Sunday, April 30, 2006

ShakespearesSister: Rape in a Small Town

shakespearessister: Meet Florence Holway
Florence Holway. Fifteen years ago, at age 75, she was brutally raped by 25-year-old John LaForest, who entered her home, raped her vaginally and anally, hog-tied her with a telephone wire, choked her, and smashed her teeth. During the attack, he said to her, “Isn’t this nice? Isn’t this great? I ought to come over every week.”

This case shows that even victims of stranger rapes aren't always treated respectfully by those who are given the job of pursuing justice.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 5:02 PM   0 comments links to this post

Woman will plead guilty to raping 12-year-old cousin

modern tribalist
She made headlines in November 1995, when after giving birth in her dormitory room at Ohio Dominican College, Davis placed the baby in a trash bin wrapped in clothing and plastic bags. A passer-by found the child and notified authorities. An attempted murder charge was filed against Davis, but later dismissed.

When questioned, this woman claimed she became pregnant after she was raped at a party when in fact she became pregnant while sexually exploiting a 12-year old cousin.

Some will say this woman made a false accusation of rape and will use this case to support their continued disbelief of rape victims. However, this woman made a vague allegation of rape to hide her own criminal activity which resulted in pregnancy. So there was a rape, it just turns out she was the rapist.

Those who will use a case like this to call the majority of rape victims liars don't see the irony that they are making unsubstantiated accusations and demanding punishment before there's any legal proof. They are doing the very thing they claim to be against -- but apparently false accusations are only wrong when they are directed at men.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:44 AM   0 comments links to this post

Sanjayandjanna: It wouldn't be PC to brand her a slut...

sanjayandjanna I guess we'll have to settle for "liar". That seems to be the mindset of the Duke lacrosse players' attorneys. And of course, of the media and anyone who takes CNN at face value.

Janna makes good points in her post. The news outlets have indeed done a poor job at giving their audience an understanding of how common it is for valid sexual assault reports to be made and then have the investigation go no further.

The lack of context can lead those who know little of the realities of sexual assault prosecution to believe those who are quick to cry, "No rape."

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:18 AM   0 comments links to this post

Saturday, April 29, 2006

4 U.S. Marines refuse to enter pleas in rape case in Philippines
Four U.S. Marines suspected of raping a 22-year-old Filipina declined to enter pleas at their first appearance in court Friday, prompting the judge to enter a plea of not guilty on their behalf.

Prosecutors allege that the three Marines cheered Smith while he raped the woman, whose real name has not been publicly disclosed, inside a rented van on Nov. 1 at Subic Bay free port near Olongapo City, northwest of Manila. Smith claimed he had consensual sex with the woman.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:17 PM   0 comments links to this post

Admissibility of Duke rape victim's prior sexual assault report

Washington Post
The district attorney prosecuting two Duke University lacrosse players on rape charges said Friday that a similar complaint brought by the accuser 10 years ago may not be admissible if the Duke case goes to trial -- a suggestion disputed by a defense lawyer.

I'm not sure what the defense hopes to prove other than they will grasp at any straw to distract from actions taken by the defendents and the other lacrosse players. Other than the number of assailents there are no similarities between these two cases.

Talking to police 10 years ago about a sexual assault does not equal a false allegation any more than lack of follow up by the police equals a deliberate cover up by police.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:16 PM   0 comments links to this post

Duke Sexual Assault Case Fuels Olympic Champion’s Memories
Nancy Hogshead-Maker was the number one swimmer in the world at the age of 14. She won Olympic Gold in 1984. Yet the olympic gold medal swimmer and Duke graduate felt a range of emotions when she heard the news of Duke’s lacrosse team raping a stripper. She probably should have, given her personal history.

An interesting story about how Duke University responded to a different type of rape allegation.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:42 AM   0 comments links to this post

Rape Prevention: Walk a mile in her shoes
Each year, an ever-increasing number of men, women and their families are joining Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, The Mens March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence. Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is a fun opportunity for men to educate the community about a very serious subject and to rally the community to take action to prevent sexual violence.

Before April and sexual assault awareness month ends, I thought I'd highlight one of the many programs out there. There will always be rape apologists in this world, but there are many people who refuse to minimize or deny this serious crime.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 7:28 AM   0 comments links to this post

Exonerated Man Dies in Ill. Hit-and-Run

ABC News
Dan Young Jr. had a $150,000 check in his name awaiting the governor's signature the price the state put on the nearly 13 years he spent in prison for murder before DNA testing cleared him.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 7:12 AM   0 comments links to this post

Friday, April 28, 2006

RAINN Operation Freefall
Tomorrow, at 10 AM, I will be jumping out of a perfectly good plane as part of Operation Freefall, the "two-mile high stand against sexual assault".

For anyone who wants to help prevent sexual assault, but doesn't know how to help, here's an event you can support. The money raised helps to fund RAINN's national hotline.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 1:36 PM   0 comments links to this post

Welcome to the Hall of Shame: LaShawn Barber
Update III (4/27): The Duke rape accuser has cried rape before. Ten years ago she claimed three men had raped her three years earlier. (Source) The girl’s got an active, though not terribly original, imagination. I wonder if the alleged rapists were white…

How dare you, LaShawn!

You know nothing about what happened to this woman, yet you feel you have the God given right to slam her? If you honestly think it's God that makes you talk trash like this, you got another think coming.

Any claim you've made of being someone who seeks the truth has been proven to be a lie by the statement you've made above.

But don't feel bad about being added to my Hall of Shame, I'm sure you're now in the Rapist's Hall of Fame.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:37 AM   0 comments links to this post

If it happens again is it still rape?

National Review: Carrie Lukas

The survey found that four in ten of the survey's rape victims, and one in three victims of attempted rape, chose to have intercourse with their so-called attacker again. The survey researchers scratched their heads as to why these women would return to their attackers, but Sommers asks the obvious question: "Since most women the survey counted as victims didn't think they had been raped, and since so many went back to their partners, isn't it reasonable to conclude that many had not been raped to begin with?"

The original survey may be flawed, but this conclusion is downright dangerous.

From personal experience I can speak to this paradox. My boyfriend didn't fit the profile of a rapist as I'd been taught (a monster who snatches girls off the street) so even though what happened to me was rape, I couldn't accept that he meant to treat me that way. I couldn't accept that the guy who had been in my life nearly my whole life and who was one of my brothers' best friends could be a rapist.

Looked at without understanding, people could think I decided to have intercourse with my boyfriend again. I did no such thing. It took a second rape (when I was still in shock from the first rape) before it began to sink in that the first time hadn't been a fluke. He hadn't mistaken the signals of non-consent.

Two rapes by the same person don't cancel each other out or imply consent.

If you still don't understand, think of it this way:

On the positive side of the scale I had 10 plus years of fun when this guy was around.
On the negative side of the scale I had less than 1 day of unimaginable pain and betrayal.

The next time I saw my boyfriend he was at his very best. Kind, loving, so on and so forth. It was like that 1 day never happened.

And of course he set out to manipulate me from the moment he decided he wanted sex and increased the manipulation after the first rape so I would feel like I was hurting him if I stopped seeing him. He did a fine job of manipulation until I found out he had another girlfriend. Then the whole house of cards crumbled.

