Well, Gosh, Officer, Doesn’t Being “Just Passed-Out Drunk” Mean That You Can’t Give Meaningful Consent To Sex?

Motherfuckin’ OY!

DURHAM, N.C. – A woman who claims she was raped by members of Duke University’s lacrosse team was described as “just passed-out drunk” by one of the first police officers to see her, according to a recording of radio traffic obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

The conversation between the officer and a police dispatcher took place about 1:30 a.m. March 14, about five minutes after a grocery store security guard called 911 to report a woman in the parking lot who would not get out of someone else’s car.

The officer gave the dispatcher the police code for an intoxicated person and said the woman was unconscious. When asked whether she needed medical help, the officer said: “She’s breathing and appears to be fine. She’s not in distress. She’s just passed-out drunk.”

And of course the claim is that she showed up drunk. So….that means what? Because if she were obviously drunk from the moment she showed up, that means she couldn’t give meaningful consent to any sexual acts she participated in with people who knew she was drunk.

Unless this is some kind of defense to robbery. Hey! She was drunk, and she just forgot her nails, cell phone and $400!


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134 comments for “Well, Gosh, Officer, Doesn’t Being “Just Passed-Out Drunk” Mean That You Can’t Give Meaningful Consent To Sex?

  1. April 13, 2006 at 10:18 pm

    Well, Gosh, Officer, Doesn’t Being “Just Passed-Out Drunk” Mean That You Can’t Give Meaningful Consent To Sex?

    Exactly.

  2. April 13, 2006 at 11:02 pm

    Drunk women can’t be raped. Duh.

    Or they can, but they should have known better.

  3. April 13, 2006 at 11:03 pm

    Wait, let me predict the response:

    “But those boys were drunk too! So how could they consent to sex?”

  4. April 13, 2006 at 11:43 pm

    Back In The Day I had a drunk girl leave my apartment without her money, keys, or glasses. Or her top, actually. That demon rum can vex the mighty.

  5. rayperez
    April 14, 2006 at 3:52 am

    wow jill,

    for someone that wants to become a lawyer in order to fight for human rights and justice and all, i would say that tying your credibility to the accuser’s is not looking that bright, i mean you are really looking quite the fool…

    oh wait, on second thought, i guess in the bizarro pc world that you and your legions of fellow travelers inhabit, where facts, evidence, science have no validity, since , just as with mathematics, as is claimed by your silly but apparently very influential nyu gender/ethnic studies profs, are mere constructs assembled in such a way by the evil “man” to keep girls, i guess like yourself, and apparently very specific other groups, down, and themselves securely on top. keep deconstructing, see what it leaves us with. but don’t worry, it looks like you have a bright future ahead of you, there are a lot of murderers, thieves, violent attackers and yes rapists for you to get off by blaming our as johnnieB calls it “dysfunctional” american society, forget about accountability, forget about making a choice. A lawyer, yup, a bright future indeed.

    “It ignores the social dimensions of becoming “normal” in what, in many ways, is a dysfunctional society: patriarchal and imperialist.

    Confronting that dysfunction or, as I prefer, evil, directly, is not a universal experience. I find the designation “mental health problem” for those who have had such experiences an arrogant putdown, which obscures rather than promotes understanding and blocks constructive change.
    If you don’t get it, as I suspect may be the case, I am willing to take this off-thread so as not to make this discussion overly long.”

    I get it, but I don’t get it

  6. April 14, 2006 at 6:08 am

    Unconscious or not, it’s still rape. I think the case needs to be prosecuted on the evidence at hand, rather than just brushed off on the grounds that she was either

    a) black

    b) a stripper

    c) a black stripper with a criminal record, or

    d) passed-out drunk.

    Legal precedent has demonstrated that a victim’s occupation or sexual history is not an effective defense strategy. If anything, the only really damning issue here is the lack of DNA evidence, and even that doesn’t mean the end of the story. For the moment, I’ll continue to side with the accuser.

    On another note, why is it that my arguments that carry a feminist bent are ignored, but my comments panning artwork are skewered? *shakes head*

  7. April 14, 2006 at 7:24 am

    Unconscious or not, it’s still rape.r

    No, it is still alleged rape. What in the evidence thus far has convinced you that she was raped-apart from her word. Her inability to identify her alleged rapist? DNA? The testimony of the other dancer? The underwhelming physical evidence? I’m genuinely curious and I still have an open mind to what happened.

  8. ginmar
    April 14, 2006 at 8:36 am

    Gee, thanks to rayperez for pointing out why we still need feminism.

    She was drunk, OMG! Shocking, shocking! They’re going to go with either she put herself in danger, or she was drinking on the job.

    If anything that makes me feel for her. I’ve read—adn seen—that strippers often have to use drugs or booze to get through their job.

  9. rayperez
    April 14, 2006 at 8:58 am

    yeah, we need feminism like a crackhead needs crack.

  10. April 14, 2006 at 9:10 am

    Perez, dude, lemme get this straight: you’re hanging around on a feminist blog, just so you can decry feminist thought? That’s just stupid, but even worse, you’re arguing your points using grammar that would make you the laughingstock of a classful of third-graders.

    Hate to break this to ya, Ray, but feminist thought has done some good things for us. It made it easier for you to get laid (assuming you even CAN, with your level of charm and tact), and it made my wife into the hard-as-nails, self-assured, capable young fox that she is. If this were still the 50’s, she’d still be some brainless medicated housewife drone, and I’d be a serial adulterer.

    “Feminism” is just a conservative word for things like “equality” and “basic human rights.” Remember that.

  11. CITIZEN JOURNALIST
    April 14, 2006 at 9:50 am

    Because if she were obviously drunk from the moment she showed up, that means she couldn’t give meaningful consent to any sexual acts she participated in with people who knew she was drunk.

    It’s not evidence against a rape having occurred. However, given that no DNA from any of the players was found on the alleged victim, it does support the players’ story that she showed up too drunk to “perform” and so they kicked her out… which would mean that, if a rape did take place, they were not involved.

    Though I realize, from the perspective of many on this site, this detail is probably not important. It isn’t so much a question of whether these particular males are guilty, but rather how this story fits in with the narrative of white male guilt as a whole. It especially helps that they’re athletes, because everyone knows that athletes are the most uninhibited male cheauvinist pigs of all. Forget that their lives may be ruined even if they didn’t actually, y’know, commit a crime; didn’t they effectively commit rape merely by hiring a stripper?

  12. johnieB
    April 14, 2006 at 10:07 am

    rayperez,

    “I get it, but I don’t get it.”

    Color me surprised.

  13. sarahjp
    April 14, 2006 at 10:10 am

    Were you referring to the Lee Press-On variety? And cheering on movement that just makes it easier for you to get “laid” is kinda sad. Apparently, this type of feminism, which convicts people purely on the basis of their race or sex before the evidence comes in is pursuing the greater good. I guess it left me behind.

  14. April 14, 2006 at 10:51 am

    Sarah,

    What I was attempting to point out to Ray (though somewhat crudely) was the fact that feminist thought helped bring forth the sexual revolution of the 60’s and 70’s, a fact which I’m sure he takes for granted. And as for “convicting” anyone, I haven’t. I’ve seen too many of my fellow men have their lives ruined by spurious rape charges. I actually argued that I’d reserve judgement until more evidence came in.

    One thing I hate about being a man during a rape investigation: If I defend the woman, I’m “convicting” the man; if I defend the man, I’m just another insensitive patriarchal bastard. In spite of my appearance and gender, I’m as true-blue a feminist (and compassionate human being) as they come.

    How about giving me a break, huh Sarah?

  15. April 14, 2006 at 11:04 am

    Rayperez,

    As long as we’re criticizing the classes we took in college, I’ll suggest a 6th grade composition course for you. Get back to me when you’re able to write coherently, and perhaps then I’ll be able to properly respond.

  16. April 14, 2006 at 11:05 am

    Also, this post was Zuzu’s, not mine, in case that wasn’t clear by her name at the top of it.

  17. April 14, 2006 at 11:06 am

    Regarding the above post^:

    Bong.

  18. Rex Little
    April 14, 2006 at 11:11 am

    From what I understand, none of the players is claiming that the woman consented to sex. They’re saying that none of them had sex with her at all. (Someone please correct me if needed; I haven’t followed the case as closely as perhaps some of you have.)

    It especially helps that they’re athletes, because everyone knows that athletes are the most uninhibited male cheauvinist pigs of all. Forget that their lives may be ruined even if they didn’t actually, y’know, commit a crime; didn’t they effectively commit rape merely by hiring a stripper?

    Sarcasm aside, I see this as kind of a mirror image of the situation where a woman gets drunk at a party, leaves with someone she doesn’t know, and gets raped. The rapist is guilty of a serious crime, of course, but the woman bears some responsibility for putting herself in a vulnerable situation. The lacrosse players, by their past actions (chauvinist piggery, arrogance, community disruption) and by hiring a stripper to come to their house (rather than going to a club with bouncers), put themselves in a position where they were vulnerable to a false rape accusation. Doesn’t excuse the woman (if in fact she’s lying), but the players do bear some responsibility.

  19. rayperez
    April 14, 2006 at 11:23 am

    i’ll take my 6th grade grammar over your delusional logic anyday. anyway grammar is just another one of the man’s tools to keep us down right?

  20. zuzu
    April 14, 2006 at 11:34 am

    Ray, since you have nothing substantive or valuable to say and simply insist on drawing attention to yourself, you’re going to have to leave.

    Ta!

  21. johnieB
    April 14, 2006 at 11:41 am

    Thank you, Zuzu.

  22. Magis
    April 14, 2006 at 11:42 am

    *grumble*

    Zuzu took down the target before I could get a shot.

  23. April 14, 2006 at 11:57 am

    It’s not evidence against a rape having occurred. However, given that no DNA from any of the players was found on the alleged victim, it does support the players’ story that she showed up too drunk to “perform” and so they kicked her out… which would mean that, if a rape did take place, they were not involved.

    Even if she did show up “too drunk to perform” and “they” kicked her out, this does not mean “they” weren’t involved in a rape. Are “they” a unified mass? There were a lot of men there that night. I wouldn’t assume they were acting in unison at all times. Couldn’t she have been drunk, kicked out (or left voluntarily due to racist taunting, like she said), lured back in by a handful of them, and raped? The DNA evidence – or lack thereof- doesn’t prove anything either way, which is why one of the defense attorneys has said he expects at least one player to be indicted next week.

    I don’t know what happened and don’t have an opinion, just saying that there are lots of different ways to interpret this.

