This case was in court last week, but it illustrates how unethical acquaintance rapists really are. It also highlights that it isn't just girls and women who trust those who turn out to be rapists. In this case, not only did this man turn out to be a rapist, he had a prior conviction for 2 counts of sex abuse.
A Fayetteville man was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison for raping the wife of a co-worker while the husband was in the hospital. Stanley Blackburn, 38, formerly of 234 S. Willow St., pleaded guilty to rape and must serve all of his sentence because he has four prior felony convictions, ruled Benton County Circuit Judge David Clinger.
I suspect that if the rapist had been the co-worker of the wife that many people would -- without any supporting evidence -- assume a much more victim-blaming scenario or they would assume that the wife lied to cover an affair. This attitude is strong enough that the man might have entered a not-guilty plea and hoped that bias would trump evidence.
But because this man went to the couple's apartment after visiting the husband in the hospital, most people would see this man as someone who should go to prison for a long time.
If girls and women are expected to recognize potential rapists to prevent rape, then men and boys who bring friends and co-workers into contact with the women in their lives must be held to the same standard. If they are not held to this standard, either people are letting men escape responsibility or they only put all the responsibility for rape on the rapist when it is fits their bias to do so.