Many rapists use manipulation and power to keep getting what they want. Sexual abuse can go on for years and to say that repetition and duration somehow negates the crime is the ultimate in victim blaming.

Nothing cancels out a rape, not even consensual sex.

From later in the article:

In the past, victims of rape were made to feel that the crime was their fault. Many women around the world still suffer this bias. Today in the United States, the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. A man accused of rape often is convicted in the court of public opinion without evidence.

I don't buy this argument at all. Too many people in the US continue to insist that the alleged victim must be a liar or stupid if they don't come right out and blame her while arguing that accused rapists are the only group being labeled as guilty.

For more on this subject read:
abyss2hope: Defense attorney asserts that alleged rape victims have an unfair advantage

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:11 AM   5 comments links to this post

Abused Priests

Daily dish: abused priests

They are the forgotten victims of the Catholic Church hierarchy's history of condoning and covering up child and teen sexual abuse by priests.

Washington Post: Finding Little Solace in Sharing of Long-Guarded Secret

Catholic Priest Who Was Victim of Sex Abuse Draws Fire After Speaking Out

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:16 AM   0 comments links to this post

Gender Geek: Rape is a second class crime Rape is a second class crime
The [UK] Guardian reports today on undercover footage that indicates that some police officers take rape allegations less than seriously. Channel 4’s Dispatches, due to be aired tonight at 9pm, will reveal video evidence of a culture of male chauvinism in which colleagues failed to believe rape allegations, watched porn films on night shifts and made sexist comments.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:09 AM   0 comments links to this post

Daily Kos: EU Issues Stinging Condemnation of CIA

This story from the Daily Kos about the CIA flying terrorism suspects to countries where torture is legal caught my eye because ethical facilitating of torture is an oxymoron.

As has been demonstrated in rape cases, the most extreme interrogation techniques are not effective and can increase the distrust people have in those who sponsor this type of treatment.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:07 AM   0 comments links to this post

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Accuser In Duke Lacrosse Case Reported Previous Rape

NBC 17:

The existence of the report surprised defense attorneys, one of whom has sought information about the accuser's past for use in attacking her credibility.


Attorneys for Seligmann asked the court this week to order the state to turn over the accuser's medical, legal and education records, and hold a pretrial hearing to "determine if the complaining witness is even credible enough to provide reliable testimony."

The defense attorney wants it to be, "they said, she won't be allowed to say."

If the defense team gets its way, it may be difficult for anyone who reported a rape in the past -- yet didn't get a conviction -- to be viewed as a reliable witness if they are raped again. They might as well put a sign on the back of all those rape victims that reads, "If you rape me, you won't be convicted."

I can predict the reaction that will come from those who have declared that the alleged victim is the villain in this situation. It won't be pretty and will have little to do with any honest pursuit of justice.

The false accusation fanatics will be like sharks who smell blood.

If these people think about the possibility that the alleged victim was raped at 14, they won't think about it for long. Because there was no conviction, many will allege that this woman has a history of false allegations. From the details released, there is absolutely no evidence to support that theory, not that the lack of evidence will be a deterrent to those who claim to believe in "innocent until proven guilty."

But a history of rape fits in with the background of trauma necessary to tolerate the treatment strippers get from their customers.

For once I hope I'm absolutely wrong about those who appear to be rape apologists.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:37 PM   0 comments links to this post

Duke Rape Case: Taxi drivers testimony puts timeline alibi in doubt


Using Mostafa’s statement, prosecutors are certain to attack what has become a very public set of alibis for the defense — the series of allegedly time-stamped photos taken by players the night of the party, some of which have been leaked to the media.

Apparently, the leak of time-stamped photos has some defense attorneys steaming since the various elements of the alibi may turn into key pieces of evidence to support the prosecution's case. The time-stamped photo that supposedly shows the alleged victim getting into a car at the end of the party, may in fact be a photo of her getting out of a car when she arrived.

Whoever leaked that photo probably didn't consider that she could have arrived and left in different cars. Oops.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 4:14 PM   0 comments links to this post

Teens Charged In Brutal Racist Attack

CBS News: Teens Charged In Brutal Racist Attack
Two white teenagers severely beat and sodomized a 16-year-old Hispanic boy who they believed had tried to kiss a 12-year-old white girl at a party, authorities said.

The two have been charged with aggravated sexual assault.

According to the report, they poured bleach on the victim and left him for dead. He wasn't found until 12 hours after the attack and remains in critical condition. The victim is at risk of dying from his injuries.

And pundits like Kathleen Parker think discussions about race, class and privilege are meaningless. Tell it to this victim -- if he lives.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 2:35 PM   0 comments links to this post

More Than 1,100 Sex Offenders Captured

Washington Post: 1,102 Sex Offenders Rounded Up in 27-State Dragnet
More than 1,100 people wanted in connection with violent sex crimes were among 9,037 fugitives arrested in a weeklong roundup, top law enforcement officials said yesterday. The arrests were made as part of "Operation Falcon II," a 27-state dragnet led by the U.S. Marshals Service and timed to coincide with National Crime Victims' Rights Week.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:24 AM   0 comments links to this post

NY Bouncer Accused of Second Abduction

MSNBC: Official: NYC bouncer accused in second case

The law enforcement official said Littlejohn, 41, had been linked to the attempted abduction of a 19-year-old woman who told investigators she was approached by a man driving a blue van. The official said that the attacker - carrying handcuffs and wearing a blue law enforcement baseball cap - forced the woman into the van, but that she later jumped out and escaped.
This is the same man connected to the rape and murder of a women who drank at the bar where he worked as a bouncer. So much for the conservative pundet's theory that he was only a danger to hard-partying women who lacked common sense.

From the description of these 2 crimes, he has all the makings of a serial killer. Notice that he tried to give the impression that he might be a cop, a technique straight out of Ted Bundy's playbook. We may never know if he succeeded at abducting and murdering other women. If he did, the blame lies solely with him, not with any of his victims.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:10 AM   0 comments links to this post

Republican and Religious Right Sexual Offenders & Defenders

washparkprophet: Republican and Religious Right Pedophiles

The reason I'm including this link is not to attack Republicans or conservative Christians, it's to highlight the flaw in the position most conservative pundits take related to sexual assault and sexual abuse.

Despite the lowlife stereotypes, sexual offenders cross all socio-economic boundaries. Some instantly make you want to run in the opposite direction, some make you want to vote for them.

To pick out certain victims and alleged victims and say they are somehow less innocent than other victims -- or to blame feminists and feminism for rape ("How dare you tell women that nothing they do justifies rape!") -- is to refuse to hold their rapists and abusers fully accountable for their actions.

If we buy this way of thinking, many rapists then become nothing more than the victims of irresistable temptation. And if we buy that perpetrator/victim reversal, convicting these rapists seems downright cruel. And going for these sleazy victims' jugulars seems like true justice and the upholding of morality.

There are just a few nitpicky problems with the conservative pundits position.