  24. April 14, 2006 at 11:57 am

    Man, I didn’t even get credit for the assist. *Pout*

  25. cream
    April 14, 2006 at 11:57 am

    The officer, according to the three paragraph quote you provided on your site, is simply stating that she didn’t need medical attention at that she was so drunk she was passed out. The officer is not implying anything else, nor should anything else be inferred from the statement except: at the time the officer saw her she was passed out drunk but was otherwise okay. The officer is not suggesting she was this way since she showed up at the party.

  26. Magis
    April 14, 2006 at 12:18 pm

    Freeman:

    Sorry.

    *pats back*

  27. lou
    April 14, 2006 at 12:32 pm

    Most gang rapes are of drunk or otherwise incapacitated women, and historically the gang rapers get off. witness what happened in Orange County recently, even though it was videotaped. I don’t know how many examples of fraternity brothers getting off in similar kinds of cases, including at FSU and UF in Florida.
    And even though the cop identified her as drunk, that doesn’t mean anything. in DC recently, a New York Times reporter died of massive head injuries from a mugging because the cops and the paramedics thought he was drunk.

    And to those who keep charging that feminists want the guys to be guilty, why do you keep automatically assume the woman is a lyin’ bitch? If you get to keep your assumptions, I’m keeping mine.

  28. Jason
    April 14, 2006 at 12:37 pm

    zuzu, I don’t understand your point. The men all claim that no one had sex with her. She claims she was raped. Their defense isn’t that she consented to sex, it’s that she’s lying.

    If anything, this is another piece of evidence that calls her story into question. If she was passed out drunk at 1:30, so that the officer couldn’t even wake her up, then how does she remember what happened an hour before? Doesn’t that make you question her ability to recall what happened?

  29. Kelley
    April 14, 2006 at 1:24 pm

    The doctors and nurses who examined her at the hospital all agreed and publicly stated that there was evidence of forcible intercourse, also known as RAPE.

    Get it straight boys: Just because a woman is drunk does not mean she is “asking” to be raped, or that any male has a right to do so. The situation is only made dangerous by the men who think they have the right to rape a drunk woman.

    By the way, did the officer perform a field sobriety test? Was there a blood test for her BAC? Perhaps she was just passed out from the pain and trauma of a gang-rape. Besides, why would being drunk call her story into question? Drunk does not equal agreement to rape. If men can’t behave any better, and they cause the dangerous conditions for women, then perhaps they should be locked in their cages.

    Of course the boys claim no one had sex with her. They have a vested interes in calling her a liar. The lack of DNA doesn’t prove they didn’t. It only proves they left no DNA, and/or someone else was at the party. Condoms are really good way to prevent leaving DNA. Given that in 75-80% of rape cases there is no DNA evidence, such findings are hardly conclusive. There is more evidence to suggest a rape than to exonerate.

  30. raging red
    April 14, 2006 at 1:31 pm

    yeah, we need feminism like a crackhead needs crack.

    Well, considering that a “crackhead” is physically addicted to crack, then I guess we know what ray(banned) really thinks about feminism.

  31. Rex Little
    April 14, 2006 at 2:02 pm

    Of course the boys claim no one had sex with her. They have a vested interest in calling her a liar.

    Kelley, the reason for pointing out the boys’ claim here is that it makes the whole “too drunk to give meaningful consent” thing (which is the title of this thread) irrelevant. If the boys are telling the truth, consent isn’t an issue. If they’re lying, that fact alone is enough to establish a presumption of guilt in the minds of anyone except their parents and defense lawyers.

  32. Jason
    April 14, 2006 at 2:18 pm

    Kelley, I think your prejudices have skewed your interpretation of the case. Lock them all in cages huh? This type of sensationalization, a la cable news crime shows, is a great injustice. No wonder America so easily accepts our government denying due process to the accused.

    You have though, seized on the ONLY evidence, other than her testimony, that a rape occured–the “rape” exam. All the other evidence calls her story into question

    But even the conclusions of the “rape” exam hardly lead to a conclusion that a rape occured. The nurse found that there was physical evidence “consistent with” forceable sex. That doesn’t mean that it was forceable sex. There can be bruising or other “injuries” during consensual sex. Did she have sex before arriving at the house? Or before her exam? How often did she work as an escort and did she have sex whith her clients?

    And we don’t know what those injuries “consistant with” forceable sex are. Evidently, there was bruising on her legs. But the defense claims they have pictures of her arriving with bruises on her legs, and she was falling down drunk.

    And lastly, her being drunk is a big deal. The players say she passed out at the house, and she was passed out at 1:30 in a parking lot. Do you really believe that a passed-out drunk person’s testimony is entirely reliable?

  33. April 14, 2006 at 2:36 pm

    She’s just passed-out drunk

    That’s basically the same defense that Greg Haidl and his buddies gave when they raped Jane Doe here in Orange County, CA. Now they are serving a six-year jail sentence.

  34. Jason
    April 14, 2006 at 2:48 pm

    Once again Commandate. Consent is not at issue in this case. The players have said nothing happened, so if any of them had sex with her, then they will probably be guilty of rape.

    The players’ defense will inevitably include the fact that a passed-out drunk person’s testimony is inherently unreliable.

  35. zuzu
    April 14, 2006 at 2:52 pm

    Why the scare quotes on the “rape” exam, Jason?

    Casting aspersions on the medical profession now?

  36. Jason
    April 14, 2006 at 2:57 pm

    Why the scare quotes on the “rape” exam, Jason?
    Casting aspersions on the medical profession now?

    Certainly not, zuzu. Just pointing out that the exam is not concusive evidence of rape. I guess I’m casting aspersions on the non-medical people who think this proves she was raped.

  37. evil_fizz
    April 14, 2006 at 3:20 pm

    Actually, Jason, you are. It’s called a rape exam because it checks specifically for evidence of sexual assault, not because there was a rape. I mean, I can comb your pubic hair when you report your wallet stolen, but that’s not going to demonstrate much, now is it? For someone who’s been purportedly raped, such things will indeed be relevant.

  38. Jason
    April 14, 2006 at 3:32 pm

    I’m not saying the rape exam is irrelevant. In fact, I said it was the only evidence that supports her claim. I’m simply pointing out that the exam doesn’t prove she was raped, and it doesn’t prove that any of the players had sex with her.

  39. evil_fizz
    April 14, 2006 at 3:44 pm

    Wow, you’re good at completely missing the point. It’s called a rape exam because it looks for evidence of rape (or lack thereof). The fact that they did a rape exam does not substantiate a claim of rape. Positive test results from a rape exam do. Whether the results of a rape exam suggest rape or no is what’s relevant, not the exam itself.

  40. Jason
    April 14, 2006 at 3:55 pm

    I have no idea what you’re talking about evil. Yes, the nurse found evidence “consistent with” forceable sex. Of course that evidence is relevant. Am I saying otherwise?

  41. raging red
    April 14, 2006 at 4:01 pm

    Oh my god Jason, you are dense. You were asked why you put scare quotes around “rape” when you said ‘”rape” exam,’ and you responded that it was because the exam does not conclusively prove rape. It’s called a rape exam because they do the freaking exam after someone claims that she was raped!

  42. Jason
    April 14, 2006 at 4:27 pm

    Rage, so let me get this straight. It’s called a rape exam because it takes place after someone claims they are raped? Thanks. I think you cleared it up for me. I look forward to more instruction from you on criminal investigation and procedure.

    My comments were pointing out the fact that evidence “consistent with” rape is not conclusive proof of rape. One can have consensual sex and still have the same evidence on their body. I probably shouldn’t have put the quotes around rape, but I guess I did that to emphasize that the test results don’t necessarily mean she was indeed raped. Especially when she evidently had other bruising and injuries when she showed up to dance. I ask that you spend a little time trying to wrap your brain around that and reread my comments before you call me dense.

  43. evil_fizz
    April 14, 2006 at 4:34 pm

    Jason, you’re really just being deliberately obtuse. It’s possible to have injuries consistent with rape and not have been raped. That’s not the point. The point is that a positive rape exam makes the possibility that a rape occurred much more likely. Most consensual sexual encounters do not result in physical injuries like those which result from sexual assault. The rape exam is not conclusive, but it is damn good evidence.

  44. Jason
    April 14, 2006 at 4:52 pm

    Well, the rape test is the only evidence she has. I don’t know if it’s damn good evidence though. We don’t know the exact nature of the results of that test. Are the bruises on her legs part of the conclusion of the test? What is the severity of the other injuries? Did she have sex with other people around that time? I personally suspect that the exam is not that damning to the players (just a hunch based on how the attorneys are handling themselves).

    The main problem with this woman’s story is that almost all the other evidence calls her story into question. You have to look at all the facts.

  45. April 14, 2006 at 5:32 pm

    I finally figured out my problem.

    I get the (perhaps mistaken) impression some here hope she was raped.

    I hope she’s lying.

    I hope she has a drug or alcohol or psychological problem that made her accuse these men. I hope that she’s some poor flawed soul who, for whatever misguided reason, is making it up. I’d feel sorry for her.

    I hope she’s lying because it will be much easier for the men to recover from being falsely accused than it would be for the woman to recover from being raped.

    I hope she’s lying because then the guilty party here might be one person who needs help; instead of three people who committed a brutal crime while forty others did nothing to stop it.

    I hope she’s lying because then the victim will have just been accused of rape, and not actually have been raped.

    There seem to be only two options here: you hope she’s lying, or you hope she was raped.

    Which do you hope really happened, and why?

  46. April 14, 2006 at 5:48 pm

    There seem to be only two options here: you hope she’s lying, or you hope she was raped.

    Conflate much?

    What happened to you beating up on anti-gay bigots?

  47. piny
    April 14, 2006 at 5:56 pm

    I wish Brandon Teena had staged an elaborate hoax, too, because I’d rather he were a pathological liar than a corpse; that doesn’t mean that’s an available option. I recognize the reality that most women who allege rape are not lying, and that many women are raped and then ignored completely. I don’t hope she lies. I hope that, given the likelihood of her honesty, she receives the respect from the courts and from the court of public opinion that she deserves. As opposed to being treated like a lying slut hooker who’s already gotten what she deserves.

  48. piny
    April 14, 2006 at 6:02 pm

    And this “You’re the real woman-haters!” shit took approximately half a second to get real old. Sure. I’m overjoyed by gang rape. I’m ecstatic about brutal violation. I’m beside myself with glee at the thought that everything in that affidavit actually happened to this woman. Because it’s about feminism, not women’s lives.

    Fuck you.

  49. April 14, 2006 at 6:26 pm

    There seem to be only two options here: you hope she’s lying, or you hope she was raped.

    No one here hopes that she was raped. But that doesn’t mean that we’re going to accuse her of lying just because we hope that a terrible thing didn’t happen to her.

  50. Jason
    April 14, 2006 at 6:54 pm

    I hope that, given the likelihood of her honesty, she receives the respect from the courts and from the court of public opinion that she deserves.

