I've been reading different reactions to the testimony of the grad student who was raped and tortured by a stranger for 19 hours and all of the reactions I've read so far view this crime as a clear cut crime and everyone I've found views this woman as a true and innocent crime victim. The reactions have included a desire that this rapist be put to death.
What strikes me the most in these reactions is the contrast between them and how far too many people react to the majority of rape cases. This flip from how so many people view this case to how they view other rape cases usually happens based on details which are irrelevant to guilt or innocence.
In this case, the brutal rapist was a stranger who was already in this woman's apartment building who then followed her to her apartment where he forced his way inside. But when there is a rape case with equal brutality and the rapist isn't a stranger or when the rape victim has a less stellar reputation or occupation, many people ignore or dismiss the brutality. These people are suckers for rapists who claim the victim was into rough sex and therefore the victim's injuries are not evidence of criminal behavior. The victim's testimony then becomes suspect or meaningless for no valid reason.
Rapists and their lawyers have a vested interest in creating a lie about the rapist's victim yet many people react to the stories told by defense teams as if they are nothing more than the situation from the alleged rapist's perspective which is provided in good faith.
Refusing to accept that an alleged rapist is a real rapist unless or until it has been proven to be true through a conviction does not in any way deny defendants their due process rights. If believing a rape really happened before a conviction were a violation of a rapist's due process rights then all those who use this excuse would refuse to view this grad student as a true rape victim until her rapist is convicted.
Too often it doesn't take much for people to turn their ire on those who have been raped.
From Wire forums:
So imagine my indignation when I saw a chat called “Rape Survivors.” Is this supposed to impress me? Someone fucked you when you didn’t want to be fucked and you’re amazed that you survived?
she claims it was rape, yet she clearly performed oral sex... I dunno about you, but If i was raping someone, I wouldn't put them in a position to bite my dick off... methinks she wasn't raped
In some cases, police may look at the credibility of the victims.
In an interview with an editor of The Evening News and The Tribune, Clarksville Police Chief Dwight Ingle said the alleged victim from Jan. 30 was smoking pot. In a recent interview with a reporter, Ingle repeatedly said that the victim of an alleged May 24 rape “had been out drinking with (the suspects) all night.”
The problem with this "credibility" standard is that it is based on nothing more than bigotry. Smoking pot doesn't have magical rape-protective properties. Neither does going out drinking. However, these so-called credibility issues do seem to have rapist-protective properties.
Prosecutors still want to build a strong case before an arrest is made. Henderson said they must keep that in mind while also remembering the importance of keeping criminals off the streets.
“You have to balance all of that with the knowledge that if the person did commit the crime, then he is still out there,” Henderson said.
This second part is what many people don't remember or don't care about -- until a rapist with previous reports against him finally crosses the line in regards to who is selected as the victim or the level of premeditated brutality. Then many of these people will finally stop siding with the violent and they will express horror that such a monster was allowed to remain free.
These people need to do better or they need to be viewed as contributors to the actions of the few rapists whose actions they do scorn.
Update: Robert Williams was convicted in the rape and attempted murder of the Columbia grad student.