Not only is blaming feminism for increasing the number of rapes harmful, it's inaccurate. The adjusted victimization rate per 1,000 persons age 12 and over has shown a pattern of decline According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network between 1973 and 2003.
Since 2000, the overall number of sexual assaults dropped by 22%, while the percentage of sexual assaults that are reported to the police rose to an average of 42% in the last five years, compared to 31% in the prior four years.
So what the conservatives who blame feminism for the rape epidemic dislike about feminism -- raising awareness of sexual violence and increasing the percentage of rape victims who report -- is effective at reducing sexual violence. What these conservatives seem to be craving from the good old days are their blinders.

They don't want to see raped people.

And they want this badly enough that they are willing to demonize victims and people who are working to help victims and prevent sexual exploitation. These same people frequently jump at chances to ally themselves with the best and the brightest of the alleged rapists. Some who align themselves with alleged rapists think an apology is all that's needed to make things right if it's proven that they've helped rapists continue their assault on innocent victims.

Yet they don't think, "Oops" is an appropriate response when there wasn't evidence to support Tawana Brawley's allegations. To the conservative pundets that mistake has left a permanent stain that has not faded in over 20 years.

By the conservatives own standards, it can be no different when conservatives attack real rape victims.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:31 AM   0 comments links to this post

Imprisoned and deported for being raped?

feministe: Imprisoned and deported for rape

A 16-year-old girl was deported from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan after serving 6 months in prison after she was raped by a Saudi man. She was deported even though she was born in Saudi Arabia.

The scary part is that some of the immigration reforms being considerd by congress could lead to a similar situation in the US if the Republican congress gets it's way and successfully denies some US-born children their citizenship rights.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:16 AM   0 comments links to this post

Does Justice Take a Holiday?

ABC News: Does Justice Take a Holiday in Caribbean?
Because she'd been sexually assaulted, the medical staff would not touch her until the detectives arrived to gather evidence. Black said she believes it was around 6:30 a.m. that two police officers finally arrived, but she said they showed little interest in her case. Eventually, the police accompanied her back to her apartment where they took some pictures and made some notes. Black said she has never heard anything more from the police.

This highlights the fact that popular vacation spots can be dangerous even for those who aren't out partying. This victim was sleeping in her student apartment when she was attacked.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:47 AM   0 comments links to this post

Oklahoma Senate OKs Violent-Games Bill
the Oklahoma Senate unanimously approved a new violent-games bill on Monday that makes it a crime to sell violent video games to children under 18.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:45 AM   0 comments links to this post

Teacher charged with sex assault of student

Chicago Tribune: Teacher charged with sex assault of student
A McHenry High School teacher is scheduled to appear in court Thursday on charges that she had oral sex with a 17-year-old male student and gave him and two other students alcohol, officials said Monday.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:42 AM   0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

California considering making child pornography a sex crime

Angela Shelton
OMG today I testified before the CA State Senate Public Safety Committee. The hearing was as an advisory board member for PROTECT in support of Senate Bill 1238 “2006 Child Pornography Reform Bill.” The bill moves child pornography out of the obscenity section and into the sex crimes section.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 6:21 PM   0 comments links to this post

Feminist Law Professors: This Is Why Rape Is Underreported
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 3:40 PM   0 comments links to this post

Columnist Dishes Dangerous Logic About Rape

A very interesting analysis of the flawed logic behind the 'common sense' victim blaming.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 3:35 PM   0 comments links to this post

Capitalism Bad; Tree Pretty: Constructing 'rape'

Capitalism Bad; Tree Pretty: Constructing 'rape'
I went to a public lecture tonight by Joanna Bourke a historian from Britain. Her talk was called "Sexual Violence, a historical perspective: writing the rapist".
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 3:06 PM   0 comments links to this post

Duke Rape Case: the victim's psychological problems

CNN: Essence reporter: Alleged rape victim running scared

[CNN's Betty] NGUYEN: You spent more time with this family, yet this family has rarely spent much time at all with the accuser here. Is she just running scared?

This interview with an Essence magazine contributor is disturbing in how quickly the interviewer falls into the trap of victim baiting. Notice that Ms. Nguyen uses the term accuser instead of alleged victim in her first question.

The alleged victim has been getting death threats and Ms. Nguyen implies that the alleged victim's protective actions are somehow abnormal or a symptom of psychological problems.

If this woman was raped as alleged, the trauma of gang rape combined with having many so-called moral people side with her rapists would cause any victim serious psychological problems.

I found the tone of the questioning about contact between a civil rights attorney and the alleged victim's family especially disturbing. This woman is being shredded from nearly every direction (last I heard over 50 defense lawyers have been hired by various people) so to imply anything negative about looking into protecting the alleged victim's rights is stupid at best.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:05 PM   0 comments links to this post

Gang rape and university culture - a case study Stop Gang Rape

This article includes an example of a real university gang rape and the actions taken by students, coaches and administrators. Even though what happened met the legal standards of rape, zero rapes were reported in this incident. Five of those who committed rape were put on probation, but the victim was also put on probation for lewd, indecent and obscene conduct.

To begin to make sense of incidents such as the Duke rape case, read this article.

From Alfred. S. Alschuler:

It's popular to blame those at the top, but the core of the problem and it's solution are at the bottom. It exists in the unwritten rules governing the majority of students: accept rape as a normal fact of campus existence; remain silent in response to sexual assault, stalking and harassment; don't report or support victim's reporting; don't cause sustained uproars demanding justice and punishment; wait passively to be saved by the administration; avoid taking personal responsibility by blaming "them" for leadership failures; don't act individually or collectively to create extreme social pressure against all forms of body terrorism. These informal rules, not the students who abide by them, are to blame and must be changed.

I suspect that similar patterns can be found at Duke University and many other universities.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:33 AM   1 comments links to this post

How to detect subtle differences between yes and no before you're accused of rape

Dahlia Lithwick:

Subtle distinctions between consensual sex and date rape, between coercion and force, between silences that sound like "yes" and silences that sound like "stop," are difficult for the parties themselves to work out.
Rapists and those who defend accused rapists want us to believe the lie that it's nearly impossible to tell the difference. The reason they want us to believe this is so they can act the part of the victim if a person they offended against goes to the police. They will pretend ignorance even when their actions show premeditation.

Don't let them sucker you.

The good news, for those who don't want to rape or be accused of rape, is there is nothing subtle about these differences.

The bad news, for those who don't want to stop, is there is nothing subtle about these differences.

The first step to seeing the distinctions clearly is to realize that there are two mutually-exclusive states.
1) full consent, freely given by someone old enough and functioning at a state where they can give consent
2) non-consent

There is no state called "maybe." If you don't have the first state, you have the second.
There is no person permanently in the first state.
There is no occupation that puts someone permanently in the first state.

From this perspective the only difficulty comes when someone wants to ignore or circumvent all signs of non-consent.

If you want sex and you are getting any resistance from the other person, you don't have consent.

If you want sex and you need to manipulate the person you want to have sex with, you don't have consent.

If you want sex and know she won't come to before you're done, you don't have consent.

If you want sex and tell yourself that the other person won't make a credible witness, you don't have consent.