    Piny, she has received more than enough respect. In fact, she has a prosecutor on her side who is very aggressively pursuing this. Also, most public forums, including this one, have done more to demonize the players than have called the woman a lying whore.

    And it’s likely she’s honest? Have you heard something I haven’t heard about the facts, or do you have personal knowledge about her character? Or is it your default position that a woman would never lie about rape? How about we do away with defendants’ rights, just like we are doing with terrorism suspects and drug suspects’ rights. Hey, rape is heinous just like terrorism and drugs. Maybe since it’s so hard to prove rape (kind of like terrorism ties) let’s just shift the burden of proof. That way we can put all the evil doers in cages.

  51. zuzu
    April 14, 2006 at 7:00 pm

    I personally suspect that the exam is not that damning to the players (just a hunch based on how the attorneys are handling themselves).

    Really? Because I thought the way the attorneys are handling themselves — or rather, the *change* in how the attorneys are handling themselves, going from swaggering pronouncements of the absolute exoneration of their clients to a more chastened sort of position — indicates that there’s something we don’t yet know about.

    Moreover, the accuser may have the DA on her side, but the players have some pretty damn high-powered attorneys on their side. And the DA isn’t going to bring charges in this kind of case unless he’s pretty damn sure he can get a conviction, particularly in a controversial case so close to re-election.

  52. JeffL
    April 14, 2006 at 7:02 pm

    There seem to be only two options here: you hope she’s lying, or you hope she was raped.

    Incorrect. The two options are believe her, or don’t believe her. “Wait and see” or “the facts aren’t it” is just “I don’t believe her” in sheep’s clothing.

    The people who run this blog, and most of the commenters, believe her. We expect to see defense lawyers drag her name through the mud, and to run to the press to tout any evidence even vaguely in their favor, exactly as they have done. We expect to see the men on the team close ranks, and protect their own. None of that changes our minds.

    We aren’t hoping for anything. We believe her.

  53. piny
    April 14, 2006 at 7:14 pm

    Piny, she has received more than enough respect. In fact, she has a prosecutor on her side who is very aggressively pursuing this. Also, most public forums, including this one, have done more to demonize the players than have called the woman a lying whore.

    Excuse me just to death, but the players aren’t the only ones calling her a lying whore. Go surf the comments threads on Alas. You’ll find plenty of examples on that heavily-moderated feminist blog of people who believe that she’s a lying whore.

    And it’s likely she’s honest? Have you heard something I haven’t heard about the facts, or do you have personal knowledge about her character? Or is it your default position that a woman would never lie about rape? How about we do away with defendants’ rights, just like we are doing with terrorism suspects and drug suspects’ rights. Hey, rape is heinous just like terrorism and drugs. Maybe since it’s so hard to prove rape (kind of like terrorism ties) let’s just shift the burden of proof. That way we can put all the evil doers in cages.

    I love how you quote this sentence as though the paragraph that preceded it didn’t even exist. I bolded some of your words to make the logical gaps more apparent. I’m not gonna waste any more time on this slippery-slope fallacy.

  54. Jason
    April 14, 2006 at 7:21 pm

    Zuzu, I read the attorneys’ posturing much differently than you do. I wouldn’t describe the defense as being “chastened.” As I said on a previous post, just because a defense attorney said he expected this to go to trial does not mean it’s a sign of weakness. They are basically saying, “you want a war, you get war, and we’re planning right now on taking this thing to the bitter end.” In other words, they’re still swaggering. Also, the lawyers know how easy it is to get an indictment, and the prosecutor is evidently taking the easy way out by going to a grand jury. So the lawyers are probably resigned to the fact that at least one player will be charged.

    I completely disagree with you on the prosecutor’s motivation. Everything about him confirms my prejudices about prosecutors. He’s boxed himself in a corner. You’re wrong if you think he wouldn’t bring the charges unless he had a shot of winning a conviction. He can’t back down now because of political reasons (and because that’s how prosecutors are). So he’s taking the easy way out and going to a grand jury. He’ll get an indictment, but no way he gets a conviction. It will be interesting to see how aggressively he pursues this after the election.

  55. zuzu
    April 14, 2006 at 7:24 pm

    Oh, and Josh: all the evidence isn’t in. The players haven’t been interviewed by police (they’ve refused), the DNA results are not all in yet, and the investigation is still ongoing. Even once there are charges, there are likely to be restrictions on what can be made public, since the court will undoubtedly put certain things under seal and place certain restrictions on publicity due to the potential of tainting the jury pool. So, essentially, we’re not going to see everything the prosecution has for quite some time.

  56. April 14, 2006 at 7:24 pm

    Who else would be so cynical to think that rapes shouldn’t be prosecuted if there are electoral politics involved?

  57. piny
    April 14, 2006 at 7:27 pm

    Jeff, you didn’t get that slogan from one of those people holding signs at Michael Jackson’s trial, did you? We BELIEVE you Michael!!!

    Nothing offensive about that comment at all.

  58. Jason
    April 14, 2006 at 7:31 pm

    Zuzu, what’s with the Josh? It’s Jason.

    Anyway, I see you’ve repeated something that was reported innacurately–that the players weren’t cooperating. They did cooperate immediately. I can find the link later, not now, but trust me on this. T

    Also, you’re wrong about further DNA testing. Not going to happen. Don’t have this link either. (Actually, TalkLeft has the best factual reporting on this, both the links are there.)

    But as far as all the facts not being in yet, right you are.
    But, as far as hearing more

  59. zuzu
    April 14, 2006 at 7:37 pm

    Josh, I’ve defended civil rights cases involving wrongful arrest and malicious prosecution. You can damn well bet that the prosecutor is in communication with the Durham city attorney about the fact that the city attorney doesn’t want to have a bunch of very costly wrongful arrest/mal pros/section 1983 cases to defend and to have Durham pay out.

    Moreover, this isn’t some well-scrubbed young blonde virgin who was raped, it’s a black stripper with a history. Is this the case he wants to stake his election on?

  60. zuzu
    April 14, 2006 at 7:37 pm

    Jason.

  61. Jason
    April 14, 2006 at 7:39 pm

    Sorry to offend you Piny. It’s just that Jeff’s statement amused me–it was rather dramatic. The Jackson trial just popped up in my mind. Wasn’t the lesson from yesterday that it’s too early to make an absolute judgment on whether the woman is lying or telling the truth?

  62. zuzu
    April 14, 2006 at 7:40 pm

    Jason, it was one of the players’ attorneys who reported today that the players refused to speak to the cops, on the advice of their attorneys.

    As well they should advise them, since it’s just stupid to talk to the cops without counsel when you have counsel.

  63. Jason
    April 14, 2006 at 7:45 pm

    Then you should know zuzu how it’s virtually impossible to win a malicious prosecution. Especially when the prosecutor gets a grand jury indictment. And forget about wrongful arrest and 1983 claims. These guys will only be arrested on a grand jury indictment.

    The prosecutor is running in a majority black district. There have been racial tensions there before, and if I remember correctly, he has come under scrutiny re race relations. And yes, he is staking his future on a black stripper. As I said, he’s boxed himself in. If he drops the investigation, he angers a lot of voters. If he goes forward and files charges on his own, he gets blamed for playing politics (as his rivals have already charged). So the easy way out is going to a grand jury.

  64. piny
    April 14, 2006 at 7:45 pm

    Sorry to offend you Piny. It’s just that Jeff’s statement amused me–it was rather dramatic. The Jackson trial just popped up in my mind. Wasn’t the lesson from yesterday that it’s too early to make an absolute judgment on whether the woman is lying or telling the truth?

    Yes, I got the joke. It’s just that I think it was a fucked-up joke. You know, comparing the child-rape-apologists with the anti-rape feminists?

    And (*headdesk*headdesk*headdesk*) sure, for the people who were making an absolute judgment in the first place. Otherwise, not so much.

  65. zuzu
    April 14, 2006 at 7:51 pm

    Then you should know zuzu how it’s virtually impossible to win a malicious prosecution. Especially when the prosecutor gets a grand jury indictment. And forget about wrongful arrest and 1983 claims. These guys will only be arrested on a grand jury indictment.

    BWAHAHAHAHA!

    No, it’s hard to make out a mal pros claim, since the outcome needs to be favorable, but once you do, it’s not at all hard to win such a claim or get a settlement.

  66. Jason
    April 14, 2006 at 7:51 pm

    Of course they’re attorneys have advised them to shut up now. It’s good advice. But that’s now.

    Here’s what they did in the immediate aftermath (from the Herald-Sun, in Durham; link no longer available):

    The Police Department issued a news release Wednesday saying that when police searched the house March 16, the three residents of the house, who were all Duke University lacrosse captains, volunteered to go to Durham Police Substation 2 for interviews, the release said. When the interviews were completed, the three men agreed to go to Duke University Medical Center, where they voluntarily agreed to provide “suspect test kits.”

  67. April 14, 2006 at 7:52 pm

    If he goes forward and files charges on his own, he gets blamed for playing politics (as his rivals have already charged).

    *cough*

  68. April 14, 2006 at 7:54 pm

    And it’s likely she’s honest? Have you heard something I haven’t heard about the facts, or do you have personal knowledge about her character? Or is it your default position that a woman would never lie about rape? How about we do away with defendants’ rights, just like we are doing with terrorism suspects and drug suspects’ rights. Hey, rape is heinous just like terrorism and drugs. Maybe since it’s so hard to prove rape (kind of like terrorism ties) let’s just shift the burden of proof. That way we can put all the evil doers in cages.

    I’m confused. Who wants to shift the burden of proof here? Who wants to see these men get automatically thrown in jail without a trial? Who has suggested supplanting due process in any way?

    No one has argued that. Or at least I can’t find anywhere where Zuzu, piny or I have. You’re setting up strawmen.

    I believe that a lot of the people we’re holding at Guantanamo Bay have some ties to terrorism. All of them? No, and there has certainly been evidence otherwise. But, yeah, a lot of them are probably guilty of something. I’m still very insistent that they have access to our justice system. Does my preminition that they’re guilty make them any less deserving of that access? No. Of course not.

    I don’t want these lacrosse sent to Guantanamo. I don’t want their access to counsel taken away. I don’t want to do anything that would remove their Constitutional rights. So how does saying that I believe this woman was raped infer that, any more than saying I think terrorists exist infer that I think Guantanamo is a-ok?

  69. zuzu
    April 14, 2006 at 7:56 pm

    There were 30 guys in the house.

    Also, you seem to have a real misunderstanding of what’s involved in a wrongful arrest/1983 claim. Grand jury indictment doesn’t insulate the state from wrongful arrest claims, since the grand jury has only what’s presented to it. And who presents the evidence? The prosecutor. So if you have a prosecutor who hides evidence or presents false evidence, you have a bad indictment.

