themselves and children from assault by non-violent and creative means. It's epidemic, it's a massive problem, and it's not getting better; it's getting worse.

                            Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                            by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 01:02:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  We know what the problem is (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tookish, Betty Pinson, page394, Goldfish

                            17 year old boys who lock girls in a bathroom to try to gang rape them are having "youthful indiscretions" which are similar to things that many, many an adult male did in his youth. They identify with the poor male kid, never with the girl. And too many women are still afraid to say anything that will deeply challenge or upset the males in their life.

                            There can be no "painless" way to end this unjust privilege of males. A new standard of conduct, with criminal penalties, has to be imposed at some point, regardless of the sympathies of older males who "didn't have it so hard in my day".

                            New rule: rape isn't ok even if you are a kid. No means no, and it isn't arguable. If you don't get that, you risk being treated as a young offender.

                            In the meantime, since we don't live in such a world, we have to make the male privilege even more expensive for them than reform. Don't look to the law alone to solve this. We need to take action ourselves. This is the age of cyber uprisings. We can make the rapists pay reputationally in novel, new-media, ways.

                          •  I'm right with you on this and I say that as (4+ / 0-)

                            the mother of three boys, ages 14, 11, and 5. My 14 year old has been raised with a steady barrage of "I don't care if she doesn't say "no". You look for the enthusiastic YES. Then, there's no confusion." I don't want my boys to harm anyone, especially mistakenly, out of their misunderstanding of privilege. If there is ever some heavyhanded response to the crossing of a line with a girl that seems disproportionate to the offense, I will chalk that up to what it means when the pendulum swings. I don't anticipate false accusations, b/c I know those are very rare and that if you look for the enthusiastic YES they are non-existent. I loved your idea for a Wiki. It reminds me of the woman in NYC (?) who took pix of assailants on the subway and posted them online. I welcome the transparency. I'm sick to death of the fear residing only among those who are the most victimized.

                            Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                            by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 01:33:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  In general (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          fizziks

                          I like it when people organize to circumvent flawed or corrupted systems, but in this case I have some questions as to specifically how it could be implemented, particularly around vetting material.

                          Would it be a true wiki, open for anyone to post on? If so how would prevent internet trolls from either using it as a toll of on-line harassment and character assassination, or simply trolling it into interoperability?

                          If it followed the wikileaks model literally, how would accountability of its leaders be insured?

                          Overall, I think this is good idea but I'm not sure how workable it would be in practice.

                          Fortune Favors the Bold

                          by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:05:27 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  How is that false equivalency? (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      zett, fizziks

                      Or even hyperbole? You want to violate someone's right to due process because of the danger they pose to others. This is literally the same argument used to justify indefinite detention of terrorism suspects. The same argument, quite literally, as used to justify torture.

                      You are literally making the same argument in this case used by Dick Cheney and every other right-wing goon to shred the Constitution. If you want to join them, go for it, but don't expect any applause from this community.

                      Fortune Favors the Bold

                      by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 05:39:05 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  So feminists are right wingers now? (0+ / 0-)

                        You may want to reconsider.  Women's rights are equal to those of men, equal in every way.

                        Rape is not ok.  Rape culture, though prevalent, is unacceptable.  I can't believe we still have to teach American men these basic truths.  

                        It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

                        by Betty Pinson on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:36:21 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  yes, feminists are BEHAVING like right wingers (0+ / 0-)

                          in this case.  Exactly like them.  And you are advocating for one of their major policies.

                          •  How are registries for RSO's bad? (0+ / 0-)

                            Many who engage in sexual crimes tend to believe there is nothing wrong with their behavior, that sexual abuse of others is normal.  Its an established fact that many categories of sexual offenders have a rate of recidivism.  Most are lifelong predators. They're not people who were caught looking at porn on the internet.

                            Have you taken a look at any of the RSO registries?

                            Its not easy to make the list, and they do contain details about the convictions of the perps on display.  

                            The bar is set fairly high. You have to have been convicted of some serious offenses to make the list. There are 3 levels - Low, medium and high risk. Most states only show Level 2 and Level 3 offenders on their registries.

                            Link

                            As the Texas case in the diary shows, its difficult to obtain convictions against sex offenders. The judicial system is usually tilted in favor of perps, with a high burden of proof required from victims.

                            Women and children have a right to protect themselves from sexual predators.

                            It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

                            by Betty Pinson on Thu May 05, 2011 at 11:34:06 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  umm yeah (0+ / 0-)

                            notice I am not arguing against sex offender registries at all.

                            I am arguing against people who have not been found guily of a sex crime being put on sex offender registries.

                            Big difference there.

                            The later (extrajudical punishment, denial of due process, etc.) would be the thing that a right winger would love, and the thing you advocated above.

              •  I think Betty Pinson is speaking of the current (11+ / 0-)

                perp who pleaded assault down from rape. She is referring to how we continue our rape culture by allowing perps who are convicted, just not of rape (even tho' that's what they did) continue to be a danger and menace to other girls/women. It's a real problem and while I agree that there's no way to justify a legally sanctioned letter R to emblazzen his body, we need to start having more conversations about how we create a rape-friendly environment. Think about how many times you've been in a conversation about how women need to learn self defense, or women shouldn't be doing or wearing or whatevering...
                the focus is always, always, on the woman. Here is an example of a commenter trying to shift that focus to the perp. Except many times we aren't allowed to name what he does b/c it's so hard to prove and there's no criminal record to point to. How many more times will he rape? As Betty said, rapists almost always repeat. Especially when they don't even think what they did was rape, when the girl they raped was kicked off the cheerleading squad, and now must pay $45K in legal fees. And he can continue to play basketball. Clearly, what he did wasn't so bad, now was it?

                Now think of how this feels when we're discussing financial crimes or the fact that many of the players in the lead-up to the iraq war were involved in Watergate, Iran-Contra etc (Perlman's Nixonland is an excellent book that documents this). Yet b/c these guys aren't ever convicted of anything, we can't really hold them accountable. And they just continue to perpetrate. Now, imagine if everywhere you turned was just a constant stream of blame for what you did to deserve their criminal activity.

                I'm a huge fan of the Bill of  Rights. HUGE fan. Do not want to see it compromised. But when a class of people can't find protection with that, there's something really really wrong.

                Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:03:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You Said It All Tookish! n/t (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tookish, mamamedusa

                  Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

                  by rebel ga on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:31:43 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  So true (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tookish, CA TreeHugger, mamamedusa

                  There is still something so drastically wrong with our culture when it remains so difficult to pursue conviction for sex crimes.

                  Younger people probably don't realize, but this is a battle women have been openly fighting for nearly 50 yrs.

                  It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

                  by Betty Pinson on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:47:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You can't make an exception in one case (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fizziks

                  And then expect it never to be made again.

                  Systems of seek to maximize their power against the restraints we place on them. Take off those restraints, even for a moment to give the system greater power, and you will spend years fighting to take that power back.

                  As anyone familiar with rape culture knows, this situation of a plea to a lesser charge is hardly singular. That's the issue we should be attacking, not creating ad hoc solutions to punish people in ways that, while morally deserved, are contrary to human rights.

                  Fortune Favors the Bold

                  by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:15:28 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  In my mind it's not either/or...there's precedent (0+ / 0-)

                    for calling out perps via the web with women sick to death of being harassed on subways. They snap photos and post them. It's a way of shifting the power balance. That shouldn't be instead of prosecuting perps, but until we get that side of things going, women and girls are left hanging and it's just not ok. I am totally in agreement that we should be attacking from the plea bargain angle too. But we are up against a tremendous amount of habit, misinformation, disinformation, and flat out misogyny. It's going to take a while.

                    I don't see the problem with a Wiki for sexual assault. Could it be abused? Yeah. Are women and children actually being abused and have been for centuries? Yeah. Does the law protect them in any meaningful way? Not really. So, why is it a problem to discuss non-violent ways to shift the focus from all the socially sanctioned things women need to be doing (self-defense, don't walk to your car alone, don't go out to bars by yourself, don't go to parties and get drunk etc.), to considering the perps and what they are doing? We disappear the perpetrators in the equation all the time. They need to be made visible. It's their behaviors I want to discuss. It's their freedoms I'd like to have limited. I think if we really got serious about addressing rape culture the need for that kind of Wiki would be very short-lived.

                    Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                    by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:55:59 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  We're talking about two different things (0+ / 0-)

                      You're talking about the idea of a rapistwiki, which I mentioned elsewhere I conditionally support.

                      I was talking about the criminal justice system designating as sex offenders people who had not been convicted of a sex offense, such as the offender in this case.

                      Fortune Favors the Bold

                      by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 07:19:00 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Oh I unequivocally do *not* support a formal (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Goldfish

                        registry controlled by the state that puts people on it who've not been convicted of anything. I actually made that point further up thread but it's understandable that one might've missed it. Lots of conversation and back and forth!

                        Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                        by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:58:38 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Yeah, I did miss you saying that (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Tookish

                          Thanks for clarifying.

                          For the record, in case you missed the posts were I said it: I support the wiki idea in principle but have reservations about its practical workability.

                          Fortune Favors the Bold

                          by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:33:47 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

              •  No, you need to understand that he's guilty (7+ / 0-)

                he admitted guilt.

                He pled to a lesser charge to avoid trial and conviction. Nothing undue in understanding that yes, he did assault her. Yes, it was nonconsensual sexual activity. Yes, this bastard is a sex offender.

                As much as or more so than any other jerkwad who goes on the list for public exposure (as in watering the grass in the bar ditch when it's 100 miles to the nearest rest stop).

                LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

                by BlackSheep1 on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:08:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Right. It's indisputable in my mind that (4+ / 0-)

                  he is a rapist. The problem is labeling anyone without a conviction flies in the face of our bill of rights. Which means that we have a major problem. Because women and girls continue to go unprotected and indeed hung out to dry by a system that allows protections for perps without holding them accountable. It is vile, toxic, and I would like for fizziks to be as outraged by the current state of affairs vis a vis how vulnerable girls and women are as he is passionate about the protections afforded to him via the bill of rights.  

                  Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                  by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:41:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The plea system is insane (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    zett, Betty Pinson, mamamedusa

                    Guilty people plead down to avoid the consequences of their actions, and innocent people plead guilty to avoid the risk of a trial. Justice is very rarely served by it.

                    I've avoided this point earlier in the thread because I didn't want to be seen as distracting from just how badly the justice system treats women in cases like this, but the system really doesn't do anyone any favors. Its rotten and corrupt. It needs to be torn down and rebuilt from the ground floor.

                    Fortune Favors the Bold

                    by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:19:28 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  actually (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mamamedusa

                    it's my understanding that labeling someone without conviction does not fly in the face of our Bill of Rights. For the government to punish someone without conviction obviously flies in the face of it. For us to merely call someone something he or she has not been convicted of is simply a matter of freedom of speech, which is protected by the Bill of Rights.

                    I suppose you could say the law of slander/libel is a partial exception to this but if I'm not mistaken it applies in only a quite narrow and specific range of circumstances - knowingly and publicly saying things one knows not to be true in order to damage someone.

                    •  You're right (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      david graeber, HRs Kevin

                      There's a website called "don't date him sister" for cheating boyfriends.  Having one for suspected rapists is much more serious, but there is a big difference between an official registry and communities of private citizens sharing knowledge and opinions, even if it names possible criminals.  Such a community would likely be self-policing enough (like Wikipedia) to drive out the false accusations and trolling.

                      I'm not saying I would actually support such a site, but I don't see any legal barriers to it.  If it helps prevent rapes it's likely to be a good thing on balance.  However my guess is that most potential rape victims don't have the opportunity to google the full names of their assaulters before it happens, so the usefulness would be limited.

