This is my true story. I originally posted it on my blog, charmingmistakes.wordpress.com on August 30, 2014.
I’m not supposed to blog about this yet. I’m supposed to wait until it’s all wrapped up with a bow and I’m skipping off into the sunset. I’m supposed to wait for the epilogue that will be the rest of my life.
Ten years ago, I was raped. I was raped by a serial rapist who fled the country and was eventually extradited by the FBI. For the last two years, he has awaited his first of five trials on $2 million bond. After a three and a half day trial and thirty minutes of jury deliberation, he was recently convicted and was sentenced to the maximum 20-25 years of prison. Eventually, he will also be tried for my, and three other rapes. I will be subpoenaed to testify against him. I, like his other victims, have hard DNA evidence against him. They will be a quick and painless trials. No one will vilify or slut shame us. No one will question our character or integrity. No one will mention that I was drunk and high the night he raped me. No one will ask why I was alone on the beach at 3:30 AM. He will be dehumanized and called a “monster” and “soulless” in trial after trial, and will ultimately be given multiple life sentences. This is just and appropriate. This is how the judicial system should always handle rape.
This is only happening because he is black.
This may also be happening because four and a half of his victims may be white. I can’t state that second fact with certainty, because I don’t know who the other victims are. I do know that I am identified as Caucasian on my affidavit. (I am bi-racial, but so fair skinned, I am often assumed white.) So, it is possible that all five of his reported victims are officially considered white by the judicial system.
There is no doubt in my mind this man is guilty. I lived his guilt. I experienced a brief certainty that I would not survive his guilt. He is a monster. He is soulless. I anticipated he would kill me when he finished raping me. I was shocked when he didn’t. The next two years of my life were a blur of self-medicated PTSD. Four years after the rape, he was identified. Eight years after the rape, he was behind bars where he will remain for the rest of his life.
I have said more than once that it’s like I won the lottery… except for the part where I was raped. But it’s true that I’m a statistical* anomaly:
• He was a stranger. We have no mutual friendships for me to navigate. (Approximately 2/3 of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim;
73% of sexual assaults are perpetrated by a non-stranger. (U.S. Department of Justice. 2005 National Crime Victimization Study.))
• He will never be free again. (Only 3 out of 100 rapists will ever spend even one day behind bars. (Department of Justice, Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties: average of 2002-2006.))
• But most luckily for me, he was black and poor. (52% of rapists are white. Meaning the other 48% are distributed among all the other races. (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Statistics. 1997 Sex Offenses and Offenders Study.))
I find it hard to believe that if he were a wealthy, well connected, white fraternity brother who had a fetish for raping, say, poor transgendered sex workers of color, that the FBI would have pursued him so heavily. I find it hard to believe a Southern judge would have looked him in the eye and said, “I think you’re a predator.” If he were a Norwegian national, I doubt any news articles would have cited him as evidence of the “illegal alien” problem. You have no fucking idea how hard it is for me to not comment directly on those “news” sites and identify myself as a victim who doesn’t appreciate her rape being used to promote racist bullshit. One even goes so far as to mention, “Mexican and Central American nationals who can frequently be seen passed out drunk…”
I do not know what the Mexican and Central American immigration problem has to do with my rape, or how it found its way into a “news” story about my rape. I, coincidentally, do not specifically recall ever seeing a “drunk Mexican” in the town where I was raped, however I do recall countless drunk, law-breaking, white American military personnel, one of whom also sexually assaulted me, although I did not report that to police because I was dating him at the time. (60% of rapes are never reported. (Justice Department, National Crime Victimization Survey: 2008-2012.))
I am glad my rapist is being prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law. I feel no ambivalence about that. But I am sickened and exhausted in the knowledge that I am being awarded this dignity, not because of society’s growing intolerance of rape, but because he is seen as the only kind of man who doesn’t have free reign of my body: a black man. This is Emmett Till: 2014. The only comfort I can take is that this Emmett Till actually committed the crime.
If you someone you know one has been the victim of rape:* All statistics cited in this piece were found at http://www.rainn.org
State by state resources: https://rainn.org/...