    And that’s just the indictment. False arrest isn’t even triggered until you actually get arrested, and other claims dont’ arise until after you’ve been either convicted, sent to trial or what have you. So there are many, many steps in the process where state power can be abused.

  70. Jason
    April 14, 2006 at 8:04 pm

    t’s not at all hard to win such a claim or get a settlement.

    Are you kidding me zuzu? To win a claim against a prosecutor who gets a grand jury indictment? Even though he probably has prosecutorial immunity?

  71. zuzu
    April 14, 2006 at 8:10 pm

    You’re really betraying your ignorance.

    The grand jury returns an indictment. An indictment is just like a complaint in a civil case — a collection of allegations that must be proven in court. Since the prosecutor controls the grand jury process, there’s plenty of room for the prosecutor to manipulate things to get an indictment. However, once there’s an indictment, which is all just based on probable cause, the prosecutor must prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt at trial, before the petit jury.

    Different thing.

    BTW, what part of “I defended these kinds of cases for two years, you know, professionally, for the City of New York” don’t you get? I am speaking from my experience here.

  72. Jason
    April 14, 2006 at 8:24 pm

    My last post, since taxes and other things call.

    Jill, while you may not have called for taking away due process rights of accused rapists (other than those implicated in rape shield laws–another issue I know), there is an overt hostility here to anyone who does not take the accuser’s claims at face value. You just said you believe her. As have many others. You are creating an enviroment that doesn’t take the evidence into account and instead relies on politics and gender issues.

    But, it’s your blog, not a court of law.

    And as far as strawmen, I think you have used your fair share on this case, at least implicitly. It was all good before you had all the facts. You could blame the culture, rich white boys, and you quoted someone on your first post to the effect of, “we got your back, accuser”, no matter the evidence. When the facts didn’t go your way, you jumped to the attack and singled out the few who said she was definitely lying. As if you were fair minded from the start simply wanted all the facts. You gave the impression that anyone who had doubts about her story was a misogynist. Look, this is one case. It’s messy, as are most criminal allegations. One can’t always prove a grander political or social point from every case. Sometimes accusers lie. I like your posts because you usually have great insight on a lot of issues. I hope you’re not trying to butress your feminist bona fides with this case so that feministe doesn’t get described as a Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood (isn’t that what they said?).

  73. piny
    April 14, 2006 at 8:28 pm

    And as far as strawmen, I think you have used your fair share on this case, at least implicitly. It was all good before you had all the facts. You could blame the culture, rich white boys, and you quoted someone on your first post to the effect of, “we got your back, accuser”, no matter the evidence. When the facts didn’t go your way, you jumped to the attack and singled out the few who said she was definitely lying. As if you were fair minded from the start simply wanted all the facts. You gave the impression that anyone who had doubts about her story was a misogynist. Look, this is one case. It’s messy, as are most criminal allegations. One can’t always prove a grander political or social point from every case. Sometimes accusers lie. I like your posts because you usually have great insight on a lot of issues. I hope you’re not trying to butress your feminist bona fides with this case so that feministe doesn’t get described as a Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood (isn’t that what they said?).

    …What facts, Mr. We Can’t Say for Sure?

  74. April 14, 2006 at 9:04 pm

    Back to the topic that this post was supposedly about, the Officer’s decription of the woman as “passed-out drunk.” I want to second cream’s post and poiunt out that the cop was not, it appears, in any way judging her state vis a vis whether she could give consent. He was just stating that she was not in danger of alcohol poisoning, so immediate medical attention was unnecessary.

    As for why the paper mentioned it, well, it is relevant for two reasons: if it can be establishedd that she was drunk at the party, that (a) reduces the credibility of her recollections, and (b) essentially proves that she could not have had consensual sex. Both possibilities ultimately have the effect of making the forensic evidence the deciding issue, as her testimony alone won’t be enough to convict, but as any evidence of sex during the party would be evidence of rape (as consensual sex is not a possibility). As for what the forensic evidence shows, well, I don’t know what evidence had not yet been made public, so I’m not going to speculate on what actually happened yet.

  75. zuzu
    April 14, 2006 at 9:10 pm

    Glaivester, I’ve seen reports that the players have produced time-stamped photos of the woman looking drunk as “proof” that she was fucked up when she got there (as proof of what, I’m not entirely sure). I’ve since found out, after posting this, that the found-drunk-in-car call and the rape call were entirely different, that the rape call came about because the ER nurse had to report her findings, and the cops immediately upon receiving the report treated it as a rape case.

  76. Rex Little
    April 15, 2006 at 2:23 am

    I want to get back to to the players’ claim that no sex took place. To me, this is the strongest indication that they’re telling the truth. Because if it’s a lie, it’s an incredibly risky lie. One drop of semen, or one pubic hair, found on the accuser’s body with DNA that ties it to any player, and the lie is exposed. If that happens, they’re cooked; too late to switch to the usual “she wanted it” story.

    If the rape did happen, it would have been much safer for the players to claim that they had sex with her but she agreed to it. Then it’s her word against theirs, nothing provable either way, and they’ve got the whole privileged-white-males-vs.-black-stripper thing going for them.

  77. Raging Moderate
    April 15, 2006 at 7:05 am

    Piny: I don’t hope she lies.

    Does that mean you hope the accusations are true? If so, why?

    If not, what do you hope really happened that night?

    JeffL: We aren’t hoping for anything. We believe her.

    That’s just silly. How can a reasonable person make a choice between two opposing things (in this case the choice to believe the accuser instead of disbelieving her) and not hope to have made the right choice? Name one other such choice you have ever made and not hoped you were right.

    Jill: we hope that a terrible thing didn’t happen to her.

    Just to be clear, does that therefore mean you hope she is lying?

  78. evil_fizz
    April 15, 2006 at 8:36 am

    Wow, Raging Moderate, that is some of the most idiotic, convoluted logic I’ve seen in a damn long time.

    Nobody is saying “we hope she was raped.” What is being said is that “If she was raped, that was a terrible thing, we hope she’s telling the truth about her assault and that her attackers go to prison.”

    When we say “we hope a terrible thing didn’t happen to her” we mean “It would be wonderful if she hadn’t been brutally assaulted, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. We therefore hope that she’s telling the truth because lying about rape does damage to the men she’s accused, the integrity of the system, and the ability of future rape victims to be taken seriously.

    You’re parsing these sorts of statements in a vacuum with no context and twist people’s words until they say “I hope she was raped.” or “I hope she’s lying.” Try not to be so deliberately obtuse.

  79. Chet
    April 15, 2006 at 2:46 pm

    Apparently, this type of feminism, which convicts people purely on the basis of their race or sex before the evidence comes in is pursuing the greater good.

    I’m not saying that a whole lot of people probably didn’t immediately rush to the conclusion that was most consistent with their experiences and positions, but think for a minute.

    Think back to every situation that included one or two disenfranchised women asserting a charge of rape against a large assembly of privileged, drunk men. You don’t even have to think of specific events. Out of every situation like that that you’d ever heard of, in how many cases did it turn out to be the case that the accusation was false and the men were innocent? 1 in 10? 1 in 100? It certainly doesn’t represent the majority of such cases. In the majority of such cases, the group of privileged men raped women who they assumed would be powerless to prosecute them.

    Some of you have mentioned science; what’s more scientific that drawing a tentative conclusion about a current situation from examination of all the past, similar cases? Nobody can forsee the weather, for instance – meteorologists can only say “out of every day in the past that conditions have been the same as they are on this day, its rained 70% of the time. Thus, we conclude a 70% chance of rain today.” Sometimes it doesn’t rain on those days, though.

    90% chance of rape in this case, at least. If this turns out to be one of the 10% where it’s just a rape accusation motivated for money, well, there’s nobody at this website that I think will be afraid to admit that conclusion, if that’s the conclusion the facts support. But the only people who have any explaining to do right now are the people that are asserting, contrary to the historical trend, that this is one of the rare cases where a woman is asserting rape for money.

  80. sarahjp
    April 15, 2006 at 3:29 pm

    Some of you have mentioned science; what’s more scientific that drawing a tentative conclusion about a current situation from examination of all the past, similar cases? Nobody can forsee the weather, for instance – meteorologists can only say “out of every day in the past that conditions have been the same as they are on this day, its rained 70% of the time. Thus, we conclude a 70% chance of rain today.” Sometimes it doesn’t rain on those days, though.

    Wow. Talk about idiotic?

    Let’s use your model based on these statistics:

    The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that in 1999, there were about 657,008 black-on-white crimes of violence, as compared to some 91,051 of the white-on-black variety. The white population makes up 70% of the US, while the black makes up 12%.

    Or how about this?

    Each year there are about 15,000 black-on-white rapes but fewer than 900 white-on-black rapes. There are more than 3,000 gang rapes of whites by blacks—but white-on-black gang rapes are so rare they do not even show up in the statistics.

    So what was your point again?

  81. sarahjp
    April 15, 2006 at 3:46 pm

    Look up the stats yourself at DoJ if you don’t believe them. As for this:

    When we say “we hope a terrible thing didn’t happen to her” we mean “It would be wonderful if she hadn’t been brutally assaulted, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. We therefore hope that she’s telling the truth because lying about rape does damage to the men she’s accused, the integrity of the system, and the ability of future rape victims to be taken seriously.

    You’re parsing these sorts of statements in a vacuum with no context and twist people’s words until they say “I hope she was raped.” or “I hope she’s lying.” Try not to be so deliberately obtuse.

    Again “we therefore hope etc. etc.” placing so much weight on the outcome of one case in order to justify positions taken on universal issues is not wise. Saying “I hope justice is served” is one thing, saying
    I hope she’s not lying because we all jumped in with two feet and it will now hurt other rape victims is another. Lying about rape doesn’t do damage to the system any more than raping does damage to the system. Both are crimes and the system is there to deal with crimes. Unethical actions taken by actors in the system to unjustly forward a cause or a career putting the facts of the case second damages the system.

  82. sarahjp
    April 15, 2006 at 4:17 pm

    There are lies, damned lies, and your statistics (unless you can prove otherwise):

    Given that in 75-80% of rape cases there is no DNA evidence, such findings are hardly conclusive.

    After doing some research, the only source for this stastic i can find appears to be the DA, Nifong:

    Nifong said Tuesday that in 75 to 80 percent of all sexual assault cases, there is no DNA evidence.

    “DNA results can often be helpful, but you know, I’ve been doing this a long time, and for most of the years I’ve been doing this we didn’t have DNA,” he said. “We had to deal with sexual assault cases the good old fashioned way. Witnesses got on the stand and told what happened to them.”

