I'm sure that's what Carl Wolfe and his attorneys wish everyone would believe.
Many people view sexual conning/coercion as not real violence, but conning/coerion is as much about power and control as overtly violent rape.
The conner/coercer is a user who has a compulsion to do whatever it takes to feel superior to those being targeted and the user needs to feel superior to those who need to use a knife or a gun to be a successful rapist or abuser.
What we all need to understand is that the user's superiority is a sham. Hurting others who have faith in your basic decency or using those who have a hard time hurting others does not make you superior to them. It makes you inferior to them. The conner's behavior shows that this person cannot succeed honestly or cannot risk failure by behaving ethically.
It's like the student who can only get an A by cheating. We understand that the non-cheating A student is the better student than the cheater. We should also understand that the non-cheating C student is the better student by far than the cheating A student even when that cheater presents himself as someone who simply misunderstood the rules.
Likewise, in no way are those who use coercion more successful than those who behave ethically and legally when it comes to sex. They are better at hurting others but that is nothing to feel proud about.
Here are the details of the criminal cases against this man.
All told, [Carl] Wolfe was charged with rape, gross sexual imposition, intimidation, harassment, and kidnapping. If convicted of even one of these felonies, he faced a permanent "sex offender" label and years in prison. With his blond good looks, the "guy would be jailbait for sure," said one sheriff's deputy.
Yet throughout the trial, Wolfe seemed remarkably unconcerned. "Hope you brought your A-game today," he joked as he chummily hit his lawyer on the arm, then high-fived his dad. The burden of proof, after all, was not on him. It was the women who were on trial.
With what I know about manipulative rapists, this behavior would have increased the credibility of the testimony against him since it shows an open disregard for the law and it shows a feeling of being above the law.
The subtitle of the story is: "The fine line between sexual assault and kids being kids." However, this fine line is an illusion. In reality there is a deep ravine between sexual assault and kids being kids. The first is one person trying to impose what they want on another person and the other is two people willingly doing something together.
This trial ended with 7 counts of not-guilty and no verdict on 7 other counts. The jury didn't perceive him as a predator, but I believe that's because of their misunderstanding of what makes someone a predator and what predators look and act like when they aren't in the middle of committing a crime.
For many people charming predator is seen as an oxymoron.
But the decision fulfilled a prediction Wolfe made two years ago while being escorted off campus by police. "This must be a basketball thing," he told Notre Dame Police Lieutenant Robert Lambert. "If Kobe Bryant got away with it, so will I."
I'm sure the jury never heard this, and I wish that all jurors would understand that this is a backhanded admission of guilt, but many people won't hear it that way.
Ted Bundy was one of our worst predators in both the number of victims and in the depravity of his crimes, yet he operated with charm, often making himself look harmless by wearing a fake cast on his arm. He volunteered for the Washington state task force looking into the deaths of the very women he murdered. In his last murders, his charming facade eroded to nothing. But after being imprisoned for the last time and sentenced to death, he was charming in his very last interview where he smoothly shifted the responsibility for his actions onto pornography.
It's a dangerous mistake to dismiss evidence including testimony from a variety of witnesses because the testimony doesn't jive with what the jury sees when they look across the courtroom at the defendant.
It sounds like this man will be retried on the counts where the jury was deadlocked and he still faces another trial on allegations that he pinned a woman down and raped her.Hat tip: Shakesville