                      And yes, there are libel laws to prevent the worst abuses of such a site.

                      More fundamentally, I believe it's the culture among males that needs to change for rapes to go down significantly.   Trying to tweak the rules of evidence or sentencing will likely have little deterrant because sexual impulses tend to short-circuit that kind of long-term enlightened self-interest.  Peer pressure and social revulsion (as already exists with pedophilia) towards more run-of-the-mill date rapes will work far better than the threat of legal repercussions.

                      The culture has already changed significantly for things like seatbelts, drunk driving and even youth smoking.  There's no reason it couldn't change for the kind of aggressive sexual behavior that leads to rape too.

            •  what is the actual difference (0+ / 0-)

              between rape and sexual assault, such that this distinction is considered so morally important? Are we saying (for example) that if a man, say, places his penis inside a woman he is forcibly holding down, then that is a terrible crime, but if he places some other object inside her, then it is morally an entirely different matter and it is a terrible injustice to refer to him as a "rapist"?

              I'm asking in part because I simply don't know the law. But also, because it strikes me there is a profound difference between legality and morality here - even apart from the plea bargaining issue - and much of this conversation seems to be blurring that distinction.

          •  That is the key thing to remember (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tookish, CA TreeHugger, Betty Pinson

            it's very rare that women make false accusations of rape that go this far. Women have basically little incentive to do so, particularly in a case like this where the accuser had literally no motivation for her claim.  Why on earth take on the ire of a Texas town onto herself for no reason? That she then went further and took action to stand up for herself in front of her community is even more rare.

            We can all play the odds all we want, but the idea that she made this up out of whole cloth - when an assault was already officially admitted, putting the assailant on the scene and harming the victim - seems naiive.  

            The court has "reasonable doubt" as a standard, and it's very, very easy to sow doubt in cases like this.  That's why this guy got off.

            Let's remember that people around here are often outraged at bullying of gay kids and muslim kids, two groups that are popular targets of harassers these days. None of use required a supreme court case to convince us this sort of thing was happening. But girls have been huge targets for bullying and physical assault for much of recent human history in the vast majority of cultures. What we have here is a living example of how our system - which may be the best system available, but nevertheless - can be easily beaten by sexual bullies and worse.

        •  indicted for sexual assault on a child (11+ / 0-)

          he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of assault.
          his fellow defendant has not yet come to court, according to local news:
          http://www.kfdm.com/...

          he's a football player.

          No wonder they let him go.

          LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:33:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  So the guy who raped me in my home (17+ / 0-)

          . . . cannot be called a rapist because he was not tried and convicted of rape?

          Interesting point of view.

          So my Dad, who liked to diddle little girls like me before we could talk well, was not guilty of child sexual abuse because nobody official caught him and my Mom didn't mind?

          Hmmmm.

          I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

          by CherryTheTart on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:42:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  good points, fizz. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fizziks, Scioto

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:34:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim, Scioto

        and I knew the knee jerk reactions like above were going to come apace.  But still, people in our society are, and should be, considered innocent of a charge until proven guily in a court of law.  

        •  I will, however, continue to say that Bush is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SweetLittleOkie

          a war criminal (along with others) since he has admitted to having ordered the enhanced interrogation that included waterboarding and other measures that people have been convicted of in the past with the same laws on the books then as when Bush gave his orders.  His confirmation/admission is enough for me to label him a criminal.  He just hasn't been (and likely won't ever be) charged yet.  Thanks, Nancy!

        •   fizziks, he admitted guilt in (0+ / 0-)

          court.

          This jerk pleaded guilty to assault on a minor.
          Now, what exactly about that absolves him of guilt????????

           

          LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:12:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Is he a murderer, too? (3+ / 0-)

            He admitted guilt in court, right? He DID NOT admit guilt as to rape. He DID NOT admit rape. HE DID NOT ADMIT TO RAPE! PERIOD!

            Do I think he committed rape? Probably. Is he "morally guilty" of rape? He is if he did it, which we have ample reason to believe he did. Has he been found guilty of rape in a court of law? NO!

            The state CANNOT apply legal sanctions against people without legally establishing a basis for doing so.

            "what exactly about that absolves him of guilt????"

            In return for his plea, the state abandoned the charge of rape, thereby, BY LEGAL DEFINITION, absolving him of guilt as to rape.

    •  The best thing to do is... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arlene, nellgwen, SweetLittleOkie

      ...fight back, on the girl's behalf, against this "Superintendent".

      His email is silsbeeisd.org.

    •  The student athlete Was Convicted Of Assaulting HS (3+ / 0-)

      He Should Have Been Expelled!

      In Texas, where they're always preaching about Chivalry in the Defense Of Southern Womanhood!
      Oh please!
      the student athlete, just plea bargained the charge down to assault! This is So Old!

      He was convicted of Assaulting HS, she may have feared for her safety if she had any interaction with this guy, including cheering!

      I say HS has a case!

      I'm not a lawyer, except I could. My mis-spent youth!

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:56:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  “Shouldn't,” sure. (0+ / 0-)

      The school administration is absolute scum for this.

      But it's completely unclear to me that they didn't have the right to be absolute scum. She was refusing to perform the function of a cheerleader. No matter how good a reason we may find hers to be, how doesn't the Amish Bus Driver Rule apply here?

      Again, my only contention here (and IANAL) is about whether a court of law should be the venue for her grievance. I don't see where the school violated her legal rights by requiring a cheerleader to be a cheerleader. So it comes as no surprise to me that the case is deemed without merit.

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” ― Emma Goldman

      by Code Monkey on Wed May 04, 2011 at 04:25:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I found the 1st amendment claim strange too (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zett, Code Monkey

        It seems more like intentional infliction of emotion distress or some tort of that nature. When I first heard about this law suit, I had a bad feeling it was not going to go well for the victim. I'd really like to know what her lawyer was thinking with this, if he had a good reason for proceeding this way.

        That all said, finding the suit frivolous and forcing the victim to pay legal fees (for fuck's sake!) was fucking beyond the fucking pale.

        Fortune Favors the Bold

        by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 07:27:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It is actually a pretty well-reasoned decision (13+ / 0-)

      Sorry.

      Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

      by dhonig on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:28:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  don't be sorry! (13+ / 0-)

        I think that makes the story even worse - that a well-reasoned decision can be used in this way against HS says a lot about our system of justice and just who it's designed to benefit.

        •  did you read the opinion? (18+ / 0-)

          It might help you understand why this was not a free speech case.

          I do feel sorry for the family, especially if their lawyer did not fully explain to them the likelihood of success of their lawsuit, and that they could be tagged for the legal expenses of the other side.

          •  I think what I'm wondering about from (21+ / 0-)

            yours and others observations that this was not a legitimate free speech case (which may legally be true--INAL), is where is the concern about a profound injustice have just been committed despite the legal correctness of it. This was a horrifying situation. I don't think a response of "gosh I'm sorry...." b/c the family was legally misinformed or b/c oh well that's the breaks or b/c it was a sound legal decision is reasonable from people who are my liberal allies. My god. This is atrocious.

            I am wondering why, among some, there's a (seemingly) comfortable complacence with the ruling and the general outcome of this whole situation rather than the very good question posed by Phoenix Rising about what laws exist to protect someone from this (b/c this girl did deserve protection and was failed by her community, friends, school, and our legal system) or how a different outcome could be produced. At least with those questions, there's an acknowledgment of the intolerable nature of this.

            Where's the curiosity, fed by an abject clarity that no one would want this for their daughter, for their sister, for their niece, for their friend's daughter or granddaughter, or whatever. Why the easy dismissal "Well, the ruling was correct. What can you do? ?"

            Even if we don't have the answers (I sure don't) I can sure as hell be clear that the outcome was really, deeply, profoundly NOT OK.

            Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

            by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:07:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe there are no laws for this situation (12+ / 0-)
              what laws exist to protect someone from this
              Maybe it is only community standards. A community which could have shamed the athlete and bumped him from the squad; a community which could have been empathetic to the girl's situation and the stand she took. That the community failed to do that doesn't necessarily provide legal grounds of any kind. Not every moral or ethical problem has a just answer at the courthouse.
              •  I think you have it backwards (13+ / 0-)

                We don't have laws for things when communities general are able to sort things out for themselves. But when a community like this is not able to do the right thing because they held the athlete in higher regard then the girl he assaulted and their actions offend the consciense of people across the nation, then we look into creating a law to address the issue.

                I would have thought we won't need a law to tell the school that they can't force a girl to cheer for the guy who plead guilt to assaulting her, but apparently we do.

                •  This is a very good point. n/t (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BlackSheep1, Betty Pinson

                  Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                  by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:36:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  That's kind of the point (5+ / 0-)

                  We SHOULDN'T need a law to address this situation.  From a purely legal standpoint, utterly devoid of human emotion, I think the law came out right in this case.  I think that a coach should have the right to remove someone from a team if they are being non-cooperative in some way.  BUT, this case is obviously one where compassion and human decency should have weighed in favor of letting the girl stay on the squad.

                  I guess the moral of the story is that it's really hard to legislate against all of the ways people can be total assholes.

                  •  I think I'd be more ok with that notion (5+ / 0-)

                    that "it's really hard to legislate against all of the ways people can be total assholes" (and have agreed with that in other contexts), except for the fact that we have a long history and present day with women and girls regularly receiving little to no justice and in fact are often harmed by our legal system when it comes to rape and sexual assault. That that pattern exists is what prevents me from seeing this as a situation of humans being assholes (which, of course, they were). It's both/and.

                    Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                    by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:16:19 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's "really hard" because (3+ / 0-)

                      we can't convince people to do it. We have active advocates in our society AGAINST laws designed to address this historic failure of the law to adequately protect women.

                    •  You're absolutely correct (5+ / 0-)

                      The legal system is absolutely wretched on the issue of rape and sexual assault (and really on sexual harassment and discrimination more broadly as well).

                      But in this particular case the legal flaw was the failure to indict and convict the rapist, which would, presumably, have led to him being in jail rather than on the basketball court.  

                      Although that raises another interesting question - what would have happened if he HAD been convicted of rape but received a suspended sentence and returned to school.  Would the situation have played out exactly the same?  Unfortunately I tend to think that it would, but I still don't see any way to correct the situation via the civil courts.  The real issue here is that a criminal got off and an entire community cared more about him than about his victim.  Its certainly not the first time it's happened - - and sadly I'm sure it won't be the last.

                  •  This is why the 1st amendment claim seems strange (0+ / 0-)

                    It's not an issue of speech, it's an issue of the government systematically abusing and victimizing someone. Isn't intentional inflection of emotional distress a tort in Texas?

                    I'm not a lawyer but I have serious questions about the one who handled this case for HS.

                    Fortune Favors the Bold

                    by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:17:33 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Ultimately this is because we still need an ERA (7+ / 0-)

              Women still do not have equal rights under the law. The law was made by men and is biased in favor of rapists.

              It's as simple as that. An ERA would allow wholesale overturning of rape-friendly precedents.

              •  I'm not sure how the ERA (0+ / 0-)

                could have affected a different outcome here, unless you mean HS could have filed suit under it (a case which may or may not have fared any better than this one).

                You can put equal rights in the Constitution, but that by itself won't remedy a gutless prosecutor doing the math of how hard it would be to get grand jury in the capital of rape culture to care more about a rape victim than a male athlete and deciding to take the easy way out with a plea deal.

                Fortune Favors the Bold

                by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:25:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I'm going to try to answer your questions as best (11+ / 0-)

              I can, and hope my answer helps clarify a little.