    First, here he says sexual assault. Sexual Assault in New York at least has different degrees, rape being one, sexual abuse being among others. Sexual abuse differs from rape in that penetration is not required. So I guess there would be a good chance you would not find DNA if this type of no penetration sexual abuse took place. However, int the affidavits released, rape is claimed.

    The only 75 to 80% figures I could find on rape are for old cases being re-examined in light of new DNA technology. “”In 75 percent of the cases we initially accept,” Neufeld claims, “we learn that the evidence has either been lost or destroyed in the intervening years.” There are many like this. So he is either being intentionally vague to bias the jury or public opinion, i.e. the voters, or he is referring to the statistics I am quoting, or he is talking about the good old days when we didn’t have DNA. Unfortunately for his argument, a lot of those good old day convictions, that came down before DNA technology, where DNA can now be collected from the stored evidence, are being overturned.

    And on a side note, Nifong’s challenger is a NCCU graduate. Interesting. As my causes validity are independent of the outcome of this case, my only “hope” is that justice is served.

  83. Raging Moderate
    April 15, 2006 at 4:28 pm

    Try not to be so deliberately obtuse.

    Sorry. I realized I’m asking a question that could only be asked of someone who has not yet formed an opinion about the truth of the accusation (and it’s hard to find one – which I find troubling, as the evidence seems to indicate neither guilt nor innocence yet).

    As guilt and innocence are both still realistic outcomes in my view, the logic works for me.

    I hope she was not raped.

    She says she was raped.

    Therefore I hope she is lying.

    If I were to hope she is telling the truth, I would therefore be hoping she was raped.

    I now agree this logic cannot apply to Piny, Jill, yourself, or anyone else who is not undecided about what happened in this case.

    Is there anyone here who doesn’t already think they know what happened?

  84. zuzu
    April 15, 2006 at 5:43 pm

    sarahjp, what’s with the serial posting?

  85. piny
    April 15, 2006 at 6:06 pm

    (Sigh)

    So you hope that the next time a woman in a similar situation brings rape charges, she has an even harder time of proving it in court? Is that what you’d like to happen? Would you be pleased about that outcome? Why do you hate women so much, Raging Moderate?

    This is such a stupid fucking argument. My guess is that she’s telling the truth; I’m happy to let the courts decide the issue wrt the futures of the defendants. That’s irrelevant to the question of whether or not I’d prefer her to be either a rape victim or a liar, which is the question you’re asking. It’s dishonest and offensive to imply that anyone here, decided or undecided about the guilt of the defendants, would rather she’d been raped than not.

    Let me try an analogy:

    I really hope my surgeon is lying when he says that I’ll probably need a revision procedure. I’d much rather he were a completely incompetent, unethical, moneygrubbing quack than that he were telling the truth about the necessity of a painful, expensive, time-consuming operation.

    Given my surgeon’s training and the professional code of conduct to which he is expected to adhere, and given the high percentage of revisions, that hope is rather a slim one. I should listen to my surgeon, and I should plan for a revision. Does that mean I hate my body? Does that mean it’s not possible that I won’t need a revision? Does that mean that I’d rather go under the knife a second time? Does it mean that “lying doctor” is the only scenario under which a revision would not be necessary? No.

    So: Does a belief in the guilt of the defendants mean that one wants this woman to suffer? Does it mean that it’s impossible she’s lying? Does it mean that one would much rather she were raped than not? And does it mean that “lying plaintiff” is the only thing to wish for when wishing rape wouldn’t happen? Of course not.

    You’re being an asshole and a troll, and I’m sick and tired of it. No one here is glad to hear that she was raped.

  86. April 15, 2006 at 7:20 pm

    sarahjp: I’ve had a look at BoJ figures, also the FBI and CDC. I couldn’t find the reports about races of victims/offenders, and while I found plenty of rape statistics I couldn’t find any reports specifically on gang rapes. My search-fu must be weak. Would you be able to give me a link to the reports you quote, or at least the titles of the reports?

  87. sarahjp
    April 15, 2006 at 11:16 pm

    http://www.ojp.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/cvus99.pdf

    Gosh, you guys are making me work here. Here is the link to 1999 DoJ crime statistics. The figures listed are sums from various categories but using the stats from tables 42 and 48 will get you close to the above numbers. It’ll take a little work, I know, but you can do it. Just get out the caluculator. If anyone needs some help with it I’ll take you through it step by step.
    Rape statistics cited above are averages. You can compare to single offender stats on table 42 for 1999. I don’t have the source for gang rapes right now, if you want to be super skeptical of the gang rape number, and i don’t know why you would since it lines up with the other data, i’ll find the source when I have free time. Anyway, reality is a little different than American History X would make it out to be, I guess. We all have our causes we want to advance, but it serves no good purpose to lie about reality. If your feelings conflict with reality, well the solution should be obvious to you. The truth will set you free.

    Justice for an individual woman, or a man, for a black or a white, is justice for all. Anytime politics is placed above justice, it does injustice to us all. Let’s hope simply for justice. We should all be able to agree on that.

  88. R. Mildred
    April 15, 2006 at 11:43 pm

    I hope she’s not lying because we all jumped in with two feet and it will now hurt other rape victims is another.

    I’d think that people were saying that “she’s not lying” because the DA says they have physical evidence of a rape having occurred and there is exactly zero evidence of anyone involved with the case, including the defense, having evidence to support a false accusation charge.

    But that would require, you know, people taking into account context and data and shit, and I’m sure you’d be the first to point out that context is just facism that makes sense no doubt.

    The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that in 1999, there were about 657,008 black-on-white crimes of violence, as compared to some 91,051 of the white-on-black variety. The white population makes up 70% of the US, while the black makes up 12%.

    Well that’s nice, what crimes of violence have to do with anything confuses me somewhat but those are pretty stats, here, have a cookie.

    You do get that chet was talking about the number of cases of rape in which the woman proven to have lied, right? Why you immediately went racial there is a mystery.

    Unless you were trying to make some weird statement about how she was preemptively filing a rape claim so that the lacrosse players that She raped would look extra foolish if they tried to press charges, or something.

    Clarify, Oh random stat monkey.

  89. sarahjp
    April 16, 2006 at 12:36 am

    Hey, somebody hit my car. I have physical evidence that it was hit. You drove by last night. Therefore you hit my car. I make the claim. You all automatically believe me. I am a woman. Where is your evidence that I hit your car? My car is dent. (In fact, my boyfriend hit my car. But that was the night before…and I love him) This above analogy should illustrate the illogical nature of your argument.

    The whole escalation of this particular case to national prominence, and as something for interested groups to rally around, is, as has been made very clear on this site along with others, about race, and class, and priveledge, and gender, and about society in general. Now statistics have been used or implied by many posters on here in support of their feelings towards this particular case. Many have based their judgments on this matter or life in general on anecdotes, urban legends, isolated indidents cleverly spun and rants like this:

    But in a recent interview with The Associated Press, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said history can’t help but loom large over this case. It is particularly horrible because these white men hired black women to strip for them. “That fantasy’s as old as slave masters impregnating young slave girls,” he said.

    Anyway, I’m sure you don’t care about facts and reality and false perceptions and being duped, but maybe someone else does and that is who I’m trying to help. In your whole kindergarten rant above with your “have a cookie…stat monkey” you didn’t add anything intellegent to the conversation directly. But your demeanor and lack of intelligence speak volumes. I’m older and more patient maybe, but I can reserve judgment on who did what to who until I have enough evidence in the particular case, and not just erroneous beliefs about reality, which,as you read through the threads, my statistics were responding to. Maybe they did it, maybe they didn’t. The “TRUTH” is out there, discovering it isn’t guaranteed, at least in this life. Judiciousness is about wisdom. Time to grow up, little girl.

  90. Chet
    April 16, 2006 at 12:48 am

    So what was your point again?

    If you didn’t understand my point, which seems obvious from your post, isn’t it better for you to have asked that at the beginning rather than the end?

    What about my post did you feel wasn’t clear?

  91. sarahjp
    April 16, 2006 at 1:11 am

    It was a rhetorical question chet. Your post is clear. You talk about heresay, and impressions, and science and use the % symbol quite a bit. Problem is, your statements aren’t “objective” and have nothing to do with “science”. You didn’t point to any evidence to base your assertion on. That’s all. Nothing against you personally. Reread, I think making tentative preliminary assumptions about a case is normal on a personal level, but for everyone to be screaming off with their heads before there is enough data to make an intelligent judgment, that’s not only unjust, it’s immoral.

  92. ilyka
    April 16, 2006 at 3:08 am

    Does it mean that “lying doctor” is the only scenario under which a revision would not be necessary? No.

    Bless you, piny, you nailed it. It’s a false dichotomy. There are actually at least four possibilities I can think of off the top of my head:

    (1) The woman was raped by member(s) of the Duke lacrosse team; she’s telling the truth and has correctly identified her assailant(s).

    (2) The woman was raped, but not by member(s) of the lacrosse team; she’s telling the truth as best she is able, but has misidentified her assailant(s).

    (3) The woman was raped, but not by member(s) of the lacrosse team; she’s lying, for whatever possible motives, about who raped her.

    (4) The woman was not raped and is lying about the whole thing.

    Furthermore, failing to assess #4, “wasn’t raped and is lying,” as the most likely possibility, does not imply anyone wishes she were raped. It is perfectly reasonable to hope that she isn’t lying simply because the negative, the damage done to future rape victims, who will now have even more cause to fear being disbelieved, outweighs the positive of there now being one less rape victim in the world.

  93. April 16, 2006 at 4:56 am

    Thankyou Sarahjp for the cite. I’m quite happy to do the calculations myself now I have the raw data, but thanks for offering.

    I’m afraid that I must immediately take issue with your claimed black-on-white gang rape rate.

    sarahjp: Each year there are about 15,000 black-on-white rapes but fewer than 900 white-on-black rapes. There are more than 3,000 gang rapes of whites by blacks—but white-on-black gang rapes are so rare they do not even show up in the statistics.

    I don’t know what other data you think it lines up with, but here is the BoJ data from your own cite on rapes by number of offenders:

    Table 37: Percent distribution of incidents, by victim-offender relationship, type of crime and number of offenders

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – % of incidents
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – # offenders
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – #incidents – – – One – – Two – – Three – – Four+ – – N/K&N/A
    Rape/Sexual assault/a —- 381,400 – – – 93.4 – – 4.2* – – – 0.0* – – – 1.0* – – – 1.5*

    * estimate based on about 10 or fewer sample cases
    a/ includes verbal threats of rape and threats of sexual assault

    Gang rape is defined as 3 or more offenders, so going by these figures the estimate of all gang rapes (based on 10 or fewer sample cases) is 3814 in 1999. To base such an estimate on 10 or fewer sample cases seems a rather extreme extrapolation, wouldn’t you say? to then claim as you do that 3000 of those estimated 3814 gang rapes are black-on-white seems absurd on its face, particularly as you later appear to rely on that asterisk indicating an extrapolation from 10 or fewer sample cases to argue that white-on-black gang rape is so rare that it doesn’t “even show up in the statistics” (unless you are relying on different data here).