If you want sex and the other person is unable to give clear and unequivocal consent, you don't have consent.
If you want sex and you wonder how you will defend yourself if she/he reports you, you don't have consent.

If you want sex and your buddy yells, "Next!" when he's done, you don't have consent.

If you want sex and there is any doubt about how you will feel about it later, you don't have consent --possibly your own.

It's as simple as that. Any lack of full consent by any party involved means, "STOP!"

Any withdrawal of consent means, "STOP!"

If she was willing but changed her mind, don't blame her. Look at your own actions. Did you edge toward violence? Were you manipulating her and she realized what you were doing? Were you assuming willingness when it was never there?

If you wanted to be with this person for more than sex, accepting non-consent with grace will make you look strong, not weak.

What rapists want to do is to move this boundary so that only a clear "no" at the proper time and place from the proper person means, "STOP!"

Don't let them get away with it, even if you think the victim is immoral or too stupid to live.

If you see signs that those around you think like rapists, do what you can to counter that mentality because if they rape, you may become one of their secondary victims or an accomplice.

Or their fall guy.

People who will rape may have no problem pointing the finger at others to escape responsibility.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:08 AM   1 comments links to this post

Digby: Teen Sex Cults - caused by birth control?


Digby blogs on the mindset that led to this:

In the memo released by the FDA, Dr. Curtis Rosebraugh, an agency medical officer, wrote: "As an example, she [Woodcock] stated that we could not anticipate, or prevent extreme promiscuous behaviors such as the medication taking on an 'urban legend' status that would lead adolescents to form sex-based cults centered around the use of Plan B."

Emergency contraception is an important issue and the decision on whether or not it should be sold without a prescription shouldn't get mired in people's darkest fantasies about what could happen.

The raw truth is that abusive sexual behavior (to others and to self) is already here. Withholding birth control can't be the only response to this very serious problem.

Since the younger the girl is when she is at risk for pregnancy, the more likely it is that she has a history of sexual abuse or rape, all birth control should come with some basic information about sexual abuse and include the contact information for a national help line.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:31 AM   0 comments links to this post

Red State Feminist: What’s The Deal With Steven Stosny, the Batterer’s Guru?

Red State Feminist: What’s The Deal With Steven Stosny, the Batterer’s Guru?

I feel conflicted about the work of Steven Stosny. First of all, who is he? Steven Stosny is a Ph.D. and clinical psychologist who works with batterers and emotional abusers. He’s been on Oprah more than once demonstrating his remarkable results.

He says, about batterers, that "They see themselves as just reacting to their environment. I want them to learn that there's something in them that regulates their emotions, regardless of what other people do." And I want to cheer.

This is an excellent look at 2 different approaches to changing the actions and patterns behind abusive behavior. The bottom line for me is to cheer on all those seriously trying to figure out how to break the cycle of abuse.

And if a flawed method works for some batterers when other programs fail, that's better than nothing.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:24 AM   1 comments links to this post

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

South Carolina bill would make sale of sex toys a felony

(2) A person disseminates a sexual device within the meaning of this article if it is designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs and solely for the sale of prurient interest in sex.

(H) A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or both.
The only reason I could imagine anyone wanting to make the sale of sex toys a felony is if the legislators believe the use of sex toys causes people to commit felony-level sex offenses. I don't know of any research that finds a causal link between sex toys and sexual assault or sexual abuse.

With the limited amount of resources available to deal with sex offenders, this bill seems like it would waste precious resources.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 4:03 PM   1 comments links to this post

The Hathor Legacy: The fem-nazi backlash

The Hathor Legacy: The fem-nazi backlash
From post, Entitlement and sex:
The only biological factor that could inherently impact a woman’s sexual attitudes is the possibility of rape or other violence. Since men make up something like 98% of our violent prison population, obviously an informed woman must realize that sleeping with strangers puts her at greater risk than a man puts himself at sleeping with strange women.

An interesting look into how women are perceived in real life and in the media.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 1:02 PM   0 comments links to this post

Duke Rape Case: Defendent to Stand Trial in D.C.

Washington Post: Duke Lacrosse Player to Stand Trial in D.C.
Duke University lacrosse player Collin Finnerty, already charged with raping an exotic dancer in North Carolina, was ordered to stand trial today in Washington on an unrelated assault charge stemming from an altercation last fall in Georgetown.

Considering the new charges against him, it makes sense for this man face trial on the earlier charge since he violated the conditions of the diversion program he entered after the Georgetown assault.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:24 PM   0 comments links to this post

Shakespearessister: Family values serial killer

Shakespeares Sister: Family values

I found it absolutely amazing that a woman who had married a serial killer—and, by the way, took him at his word when he told her the skeleton their son found in the backyard was just some old bones his physician father had left him; “I didn’t question it; Herb kept everything!” (yeah, like the skeletons of his victims)—still found the reserves within her to condemn hippies and parents who didn’t parent like they did. Unbelievable.

This case highlights the real harm behind blind faith in the myths about who is and is not a horrible human being. Labels like Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, Christian, Muslim, straight, gay don't make us good or bad.

Our thoughts, and the actions that come from those thoughts are what can make us horrible human beings. Or not.

Frequently predators will take extra effort to look good so they can have access to their victims or so they won't fit the profile of somone who would do something horrible.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:54 AM   0 comments links to this post

Duke Rape Case: Player's Lawyers Request Detailed Personal Information About the Alleged Victim

ABC News: Vigorous Defense or Trashing the Alleged Victim? Duke Rape Defendant Files Motions
Seligmann's lawyers asked for detailed personal information about the alleged victim. They requested, among other things, personal, medical and educational records of the accuser, and criminal records or "bad acts" committed by any witnesses the prosecution planned to call to the stand.

If this man has an airtight alibi as he claims, there's no need for this personal information. It sounds like the alibi may not hold up and they want to discredit anyone who saw him at the party when he supposedly wasn't there.

These motions should be denied.

This goes back to the belief many men have that they can get away with rape if their victim is just a ____.
Fill in the blank with stripper, stupid girl, or whatever description works for you.

I pray they aren't right.

If you rape, you are a rapist -- no matter who you pick as your victim.

The very idea of carefully picking victims who are less likely to be believed, implies pre-meditation. It also implies that other girls and women (who might be believed) may never know how close they came to being raped.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:16 AM   2 comments links to this post

Former MN State Trooper Convicted Of Sexual Abuse

WCCO: Former state trouper convicted

A former lieutenant in the Minnesota state patrol was convicted Friday on a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The victim (14 at the time of the crime) reported the crime after attending a high school class on date rape and domestic assault.

This is one of those cases where the defendent was an otherwise nice guy who decided it was okay for him to exploit the trust of a babysitter.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:01 AM   1 comments links to this post

Monday, April 24, 2006

Welcome to the Hall of Shame: Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter: Lie down with strippers, wake up with pleas:

However the Duke lacrosse rape case turns out, one lesson that absolutely will not be learned is this: You can severely reduce your chances of having a false accusation of rape leveled against you if you don't hire strange women to come to your house and take their clothes off for money.

What an interesting way to say that the alleged rape victim has made a false allegation. Clever, very clever.

