Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Too Late To Accuse But Only If ..

... you are reporting rape. It's never too late to accuse an alleged rape victim of being a liar. And that's exactly what some commenters on this Cleveland Plain Dealer story do.

CLEVELAND — A Lakewood High School teacher raped a student in his classroom after school five years ago, prosecutors said. Brian Biermann, 35, of Rocky River, was indicted Monday in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on charges of rape, sexual battery and kidnapping. [...]

Prosecutors said that on Jan. 6, 2004, a 15-year-old girl met the English teacher to review a paper she wrote. "While in his classroom, he became sexually aggressive toward her and raped her," said Ryan Miday, spokesman for the prosecutor's office.

On Friday, Oct. 10, 2008, the woman told another Lakewood teacher that Biermann raped her. The school called police, Superintendent David Estrop said.

The initial accusation made in the comments against this alleged victim is based on nothing more than the delay in reporting which means it is based not on evidence but on bigotry.

Too hard to believe 5 years later

This man who goes by the tagname, icu4whatur, conflates what he can't (or won't) believe with what is real. Later he makes the false claim that a not-guilty verdict is declaring that the defendant is innocent.

Several commenters make the false claim that our legal system related to rape is, "guilty until proven innocent," when this is a provably false statement which gets used to make the false claim that being acquitted of rape charges is being proven innocent. These people will acknowledge that innocent people can be found guilty while refusing to acknowledge that guilty people can be found not guilty.

Often refusing to reject the alleged victim's report immediately is conflated giving the defendant the legal status of guilty when this is invalid. Those who are calling this woman a liar have designated her as guilty of a crime. Something they claim to oppose.

What is real is that many rape victims don't report their rapes immediately. One of the reasons in this situation would be that teenage rape victims are often harassed. High school can be tough enough without this added trauma.

The allegation put forth that if a 15 year old girl was raped that someone would notice the change in her and correctly identify the cause is false and is then used as evidence that this report must therefore be false.

Reporting 5 years later, is in fact easy to believe when you look at the reality of being raped at age 15 by a trusted adult.

These accusers have based their accusations on this woman's potential motives which means they are fine with this practice even when accusations are directed at people other than those who report having been raped.

One of the commenters identifies himself as a victim of a false report and his reference to, "No DNA, no torn clothes, no injuries" indicate that his definition of rape is different than the legal definition of rape. He says he's learned not to make judgments based on media reports yet his judgment about this case is clear.

Commenter, spiritof1776, compares a teen being the victim of statutory rape with a teen accused of murder. That this person cannot or will not see that these are not even close to being parallel is telling.

And of course, a commenter, DonRedBerry, blames this case on feminism without any awareness that this is a backhanded admission that without feminism teachers who rape their students would always get away with rape -- unless that teacher also maimed or murdered that student. He goes on to write:

Waiting to inform authorities days, weeks, months, years, decades is not permissible. Men have rights too.

Got that? If you are a girl or a woman who is raped it is not permissible for you to wait days to report your rape. Men have rights too. And apparently the cornerstone of men's rights is to quickly allow men to know that they got away with rape. It would be just too cruel if men who rape have to worry about being legally accountable for more than a few hours.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:03 AM   1 comments links to this post


At May 27, 2010 11:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In as much as I do agree with the fact that some men have been falsely accused of rape, I strongly disagree with there being a "timeline" on the amount of time that passes after a rape has occurred, before a victim can report the perpetrator, and still remain a credible witness.
I was raped by our family priest when I was the ripe old age of 10 years. I didn't even know what sex was, or what had happened to me. I only knew that this person who wore a black and white collar and professed the word of God had hurt me terribly. My life, my innocence, and my trust were all destroyed forever, that very day.
I told my mother instantly about what had happened to me, in terminology that a 10 year old child would use. My mother never reported this event to the authorities, because he was a "priest", and it was not acceptable in that era to accuse a man of the "cloth" of such a heinous act.
I am now 49 years old, and after many years of therapy, feelings of guilt, and attempted suicides.....I accept whole heartedly that it may take some people (both male and female)many days/months/YEARS to admit that they were raped, or to name their perpetrator.
Judge not, lest you be judged.


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