              The legal system, like every system ever created, has flaws and weaknesses.  However, what we have seems to be one of the best ones developed so far.

              Some of the aspects of the legal system create both its worst weaknesses and its greatest strengths.  This case involves several of those aspects

              One is that rules have been created to avoid abuses of the system.  That is that if a case has no LEGAL merit, and the attorney or person filing it should have known (not necessarily did know, but should have known) that there was no legal basis for the ruling desired nor any reasonable argument that such a legal basis should be created (what is termed a "frivilous" suit, they will be "punished" for filing their suit by having to reimburse whoever they made spend money on defending the frivilous suit.

              The second is that the same rules must be applied to all cases, regardless of the emotions created by a case.  The rules have developed from statutes and prior cases which have been decided.  No court is permitted to say "well, normally this person wouldn't have a case, but I feel so badly for them, that I'm going to decide in their favor anyway."  Rather, the rules must be strictly applied to each case, and if the case doesn't fit, it has to be kicked.

              Those aspects lead create the consistency the law requires and it assures everyone that it will depend as little as possible on the personal opinion and belief of the particular person deciding the case.  Everyone is, in theory, to be treated the same.

              Unfortunately, facts and circumstances don't always fit in quite so nicely with the rules, and sometimes very sympathetic people lose a case it seems should have been won.  

              The reason people in the legal system seem to become blase about those results is they're aware of what the alternative is.  That alternative would be a morass of conflicting cases, with no one having any idea what they could expect to have happen, with the personal opinions, prejudices, beliefs, friendships, etc. of the individual making the decision resulting in consistently unfair and wrong decisions.  Therefore, an occasional  seemingly really bad result is accepted as the cost of getting as close to good results as currently humanly possible in the vast majority of others.

              "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

              by gustynpip on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:47:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I do appreciate your measured and (11+ / 0-)

                informative response. I am very aware of the amount of injustice that currently surrounds how we deal with rape, the utter lack of results most girls/women get and how profoundly unprotected they are, legally.

                I would like commenters who tend toward that more blase attitude to understand just how cutting it is to hear it when many of us are actually survivors or know survivors who were not protected or served by our justice system and do not consider to work for us in this particular arena. This isn't anecdata, either, there's a long history, very fact-based, that demonstrates a profound disregard for girls and women getting justice re; rape.

                Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:59:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I do get that, believe me. Been there myself. (10+ / 0-)

                  When my mother learned a person she liked had molested me for years, her response was "But that was so long ago, what difference does it make now?"  So yeah, the blase hurts.

                  But don't mistake their blase attitude about the result of this particular case with a blase attitude towards rape, because they're quite definitely not one and the same.  They truly are two completely different issues, even though this one deals with rape.  This one also deals with issues such as voluntary participation, free speech, schools.  The rape aspect becomes a peripheral issue that got caught up in the others.

                  If you can understand how different their thought process is when reaching their opinions and conclusions, perhaps it will seem less cutting to you.

                  "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                  by gustynpip on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:24:32 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Maybe there's a both/and to this (4+ / 0-)

                    Thank you for sharing your personal story and I am so sorry for that response you received when you revealed what was happening to you. I agree with what you're saying, that there are ways to arrive at an agreement with this legal decision that don't involve one's feelings about rape or how it's dealt with in the criminal justice system.

                    Just as relevant is the truth that our laws were made by men, many of whom either didn't understand the scope of rape, what contributes to rape culture, or were rapists themselves. And often our laws are a reflection of who has the most power and who is shielded from accountability due to their power. So even tho this wasn't a free speech issue on its face and therefore bound to fail, that doesn't mean rape isn't a factor in the broader impact of the ruling. A rape happened and the ruling impacts our rape-culture in terms of how it communicates to society who is protected and who is punished and for what. The boy pleaded down to assault, can still play basketball. The girl is kicked off the cheerleading team and has no recourse. Now her family must pay for the legal expenses. I refuse to see this outside of a legal system that was designed to maintain patriarchal values and within a country that didn't have the will to pass the ERA.

                    That doesn't make the comments of those here personal, which I appreciate you taking the time to point out. I am not interested in vilifying anyone. Indeed, I think I've had some of the most poignant exchanges from this diary of any I've written in in several months.  I also think this is an opportunity to point out to those with keen legal minds/experience and who go straight from A to Z, not incorrectly, but incompletely, some of those very important intersecting points of the vulnerability of a class of people and the laws (constitutional or legislative) that are made to protect them.

                    Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                    by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:52:00 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't want to highjack this diary with my own (8+ / 0-)

                      personal experience, but . . .

                      My molestation (really, rape, why do I insist on calling it molestation just because it happened as a child?) happened a long time ago, and my mother didn't learn of it for many years after it ended.  The reason she didn't is I knew full well I'd have been blamed for it and he'd have been excused.  Until I heard my mother's response to learning of it, I'd tried to tell myself that maybe I underestimated those around me and if I'd had the courage to tell someone, someone would have helped me.  So her response both hurt me deeply and freed me from the sense of guilt I had - there was a part of me that felt guilt over not having told, as though I must have not wanted it to end or I'd have told someone.  Never mind that I'd lay in bed and beg god to stop it everytime I heard he was coming, nevermind that I was so god damn alone for my whole childhood.  

                      My mother's now been dead for several years.  She was not an ideal mother in many ways.  But I've recognized that she was who she was largely as a result of her not having received the love she needed as a child, and I've forgiven most of her failures and weaknesses and focussed on appreciating the good things she did impart to us.  However, the fact that she felt nothing about her failure to protect me and was so willing to simply ignore what this man did to me is the one thing I can't forgive, and every time I think of it, I have a hard time getting back to my state of forgiveness and even mild fondness for her.  It's like I can accept that she wasn't capable of loving me, but I can't forgive her for not even wishing she could have protected me.

                      Okay, sorry.  Enough pity party for one day.  Fortunately, it's something I no longer spend much time thinking about, and for good reason.  Just that once it pops into my head, it doesn't always leave so easily, even after all these years.

                      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                      by gustynpip on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:17:00 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  One of the things I consider to be the most (7+ / 0-)

                        compelling, intimate, and sacred aspects of this experiment we call DK is how I am honored with the stories of others--often shared within a political context. It's the searing truth of it all and how human and connected we all are that just really gets to me. Thank you for sharing that. It was in no way a thread highjack, nor was it a pity party. And I'm glad it doesn't demand a lot of your thoughts anymore only b/c you clearly have a lot of other great thoughts that get more room and intention as a result.

                        Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                        by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:22:22 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  I think we can divide (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      zett

                      the decision of this case into two parts: the decision on the merits of the free speech case, which I don't think could have reached a different conclusion even in a court sensitive to the issue of rape culture and with laws and precedents that were totally free of patriarchal influence. Logically, the free speech issues just does not follow. I'm not even sure that it was the best legal remedy available.

                      Then there's the part of the decision ruling the case as frivolous. Even as flawed as the argument was, the idea that the claim was frivolous is bizarre and cruel. It's as if the court not only didn't think the plaintiff had suffered at all, or wasn't "entitled" to feel as though she had. Given that this is the 5th circuit we're talking about, probably the most reactionary far right wing federal court in the country, I will bet all the money in my pockets that this part of the decision was deeply influenced by the patriarchal bias of the court.

                      Fortune Favors the Bold

                      by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:41:31 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  I think the blase attitude (9+ / 0-)

                is part of the moral crisis in this country at the moment - the same attitude that made it ok to sell mortgages to families that were certain to default, the same attitude that I see here at Kos where commenters in other threads seem smugly satisfied with great injustices simply because they can draw all the dotted lines together neatly.  There is a tendency here to conflate the courtroom with the chatroom - to insist that we all adhere to the extreme amorality of court when discussing inherently moral questions. We have no such obligation. In fact, the opposite.

                We are not under an obligation to tie our hands behind our backs and pretend not to see injustices (however convenient that may be). When a decision like this seems to have such an obviously undesirable outcome, the question progressives should ask is, is there something we can do to prevent this injustice from happening in the future?  that is where our  personaly, highly subjective beliefs in right and wrong can eventually turn into action, be it legislation, or some other path, that may even change laws.  

                The system right now is so stacked in favor of rapists it's almost unbelievable. If you see the stats on accusations vs convictions, it's obscene. As I said in a comment above, most victims of this type of crime have basically no incentive to falsely accuse.  I would bet you're more likely to find someone engaging in voter fraud than falsely making an accusation of rape that goes to trial or a plea bargain.

                •  Totally agree decembersue (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CA TreeHugger, Betty Pinson

                  It's horrifying and while I'm thinking very few if any commenters here meant to present a blase attitude, I'm so primed for that as a means of dismissal, despite the present day/historical horror of how this plays out that I kinda freaked when I saw that "sorry".

                  If you read that comment (that started me off on this whole series of comments and pretty much solved how I was going to spend my day avoiding scoring and writing reports), what was your interpretation of his "sorry"? I'm genuinely curious.

                  Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                  by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 01:43:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You're confusing the issues here, though. This (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Villanova Rhodes, Tookish, zett

                  particular case wasn't about rape.  The case to be upset about was the criminal charges - that a case was plea dealt down to assault.  But that has nothing to do with this particular case.

                  Also what should upset people is the attitude of the school officials.  It's truly too bad that the community didn't step up and put them in their place and support this young lady.

                  But this case involved completely different issues that had virtually nothing to do with the rape.  The rules controlling those issues could not suddenly be ignored because an underlying issue was rape.  It would be like saying everyone has the right to be represented by an attorney - oh, except people accused of rape.  I, as a progressive, have absolutely no interest in changing laws to accomplish any outcome even remotely resembling that.

                  So, I'll repeat, people that haven't gotten upset about this ruling are not necessarily at all blase about rape, because this particular case was not about rape.

                  "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                  by gustynpip on Wed May 04, 2011 at 04:43:37 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  "everyone the same" is privilige for the rich (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Goldfish
                The rules have developed from statutes and prior cases which have been decided.  No court is permitted to say "well, normally this person wouldn't have a case, but I feel so badly for them, that I'm going to decide in their favor anyway."  Rather, the rules must be strictly applied to each case, and if the case doesn't fit, it has to be kicked.

                Those aspects lead create the consistency the law requires and it assures everyone that it will depend as little as possible on the personal opinion and belief of the particular person deciding the case.  Everyone is, in theory, to be treated the same.

                A rich person vs a poor person, or a power person (or the State) against a weak person -- no matter if the poor/weak person was wronged and deserves justice -- is more likely to win the case, having better lawyers. Then a precident has been set, and it's that much harder for the next poor or weak person to win next time.

                It's a problem, and it's systemic.

                The boss needs you, you don't need him. -- France general strike, May 1968

                by stargaze on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:05:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

                Given the facts of this case and the reactionary reputation of the 5th Circuit, I highly doubt the decision to find the suit frivolous was made without bias or in the interest of fairness. It seems a lot more like the judges of the 5th Circuit were saying "SHUT THE FUCK UP BITCHES, WE'RE DOING LAW HERE" than looking out for the integrity of the justice system.

                If integrity was their concern, they had other options to protect the system. They went for the one that was cruel and vindictive. I don't see much mystery in where they were coming from with that.

                Fortune Favors the Bold

                by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:29:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  There have been either cases (8+ / 0-)

              Sometimes it takes a terrible legal outcome like this to make us realize that there is something missing in our laws. In other cases an individual or elected offical has become a champion for new laws to address the issue and make sure nobody else has go through the same thing.

