Monday, February 09, 2009

What About The Real Rapist?

As a follow up to my last post about those who blamed the rape victim who was presented with ID material which led her to ID an innocent man I need to write about something I noticed after reading more blogs on this case.

With all of the blaming directed at the rape victim, none of those who did so or who defended others doing so seem to have written anything negative about the one person who undeniably knew that Timothy Cole was innocent.

The man who raped Michele Mallin. Jerry Johnson.

Johnson did eventually contact Cole's attorney with an offer to help exonerate Cole, but Cole was already dead by that time. When Cole was on trial for a rape he didn't commit Johnson did nothing to help.

Unfortunately, too many people view this as not being an injustice. Johnson was just exorcising his legal rights. Yet Jerry Johnson's actions -- beginning with rape -- are the root cause without which Cole wouldn't have been wrongfully IDed and wrongfully convicted.

Thankfully, Johnson himself has acknowledged his key role in this injustice.

On Friday, the real rapist, Jerry Johnson, confessed in an Austin courtroom and apologized for the 1985 attack on a Texas Tech student. He also took responsibility for allowing Cole, a teenager at the time he was convicted, to take the blame.
"I am responsible," said Jerry Johnson. "I say I am truly sorry."

Johnson took the stand about 4 p.m. and read the words victim Michelle Mallin had written to describe her night of terror so many years ago. Malin, who had mistakenly picked Cole out of a lineup, sat in the packed courtroom and watched as her real attacker addressed the crowd.

After Johnson testified both Mallin and Cole's mother confronted Johnson about the impact of his crime and his silence as an innocent man was wrongfully convicted.

The criminal justice system needs to be improved so that bad processes won't be used no matter what motives investigators have for using sloppy and error-prone processes. But we cannot afford to forget the role that rapists play in the wrongful identification of innocent suspects.


Bookmark and Share
posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:28 AM   4 comments links to this post


At February 09, 2009 11:56 AM, Blogger James Landrith said...

I know I didn't write about Johnson in the other thread because as the real rapist, his role seems abundantly clear. Unless I missed something?

Given my own status as a rape survivor and a secondary to a rape survivor, my feelings on the subject should be easily inferred.

He raped her.

He said nothing for many years.

He came clean too late and after the statute of limitations had expired.

He is a cowardly rapist, as are they all, including the woman who drugged and then raped me.

It seems obvious to me that he is to blame for the rape and for cowardly sitting by with his mouth shut.

If someone is claiming Johnson is not an evil demon who deserves to be punished for his crimes, then that person is truth challenged.

If someone is asserting that my failure to mention Johnson in a thread that was dominated by discussion about a separate aspect of this case means I think he is not an evil individual who should never see the light of day or was somehow not holding him accountable for starting this ball rolling, that person is engaging in a very disgusting personal attack that lacks a basis in truth.

At February 09, 2009 3:10 PM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...


This post doesn't have anything to do with anything you have written. It has to do with the blog posts which blamed the rape victim for Cole's wrongful conviction.

I realized after I wrote that other post that none of the authors of those posts ever mentioned the real rapist's critical role in this injustice.

At February 09, 2009 3:17 PM, Blogger James Landrith said...

Thanks for clearing that up Marcella. My PTSD is spiking bad today and I really shouldn't have been posting, let alone even reading. That only made it worse.

Of course, I was foolishly trying to assert my dominance over the PTSD by posting and reading anyway. Sometimes the PTSD wins anyway. (sigh)

I assume you've been there before...

At February 09, 2009 3:37 PM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...


No problem. I understand being triggered.

I figured out that you were triggered by my response to your comment on my other post. I think the way your wording came across didn't match what you meant to communicate.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home