    According to Table 48 regarding all violent crimes (rape data not separated), just under 50% of white victimizations by multiple offenders are done by other whites, and under 20% by blacks. Just under 70% of black victimizations by multiple-offenders are by other blacks, and just under 7% estimated to be by whites.

    Multiple offenders means two or more perpetrators, so it’s not directly comparable to gang-rape statistics but back of the envelope calculations extrapolating from Table 48 give an approximate ratio of 4.6 white rape victims to 1 black rape victim. For the sake of a quick calculation let’s pretend that all 3841 gang rapes have only black or white victims, no other races. That 4.6:1 ratio gives a maximum estimated 2985 white gang-rape victims, so already your 3000 black-on-white gang-rapes claim looks shaky.

    More back of the envelope gives approx 570 max. est. black-on-white gang-rapes compared to approx 1466 max. est. white-on-white gang-rapes.

    For the maximum estimated 856 black gang-rape victims, the same table extrapolates to max. est. 59 white-on-black gang-rapes and max. est. 580 black-on-black gang rapes.

    Your figures don’t stand based on the cite you provided, sarahjp. Even if we assume that the 1.5% of Not known or Not available offender data from Table 37 falls into the gang-rape class, that still gives a maximum estimated 9535 gang rapes and a maximum estimated 1425 black-on-white gang rapes, ignoring the for-the-argument nonsense of discounting victims who are neither black nor white.

    I grant you that there do appear to be more black-on-white rapes generally than white-on-black, but your figures appear to be hyperbolic. Have you got a cite that better supports your argument?

  94. zuzu
    April 16, 2006 at 8:41 am

    Problem is, your statements aren’t “objective” and have nothing to do with “science”.

    Did not know that statistics were “science,” or, for that matter, “objective.” Particularly not in the way that you presented them, sarahjp, using figures for total violent crimes as a stand-in for rapes.

  95. April 16, 2006 at 8:51 am

    There seem to be only two options here: you hope she’s lying, or you hope she was raped.

    Raging Moderate, do your hopes actually have an effect on the outcome of things you have no apparent control over? Because if so, I’d like to ask your help with something. I keep hoping I win the lottery. And yet? Not so much. If your hopes, on the other hand, have some bearing on outcome, would you hope it on my behalf?

    Talk about confusing rationality with emotion. Just because you think something is the most probable thing to have occurred doesn’t mean you hope that it happened. The world doesn’t order itself in accordance with our hopes. Find me anyone functional who lives their life like it does.

  96. April 16, 2006 at 9:18 am

    with your “have a cookie…stat monkey” you didn’t add anything intellegent to the conversation directly

    Not entirely true — I was entertained.

  97. Chet
    April 16, 2006 at 10:12 am

    Problem is, your statements aren’t “objective” and have nothing to do with “science”. You didn’t point to any evidence to base your assertion on. That’s all.

    Right, but I wasn’t making a rigourous case – just defending a way of looking at it and noting on its similarity to other trend-looking heuristics that are taken as valid.

    And you didn’t offer any evidence that challenged the basic, recognizable truth of my post. I mean, what was your point, exactly? That because black-on-white crime is so much more common than the reverse, we’re supposed to assume that it was the stripper who raped the Lacross team?

    You think you somehow addressed my argument, but you didn’t. That leads me to believe that, contrary to your assertions, you didn’t understand what I was saying. I mean, either that, or you’re being purposfully dishonest. As a chartible person I’d prefer to think the former.

  98. April 16, 2006 at 10:25 am

    Raging moderate:

    Does that mean you hope the accusations are true? If so, why? If not, what do you hope really happened that night?

    This has got to be the strangest approach I’ve seen to attack those who refuse to label the alleged victim as a liar. Anyone who even believes it’s possible that a rape really happened is hoping she was raped.

    Please.

  99. April 16, 2006 at 10:46 am

    ilyka:

    Furthermore, failing to assess #4, “wasn’t raped and is lying,” as the most likely possibility …

    I’m amazed that you believe this is the most likely possibility since the stories that paint the alleged victim as a liar change as facts of the case are revealed.”

    Nice try at making your comment seem like an objective analysis. Better luck next time.

  100. April 16, 2006 at 11:13 am

    Marcella, I think you need to reread Ilyka’s comment. She said “FAILING to assess #4…as the most likely possibility…”. Failing to assess something as the most likely possibility means you do not assess it as the most likely possibility. Not that you do.

  101. April 16, 2006 at 12:53 pm

    Lesley, thanks for the clarification. I read it as saying that #4 WAS the most likely possibility and anyone who didn’t recognize that that was wrong.

    Ilyka, I apologize for misreading your comment.

  102. sarahjp
    April 16, 2006 at 2:46 pm

    As I think you are finding out by looking at all the numbers I’ve provided, Tigtog, this rape case at Duke is another HUMAN BITES DOG! And as such it seems to have most with largely specific interests in the case fairly rabid. And speaking of Hyperbole I guess you noticed the posts by the lovely moderators here at Feministe. Everyone is out making statements about society at large and pointing to what is becoming more and more a rather shaky case as a prime example. But in any event, I am pointing out the actual bigger picture. And you are not really offering anything thing to countering that.

    Like I said before I don’t have all the source material with me, this is from some time ago. So if you simply want to go with the1999 DoJ figures, which as far as I know is the best information available. Or you canc refer to the sources at the bottom of the page for research that has been done on the subject.

    Because interracial rape is now overwhelmingly black on white, it has become difficult to do research on it or to find relevant statistics. The FBI keeps very detailed national records on crime, but the way it presents rape data obscures the racial element rather than clarifies it. Possibly similar in how when Hispanics that commit hate crimes they are classified as White but when they are the victims of hate crimes they are separated from White thus skewing the data. But that’s for a different thread.

    So, unless you have something better to work with feel free. At least I’m working with data and not how I feel about society after I watch Law and Order or CSI.

    As for Gang Rapes, more than 2 or 3 offenders involved. Ok, fine. (To bad the poor women who are victims of 2 rapists are left out. What name do you give that then? Tandem Rape? Any way it would be better if the numbers had involved 2 or more instead of 3 or more because that pretty well eliminates date rape and the like and gives statistics for premeditated predatory acts of violence. (If you want to go all nuts on that do it here.) As I said, the numbers for gang rape were not just for 1999 but were based on an average taken over several years. But even if you take out one specific year as you have done, it falls fairly in line with the figures stated above.

    And if you compare to the rape statistics (since they are right there) where the race of the victim and the offender are known (year 1999) you get:

    Black on White 7.3% of 274,020 = 20003
    White on Black 0.0*% of 67,890 = between 0 and 68 based on that level of precision.
    Considering that when the victim is Black the offender tends to be Black(79.3%), Other(4.6%), or Not Known and Not Available(16.1%) that makes the known White gang rapes of black victims(0.0%) extremely rare. Prior to the 50’s apparently interracial rape in general was extremely rare. Since then the level of White on Black has stayed about the same. However, the level of Black on White rape has increased significantly.

    If you’d like to do more research on your own concerning interracial rape patterns in our country try here:

    Department of Justice, Criminal Victimization in the United States, are all there for each year, as maybe you saw.

    “What Should Be Done,” US News & World Report (August 22, 1989), p. 54. compare with Department of Justice, Criminal Victimization in the United States, 1987 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1989), p.7.

    Gary D. LaFree, “Male Power and Female Victimization: Toward a Theory of Interracial Rape,” American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 88, No. 2 (September 1982).

    William Wilbanks, “Frequency and Nature of Interracial Crimes,” submitted for publication to the Justice Professional (November 7, 1990). Data derived from Department of Justice, Criminal Victimization in the United States, 1987

    Andrew Hacker, Two Nations, pp. 183, 185.

    Have Fun!

    And to Chet, I heard you already. That’s not the point. I have been saying the whole time that this case should be judged on the merits of this case and not because it helps some movement, or it will hurt rape victims in the future. I think that groups who say they are for rape victims rally around a liar, that will hurt their cause more than anything and not that one liar gets caught. I am for justice pure and simple in each individual case, and that is how you arrive at a just society. Think about it.

  103. sarahjp
    April 16, 2006 at 3:03 pm

    Considering that when the victim is Black the offender tends to be Black(79.3%), Other(4.6%), or Not Known and Not Available(16.1%) that makes the known White gang rapes of black victims(0.0%)

    Oops, meant simply White rapes, not gang rapes. Sorry for the other typos as well.

    Ta ta!

  104. sarahjp
    April 16, 2006 at 3:14 pm

    Also Chet, there is a wonderful little book the author’s name is Bevington, called Data Reduction and Error Analysis for the Physical Sciences. It is published by McGraw Hill. It was first published in 1969. I believe McGraw Hill has a second edition with a co-author, if you’d like to brush up on the use of statistics in science.

  105. zuzu
    April 16, 2006 at 3:26 pm

    And as such it seems to have most with largely specific interests in the case fairly rabid.

    Well, I think your comments are definitely demonstrating that. Thing is, what’s your specific interest?

    And speaking of Hyperbole I guess you noticed the posts by the lovely moderators here at Feministe.

    Actually, this is a blog, not a moderated forum. And this lovely blogger is beginning to feel that you’re not being a very nice person.

    In any event, sarah, you must realize that you’re making a very big logical leap, and a very wrong one, by arguing that because you are reading the statistics to show that gang rapes of black women by white men are rare, that it couldn’t possibly have happened in this case. There appear to be no data in the link you provided to support that, as mutiple-offender sexual assaults by race are lumped into the multiple-offender table on violent crimes.

    Rape, as you are undoubtedly aware, is one of the most underreported crimes. With people like you crawling out of the woodwork to huff and puff that there’s just no way that white men rape black women and therefore any black woman who accuses white men of rape is, ipso facto, a lying slut, it’s not a really big surprise that a black woman raped by a white man, particularly when you add in class issues, might not report it.