              Perhaps the next step is to look for somebody in the state or federal legislation to take on the underlying issues of this case which as I see it boils down to: If a student has been legally acussed or convicted of harming another student, what are the legal responsibilites of the school to shield the victim from contact with the (accused/acutal) assailant.

              The particuliars of this case are terrible, but there are many other circumstances where children could be put into similiar situation - like maybe requireing a boy to congradulate and shake the hand of the guy in official school event who is accused of killing his sister while driving under the influence.

              It is a shame that we need laws for these kind of things and that people are so lacking in compassion, but apparently we do.

            •  It's not an "easy dismissal" (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tookish, elmo

              it is an observation. They filed a sec. 1983 suit, and it didn't have a chance. It wasn't a free speech case, and the reasoning of the Court was sound.

              Were there other option? Yup. Had they come to me, I would have suggested getting a restraining order against the assailant. Then he would not have been allowed to be within x feet of her, and it would have been his obligation to stay away. In other words, that's a way to keep him off the court and her on the sidelines. The school would have been in a difficult situation, and with an order that places the onus on the assailant, would have been forced to keep him away. Instead, they went for the money.

              Bad call.

              Bad case.

              Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

              by dhonig on Wed May 04, 2011 at 04:23:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks for your reply (0+ / 0-)

                I see your reasoning is more a strategic assessment of how the case was handled. And, without being a lawyer, it seems like some of your ideas could have had merit.

                That said, I don't think "sorry" qualifies as an observation. My comments were in response to the weight that that word carries in horrific situations like this. It is often used as an airy dismissal of strong emotions. Emotions that often accompany highly gender specific situations, such as rape. Believe me, women are very used to being told "sorry" when they are actually being told "you're wrong, don't be so emotional, be more rational, don't be so silly"...etc. IOW, "sorry" is not an authentic expression of empathy but a dismissal of the emotions in response to a really terrible situation.

                Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 07:08:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  That it was not a free speech case is one thing (0+ / 0-)

            But to say it was frivolous is an atrocity. One is to settle a technical matter of the law, the other is the 5th circuit proclaiming this girl's systematic victimization by her government to be a frivolous offense against her. That's simply beyond conscious.

            Fortune Favors the Bold

            by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:14:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Out of curiosity (0+ / 0-)

              what is the nature of the systematic victimization by her government?

              There's a lot being bandied about and I'm losing track of who's claiming what. I guess her gov't includes the school district, the DA, the state court system, and three levels of federal courts, all of whom have considered her grievance, some more than once, and I'm wondering whether all of them have systematically victimized her, and how. (I fully agree that the perpetrators victimized her, regardless of how the crime is characterized.)

              •  Are you kidding? (0+ / 0-)

                Being coerced to cheer for her rapist, being punished when she refused to do so, and now being forced to pay her abuser $40 grand doesn't count as systematic victimization to you?

                As I said, rejecting the case on the merits was one thing, but calling it frivolous? Beyond disgusting.

                Fortune Favors the Bold

                by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:48:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, I don't see systematic victimization (0+ / 0-)

                  of the sort you do. We just disagree, I'm afraid.

                  I agree the cheerleader was victimized by the perpetrators of an assault. (Neither governmental nor systematic.)

                  I see idiocy by the school in response to a pretty brave and brilliantly targeted personal demonstration by the victim. If she could prove damages from being unable to cheer in, I believe, two whole games, then I think she should have recovered them.

                  A civil case against the perpetrators? Great. Against the homeowners where the drunken party took place without adequate supervision? Absolutely.

                  Otherwise, I see a case that should probably never have been filed (at least the federal civil rights claims) and at best should have been mediated and settled long ago. I don't see it as abusive to defend against a lawsuit that does not make out the barest of federal claims, so I don't see systematic victimization by the gov'tal entities.

                  For the record, I have read the district court decision, the appeals court decision, and the Does' petition for cert to the Sup Ct. The word "frivolous" does not appear. I don't know if there's a separate fee petition decision that uses it.

                  The underlying federal suit failed to state a claim, but the district court said "try again -- amend the complaint." The amended complaint apparently was just as bad and in the very ways the court rejected the first time. (I actually think the first amendment claim was not entirely crazy, but apparently you agree with the court on that one.)

                  The plaintiffs chose to bring suit under a federal statute that makes it easier than usual for attorneys' fees to be awarded -- and they lost their gamble. Leaving aside the state suits alluded to, they had two cracks at the district court and lost; lost their appeal; lost their petition for rehearing; and lost their petition for certiorari. They weren't close calls. If the statute provides for attorneys' fees, why shouldn't the school district and other defendants recover them for the taxpayers? The plaintiffs and their attorney can fight over who pays -- they can always sue him for malpractice.

                  •  It sounds to me (0+ / 0-)

                    Like the appropriate action for the court was to imitate sanctions against a lousy attorney, not stick a family that already had been through hell with the bill.

                    But hey, hopefully they'll be able to recover the $40 grand in a malpractice suit.

                    Fortune Favors the Bold

                    by Goldfish on Thu May 05, 2011 at 12:43:59 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Justice system and legal system are (5+ / 0-)

          two entirely different systems. Any similarity between the two is purely coincidental and not intended.

          What happened to this girl and her family is incomprehensible and a sad miscarriage of justice.

          One rarely finds justice in out legal system. Justice is handled in a myriad of other ways.

          With leaders like Reid and Pelosi, who needs enemies?

          by SpiffPeters on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:58:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly (7+ / 0-)

            People clinging to legalisms here can go fuck themselves sideways.

            This girl was wronged, at least twice and probably three times.

            •  I don't think anyone here is claiming... (12+ / 0-)

              ...that justice was served in this situation.

              But there were technical legal reasons why the lawsuit was rejected, and judges—particularly at the lower court levels—have to rule based on the law and interpretations of those law that are on the books (either from legislatures or from previous higher court rulings).

              Personally, the more I see about this lawsuit, the more I'm inclined to think that her lawyers didn't make a very good case.

              •  Well, I definitely get a dismissive attitude (8+ / 0-)

                from the complacent "sorry" comments re; the legitimacy of the ruling. This is horrific whether or not the ruling was legally sound.

                Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:24:08 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think the alternative... (19+ / 0-)

                  ...which I'm seeing some people here call for (by implication, if not overtly) is worse—suggesting that particularly lower-court judges should rule based on some abstract notion of justice rather than on what's in the law.

                  I agree that an injustice has been done here; I agree that what happened to this girl is horrific, and that she had grounds to sue. But I don't think those two facts should dictate a judge's ruling, particularly when the legal case made isn't valid according to the laws as written and interpreted.

                  Suggesting that judges should rule based on a nebulous concept of "justice" rather than what's in the law could lead us down a dangerous path, giving (for example) judges who think abortion is immoral rhetorical license to convict women and doctors who perform abortions, regardless of what the law states.

                  I'd suggest that the proper attitude here is outrage—but not at the judges or the Supreme Court, who ruled apparently based on what the law dictates because the system relies on their doing just that. Rather, we should be outraged at the superintendent, the basketball coach, the fellow players on the team, and the fellow cheerleaders who chose to stand with a rapist instead of with the girl he raped, and at the system of laws that enables them to do so.

                  •  I really agree with you and I'd add (9+ / 0-)

                    that we need outrage at a legal system that doesn't provide remedies for this type of situation. Because if anyone believes that this isn't common (cheerleader raped by sports star on high school sports team then forced to cheer or report the rape) they are not properly educated about how frequently girls and women deal with sexual aversion/assault/rape.

                    So, yes, in this case, there is nothing to be done wrt to rulings if they are indeed based upon the only possible interpretation of the law (and to know that I would need to rely on another w/ greater legal and constitutional expertise), but as far as the law itself, as well as all the other players you listed in your final paragraph, there is plenty here to be horrified by and to express unequivocal outrage toward.

                    In terms of laws, I'd love it if someone with legal background didn't just claim the legitimacy of the rulings but suggested what could be put in place as a law that might prevent a girl from ever having to go through this. Which I know you did with your suggestion in another comment re; workplace harassment. But that conversation doesn't seem to be happening.

                    There might be a lot of outraged responses here directed at the wrong people (judges enforcing the law) but here are also probably a lot of rape survivors/friends of survivors who are reading and commenting and who have probably witnessed huge miscarriages of justice and misapplications of law vis a vis rape and assault. It would be great if this outrage could be responded to with acknowledgment and better questions (that isn't directed at you, but at other dismissive comments).

                    Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                    by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:48:58 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  that should read "coercion" not "aversion" (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      CA TreeHugger, JamesGG, kingyouth

                      Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                      by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:53:00 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I did talk about that :-) (6+ / 0-)
                      I'd add that we need outrage at a legal system that doesn't provide remedies for this type of situation.

                      My comment:
                      "...and at the system of laws that enables them to do so."

                      Just sayin' :-)

                      Otherwise, great comment. I agree that this is far from an isolated situation, and that we need a system that can better deal with it—and that is more effective in meting out justice to all equally, whether they're really good at basketball or not. I think this case should also motivate us to work socially and culturally to change the culture of our schools, homes, and workplaces, to eliminate rape culture particularly from the culture of athletics but also from the culture at large—and also to work against the deification of the Star Athlete above all others, such that he (and it's almost always a he) can do no wrong.

                      I also agree with you that I'd like to see alternatives as well—I'm no lawyer either, but I suspect (as I indicate in my comments below) that there might have been a better legal case to be made that could have worked the system in her favor.

                      If those protections don't exist (rather than her lawyers simply not taking advantage of them), how can we lobby Congress, legislatures, and city governments to put those protections in place? I think a good start would be to suggest that school boards should have rules in place barring those convicted of violent crimes from participating in athletics.

                  •  Even defining the term "justice" (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Tookish, JamesGG

                    can be quite difficult since legal justice and societal justice can be two very different things.

                    This is why we have the law and why what is "right" and "what is "just" can have so many opinions. And would we as a society be as wrong if we sought legal revenge on a man who harmed another person, especially if we did not have solid evidence that such a crime happened? Should we not respect his legal rights simply because we are appalled at the alleged action that may have occurred?

                    Like you, I am appalled at the other players in this event. Yet I would also by appalled at the legal system if the courts ruled opposite what they actually did.

                    "No one can survive as completely geek." - UnstableIsotope

                    by kingyouth on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:51:28 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I dunno...I'm no lawyer, but... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Betty Pinson

                    Perhaps a case could be made on discriminatory grounds.  Discrimination against those previously sexually assaulted by team members.

                    Yes, the assault wasn't proven in criminal court, but no conviction does not mean innocent...  And the standards are lower in civil court, too.

                  •  The problem here (0+ / 0-)

                    is that the 5th Circuit went well beyond what the law required of them.

                    Fortune Favors the Bold

                    by Goldfish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:05:48 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  wait, whoa (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tookish, gramofsam1

                  "Whether or not the ruling was legally sound"?

                  If the ruling was legally sound, then why are you surprised that decent people would feel "sorry" to say so under these circumstances? Why do you construe that as "dismissive" and "complacent"?

                  •  Because real people were badly hurt by (6+ / 0-)

                    a legally sound ruling and that (I would hope) would disturb people who care about girls who have been raped. That means the law didn't protect her. She wasn't protected and that should bother all of us. Sometimes laws are wrong and sometimes they are incomplete and sometimes the necessary ones don't exist. When people (or classes of people) are hurt by those situations, then we should be outraged and want it to be different.

                    Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                    by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:51:03 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I think you're missing my point (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Tookish, gramofsam1
                      She wasn't protected and that should bother all of us.

