A Port Jefferson Station man admitted yesterday in court that he broke into a female colleague's Mastic [NY] home, raped her and fatally stabbed her sleeping boyfriend. Tomas Peck, 27, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, first-degree rape and other charges in Riverhead, in a deal that will put him in prison for 25 years to life. [...]The intent of this crime was acquaintance rape. A crime that many people continue to dismiss or disregard unless it reaches this level of violence.
Armed with a hunting knife, Peck entered the victim's home on Feb. 10, 2008, using a key he'd obtained earlier, he said. Finding the pair asleep in their bedroom, Peck said he plunged his knife several times into the back of Tyrone A. Terry, 21, a correction officer from Henderson, N.C., who'd come to Suffolk for a two-week visit. Terry woke, attempted to fight off his attacker, but Peck kept stabbing him until he was dead, he said.
Since the woman's murdered boyfriend was a corrections officer visiting her from North Carolina, Peck was either surprised to find his intended rape victim not asleep alone or he was enraged that she had a boyfriend staying with her and was intent on eliminating the competition.
If this woman had been alone there might not have been proof other than her word that he was a violent rapist.
Too many of the same people who react to this crime, as committed, with horror would be rushing to find excuses for Peck's behavior. Or they might have skipped the excuses completely and started spouting, "Women lie about rape. How can we ever know if this was anything more than morning after regret to hide the fact that she was cheating on her boyfriend? She claims she was raped at knife-point but she wasn't cut so she has no proof. She has bruises but consensual sex can also leave bruises."
He had a key. For those who rush to judge alleged rape victims that would point toward consent or provide what they would claim must be considered reasonable doubt. The prosecution wouldn't be able to prove how he got that key so the defense would claim that the rape victim gave him that key. And people know what it means when a woman gives a man a key to her apartment, right?
The typical verbal attacks against rape victims who have only their own testimony that they were raped and did not consent may have caused prior rape victims of this man to not report him. That would mean that the, "Women lie about rape," crowd contributed to the murder of Tyrone Terry.
Of course just as they deny most rapes, they will deny their contribution to sex-related violence.
Even in this case, the specter of consent, or assumed consent, was raised by the defense attorney.
This is the typical denial that gets accepted again and again, helping more rapists to rationalize their criminal actions.
Peck's lawyer, Steven Wilutis of Miller Place, described the attack as a crime of passion. Peck had sought a romantic relationship with his colleague, and upon discovering her with another man, became enraged and jealous.
Assistant District Attorney James Chalifoux said Peck and the woman were friends from work, "but anything beyond that was a figment of Mr. Peck's imagination."
Peck didn't break in to that woman's apartment intending to rape her, he entered (with a hunting knife) seeking a romantic relationship. That's rationalization and tells us only how someone can justify committing sexual violence and, in this case, murder as well.
Most people see this lie for what it is because an innocent man is dead. But all those who see this truth in this case must, if they are ethical people, see it in cases where there is no other man present to get in the way of a rapist's desire for a "romantic relationship."