Here's my advice: You can severely reduce your chances of having any accusation of rape leveled against you if you don't treat any woman like merchandise or some thing that's yours for the taking.

My only response to Ms. Coulter's attack on murder victims is to say she is either stupid or mean.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:17 PM   2 comments links to this post

Why minimum sentences for sex crimes worry prosecutors

Burlington Free Press: Senate committee backs mandatory minimum sentences for sex crimes:

Campbell said he came to believe the 10-year minimum for the most serious sex crimes would not create too much of a burden for prosecutors. He had opposed mandatory minimum sentences, as many prosecutors and victims' advocates do, out of concern that the mandate would force more defendants to take their cases to trial, forcing more victims to testify and creating the possibility of more acquittals because sex crimes can be difficult to prove.
I disagree with this assessment. It isn't so much that there isn't proof that criminal statutes have been broken, it's that many jurors refuse to accept the evidence given to them. Or they buy the defense team's excuses for the criminal behavior enough to rule that there is a reasonable doubt. This is true whether the victim is a stripper or a child.

The raw truth is that the attitudes represented by those who have gone on the attack against the alleged victim in the Duke rape case are the real reason prosecutors and victims advocates are worried about the negative impact of minimum sentences.

Why should those guilty of sex crimes accept a deal with a 10-year sentence when a jury may let them walk?

According to Media Matters Bill O'Reilly says that states without minimum sentences must be sympathetic toward child molesters. If minimum sentences result in more criminals walking free, Mr. O'Reilly doesn't want to know about it.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 5:29 PM   0 comments links to this post

Duke Rape Case: more about college stripping

From ABC News: Duke Lacrosse Scandal Sheds New Light on the Stripper Industry: A Campus Trend?

At Cornell University in New York, one graduate remembered how halfway through "Hell Week" — an arduous ritual of breaking in new members — fraternity brothers brought in a stripper "just to remind us that they didn't completely hate us." At one of those parties, he recalled seeing one stripper paid to have sex with a new recruit in front of the entire pledge class. The rate she charged for oral sex was $50.


"You need a kind of traumatic experience to make you tough enough to do this work," she [ stripper/college student] said. "It's not an easy business."

I find it interesting that the men actively involved in stripping (if you're a customer, you are involved) are seen as making acceptable choices while women involved in stripping are seen as making unacceptable choices.

And what if that new recruit didn't want to have sex, but felt he had no choice under the circumstances? I believe that's a form of sexual abuse. If you're a parent of a son, do you want to send him into an environment where he feels he has no choice?

College boys aren't condemned when they add new layers of trauma to strippers or to the men around them who feel powerless to stop behavior that disgusts them. When successful men (in life or on the field) step over the line into criminal behavior, too many men and women resist labeling them as criminals.

If you are truly against rape, then blame the rapist, not the rape victim. No buts allowed.

If you ever blame the rape victim, even partially, you are NOT completely against rape.

"She just went to the cops because we had rougher sex than she expected," is the rapist's way of saying, "She went to the cops because I raped her. But don't worry about me, she won't get justice because it's my word against hers."

From ABC News: Is Jock Culture a Training Ground for Crime?:

One study of sexual assault cases found that while male student athletes make up 3.3 percent of the college population, they committed 19 percent of the sexual assaults. The Benedict-Crosset Study of sexual assaults at 30 major Division I universities over a three-year period in the 1990s concludes that "male college student athletes, compared to the rest of the male population, are responsible for a significantly higher percentage of sexual assaults reported to judicial affairs on the campuses of Division I institutions."
If the strongest and the most competitive of our young men are allowed or even expected to treat women horribly, what message does that send to less powerful men who fantasize about hurting women? Some of these men may not have the money to act out against strippers and get away with it, they may have to find other, more respectable targets.

If you change the target and the method of gaining access, this behavior doesn't sound so harmless anymore, does it?

It sounds like real violence against women.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 2:01 PM   1 comments links to this post

Duke Rape Case: Kathleen Parker says white men don't rape black women

Kathleen Parker: Fact and myth Duke it out

Where there's a female victim, there's usually a feminist spokesperson making the case against aggressive males.

Translation: Leave our violent men alone!

No one wishes to minimize the pain of slavery or the trauma of rape, whether at the hands of a 19th-century plantation owner or a modern-day lacrosse player, but ...

Translation: I can and will do exactly this, but I want to dodge responsibility.

The historical pattern of [Jesse] Jackson's behavior is what keeps those fears aroused and conjures up bad memories.

Translation: You have nothing to fear but Jesse Jackson himself.

There is no current trend of white men raping black women ... though sample sizes are considered too small to draw any solid conclusions ...

Translation: White men don't rape black women. Whenever it looks like they do, people like me insist it's just rough sex. I only have the lack of data to back me up, but that's good enough for me.

... we can't help noting that the two young men thus far charged are from New York and New Jersey ...

Translation: They're from blue states. If the impossible happens and a jury finds any of these men guilty, I'll blame the Democrats.

Any commentary about race, class and privilege in this case is meaningless ...

Translation: [KP's hands over her ears] "I'm not listening."

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:28 AM   2 comments links to this post

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Rape judgments: no tit for tat please

Being a fall-down drunk is vulgar behavior, something that I, unfortunately, have experienced.


The Enemy and his minions will try anything to tear down God's own. I'm here on this blog every day because God makes it so. And only he has the power to stop me, not my enemies. My Savior has assured me: He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.


I'm angry, and on this blog, I will express that anger as often as I need to. [emphasis mine]

After reading LaShawn Barber's post which I've excerpted above, I have great sympathy for her even though I disagree with her at a fundamental level. I'm sure she wouldn't agree, but I am not her enemy.

She'd probably say I'm a liar, but my thought processes once mirrored hers. I don't know what caused her to be as she called herself, "a fall-down drunk" but if her transformation from vulgarity to Christianity was anything like mine, the driving forces behind her vulgar behavior were attributed to sinfulness and ungodliness.

Repentance was the cure all.

Compassion for the old self was not allowed. That old self was evil and had to be repudiated. This is what I call white-knuckle Christianity. If you failed or slid back to old behaviors then somehow you lacked faith. The problem couldn't be with the way the leaders advising you interpreted and implemented Christianity.

This approach puts a tight lid on splattering pots without doing anything about the underlying heat. Just like a pressure cooker, a release is needed to keep the pot from exploding. For LaShawn, I believe anger is her new alcohol, only now many people see her choices as good and righteous where they used to see her choices as bad and sinful.

But the cause has not changed.

If stoning were still allowed in America, I can easily imagine her as one of the first in line to grab a stone. And her reason would have nothing to do with delivering just punishment, it would be all about the euphoria that comes from having a sanctioned release for her inner rage.

It's no wonder that Christians who take this approach constantly say they are at war. They are, but it is a largely self-inflicted war.

For many of her dedicated readers, she's their rager by proxy and helps them release anger they either can't or won't vent themselves.

But raging anger can be as harmful as raging alcoholism. Raging anger lashes out first, apologizes later. And when it's done in the name of God, all those who refuse to support your rage are minions of the devil. Sounds awfully similar to the feeling raging alcoholics have about non-drinkers who try to intervene.