                      Tookish, did it occur to you that maybe that is what dhonig meant by "Sorry"?
                      •  You are absolutely right that (4+ / 0-)

                        i am concluding that it was meant in dismissive way and I could be wrong about that. If that's true, then boy howdy, I'm good and truly sorry myself.

                        I do think it's tricky to tack on a "sorry" to the end of what seemed a very light-hearted dismissal of the issue due to the sound legal basis for the ruling. The juxtaposition of the airy "It's legally sound. Sorry." against the backdrop of such heartbreaking injustice in a broader sense makes that hard for me to see, if indeed sincere.

                        Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                        by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:05:51 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  OK (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Tookish, dbradhud

                          On good days, I try to read DKos comments in the light most favorable to the commenter. It is so easy for us to misread each other, literally and figuratively.

                          •  True that. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            HudsonValleyMark, CA TreeHugger

                            The reader is partly responsible and I think that the commenter is also responsible for a mindful use of tone or words that, in particular settings and about particular issues could easily be construed as dismissive.

                            We also have to place ourselves within the given conversation. E.g.; in a conversation with the black community re; some phrase that was problematic, I might consider it a teachable moment rather than defend what I meant. As a woman who's done a lot of work w/ gender, having someone say "sorry" in a way to denigrate and dismiss is extremely familiar. It's far more common than not esp. when discussing fact vs. emotion (a false frame but often the way things can be held in situations such as this where a court case was legally sound but there are other ways--more important ways--to consider the implications of it).

                             But I can be wrong and am very committed to admitting it when I am. So thanks for the heads up of the possibility.

                            Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                            by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:31:46 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  part of the problem/context here (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tookish

                            is that we're talking about several things at once. (I know, that is not uncommon.) When I read about sexual violence against teenage girls, I think of my daughters. My reaction to this story is something close to existential threat. I want to scream at all the so-called responsible adults in that school district, "What the hell are you thinking? How can you choose not to protect your young women?" When the conversation shifts to the lawsuit, I just get a sick feeling -- still "What the hell are you thinking?", now directed at the family's lawyers, but without any rage, because, by God, there oughta be a law, but I fear that there isn't.

                            Not fact vs. emotion for me, but I take (or think I take) your point about that.

                          •  Thanks for your thoughts on this. You're (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            HudsonValleyMark

                            right, it's complex. And I certainly don't corner the market on absolute truth, whatever that is :-)

                            Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                            by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:29:54 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  The law represents the interests of the men who (8+ / 0-)

                      have made it, down the centuries.

                      Sure we have started to trickle into the party in recent decades, but the weight of milennia of legally sanctioned injustice is still there.

                      The institutions need to be given new basic premises to work from if they are to change significantly. That is why we badly need a constitutionally defined right of equality of sexes -- the ERA.

                      NOW Constitutional Equality
                      4ERA

                      •  Yes. Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        CA TreeHugger

                        Thank you for these important links!

                        What I'm trying to say, awkwardly, is that either the case had a sound legal basis (that is to say, it was upholding a more important issue that in its overall efforts to be unheld, provides greater protection to all citizens) in which case, what laws do we need to protect girls from this in the future? Or, the case doesn't have sound legal basis or the basis is biased in its application due to this:

                        The law represents the interests of the men who
                        have made it, down the centuries.Sure we have started to trickle into the party in recent decades, but the weight of milennia of legally sanctioned injustice is still there.

                        in which case--outrage! And click on those links above.

                        Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

                        by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:24:35 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Equal Rights Amendment (2+ / 0-)

                        we need it now more than ever.

                        It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

                        by Betty Pinson on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:35:15 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Stop trying to read others' minds (0+ / 0-)

                  sometimes "sorry" means "sorry," not "fuck you."

                  Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

                  by dhonig on Wed May 04, 2011 at 04:26:38 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Justice would be to see this bastard (5+ / 0-)

            revealed for what he is and treated as he deserves to be.
            Sadly, he is protected by the courts.

            He and friends sexually assaulted a child.

             Now he gets to plead guilty to something less and go on to a football career.

            That is WRONG.

            LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

            by BlackSheep1 on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:36:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  people should have to pay (0+ / 0-)

          their opponent's legal fees when they pursue meritless claims.  it would free up the courts' limited resources to deal with legitimate claims and issues.

          •  that sounds good (3+ / 0-)

            But I don't think they should have to pay every time they lose. That would dissuade people of little means from even trying to obtain justice. I think it would violate the equal protection clause. If losing the lawsuit results in bankruptcy, or a lifetime of debt, it may feel too risky for some to even try. The deck is already stacked against those who cannot afford expensive lawyers.

            To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate, that is strength undefeatable--Helen Keller

            by kareylou on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:59:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Now this is a topic that could really use a diary. (0+ / 0-)

              I wish I had time to write one, but I don't.

              There are perennial legislative attempts to shift the fee burden to losing parties -- the biggest beneficiaries of such legislation being corporations. I agree with kareylou basically, and believe that a cost-shifting presumption would bar the courthouse door to many worthy plaintiffs to the detriment of society. Courts have tools such as Rule 11 and fee motions of the sort I assume were filed here to discourage "frequent filers" and egregious offenders.

              In this case, it appears (from local press reports, not my own research) that the attorney fee award was imposed after several suits, not just one. And the suits were not about the sexual assault but about constitutional claims found to be without merit.

      •  Good legal reasoning doesn't address the profound (31+ / 0-)

        unethical, immoral, and unjust nature of this whole situation.

        Starting from a school district that did not have to enforce that stupid rule, knowing what they knew about the pending case, to a squad of cheerleaders who cheered their (presumably) friend's rapist, to the basketball players who refused to stand up to this guy and tell him they wouldn't play with him, to the school allowing him to play while under investigation, knowing that the girl accusing him was on the cheerleading team, to the district attempting to defend their misogynistic actions in court (why didn't they just apologize and settle with the parents?), to a supreme court that has very problematic views on human rights (which ones they uphold and which ones they don't) esp. in the realm of free speech, very little of this had to happen the way it did.

        The reason it did, in my humble opinion, has to do with how we value the very bodies of girls and women, and the fact that we have a very toxic rape culture that  is constantly communicating who the "true" victims are and who just "made a mistake" or "didn't mean it" or "won't do it again" or "deserves to be cheered while on the court b/c omg what a great player he is..." or whatever the turn of phrase that those of us who pay attention are very familiar with. I'm utterly disgusted and I am really unable to hear any anemic and privileged dismissal of the situation that includes a totally insincere and quite cruel "sorry".

        I don't know what issues you think are important to a thriving liberal political movement, why you are here and what you are building allies toward, but when I read that kind of response, what I hear is "I don't need women or men who care about women as my allies". Sorry.

        This series of events takes places within a rape-supporting culture and amidst laws either on the books or seeking to be made law that put girls and women into second class status wrt access to abortion. It is very clear to me that girls and women, as a class, are not protected when I see these kinds of outcomes of legal cases.

        Let the yoke fall from our shoulders; Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all; We are all our hands and holders; Beneath this bold and brilliant sun; And this I swear to all - The Decemberists

        by Tookish on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:43:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        debaseTheBase, icemilkcoffee

        The court had the authority to remit the ridiculous $45000 penalty, even while ruling that the free speech claim was not legally sustainable.  That the court did not is an unpardonable miscarrage of justice.  

        •  Penalty? The $45,000 (0+ / 0-)

          is for legal fees.

          "No one can survive as completely geek." - UnstableIsotope

          by kingyouth on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:25:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  As I understand it, that is a penalty (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ByTor, Goldfish, zett

            In other countries like the UK, there is a standard "loser pays legal fees" rule. In the US, the default is that everyone pays for themselves, and legal fees are awarded as a penalty for particularly bad behavior. While I can see how the award of legal fees might be, strictly speaking, legally justified in this case, it's pretty hard to understand how it's a good decision by the judge in equity.

          •  42 USC 1988: (0+ / 0-)

            "In any action or proceeding to enforce a provision of sections 1981, 1981a, 1982, 1983, 1985, and 1986 of this title, title IX of Public Law 92–318 [20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.], the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 [42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.], the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 [42 U.S.C. 2000cc et seq.], title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.], or section 13981 of this title, the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the costs."

            Note that the statute says "may" and "in its discretion."  When a prevailing party recovers under this section, it is commonly referred to as an "award" of attorney's fees.  And it is not mandatory - it is entirely within the discretion of the court to "award" fees.  And, yes, it is a "penalty" the court chose to award here, because the court viewed the suit as meritless.  

            My point is that the court could have easily chosen not to award fees, and the appeals court could have remitted it.  If the court thought the case was meritless, a sanction could have been imposed on the attorney under Rule 11 of the FRCP, and the court could have given that to the poor school district.  Then the family would not have been penalized, which as it stands, strikes me as unjust.

            I'm not sure what your point is.

      •  damn straight its sorry, dhonig (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CA TreeHugger

        it's a sorry way to further, legally and in court, the mistreatment of a young woman at the hands of a privileged young man who was her schoolmate.

        He just happened to be a college football prospect, giving him the right to do whatever he wanted in the eyes of the community.

        Cheerleader.

        You bet he and his buds told one another she wanted it.
        You bet that's what his lawyer said.
        You bet that figured into the disposition of this case.
        You bet she isn't seen as virtuous.

        You bet this stinks. To high heaven. And the USSC that wouldn't hear the appeal added a layer of stench to its own reputation.

        LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

        by BlackSheep1 on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:15:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I guess the question is, what's the solution? (18+ / 0-)

      This girl was apparently raped; her attacker pled down to assault, and then the school tells her to cheer on - specifically - her attacker or leave the cheerleading squad, obviously valuing their athlete more than this abused woman.

      If the suit was frivolous on free speech grounds, then where does this girl see justice rather than continued humiliation?  Is it just a matter of how she went after the school, or isn't there a legal remedy and the lesson is that continued suffering from this one act is her lot in life?

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:34:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  She could sue her attacker (11+ / 0-)

        civilly for damages.

        She can't sue the school or the district attorney, though.

        •  She might be able to sue the school for damages (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ColoTim

          But she can't sue for her right to remain on the squad - that ship has sailed, and it was expensive.

          Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

          by Phoenix Rising on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:01:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, that's what she really (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ltsply2, Geoffrey Williamson

          should have done.  It sounds like she had shitty representation.  Also, it can be argued that she should have quit the squad given the circumstances she was faced with.

          Still, I give her credit for not allowing this incident to run her off the squad and if anything, her bringing suit only serves to put the Bolton back in the spotlight and it does raise issues with how the school handled the whole thing.

          Which was pretty badly if you ask me.  This should not have ever even gotten to the court phrase beyond Bolton's criminal actions.

          "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

          by smoothnmellow on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:59:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

        The law does not provide for justice in every possible situation.  

        There is absolutely no doubt that this young woman has been treated unfairly and that all of the school officials involved in this situation have behaved like complete and total assholes. For better or worse, though, being an asshole is still perfectly legal most of the time.

    •  If it was so 'meritless'... (9+ / 0-)

      then why was that player plea-ing to anything?

      If it was meritless, shouldn't he have nothing to plea to?

    •  Thanks for the ruling (13+ / 0-)

      While the alleged facts in this case are appalling, it appears there was bad lawyering in this case -- and the clients are paying the price.

      " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:43:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlackSheep1

        I understand the urge to seek redress given that HS was doubly wronged -- first by the assault then by the school.  If anyone should have to foot the bill, it's her attorney.  Ideally, the school would just waive it (asking for fees more for symbolic vindication than anything), but any chance they'd behave decently is long passed.  

