One of the De Anza College baseball players who was impacted by an alleged rape in March which isn't going to result in any charges speaks up.
Separately, the sheriff's department had been looking into a second woman's claims that she was raped in the same house during a party in December. Tomkins said there would not be any charges in that case, either.
One of the eight suspended baseball players, pitcher Chris Knopf, told the San Jose Mercury News on Monday: "From the beginning, I kind of felt like it was a witch hunt and the De Anza players were victims, and not really this girl."
This man is making a critical mistake in his assessment. Rather than taking the easy way out and playing the victim card -- as rape apologists love to say happens when women report being raped -- these allegations should be a wake up call that what was seen as acceptable and legal sexual behavior at this house was neither acceptable nor legal.
But it's easier for many men to believe in the witch hunt myth than it is to question their own ethics and moral standards and to question the standards of those around them. An honest self assessment might reveal the ugly truth that the allegations of rape were true.
Denial is easier than seeing the monster within yourself or your buddies. Because so many boys and men rape or attempt rape or behave right on the edge of sexual assault and get away with it, those who get reported or who were present at a reported sexual assault can feel like they are being unfairly singled out.
What's unfair is that so many rapists got away with it.
What's unfair is getting raped and being too afraid to report it or being raped, reporting it and being labeled as someone on a witch hunt.
What's unfair is that so many sexual assaults are successful and so many rapists are seen as boys or men worth emulating. Too often it is girls and women who are treated as nothing more than prey. But does this man speak out against that type of hunting?
If you don't cross the line yourself but surround yourself with sexual exploiters, don't blame those men's victims when the backlash from their actions burns you. Lack of evidence is just that and nothing more. To turn lack of evidence into proof of a witch hunt is to live in a very dangerous state of denial.Both for yourself and those who believe it is safe to be around you.
Your sexual contact with others should do no harm -- as judged from their perspective not yours. If you aren't sure that your actions will cause no physical or psychological harm to someone else or leave that person with serious regret, don't take that action. If you have to push someone to tell you what you want to hear or you ignore any resistance or hesitance, you are stepping over the line.
Your buddies who are looking to score off the athletic field are not experts when it comes to ethics or the law. Relying on their judgment sets you up to take actions you might not take otherwise. If you are found guilty of rape, your buddies who urged you on may pity you and defend you, but they will walk free.
If you ever hear a friend say something dismissive like, "She's just a ..." or "She's asking for it" that should be a flashing warning sign that this person will step over the line into rape or is urging you to do so.