  106. sarahjp
    April 16, 2006 at 4:08 pm

    EVERY CASE SHOULD BE JUDGED BASED ON ITS OWN MERITS

    I keep saying that aggregate data taken from society as a whole do not support nor deny the facts of a particular case over and over and over again. that others here have implied based on vague notions prevalent in and propogated by media and education outlets, is all those stats were addressing. the statistics were simply presented to counter the assertions made or implied all over these pages that the accuser “must” be credible in this instance simply because her claims are consistent with the unrelated class, race, gender statistics. well, here are the relevant statistics, where are yours?

    but again, the point is that EVERY CASE SHOULD BE JUDGED BASED ON ITS OWN MERITS. I never said she was or was not raped by the targeted Duke students. I don’t run a blog whose “bloggers” rant on and on about the guilt of people you have so little evidence to base that claim on. A degree of impartiality is required. And I have not seen that based on what I observe in the statements by those on here who continually draw conclusions regarding this individual case based on erroneous perceptions of society as a whole. Take an honest read of what I’ve written and that is all you will see. And who is not nice by the way? Who calls names and uses offensive language? Oh, that’s what I thought.

  107. zuzu
    April 16, 2006 at 4:40 pm

    So just what the hell have you been going on about, sarah? Because it sure as hell looks like to me like you’re trying to use statistics you don’t seem to understand all that well to judge this case. And God only knows why you keep bringing up the use of statistics in physical sciences.

    If you have a point to make, make it, and do it in one post, not five serial posts. But for all your protestations that you haven’t prejudged this case, your blathering on about our supposed “rant[ing] on and on about the guilt of people [we] have so little evidence to base that claim on,” it’s quite clear that you *have* prejudged the case, and you think the victim is lying. Because why else work so hard to “prove” that white-on-black crime is so “rare” or to convince us that we’re simply misperceiving societal dynamics, and that misperception is the source for our decision to give the accuser the benefit of the doubt?

    And, sarah, if you can’t calm the hell down, don’t bother sticking around. It seems this blog isn’t good for your blood pressure.

  108. ilyka
    April 16, 2006 at 4:44 pm

    EVERY CASE SHOULD BE JUDGED BASED ON ITS OWN MERITS

    Yawn, strawman. Show me where anyone here said otherwise. You seem to be investing this blog with special powers I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have, like the power to influence criminal investigations, or the power to try and convict people in courts of law.

    And people who get worked up enough to resort to all-capping entire sentences should have the honesty to admit that they’re anything but impartial about this whole thing, too.

    But I won’t hold my breath waiting for that admission. I’ll be content if you can just show me where anyone said this case should not be judged on its merits?

  109. sarahjp
    April 16, 2006 at 5:48 pm

    ilyka…here you go…and I’m out. Good luck on the case, I know you need it to go your way. Que Sera, Sera……………………………..There’s nothing left to say. Peace out.

    Gender, Class, Race and Rape
    Posted by Jill @ 12:06 pm

    racism, sexism, and classism intersected to make this young woman particularly vulnerable to a sexual assault.

    Rachel says it all.

    The race/class/gender dynamics of this whole case are really scary, and they reveal a great deal about our power structure in this country. This young woman ended up in the vulnerable position of being a sex worker because she was trying to better her family and her education.

    They don’t have to think about it, because it’s their right. It’s a given, as is probably much else, to them. That is the very essence of entitlement. They were entitled to behave as they did. And, since in their minds they paid for her, entitled to this young woman’s body as well. It’s their due. And they days of wealthy white men being entitled to the bodies of black women they paid for in one way or another, are not so far gone that one can’t hear their echoes in this story.

    I would suggest that the members of the Lacrosse team (46 out of 47 of whom are white) felt entitled to rape this woman not only because she was a poor sex worker and because they were spoiled jocks, but also because she’s black and they’re spoiled white jocks. If she had been a white sex worker, they might not have been quite to quick to see her as an inhuman object that they could violate for their amusement.

  110. April 16, 2006 at 5:49 pm

    Seriously. I don’t think it would be out of bounds for me to call sarah’s argument racist.

  111. zuzu
    April 16, 2006 at 5:51 pm

    No, I don’t think so.

    Ta, sarah! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

  112. April 16, 2006 at 6:12 pm

    So, Monday morning here in Oz and sarahjp has just brushed off the inconsistencies in her claims about gang rapes by blacks as shown by her own cite in order to throw out a whole heap more claims without always referring to the table she has drawn them from, and never ever pointing out that by pure numbers rather than percentage of offences, gang-rape is very much a white-on-white crime by a huge margin.

    Commentors here are not so infotained by the Dog Bites Man aspect you are whacking us over the head with as concerned with how this unusually violent interaction of race/class/gender privilege, whether the accusations prove true or not, throws the everyday relations in society into sharp relief. I don’t find your hectoring style conducive to the perception that you are arguing in good faith.

    One very interesting statistic I do find in the victimization report you cited is Table 94, Percent of victimizations reported to the police, by type of crime, victim-offender relationship and race of victims. This figure should be treated with caution, as it is one of those estimated from 10 or fewer sample cases, but in cases of rape involving strangers, white women reported to the police 31.4% of the time, while black women reported to the police 0.0% of the time. By sarahjp’s argument above, that apparently indicates black women aren’t reporting stranger rapes ever, a proposition I find absurd.

    The victimization reports are a fascinating source of information, but because of the way they’re sampled, using model households for several years to follow crime patterns, they’re not necessarily the best source of information on the rarer violent crimes such as stranger rape and gang rape.

  113. April 16, 2006 at 6:16 pm

    Bother, she’s gone.

    Actually, no bother, bit of a relief really.

  114. Raging Moderate
    April 16, 2006 at 7:28 pm

    No one here has any power over whether or not she is telling the truth or lying.

    But you do have some power over how people judge your opinions.

    If you proclaim that you believe her accusation is true (on a blog, tv show, newspaper, or a placard carried in a march), and it turns out you were wrong, doesn’t it hurt your credibilitiy and the credibility of the movement you support?

    How will this misguided support (if she’s lying) do anything to help the next woman who accuses a man of rape?

    Of course a false claim of rape in this case will reduce the likelihood of the next accuser being believed.

    But I think jumping on the “she’s telling the truth bandwagon” will hurt that next accuser even more.

    It’s the “Chicken Little” or “WMD’s in Iraq” theory. The one making a false claim will obviously be damaged credibility-wise, but so will those who publicly supported the false claims (as well as the groups they speak for).

    Belief based not on fact but emotion, can undermine your opinions, instead of strengthening them. No one ever thinks long-term anymore.

  115. Raging Moderate
    April 16, 2006 at 7:39 pm

    Regarding post #109:

    Jill’s comment does not seem to say that this woman was sexually assaulted, just that she was vulnerable to being assaulted. Sounds reasonable to me.

    They were entitled to behave as they did. And, since in their minds they paid for her, entitled to this young woman’s body as well. It’s their due.

    I would suggest that the members of the Lacrosse team (46 out of 47 of whom are white) felt entitled to rape this woman

    Eek! Rachel’s comments state that the accused are rapists, period. These are the kind of statements that hurt your movement. You should stand up to these people as forcefully as you oppose those who state unequivocally that she is lying. Not to do so can easily be seen as hypocritical, which is not going to attract reasonable people to your point of view. And isn’t that the point: to get people to come around to your way of thinking, not to push them away?

  116. JeffL
    April 16, 2006 at 8:44 pm

    How will this misguided support (if she’s lying) do anything to help the next woman who accuses a man of rape?

    Are you serious? Do you really not see how a victim would be much MUCH more likely to report or rape (or, really, any sex crime) if she felt they would be believed? Who would ever stand up and say “I was raped” if they thought the only response they would get was either “no, you weren’t” or “prove it?” In fact, it’s exactly because of this prevailing environment, which you personify, that rapes and other sex crimes are so lowly reported!

    Belief based not on fact but emotion, can undermine your opinions, instead of strengthening them.

    You keep insisting that the folks who believe the victim are the ones coming from a place of emotion, not facts. How is not believing her any more fact based?

  117. runningman
    April 16, 2006 at 9:11 pm

    Jeff says:

    Who would ever stand up and say “I was raped” if they thought the only response they would get was either “no, you weren’t” or “prove it?”

    So now you have to prove that a crime was committed before people are locked up. That’s

  118. slumpyb
    April 16, 2006 at 9:32 pm

    One of the best points I’ve heard on this was mentioned above and ignored. The men are taking a risk by not just saying she consented to the sex…that would explain their DNA and her being a stripper who did house parties, lets face it, that would be a fairly easy sell to a jury. But by saying they didn’t have any sex with her, their DNA had better not be there, cause if it is, they are done.
    Has anyone thought of this…What are the odds that none of these guys would have ratted out one of their teamates if this rape happened? She says 3 guys did it, that leaves what, 43 guys who are painted as guilty? Can you really believe that they would not tell the cops who did it to save their own skin?
    I started out leaning towards the woman…I hated jocks in high school anyway. But as more info comes in I wonder.
    Also, I don’t hate women, have had a wife and girlfriends who were raped and I do think if this woman is lying it should piss off a real womens advocate.

  119. evil_fizz
    April 16, 2006 at 9:39 pm

    Not to do so can easily be seen as hypocritical, which is not going to attract reasonable people to your point of view.

    By reasonable, you think you’re describing yourself, don’t you?

    Runningman: The *state* has to prove it. Not the rape victim.

  120. runningman
    April 16, 2006 at 9:47 pm

    I like numbers, and the debate between Tigtog and Sarahip seemed interesting so I started going over them and here is what I came up with. I guess Sarah’s gone, so Tipgtog help me out here if I mess up, I was out partying late last night so, but anyway here goes:

    Table 38 indicates that of 5.7 million single offender violent crimes, 19% are committed by men and 20% are committed by women (I don’t know what the other 1% could be). Now while the % committed by women is higher than what I would have thought, I wouldn’t consider pointing out the fact that men are 4x more likely to commit these crimes to be sexist. It is what it is.

    Now on to table 42. Of the 748,058 interracial violent crimes with a single offender committed between blacks and whites, 657,008 are black on white, and 91,050 are white on black crimes. Now if you consider that at this time the white population was at 212 million and the black population was 34 million. Whites committed acts of interracial violent crime at a rate of 42 per 100,000 white people. Blacks committed acts of interracial violent crime at a rate of 1,932 per 100,000 black people. Thus, the average black is 46x more likely to commit a violent crime against a white victim than a white is towards a black victim. No asterisks on this data in the report. Straight up.

    Table 48. Multiple offender (or group offenses) interracial violent crime. Of the 236,200 group offender interracial crimes involving blacks and whites, 219,134 were committed by black groups against a white victim, and 17,066 were white groups against a black victim. This produces an 80x more likely case that the average black will commit group violence against a white than the average white will commit group violence against a black.

    I think determining interracial group rape rates would be problematic based on those low sample rates. So yeah, is probably safer to stick with the above numbers.

    Having said that, what makes stating these figures racist or sexist or anything else?