Neither of these outlets require you to deal with the real causes of the behavior that you rage against. I can say from experience that LaShawn's is a harsh worldview that offers very little grace.

As a teenager, I repented my rape and the aftershocks of that rape. And I backslid time and time again, increasing my self-disgust each time. I was in such a swirl of emotions that I didn't see the danger when an abusive Christian man decided I was the wife God wanted him to have. His sharp view of the world seemed like wisdom when it was nothing of the sort.

It took me years and the agony of going back to the darkest moments of my life before I found a way to deal with the source of my darkest behavior and my darkest thoughts. Only then did I start having true mercy for myself and for others.

Just as I don't think it's right for LaShawn to glory in her anger (like the request for help in locating an annoying commenter), I don't think it's right to return or escalate that anger.

Despite her anger, she comes across as someone quite brittle.

I think her position on the Duke rape case has more to do with her issues and her needs than with the objective facts in this case. Why else would she go for the alleged victim's jugular with no regard for what impact her attack has on rape victims? Despite her official position, her attack can't be erased if the words she's written against this alleged victim prove to be based on terribly incorrect assumptions.

I'm sure she believes that I am far more out of touch with the reality of this situation and the larger social issues around sexual assault. It doesn't matter that I've experienced rape and have had extensive training on this issue and have been at the hospital with rape victims during rape exams and during interviews with law enforcement. I've seen real rape victims do everything right and still not get justice. Then I've seen people like LaShawn call them liars who brought the rape on themselves.

I have sympathy for LaShawn, but I can't be silent to the harm she does.

But I'm not a conservative Christian so I must be one of LaShawn's Enemy's minions. Not long ago I read a description a man wrote about me (after I deleted his comments) that was so bizarre it made me laugh. And that's the main difference now between myself and people like LaShawn.

I've made peace with the good and the bad in myself and no slurs or obsenities sent my way can rob me of that peace.

So don't go tit for tat with LaShawn.

You don't want to be like her, do you?

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:31 AM   1 comments links to this post

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Rape Cycle

reclusiveleftist: The Rape Cycle

32% of boys and 32% of girls say it's not improper for a man to rape a woman who has had past sexual experiences.
This belief plays into many people's skeptical attitudes toward rape victims. They may hide their negative assumptions behind a seemingly neutral phrase like: "We have to judge this case on its own merits."

Meaning I insist on believing that the chances that this is a false accusation is 50/50. Don't bug me with your statistics that show that the odds of a false allegation are much lower. If the victim is impure, she got what she asked for by enticing her accused rapist.

I suspect many with this attitude refuse to believe an unknown rape victim's claim until they have judged the purity of the alleged victim and the evilness of the alleged rapist. And it's that desire to judge victims' character that drives the effort to eliminate the rape shield laws.

Most who view rape victims through a harsh filter don't care how this impurity happened. Yet most of those who condemn women, don't consider boys and men with consensual past sexual experiences to be impure like their female counterparts.

Often the past male sexual experiences are seen as valuable. Without the groom's past sexual experience, it would be the blind leading the blind. So a good single man needs to have sex with bad women so he can teach his virgin bride how to comport herself in the bedroom.

Further, these people say we shouldn't do more than chastise these men and boys when they cross the line and take bad woman against their will.

Which takes me back to the often repeated disclaimer given by the victim bashers: "Real rape is never acceptable, but ...."

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 3:14 PM   1 comments links to this post

You may be a predatory feminist if ...

you ...

1) Raise awareness about sexual assault

2) Challenge those out to destroy the reputations of all alleged rape victims

3) Advocate for the prosecution of good men who rape bad girls

4) You don't keep your mouth shut like a nice little girl when you see injustice or possible slander against the innocent

This labeling of those who work against sexual violence is good news. It means those who oppose our efforts have no logical way to respond. It also means rapists who used to be sure they could get away with their crimes are beginning to feel the heat.

The bottom line is:

The pursuit of justice for victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse is only a good thing if you don't want people to be free to assault, exploit or abuse.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:12 AM   0 comments links to this post

Documentary: Searching for Angela Shelton airs tonight

A special version of the documentary, Searching for Angela Shelton, will appear on Lifetime Television tonight, April 22nd at 11pm ET.

Angela Shelton takes a cross-country journey to meet and talk to other Angela Sheltons and finds that 24 of the 40 Angela Sheltons she contacts have also been victims of rape, domestic violence or childhood sexual abuse.

This documentary brings some to the statistics about violence against women and girls to life.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:23 AM   2 comments links to this post

Friday, April 21, 2006

Duke Rape Case: second dancer speaks

ABC News: 2nd Duke Stripper Didn't See Alleged Rape

"We believe … her [2nd dancer] story has been motivated by her own self-interest," said attorney Bill Thomas, who represents one of the uncharged players.
And that makes her inferior to Bill Thomas how? Mr. Thomas is clearly motivated by self-interest and that is to do everything possible to see that his client isn't implicated in this case. To keep his business going strong he must be seen as an effective representative.

The public is just supposed to see the alleged victim and all the witnesses in this case through Mr. Thomas's and other defense team members' filters without question? I don't think so.

The fact that the two dancers were separated has been public knowledge for a long time. So the fact that the second woman didn't see the other one get raped is not news.

It's spin.

The second dancer isn't claiming that she knows for certain that the other dancer was raped during the time they were separated so for defense attorneys to discredit her thought processes feels malicious. Apparently, anyone involved in this case who thinks back on that night and doesn't see the entire lacrosse team as undeniably innocent must be discredited.

Will the taxi driver be the next target for repeating what he heard the second time he went to that house the night in question?

I wouldn't be surprised if that happens or if the defense teams try to convince the public that the men the taxi driver overheard were considering calling the cops themselves to report a crime against them, but decided not to because she's just a stripper.

Yeah, that's the ticket.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:52 AM   0 comments links to this post

Duke Rape Case: why the Tawana Brawley case not a good analogy

Alas, a blog: This is not Tawana Brawley
It is very unsettling that because of Tawana’s story, which took place over 20 years ago, this black woman in North Carolina has been reduced to an immoral stripper, who is obviously charging these young men with rape for her own benefit.
I believe that if the Tawana Brawley case never existed, those who use this as an example would still hold their current position. This girl's name is just a handy excuse for the unwillingness to consider that a real rape may have happened at the house where the Duke lacrosse had their party.

Many people who invoke Tawana Brawley's name and other high profile cases such as the Howard Beach murder (from the 1980s) likely know very little about these cases and don't want to see the significant differences between the old cases and the new cases they are being compared to.

Further, the length of time between this case and the Tawana Brawley case undermines the argument made by those who scream, "This is just another in a pattern of false rape allegations!"

What a pattern.

Now let's look at the pattern that drives those who believe this is a credible case that should be investigated fully: According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network:

Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.

Now that's a pattern. Even if you argue that the pattern doesn't repeat itself as often as this, you can't honestly stretch it out until it is comparable to the rate of false allegations.