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:35:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  But the court is responsible (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        icemilkcoffee

        for the $45000 penalty.  Make the lawyer pay it - fine.   If the claim was unwarranted, then the lawyer was in a position to know that.   But that is not what the court did.  The court could have remitted the award, and dismissed the claim.  They chose instead to sustain it - thus penalizing the victim in all this - the court ought to be ashamed of itself.    

      •  Perhaps time to sue the lawyer? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geoffrey Williamson

        I have issues with how the legal system of this country is set up.

        Real plastic here; none of that new synthetic stuff made from chicken feathers. By the morning of 9/12/2001 the people of NYC had won the War on Terror.

        by triplepoint on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:24:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Garza, Clement, and Owen (4+ / 0-)

      that's a nightmare panel.  

      Hopefully, the school will take the damages award as symbolic vindication of its legal claims and just drop it.  Pursuing judgment enforcement proceedings just seems like it would add a third injury to this poor girl (punished for the mistakes of her assailant, the school, and now her lawyer).  

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:37:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  meritless does not automatically mean fees (4+ / 0-)

      two big issues here. first, there is a difference between a meritless suit and a frivolous suit. that the cheerleader was able to survive the first motion to dismiss shows that her claim was not necessarily frivolous.

      but the second issue is that in america, the losing side does not usually pay the winner's attorney fees. i think that civil rights actions (1983 actions) allow the plaintiff to get their fees if they win, but defendants don't get their fees unless the claim was clearly frivolous. so what we need to see is the decision on the school's fee motion.

      freedom isn't free, but it isn't dumb either.

      by astro on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:42:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sick and wrong both. Does she have any sort (6+ / 0-)

    of fund set up to collect money to pay the 'insult to injury' costs?

  •  Injustice (17+ / 0-)

    This is clearly an injustice.

    I do not believe that a woman should be forced to cheer for someone who has been convicted of assaulting her.

    I also think that it is true that a cheerleader's job is to cheer.  I'm curious to know why they filed suit on "free speech" grounds.

    The injustice to me is that this man was allowed to continue to play basketball.  

    If she had quit the team and sued the school because letting the man play basketball prevented her from participating on the cheerleading squad (which could cost her scholarships, etc), would the case have been considered frivolous?  Might she have won?

    As somone who isn't a lawyer and hasn't followed the case, I'm not sure what the best move would have been, but I have to agree with the current court decision that a cheerleader does not have the right to decide when not to cheer.

    Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

    by Actuary4Change on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:37:50 AM PDT

  •  I don't see how this is a free-speech case... (35+ / 0-)

    ...to be perfectly honest. She continues to be free to speak out against the boy who raped her, as well as to remain silent while others are cheering him; she just can't do it while performing with the cheerleading squad at a game. The school is perfectly within their rights to remove her from the squad if she won't perform the "duties" of the squad; she remains free to engage in speech in every context other than as a member of the cheer squad during a game.

    I agree, though, that the superintendent and the coach of the basketball team should lose their jobs, and the rapist should be kicked off the team (and expelled from the school, if you want my honest opinion). Being really good at sports sadly tends to overshadow the character of people at all levels who should be spending time in prison for the crimes they've committed against women; this seems like just another case of that.

    Can any of the lawyers here weigh in on this? It seems to me like she could have had a case based on something similar to the "hostile working environment" claim in sexual harassment cases, where being expected to cheer for the man who was convicted of assaulting her was an undue burden placed upon her by the school in order for her to participate in an extracurricular activity. Would this have any merit, or am I just talking out of my ass?

    •  Great post... (17+ / 0-)

      I do think the school could have treated this much better.  How hard would it be for her to have sat on the sidelines when her attacker was up for a cheer, or perhaps they could have arranged it so that it looked like she was performing some kind of support role for the rest of the squad.  That they didn't even try was callous and cruel to someone who had already been abused.

      And, yes, the basketball player should have been off the squad with an assault plea on his record.  You screw up, you pay the price - not have the victim pay the price.

      The hostile working environment claim is a good equivalent, but I'm guessing she's not considered to be a worker under the law.  I think this is what I'm searching for in my response to AdamB above - that there should be some protection like this, not just in the workplace but in whatever endeavor you undertake.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:49:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm wondering if there's something similar... (8+ / 0-)

        ...in education law, though.

        If she'd been assigned to a class with him, or the chem teacher made her his lab partner or something, then I'm certain she'd have a case (though still not 1st Amendment) based on them denying her an opportunity for an education due to being in a hostile environment. I'm not sure what specific legal category would cover it... could that cover cheerleading as well, despite its being a voluntary rather than mandatory activity? Courts have ruled against faculty-led prayers in school in the past even at voluntary events like football games; could that perhaps be extended?

        I also wonder if she could make an Equal Protection case there, where she was being denied the equal opportunity to participate in cheerleading because it would be a hostile environment due to being forced to cheer for the man who was convicted of assaulting her.

        A First Amendment case here feels really really clunky to me, like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. Could any law-talking types weigh in?

        •  Equal Protection was my first thought (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Betty Pinson, antirove

          Participation on the squad is voluntary and contingent on doing what you're supposed to do, i.e., cheer. However, the school has to provide everyone an equal opportunity to participate without unreasonable restrictions (e.g., "no blacks allowed" fails the test). I would argue that a "no rape victims" rule also fails the test, and tried to frame it that way.

          Easy for me to say now, at a comfortable distance, of course...

    •  I think handled wrong too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Boris Godunov, ltsply2, ColoTim

      Free speech seems like the wrong claim to make.  And I agree that the school distrit should have been involved.

      If he was charged with assault against a fellow student (her) then why was he back in the regular campus?  He should have been assigned to an alternative school.

      The claim of free speech was totally wrong.

      If you want to know the real answer: Just ask a Mom.

      by tacklelady on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:10:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He WAS assigned to an alternative school (0+ / 0-)

        after his arrest. Good observation, though.

        He had been returned to the original school only after the first grand jury declined to indict him. He was charged again considerably later, and not convicted until about 2 years after the incident. Although they handled the cheering situation badly, the school probably had no choice but to allow the male student back in.

    •  Section 1983 (4+ / 0-)

      This is a pretty typical 1983, the Court held that (while the conduct may be reprehensible) the school officials  did not violate any of her federally protected constitutional rights.  Her state claims are still intact and in fact the district court refused to exercise pendant jurisdiction over them.  Federal courts are courts of extremely limited jurisdiction as opposed to state courts.  The opinion did not discuss the costs of litigation.  

      •  Just to translate out of legalese here... (0+ / 0-)

        ...am I correctly understanding that what you're saying is that she could still have a case in state courts based on state and not federal constitutional protections?

        Further, since you seem to know the law, may I ask: I'm pretty sure the rule is that the federal court (and particularly a lower court) is bound to only hear the case made by her lawyers (i.e., the First Amendment case). The judges can't say "well, your First Amendment case doesn't hold water, but we think her treatment is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment so we're ruling in her favor." Is my understanding correct?

        •  She made 14th Amendment arguments too: (5+ / 0-)

          Deprivation of a liberty interest - the 5th Circuit held that psychological injury, alone, doesn't constitute violation of the right to bodily integrity.  The 5th Circuit also held that freedom from false stigmatization isn't a protected liberty interest under the 14th Amendment.

          Deprivation of a property interest - the 5th Circuit held that her position on the cheer squad isn't a property interest within the 14th Amendment.

          Equal protection - the 5th Circuit held that she failed to show that her gender motivated the school's decision.

        •  Answers (0+ / 0-)

          Absolutely she has the right to pursue her claims in state court and if her allegations are true should be able to recover for their conduct.  I she can get it to a jury, I would not want to have to defend the school officials-a jury will want blood.

          Yes, a court can only hear the issues presented to it (with a couple of narrow exceptions)  thus if the lawyer makes the wrong objection most judge will overrule the objection even if the judge knows there is a valid objection to the evidence.

    •  Can't punish the alleged rapist. (0+ / 0-)

      He's not been convicted of rape.  He wasn't even indicted, the grand jury refused to indict on the charge of rape, as I recall.

      Any punishment would have to stem from his assault conviction alone.

      •  I don't know why someone convicted of assault... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smoothnmellow, andromeda, aerie star

        ...should be representing the school as a member of the basketball team either—particularly when the girl he assaulted (even plea-bargains have a victim) is on the cheerleading squad.

        The superintendent or coach would have had a pretty straightforward case for kicking him off the team, if they'd chosen to avail themselves of that option.

        But they chose to stand with a convicted assailant—and, let's be honest here, an unconvicted rapist—instead of with the person he was convicted of assaulting. And the other boys on the basketball team, and her supposed friends on the cheerleading squad, all chose to stand with him as well.

        •  He wasn't convicted of anything at the time. (0+ / 0-)

          At the time of the basketball game, there was no conviction, and apparently not even a pending case. The assault conviction came much later.

          I doubt there was a case for kicking either of them off their teams, but otherwise your observation about who stood with whom is very well taken.

      •  shouldn't that be enough? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        andromeda

        I don't know the district's policies, but I would think that an assault conviction (although he managed to plead to a Class A misdemeanor rather than a felony) would at least provide cause to kick someone off a sports team. Wouldn't you?

      •  Last time I checked... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        andromeda

        A conviction of assault is a criminal offense.

        Punishment by the school based on community standards can set the bar anywhere they want to.

        "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

        by smoothnmellow on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:47:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with your points. (0+ / 0-)

      The school handled this poorly.  Once this Bolton kid was convicted of assault, the school should have taken action.  Even the NFL has a policy of reviewing criminal actions/convictions of its players and imposing fines, and penalties, including game suspensions.

      Was this Bolton kid penalized in any way by the school?

      Also wrt 'hostle working environment', the cheerleader wasn't an employee.  She was participating in an extra-curricular activity -- she was not compelled to be a cheerleader.  I think that would be the basis behind the whole 'free speech' argument.

      But sexual harrassment?  I think you have something there, although I'm not an attorney, either.  It seems to me that sexual harrassment may have been a better way to go, vs. free speech.

      "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

      by smoothnmellow on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:12:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Consistant, aren't they? (13+ / 0-)

    Another battle lost in the war on women.

    She wasn't raped - she didn't fight enough to get hurt, so she must have enjoyed it, and if she was wearing that little, slutty cheerleading skirt, she was asking for it.

    What. The. F*ck. Century. Are. These. Inhuman. Monsters. Living. In?

    Our promises are made in proportion to our hopes, but kept in proportion to our fears.-LaRouchefoucauld

    by luvsathoroughbred on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:40:27 AM PDT

  •  Beggars belief (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson

    it only takes 4 justices to decide to hear a case, I thought. WTF?

  •  Fixed you tags! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tookish, Betty Pinson, Quilldriver

    Why do I have the feeling George W. Bush joined the Stonecutters, ate a mess of ribs, and used the Constitution as a napkin?

    by Matt Z on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:47:59 AM PDT

  •  Interesting snippet from the opinion: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tookish, ColoTim, Cassandra Waites
    Appellants claim that after the arrest, Sheffield told them that despite having enough evidence to go to trial, the grand jury was racially divided and therefore would not vote to return an indictment against Rountree and Bolton, who were African-American. The grand jury ultimately voted against indicting Rountree and Bolton.
  •  Texas (0+ / 0-)

    It does not surprise me at all, the level of nutty-ness here is beyond disappointing

    •  This isn't about Texas (5+ / 0-)

      This could have happened in any state I've ever lived in or traveled to, from the apparent rape to the plea deal to the boy's continued team membership to the victim getting kicked off the squad to the court decisions.

