Thursday, June 15, 2006

Parents: Expert Says Sexual Attack 'Pleasurable'

To understand this case, you have to understand that one of the basic tenets in many sexual assault laws are protections for those who are vulnerable to exploitation. These protections are needed to respond to cases where imbalances of power are used against the victim and true consent becomes impossible.

He, she or they with the most power have the most legal responsibility.

When we tell children to go to school and do as they are told, we don't expect them to be told to do sex acts. If they are then they are not the ones to blame if they don't know they won't get in trouble if they run screaming into the hallway.

Because schools have an inherent and ongoing imbalance of power, schools can't plead that they had no way to anticipate the possibility of improper behavior when one student is given even temporary control over another student.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- The parents of a severely disabled woman suing a Colorado Springs school district over a sexual assault at a high school said the district has refused to mediate a civil lawsuit as one of its experts called the attack "pleasurable" for the woman.

Kalie McArthur, now 20 and with an IQ of about 50, was assaulted in September 2004 at Rampart High School by a 15-year-old boy assigned as a peer trainer, said Jeff Weeks, an attorney for the girl and her parents.

The boy, who had been suspended 20 times in the previous year and had a 0.0 grade point average, wasn't screened or trained and spent an unknown amount of time with McArthur, her parents, Cindy Starr and James McArthur said.

This case shows an appalling failure by the school district, both before and after the sexual assault. What isn't in doubt is that a crime was committed. The boy pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual contact with a helpless victim.

"A professional hired by the district said the assault was pleasurable, not traumatic," said Starr. "He said it ignited her female desires."
The initial failure is compounded when in effect the school district perpetuates, through their expert, a very dangerous myth, that exploiters are simply teaching their victims about sex and that if a victim's body responds to inappropriate sexual contact, what happened wasn't wrong or damaging.

That's rationalization designed to get the perpetrator off the hook. To have a school district support that view in any way feeds into the belief by many sexual perpetrators that their only crime was getting caught.

With that response, a lawsuit is needed to ensure the safety of other students in that school district. It would be a shame if it took the threat of financial loss to make a school district show that they've changed policies and practices that made it easy for this crime to happen.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:36 AM   2 comments links to this post


At June 15, 2006 11:57 AM, Blogger nikki the red said...

it royally disgusts me that ANYONE would say that was pleasurable for the woman. i'm outraged!

At June 15, 2006 9:31 PM, Anonymous cooper said...

Oh My God is what comes to mind.

They are going to take that " professionals license away I hope.


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