Okay, you can argue anything you want, but that doesn't make it true.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:20 AM   0 comments links to this post

Duke Rape Case: Bill O'Reilly's assessment

Media Matters for America highlights several elements of Bill O'Reilly's comments on the Duke lacrosse rape case, but the words that intrigued me was:

Bill O'Reily: "The lacrosse team operated in a loose fashion. The alleged victim had little control over her environment."


Mr. O'Reilly may feel this is her fault, but it highlights how 3 men could do what they are accused of doing.

If they had the attitude that she was bought and paid for, they might feel they had the right to do whatever they wanted to do, including ignoring protests from the merchandise. They may believe that no reasonable person could consider their actions as sexual assault.

One commenter on my blog wrote: "Ya know, sometimes people just get what they deserve, even strippers and those on dates. "

I'll leave it up to others to decide whether this statement was made by a reasonable person.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:08 AM   0 comments links to this post

Thursday, April 20, 2006

MySpace and sex offender problem

From Wired News:

According to his MySpace page, the 41-year-old San Bruno, California, resident is single, a Sagittarius, a nonsmoker and nondrinker, and counts an online stripper among his six friends. But California's online database of registered sex offenders offers a different profile of the same man ...
Neither this man nor other MySpace users whose names and profiles matched registered sex offenders appeared to have minors on their friends lists. The author of the article seems to see the presence of these men under their real names as an indicator of danger to children, but that might not be the case.

Forcing all registered sex offenders who don't hide their identities to go underground (either through official policies or online harassment) may increase the danger rather than decreasing it.

I do believe that parole officers should have the time and the tools to see if their clients are participating in actions that are their personal pre-offending triggers. Many sex offenders report that intensive supervision programs, when they have enough funding to actually supervise offenders, exert more control over their lives than prison does.

I also believe that people should research others they meet online before giving too much information or agreeing to meet in person.

Certain behaviors should be considered "red flags" to teenagers and parents. The biggest one is a request to share and keep secrets, especially if the secret is an offer to meet in-person or to send a gift.

Just because someone seems likeable and their identity has been verified and checked against all sex offender registries doesn't mean that person is trustworthy. Look for signs of manipulation including a too-good-to-be-real persona. If there aren't any clear red flags, but you aren't sure if someone is being honest when they mirror your opinions, throw out something plausible but very unlike you.

Work to protect yourself and your family, but don't blame yourself if a predator decides to target you.

Victims don't cause people to commit sex offenses, predators have chosen to offend when they seek out potential victims.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 4:26 PM   2 comments links to this post

spamming or raging comments will be deleted

Because of the number of comments coming in regarding the Duke rape case, I have temporarily turned on comment moderation.

If you want to use a blog to tell me or others that I'm stupid, please do so on your own blog rather than in the comments of my blog.

Note: I reserve the right to laugh at how I'm depicted.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 3:39 PM   2 comments links to this post

Duke Rape Case: the reported alibis

From an ABC News exclusive:

Over the last few days, sources close to the defense have given ABC News an exclusive look at the evidence behind one player's alleged alibi -- evidence that includes electronic records, photographs and witness statements. If that material is authentic, it could prove that it was practically impossible for him to rape, kidnap or assault the alleged victim.
There's a huge flaw here that many of those who are convinced that the alleged victim is a liar refuse to see.

Where to begin with the questionability of the alibis?

Let's start with this (from the ABC report):

Around midnight the night of March 13, Seligmann was already at the party when two women hired from a local escort agency arrived to dance for the boys


Isn't that interesting when the earliest reports say the dancers arrived on March 13 around 11:30 pm. Where's the missing half hour?

Here's part of a timeline from (April 6):

11:30: women show up at house.
12:08ish: women leave
12:10ish: players skedaddle from house
But by April 18 the timeline has changed.

From WRAL timeline:

Approximately 11:53 p.m.An exotic dancer, who later tells police she was raped, sodomized, beaten and strangled for 30 minutes, arrives at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., where she has an appointment to perform at a party in which members of Duke University's men's lacrosse team are present.
Who provided this new arrival time to the media? The article only says: "The following timeline is based on public information ..." Would that have been information made public by defense attorneys?

Now on to the time-stamped photographs. There's still no mention of whether these photographs were taken with a digital camera. So there is no way to know how easy it would be to tamper with the time-stamps or if any portion of any of the pictures could have been photoshopped.

Now this: A taxi driver picked up 2 men, including one of the defendants, a block and a half from the party and drove them to a nearby bank -- if you are going to a nearby bank why walk a block and a half then take a taxi the rest of the way? Unless you think you might need an alibi.

Note: I heard from a reader who said this isn't an implausible scenario.

Update on taxi ride:

The details of the taxi ride have changed from what was reported in the ABC report.
From CNN: Defense attorneys: Timeline clears Duke rape suspects:
[taxi driver] said he picked up [one of the defendents] and a friend at 610 North Buchanan Blvd. at 12:19 a.m. He said he could tell that [one of the defendents] had been drinking, but that he didn't appear drunk.
The call for the taxi was logged in at 12:14 am. If the dancers arrived around 11:30 pm, this still doesn't provide an alibi. Which means my questioning of the original taxi scenario was valid and that some of the information being fed to the press is inaccurate.

End of this update.

12:24 a.m. ATM card owned by one of the defendants used at a nearby bank. The importance of this time depends on the acceptance that the time-stamped photographs paint an accurate picture of the timeline. Also if all the players were contributing cash to the dancers payment wouldn't these men have all the cash they need for the night?

12:25 a.m Call to girlfriend out of state followed by a cab ride to a drive-thru fast-food restaurant and then dropping him off at his dorm. If he is guilty of rape this call makes perfect sense. Got to show the world that you have a girlfriend and don't need to rape anybody to get laid.

The hailing of a cab in the scenario described, along with possible tampering of time-stamped photographs, could be seen as a deliberate attempt to create an alibi using an impartial witness, bank transactions and a call to the girlfriend.

Especially with that missing half hour.

What could have happened during the missing half hour (maybe as little as 23 minutes)?

If the dancers were gone and all the players took of at 12:10ish, this alibi is no alibi at all.


For those of you who missed it, I'm raising questions about details that have been accepted by many as fact, not convicting anyone through my blog. I'll leave that to the courts.

From WRAL:

While waiting for the men whom he would later drive to a nearby gas station, the Sudan-born driver saw a woman walking through a crowd of men toward a car, and heard someone say, "She just a stripper. She's going to call the police."
Well, isn't that an interesting tidbit. I don't know about anyone else but that sounds consistant with what someone would say after committing rape or knowing a rape occurred.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 1:52 PM   6 comments links to this post

Internet Sex Offender Registries - hit lists?

The killings of two men listed on Maine's Internet sex offender registry may offer a grim lesson about the consequences of such registry laws, but defense lawyers and crime researchers question whether a thoughtful national debate on the subject is possible.

As a rape survivor who has bumped into ignorance from all sorts of people, I know we absolutely need to have a thoughtful discussion (before we debate anything) about a whole lot of issues that impact sex offenses and sexual offenders.

With this new development, those who believe the Duke lacrosse team members behaved badly but that they couldn't rape an exotic dancer because her body was part of what they were buying, will fight all the harder now to keep their boys off the sex offender registry. They are likely asking: Why should their lives be ruined and possibly ended for having a few minutes of fun?