      And I'm not just talking isolated pockets of those states, either - this story would not be out of place anywhere, sadly.

      Trying to pin it on Texas just because we don't agree with or understand WTF is up down there reveals something about ourselves that we shouldn't be proud of.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:09:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Disagree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10
        This could have happened in any state I've ever lived in or traveled to, from the apparent rape to the plea deal to the boy's continued team membership to the victim getting kicked off the squad to the court decisions.

          I really have to disagree with the bolded part of your statement.
        I have sons who were involved in sports and there are certain guidlines as to who is permitted to play and who isn't.  Anyone who was convicted of assault would be banned at any school my boys ever attended.  In fact there is a player playing in the NFL today who was kicked off his high school team for under age drinking.  
        So this certainly is not the norm.  

  •  there are no words n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:58:01 AM PDT

  •  Let this "Superintendent" Know What You Think (4+ / 0-)

    Here is the email address for "Superintendent" Bain":

    rbain@silsbeeisd.org

    •  Will do (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CA TreeHugger

      This sort of thing is not only offensive, its a threat to all young women who may fall victim to rapists.

      It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

      by Betty Pinson on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:15:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is the right response. (12+ / 0-)

      Regardless of how one feels about the outcome of the legal case—and there's a lot of discussion above about whether or not the case was made effectively—the fact is that this whole thing could have been avoided if the superintendent had just done the right thing.

      The real right thing would have been his saying that someone who was convicted of assault wouldn't be allowed to represent his school or the district by playing basketball, and would be expelled from the school and put into alternative education in order to not have any contact on school grounds with the girl he was convicted of assaulting.

      But absent that, a secondary right thing would have been his telling the girl who was assaulted that she was free not to cheer for her assailant.

      That superintendent should lose his job.

  •  Legal fees, not damages. (4+ / 0-)

    In many states and venues, the prevailing party can collect their attorneys fees from the losing party by filing a motion with the judge at the end of the case. Depending on the rules of the particular court, the judge can also award fees to the prevailing party if they believe the lawsuit was frivolous, which is a term defined in rules of procedure.

    The family's attorney should have warned them that this could happen if they lost their suit. That they carried the case to the state appeals court even after two lower courts ruled against them increased the risk even further, esp. because it drove the school's attorneys fees much higher.

    My name is Douglas Watts.

    by Pometacom on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:10:55 AM PDT

  •  Don't Mess with Texas... (0+ / 0-)

    but "Texas Can Mess With You".

    "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis D. Brandeis

    by VA6thDem on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:18:00 AM PDT

  •  Texas has always had a lot of Taliban in it. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Magick Maven, tardis10
  •  I think not. (5+ / 0-)

    This is the kind of story where, if the MSM just shines a bit of light on Silsbee HS, the admin will scurry for cover like roaches when you turn on the light. Even in Tx.You always find thuggish supers and administrators who enjoy just beating the shit of out of anyone they can get away with. They' crumple pretty quickly if they think their own pasty asses are suddenly on the line.

  •  We should expose those who are so callous. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arizonablue, nellgwen, CA TreeHugger

    It is a travesty of justice, multiplied by cronyism or worse.

    Tip, Rec'd and Republished to The WeeklyBug.

    Verbal repetitive reinforced Bull S; is MSM weapon of mass destruction!

    by laserhaas on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:29:44 AM PDT

  •  well this is just disgusting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arizonablue, CA TreeHugger

    seems to be a long history of schools giving rapists a slap on the wrist, if anything, & trying to sweep it all under the rug

    PLEASE donate to a global children's PEACE project: Chalk 4 Peace

    by RumsfeldResign on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:35:15 AM PDT

  •  I hate hate HATE (3+ / 0-)

    these diaries that jump on the results of judiciary processes without any evidence other than the fact that the diarist disagrees with the ruling.

    Why shouldn't the loser in a civil case pay legal expenses?  That's completely standard, and not in any sense a travesty of justice -- or at least, not without a great deal more evidence than any of us have access to.

    •  I think that the diary was set up wrong. (6+ / 0-)

      While the legal process may be sound, there is something way wrong here when a male student athlete is not penalized for a criminal action that he was convicted on, yet a female student athlete is booted off the squad for having to humiliate herself to cheer for a guy who criminally assaulted her.

      That's the real issue here.  Clearly she was poorly represented to allow a 'free speech' strategy be the basis of her lawsuit against the school.

      Her family should have sued over the process that allowed the young woman in the position of having to face her accuser without any recourse of action on the school's part.

      "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

      by smoothnmellow on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:25:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The badly chosen "free speech" strategy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Code Monkey

        That point has come up several times. Could it be, despite the lawyer's best guidance against it, that the family insisted it be dealt with as a free speech issue? There are so many instances in comment threads here where people mistakenly cite "free speech"; as though it applies anywhere and everywhere without consequences; so I know it's a very common misperception.

    •  Um (0+ / 0-)

      It is far from completely standard for the loser to pay in a civil case.  It is, in fact, the exception to the rule.

      The best pizza comes from New York.

      by JakeC on Wed May 04, 2011 at 02:18:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If people were to march past that guy's house (3+ / 0-)

    carrying signs that said, "This man is a rapist," would that be protected under the First Amendment?

    If, when he entered a McDonald's, a group of six women (or high school girls, if you'd rather call them that), rose up from their table and proclaimed loudly, "We will not eat in the same restaurant as a rapist," and stalked out, would that be protected under the First Amendment?

    If any of this was tried, I'm sure every one of the demonstrators would be rounded up, arrested, and convicted.

    Justice in this country is for MALES.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:40:25 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for this diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    evanaj, Catte Nappe

    as for this:

    I stand corrected.

    the title does not, and could use a correction - thanks.

  •  So, what's the problem with this case? Actually. (0+ / 0-)

    Bad lawyering?  Sounds like.  What a sin.

    "The worst that can happen to any group of people working to unseat an existing power base is their failure to imagine the lengths to which those in power will go to keep it." Cognitive Dissonance at Zero Hedge

    by CarolinNJ on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:44:08 AM PDT

  •  They should set up a place people can donate to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, HeyMikey

    help pay the fine. I am sure a lot of people and even organizations wouldn't mind helping out in a case like this.

    •  why pay it? (0+ / 0-)

      My landlord hasn't paid me my security deposit back and is effectively evading being served for small claims court. What true enforcement power does the court have on this woman? If she's just 18, I doubt she has earned more than a couple of thousand dollars. Dump the 'debt' like everyone is dumping their foreclosed house these days. If she were sucker enough to pay it, she'd hurt herself by denying herself college or a decent apartment.

      •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

        How is she going to "dump" it?  Declaring bankruptcy?  It may actually be the only choice she ends up having, but that will just as certainly hurt her ability to go to college or get a decent apartment.

        The best pizza comes from New York.

        by JakeC on Wed May 04, 2011 at 02:13:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Is it any wonder (7+ / 0-)

    Why the majority of women who are raped never report the crime?

  •  So let me get this straight... (16+ / 0-)

    A  female cheerleader can be kicked off the squad for not cheering for one of the basketball players, but a male basketball player can stay on the basketball team after assaulting one of the cheerleaders?

    Not cheering your assailant = kicked off the team.
    Assaulting a young woman = starting lineup.

    My sincere sympathy goes out to that girl and her family. She's been victimized twice, at least.

    it is hereby DECLARED that 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 has not been published within the meaning of Wis. Stats. §§ 991.11, 35.095(1)(b) and 35.095(3)(b), and is therefore not in effect.

    by Giles Goat Boy on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:55:27 AM PDT

  •  Victim-blaming is a society-wide sickness. (11+ / 0-)

    It's easy to blame the courts, or the superintendent, or the grand jury who wouldn't indict a basketball star.

    But the fact is, the entire community wanted this to go away quietly, and not acknowledge that it happened.

    If we didn't live in a rape culture, it wouldn't have been up to the victim to not cheer for her rapist -- none of the cheerleaders would have cheered him.  The cheer coach wouldn't have asked them to.  The crowd would have fallen silent when he had the ball.  He would have been ostracized by his friends.

    Instead, all the ostracism fell on her, the victim, for daring to speak up and make everything so darn uncomfortable for the people who just wanted to cheer the rapist.  Alpha men are supposed to rape, and their victims are supposed to let them.  If they fight back, during or after, they are punished; in the mindset of the rape culture, they are the ones who have transgressed.

    And this doesn't just happen in Texas.  I've seen it in my own town, and I live in the Northeast.

    Rape culture.  You're soaking in it.

  •  First off, IANAL, but perhaps the school might (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    have been subjected to a legal case if they banned this guy's spot on the basketball team for the assault - not because it would have been right, but perhaps they've allowed full participation in the past for someone else with the same record, and now if they take away this student's "right" to play on the team, they'd be sued?

    That's a lot of hypotheticals, and my thought is the student should have his ability to participate in the team revoked - if not by the school, then by his coach and team.  The guy was not cleared of charges - he pled to a charge of assault, and he should be disqualified by that.  He must have been clear of a criminal background prior to this, because I would have expected some jail time if he had any kind of history.

    I also think (from the above comments) the student should have also been moved to a different school so as to minimize the contact between the parties.  

    I hope they do better by her with the other assailant's case that may be coming up.

    •  imagine having to continue to go to school with (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CA TreeHugger, andromeda, ColoTim

      him. And then to have to cheer for him. Or to lose your role as a cheerleader because the school deems it more important for him to keep his role as a basketball player.

      And so many in this country claim that women's rights are a settled issue and we should stop complaining.

    •  All that may be plausible. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim

      I would hope that the school has rules in place to make it clear what the penalities are for criminal convictions conducted by its players now.

      "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

      by smoothnmellow on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:52:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Even if the school was forced... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, tardis10

      ...to keep him on the team, it's the coach's discretion whether or not to play him.

      A coach who respected women's rights, who was told that he had to keep this guy on the team, would ensure that he did nothing but ride the pine and pick up the team's towels after practice.

      •  Might not be able to do that either (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim

        Don't get me wrong, based on my limited understanding of the facts here, I don't see how this guy was allowed to keep playing.

        Having said that, if we are going to presume that the school felt legally it couldn't kick him off the team, then legally it would also be unable to keep him in name only, without allowing him to play.

        The best pizza comes from New York.

        by JakeC on Wed May 04, 2011 at 02:10:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Now that's an approach I'd like to see (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim

        and I even know some schools & coaches that would support it. Don't know of any in Texas, but anything's possible.

  •  Rape, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai, CA TreeHugger, Cassandra Waites

    prostitution, family values...

    I'm just a girl, and having some trouble discussing politics because mean people think I should shut up when they threaten me.

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace- Hendrix

    by Maori on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:27:29 AM PDT

  •  Vindictive of the school. My first thought was (5+ / 0-)

    that the principal chose to harass her because she dared risk one of his athletes by reporting him.

    We women know this routine. We've been kept in line for millenia this way.

    Our most often courts serve the preservation of patriarchy and class-dominance, not justice.

  •  Fifth Circuit Opinion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lostboyjim

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:45:50 AM PDT

  •  I wish the whole cheerleading squad (6+ / 0-)

    could refuse to cheer anything in protest to this unjust excursion back to the middle ages.
      In fact if I were a parent of one of the cheerleaders on that squad I would be in full support of her if she decided to protest in that way.
      This situation deserves all the national attention it could get ASAP.

    Heavens to Murgatroyd.

    by nellgwen on Wed May 04, 2011 at 11:53:34 AM PDT

    •  That's the thing that bugs me about it. (12+ / 0-)

      The team continued to play alongside this guy they knew had raped one of their fellow students—someone who could just as easily have been one of their sisters—rather than refusing to take the court as long as he was on it.