That brings up the first topic that must be addressed:

Sexual boundaries.

Many sex offenders reflect the worst of we believe about sex. And that won't change if we gloss over the issue with "Sex between husband and wife good. All other sex bad. Lesson over."

If we lump all non-spousal consensual sex in with rape, we are letting dangerous myths go unchallenged. The same goes if we tell children that they must obey their parents no questions asked. Mix the two of these together with childhood sexual abuse and you have a recipe that puts children in a no-win situation that can fill them with guilt and shame no matter what they do or don't do.

Many people assume that sex offenders know a lot about sex but, according to a leader of an offender treatment program who spoke to a group of victim's advocates, that isn't true. Sex offenders tend to have a remedial understanding of sexual boundaries. They may think of sexual boundaries the way most of us think of the tooth fairy.

They may also have a remedial understanding of sexual responsibility. One sex offender explained that he was only responding to the advances being sent his way when the girl strutted around topless. FYI the alleged victim really did go around topless. This sounds reasonable to many of us, doesn't it? We believe that provocative girls entice men into sexual relationships.

So do you believe this girl must take at least partial responsibility for her stupidity?

If we refuse to talk about uncomfortable subjects like the difference between good and bad touches, then the incubation and nurturing and, yes, protection of sex offenders will continue even as the maximum penalties for convicted sex offenders increase.

We need to give the same level of focus to slowing the rate of production as we give to monitoring convicted sex offenders.

When I did a quick search on sex offender registries, one service offered access to billions of sex offender registries. Another service promised to tell you if any sex offenders live in your area. These services are advertised as a way for parents to ensure their children's safety from sexual predators.

The problem with this is that most sex offenders are never charged and when they are charged many cases end in a plea deal where the offenders (especially those who can afford the best attorneys) are convicted of a non-sexual crime.

The sex offender who presents the greatest danger to your family may be living in your own home. Siblings can and do offend against siblings.

I'm not suggesting we all become paranoid and treat everyone as if they are a closet sex offender, I'm suggesting we get better educated so we can recognize the attitudes and beliefs that fuel sex offenses and that keep victims suffering in silence.

For those who want to roll back the clock to a time before you knew the definition of sex offender, the good old days were only good for the types of sex offenders that didn't seem to exist back then and for those who covered for those sex offenders. As long as the offender wasn't seen as a monster, authorities likely looked the other way, especially if the sexual abuse happened between family members.

If the sex offender registries become hit lists with all the information vigilantes need to find their prey, there will be an even greater backlash against victims who report sexual assaults or sexual abuse.

The backlash is big enough right now, thank you very much.

AP story
ABC News

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:29 AM   0 comments links to this post

Respect for women = better sex?

Well, I'll begin by saying that I believe that respect and quality go together. Just as lack of respect and rape go together.

To use the analogy of tennis, how you approach the game makes may not impact whether you score, but it will impact whether the person you are playing with enjoys the game enough to want to play with you again. If you hurl mean-spirited insults at your tennis partner at every opportunity to impress upon them your innate superiority, you may still win on the court, but you will have damaged something more fragile and more valuable than a tennis racket.

Study on sexual satisfaction as compared to country's attitude towared women

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:06 AM   0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Duke Rape Case: accuser shield laws

Tucker Carlson of MSNBC has a personal stake in wanting the removal of rape victim shield laws.

On the April 18 edition of The Situation with Tucker Carlson, he argued vigorously against Susan Filan, a former prosecutor, that the name of alleged victim in the Duke lacrosse rape case should be made public information. But passionate argument doesn't make his position right or well reasoned.

Mr. Carlson also admitted that he had been falsely accused of rape 3 years ago. Charges were never brought against him because he and the alleged victim, a viewer who apparently suffers from mental illness, had never met and no evidence existed to support the claim. It was interesting to note that he hired the same attorney hired by a group of Duke supporters when that accusation came in.

What Mr. Carlson forgets is that while his situation is representative of false rape allegations, it was not representative of the majority of rape cases. But because of his situation (likely a variation of celebrity stalking) he sees false rape accusers everywhere and cannot comprehend the harm that would be caused to rape victims if the shield laws were removed.

Look at how much hatred has been directed at this alleged victim even though there is physical evidence to support her allegations. There are people out there who are doing everything they can to destroy her and the harm is only mitigated by the shield laws. Remember the Kobe Bryant case? Someone tried to put out a hit on her. How will Mr. Carlson feel if an unshielded rape victim is murdered?


Rape is a crime where even when the charges are proven in a court of law, people regularly blame the victim for the crime and for destroying lives of 'decent' men. Many times legitimate rape cases don't result in jury trials or convictions so the rapists are viewed as innocent (even if they're not) while the victims are viewed as the real perpetrators.

And Mr. Carlson wants everyone and anyone to know these victims' names. Including those who see the victims who didn't get justice as easy prey because they aren't likely to be believed if they yell "rape!" again.

Mr. Carlson says he's for justice, but without the shield laws, justice will be nearly impossible for many true rape victims. but Mr. Carlson isn't as passionate about justice for rape victims as he is for accused rapists.

One in six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape.

Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted and 10% of sexual assault victims aren't female so if you think being a man makes you immune to rape, think again.

I won't claim to be an unbiased observer in this debate, I'm one of the many who was raped and didn't come forward out of fear of being blamed and called the types of names 'good' people are calling the alleged victim in the Duke lacrosse rape case.

Just to make my position perfectly clear: Say no to the removal of the shield laws that protect rape victims.

Alas, a blog discusses whether shield laws should also apply to alleged criminals until they are convicted.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 1:25 PM   2 comments links to this post

Duke Rape Case: the alleged victim's identity

The defense attorneys in the Duke lacrosse rape case have created a persona for the alleged victim that fits the profile of someone who not only could make a false allegation of rape, but who wouldn't be able to resist making a false allegation against what she saw as a bunch of rich guys who would pay her off to avoid having their good names destroyed.

Immoral. Sleazy. Deranged. Greedy. Lazy. Bad mother. So on and so forth.

But would the type of person the defense team sees as an enemy who deserves to be utterly destroyed and discredited, teach another adult to read?

Whoa, there!

We can't be talking about the same woman.

But we are.

Of course, if you buy into the image the defense team and all those who call the alleged victim a 'ho have created, you aren't likely to believe anything that makes her seem as human and as fragile as an ordinary woman. One who would be traumatized if she were raped by three men and who after using all the adrenaline she has to get away, could slip into unconsciousness.

The case will be decided by the courts, but just as the defense claims their clients have been judged without all the facts so has this alleged victim.

Do you really think defense attorneys would paint a rosier picture of the alleged victim if she had been a 16-year old?

Read this interview before you answer: Ethics and the defense attorney

If you think these 'victims' deserved the treatment they received, will you think the same if you or your sister or your mother is raped? I pray you never have to find out. Just remember that the defense attorneys only care how their actions impact their clients. Victims are simply opponents to be discredited and defeated.

News Observer: Mother, dancer, accuser

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:15 AM   3 comments links to this post