      The cheerleaders continued to cheer for this guy they knew had raped someone from their squad—someone who could just as easily have been one of them—rather than standing with their fellow cheerleader and refusing to cheer for the man who raped her.

      Nothing else is going to change until the social pressure and stigma is on him for having raped a woman and gotten off on a light charge, rather than on her for having "disrupted the order of things" and pressed charges against the man who raped her.

  •  Ridiculous administrator and rulings. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson, Cassandra Waites

    They should have let the girl be silent when that particular person was playing.

    Personally I think cheerleading is pointless and those who do it should be playing sports, but that's my opinion only and I'd never FORCE the end of the activity.

    WTF!?!?!?! When did I move to the Republic of Gilead?!

    by IARXPHD on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:21:06 PM PDT

  •  We must DO something! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    impatient

    1575 Highway 96 Silsbee, TX 77656 - (409) 980-7800

    This is the address and phone number. Inundate them with moral condemnation for endangering the lives of children and women!

  •  Gotta Love Texas (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrJersey

    I hope she doesn't go to college here or she'll have to worry next about getting shot now that they are legalizing guns on campus.

    "The next time everyone will pay for it equally, and there won't be any more Chosen Nations, or any Others. Poor bastards all." ~The Boomer Bible

    by just another vet on Wed May 04, 2011 at 01:04:38 PM PDT

  •  I wonder if the word assault was used rather than (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrJersey, Cassandra Waites, zett, antirove

    rapist, would there have been a different ruling in Texas?

    Texans seems to have a love/hate relationship with sex. It's ok to use prostitutes on Saturday and go to church on Sunday, but women are not allowed to accuse Texas athletes of rape.

    This is the crazzziest place I've ever lived. I know a mom who's 6 yr old twins were taken away from her b/c her ex is a bible thumper who accused her Marine 2nd husband of being "too tough" on his kids and doesn't take them go to the "right kind of church". The judge gave the kids to the dad and the mother cannot see the kids without dad's written advanced permission and with a court official present. He then moved them 3 hours away from her. Needless to say, she doesn't get to see her kids more than once a year under these circumstances. This woman works for a living, pay her bills, doesn't drink, is not a druggie, and volunteers her time at a charity. Yet the judge ruled in favor of a man who used to physically, mentally and emotionally abused her?

    Crazzzy, I say.    

    Nature created the human race, but humans created racism.

    by GrannyOPhilly on Wed May 04, 2011 at 01:12:11 PM PDT

  •  Three words (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrJersey

    Welcome to Texas

    I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

    by SocioSam on Wed May 04, 2011 at 01:15:25 PM PDT

  •  surprized (0+ / 0-)

    surprized the young man was not killed or castrated by friends of the young woman. Had it been my little girl, or sister who was raped they would not have found that young man. I would have killed him.

    "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

    by kuvasz on Wed May 04, 2011 at 02:05:16 PM PDT

  •  Pleading a rape charge down to an assault (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, zett

    You know, I find this profoundly disturbing. When someone is convicted of a sex crime, there is a special requirement for the convicted to stay registered as a sex offender. But pleading it down to assault means this guy can escape all that Megan's Law requirements. This is profoundly unfair.

    I would have less of a problem if he pleaded down, from a rape charge, to a sexual battery (just for example) charge.

  •  proudhon, if it comes to it, why (0+ / 0-)

    don't we raise the money here?

    I drink for those who cannot drink for themselves. anon.

    by Mark B on Wed May 04, 2011 at 02:41:55 PM PDT

    •  HS is still anonymous (0+ / 0-)

      She was not named in any court papers. So where would the money go? There's also no evidence that I have seen (one way or another) on her family's financial standing. There may or may not be a need for donations to the family.

      •  Her first name is widely known. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sure her last name is well known in the community. Her own attorney supplied a photo of her for a sympathetic article about the situation.

        As you say, however, there is no indication that she needs any financial help. It is quite unlikely that the case was undertaken on a contingent fee basis so presumably she had enough to pay her own lawyers. (Possibly it's pro bono, but I've seen no evidence.)

        I get the outrage, but I can think of many, many more deserving recipients of my money. Netroots for the Troops, for one.  

  •  Only in Texas (0+ / 0-)

    I wish Texas would separate and create their own country and never again return to the United States.

    Texas gave us our little woodenhead liar of a president Bush and they continue to elect Rick Perry and they have that incredibly stupid and ignorant Louie Gohmert.

    What is being done to this young lady is the work of savages who probably still worship fire.

    I am sick and tired of hearing of the idiot Texans.

  •  That's easy--they shouldn't pay. (0+ / 0-)

    Make the district come after them.  It does strike me that a free speech claim may well be frivolous for a cheerleader's failure to cheer--surely there's a better claim to make there, such as a hostile environment or something like that--so I'm not going to reflexively condemn the Supreme Court's failure to hear the case or even the appeals court's decision, but one thing is the strictly legal issue and another is the practical, human one.  

    It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

    by Rich in PA on Wed May 04, 2011 at 03:53:42 PM PDT

  •  the two words that are key to this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stargaze, Betty Pinson

    is "football star". In Texas, HS football is second only to religion. Maybe first in some areas. The girl accused the school football star of rape, so she was doomed from the start. The "tell" is the fact that he is still in school and still playing football. Any other state, he would be expelled at worst, and off the team at best. The plea down and it's ridiculously weak punishment, both by the courts and the school reek of a backroom deal to get out of the rape charge. Think about it - if the boy never raped her, then he would do all he could to defend himself and dare not risk even an assault going on his record. That would kill his college chances right there, so if he were innocent, he would make sure there was no blight on his record. But the deal in itself convicts him of rape. So he got a talking to and he pleas down to avoid the rape conviction. Now he is in trouble, but the HS doesn't want to risk losing him as a player and maybe ending his chances at college ball, so they let him play. And the girl gets screwed over, Texas style.

    Another "tell" is the fact that the squad could have understood where she was coming from and simply changed the routine - like having some cheerleaders do flips or jumps, and others clap. Easy way out. But no. not one iota of sympathy, or effort to defuse an explosive situation. They hard lined and forced the girl to live by her convictions. My take on that is that the girl had already created a lot of "bad feelings" and the squad was looking for a way to get her (how dare she accuse out football star!) off the squad. Texas style.

    Right now, we can debate this issue all day long, but that will not help the girl or her folks. Not only are they now branded, they have to pony up because they got a poor lawyer. Sorry to make an awful pun, but the girl got screwed three times. Maybe four. I feel for here and her family. She did the right thing, and Texas justice came right back with "don't you mess with our football boys". And sad to say, I think they may have to move out of state if they are to have any future peace.

    Maybe a fund can be set up to pay for the legal bills. Maybe better legal representation can get the case thrown out and retried. But all in all, it's travesty. It should not end with this. There is no way to retry the boy form rape. But this decision is wrong, and needs to be corrected. I hope the girl and her family knows that they are not the bad guys here and a lot of good people are behind them and looking for a way to help.

    "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

    by azureblue on Wed May 04, 2011 at 03:54:35 PM PDT

  •  I'm torn, yes, there are many cases like the (0+ / 0-)

    native children abused by employees of the Catholic Church in Alaska, and elsewhere.  According to the children, now adults, their abusers told them that no one would believe them.

    Then, there are divorce cases where one parent "claims" abuse in order to win custody battles.  The children become pawns, perhaps coached, or brain washed into giving false testimony.

    Without looking it up, I do recall a case where the reputations of the entire staff of a day care center were ruined.  The courts finally exonerated them.  Even the innocent face financial destruction.

    Why is the abuse of children, rape and domestic violence a matter only for the courts?  My father said that in his day, his rural community came together to "deal" with these situations.  

    Are those in any community who don't want to become involved; "see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil, family matters are none of our business as a society, women and children are chattel, don't question your neighbor"; really practicing moral values?

  •  Whether she WAS raped or not has NOT been proven (4+ / 0-)

    the reporting on this case is full of bias.   You can call him a "rapist" all you want in the OP, but that doesn't make it so.

    He pled guilty to an assault charge because the prosecutor knew damn well the rape charge would be very difficult to prove.  

    I suggest that coming to a conclusion based on this diary WITHOUT knowing the actual case facts (god forbid) is a bad idea.

    Given that he was only convicted of misdemeanor assault, the ruling is correct in regards to her actions.

    And before anybody starts jumpin' on me, I have personally testified in court cases that helped bring rapists to justice, to include long prison terms.

    •  Yes. The diary and comments (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      justalittlebitcrazy

      completely confuse the civil and criminal matters, not to mention the event timeline. It's a hopeless jumble.

      FYI, from another diary, there's a fuller picture of the underlying case. That commenter doesn't seem to have made an appearance here -- don't know if he's aware of it or not.

      Comment on Silsbee case

    •  The guy should have been suspended (0+ / 0-)

      The guy should have been suspended until everything is resolve.

      No way in hell should the kid ever had to cheer the douche bag's name.

      •  She absolutely SHOULD have to cheer (0+ / 0-)

        That's what you sign up for when you become a cheerleader, a voluntary position I might add.

        The case has been adjudicated.  It's over.  Assault.  A misdemeanor.  No rape conviction.

        With that being said, if she wants to remain a cheerleader, she has the obligation to cheer for each and every team member, just as her co-cheerleaders do.

        I would respect her if she resigned as a cheerleader.  But her stance that she should not have to cheer for him is simply not supported.  

  •  I knew at (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, Betty Pinson

    Texas, high school sports, and cheer leader that this story was not going to end well.

    1. Texas justice isn't likely to be justice for women.
    2. High school sports are typically insane and Texas high school sports are more insane than most.
    3. Cheer leading is an anachronistic institution  born of chauvinistism.

    So it appears that courts put the schools interests first, the players interests second and the cheer leader's interests last.

    God is the problem, not the solution.

    by Sam Wise Gingy on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:16:16 PM PDT

    •  Yeah...federal court hates cheerleaders (0+ / 0-)

      The federal court is who put the burden on the Cheerleader, and the SCOTUS who didn't think the case had merit.  Blaming the decision of a federal appeals court (that'd be the 5th, it's in Louisinia, not TX) on football is just silly.

      Maybe her case didn't have merit.

      Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

      by lostboyjim on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:09:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  wow. watch this local news coverage (0+ / 0-)

    Here's a local news story from 11/09 when the plea /suspended sentence deal was made.

    It blows my mind. Like the recent NYT Texas Rape story but worse. "a misunderstanding."

    (Can't find a link to original video source - hope this works)

    WFDM story

    "Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking." John Maynard Keynes, via Paul Krugman

    by impatient on Thu May 05, 2011 at 04:44:41 AM PDT

  •  Rapist? (0+ / 0-)

    You mean assaulter.  Being charged with rape doesn't make the accused a rapist.

    In my world at least.

  •  My Brain is Melting! (0+ / 0-)

    I just saw a Banner Advertisement Here on DKOS telling Me about all the Great Vacation Stuff in Texas.

    Now I'm Reading This. Less than 20 Seconds Later.

    Seriously. My Brain is Having a Really Hard time trying to
    get those Two Ideas to FIT TOGETHER.

    Nobody's Fault. Just one of those Totally Unintended
    situations that FUCKS UP your Mind.

    Sorry. I Gotta Go.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 06:53:55 AM PDT

  •  Rape is rape and the person who commits it (0+ / 0-)

    is a RAPIST - not an alleged anything.  this is all part of the Republicans effort to put women in their place-which is back in the 19th century.

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