  121. zuzu
    April 16, 2006 at 10:04 pm

    The problem with stating the figures you’ve just given is not that they’re racist or sexist in and of themselves, but that they’re entirely irrelevant here. See, using all violent crimes rather than the sexual-assault figures given (I do believe that while there are no breakdowns by race of both victim and perps for multi-offender sexual assaults, there is a chart breaking it down for single-offender sexual assaults) distorts the picture. Why? Because this was not just a run-of-the-mill violent crime (although the victim showed bruises consistent with strangulation), it was a sexual assault.

    Moreover, what, exactly, is the purpose of citing those figures except to somehow “disprove” the victim’s story because of the relative paucity of white-on-black multi-offender sexual assault statistics? To somehow indicate that it’s really the black men who are out raping and being violent toward white women, and that if a black woman claims that she was raped by white men, she must be lying, because white men just don’t do that?

    Because once you bring up the statistics and the relative rates, you’re getting into using statistics of past reported crimes to argue propensity. And they just don’t work that way.

    They were entitled to behave as they did. And, since in their minds they paid for her, entitled to this young woman’s body as well. It’s their due.

    RM, I really, really hope that this is your characterization of the attitude that Jill and others have described as likely contributing to the assault, and not your own opinion.

  122. zuzu
    April 16, 2006 at 10:08 pm

    slumpyb, apparently there were other people at the party who were not on the lacrosse team and have not been swabbed. So the teammates can say, well, nobody on our team had anything to do with it, and they could be safe in saying so if the other guys at the party were the perps.

    It is a risk, but hubris is a funny thing.

  123. JeffL
    April 16, 2006 at 10:26 pm

    Slumpy, I think your overlooking the fact that, since the D.A. all of the white lacrosse players for DNA, it becomes all but impossile to refuse to give the swab. Imagine 40 give the swab, and 3 don’t. It’d be a good bet the D.A. would look hardest at the 3!

  124. runningman
    April 16, 2006 at 10:52 pm

    I believe Michael Jackson molested little boys. When the charges first came ou,t I was a little skeptical of the accusers claim because my perception was that it is easy for someone whose in it for the money to make such an accusation. But I didn’t run threads on my blog that the accuser was a lying gold digger. I didn’t have enough information to base it on, all I had was an initial feeling. By the same token, I didn’t run on my blog that MJ should be boycotted, locked up and castrated because as a rich black man he feels entitled to molest little hispanic boys. Now since more evidence has surfaced I can now say that yeah I think he did it. I’m entitled to my opinion, and largely based on jury selection, the jury had a different opinion. So be it, but my belief that MJ is a child molestor isn’t based on some race/class nexus. He is a freak. If he were white he’d be a freak, if he were poor he’d be a freak. You guys had very little evidence: the accusation by the accuser that she was raped, but she had not identified anyone, and vaginal trauma consistent with rape. Am I wrong here? And then your blog blew up, along with a lot of similar blogs, using this case to illustrate larger gender/race/class privilege issues, by assuming these unidentified players were guilty and calling for all sorts of retribution by the university, etc. etc. Where as in my case regarding MJ, I didn’t have to come up with illogical defenses for my decision to publicly withhold judgment, that is apparently the mode this blog is in. That’s it in a nutshell.

  125. ilyka
    April 16, 2006 at 11:23 pm

    You keep insisting that the folks who believe the victim are the ones coming from a place of emotion, not facts.

    Yes, and I particularly like how he does it right after he’s caught in a logical fallacy.

    Though, I am out one irony meter.

  126. Raging Moderate
    April 17, 2006 at 4:35 am

    Are you serious? Do you really not see how a victim would be much MUCH more likely to report or rape (or, really, any sex crime) if she felt they would be believed?

    That’s my point. Those procliming guilt will be hurting that next victim if they turn out to be wrong this this time. When a woman falsely accuses a man of rape, she is hurting real victims by reducing the chance that the next accuser will be belived. Those who take to the streets, airwaves, newspapers, or the internet and mistakenly proclaim guilt are also hurting that next victim’s chances of being believed, (to a much lesser degree, but to some degree nonetheless).

    There are many reasons why rape victims are not believed, false accusers being one of them. If this woman turns out to have falsely accused, she will be one more reason why victims are not believed. Those who mistakenly and publicly proclaim her thruthfulness will be yet another.

    You keep insisting that the folks who believe the victim are the ones coming from a place of emotion, not facts. How is not believing her any more fact based?

    I have maintained all along that those who believe the accuser and those who don’t believe her are both dealing in emotion and not facts. I find both groups to be hindering progress on this issue (two more “reasons” – see above). I understand that those who believe her are generally doing so because of compassion. The other side, not so much. But they are still two sides of the same coin.

    By reasonable, you think you’re describing yourself, don’t you?

    Yes, if by reasonable you mean, not extreme or excessive and moderate. My best friends find me incorrigibly reasonable. I was dubbed a Raging Moderate by my poli sci professor at Concordia. I think she said it was an Al Gore book title or something.

    RM, I really, really hope that this is your characterization of the attitude that Jill and others have described as likely contributing to the assault, and not your own opinion.

    No, it was a quote from Terrance (I forgot the quote box). Jill posted it a couple of weeks ago. It said:

    However, if you (look into) this story you get a better idea of what most likely went on. A group of young wealthy White men felt that it was ok to assault this woman, raping her and yelling racial slurs at her.

    I wonder if these guys were thinking about how much power they had over this young women when they yelled racist slurs and when they physically and sexually assault this women? I also wonder if those guys who remained silent were more concerned about protecting their buddies than stopping this terrible assault. How much do they think this woman’s life is worth?

    They don’t have to think about it, because it’s their right. It’s a given, as is probably much else, to them. That is the very essence of entitlement. They were entitled to behave as they did. And, since in their minds they paid for her, entitled to this young woman’s body as well. It’s their due.

    This is the type of proclaimation of guilt that I view as a possible hinderance to progress. There were 125 comments, and not one even hinted that perhaps it was too early to jump to that conclusion (though for some reason, one poster kept insisting that although we know they’re rapists, it was too soon to say they’re racists). I’m assuming that Jill and Zuzu jumped to the same conclusions as Jill was the one who posted it, and neither of you offered any criticism of it in your comments.

    right after he’s caught in a logical fallacy.

    The whole “hope” tangent came after a discussion I had with some friends while we were taking our glaucoma medication. But the logic works for me, as I still have no idea what really happened that night.

  127. April 17, 2006 at 6:11 am

    So now it’s no longer a question of hope, but thinking long-term? You’re moving the goalposts. Nonetheless.

    Generally speaking, people provide the benefit of the doubt to those who claim they were the victims of crime. Not to the alleged perpetrators. We all know that prisons are filled with people proclaiming their innocence. Most of them are lying.

    Mostly, we consider providing the alleged victims of crime the benefit of the doubt to be a good thing. However, in the case of rape, it becomes a bad thing. There’s no fact base for that. There’s no rationality behind it. I suppose because we might be wrong, we should simply refuse to believe any report of a crime until such time as evidence is presented to us that convinces us beyond a reasonable doubt (well, except for maybe murder where the dead body makes it fairly clear a crime was committed). Unrealistic.

    In addition, there is evidence that points to her having been raped. She may or may not have been raped by a member of the lacrosse team, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t raped at all.

    Lastly, I think refusing to believe women who say they were raped just because some of them lie about it (a minority by the only statistically valid report I’m aware of, the FBI’s UCR) makes it worse for future rape victims. I was very lucky one time in my life. I was in a position where a specific man could have raped me and, ultimately, didn’t. But while I was pinned down by him, unable to move, for an hour saying “No” over and over, I was thinking to myself, what would I do if he did rape me? You know what? I wouldn’t have reported it, because I knew full well that no one would have believed me. My word against his. You have just reinforced that. If you somehow think your view is making it easier for future rape victims, maybe you need to think again.

    Personally, I think you are trying to shame people who think the woman is most likely telling the truth. “If you believe her, you are hoping she was raped.” “If you believe her, you are harming the cause of future rape victims. Think long-term!” If the crime were something other than rape, would you make the same statements?

  128. zuzu
    April 17, 2006 at 9:07 am

    So, RM, when we know that in 95% or so of the reported rapes — just the reported ones, mind you — the victim is telling the truth, we should refrain from giving the accuser the benefit of the doubt because… why again?

    False reporting of rape claims is, IIRC, pretty much in line with false reporting of, say, property crimes. Yet when someone tells you that someone has broken into their home, and there’s physical evidence to back that up, do you withhold belief that a crime has occurred, you know, just on the off chance that the person is lying? Do you perform mental gymnastics to avoid giving that person the benefit of the doubt because you wouldn’t want to actually, you know, *hope* that the person’s house was broken into because it might be less damaging to burglary victims in the future to assume that the person was lying and staged a break-in, so that if they’re not lying, you’re pleasantly surprised?

    By the same token, I didn’t run on my blog that MJ should be boycotted, locked up and castrated because as a rich black man he feels entitled to molest little hispanic boys.

    Good for you. I take it you’re implying that this blog has run posts calling for the castration of the perps in this case. Please, have a peek around the archives and find me one cite, just one, by one of the bloggers here (Jill, zuzu or piny, not the commenters) supporting this. “Locked up” kind of comes with the territory when one is arrested, so we’ll just ignore that. But please, find me a castration quote.

  129. runningman
    April 17, 2006 at 1:55 pm

    hey if people are truly perps of heinous sexual crimes, with truth being in the absolute sense, i know it’s hard to think that way in a relativst world, but, anyway, i think we could look into the possibility of chemically castrating them. i never said you said that.

    Anyway you are diverting attention from what jill, zuzu, and piny have actually written at the beginning, where they went all off the deep end, and now are acting like they’ve treated this case fairly.

    to give the accuser the benefit of the doubt is one thing. but when you make the statements you, collectively, have made on this site, (and it took me all of 10 seconds to find a small but representative sample of them,) that is another. i think you know in your heart i’m right and you are just being super defensive and won’t own up to the fact you made a mistake. 95% is not 100% guaranteed to be the case, and when you pointed to this case, when hardly any evidence was in, to prove your race/gender/class theories, even though statistical evidence flies in the face of your claims, that is when you lose credibility.

    there may have been a rape, it may have been by a duke student. but it seems you were almost gleeful in your efforts to make some larger statement about it.

  130. zuzu
    April 17, 2006 at 2:06 pm

    Anyway you are diverting attention from what jill, zuzu, and piny have actually written at the beginning, where they went all off the deep end, and now are acting like they’ve treated this case fairly.

    I’m puzzled as to why you won’t use “you” in this sentence. Moreover, I’m still waiting for concrete examples of this deep-end going off-of. Since it took you 10 seconds to find them and all.

    I also don’t see what’s so “unfair” about taking a look at the available evidence — i.e., witness statements, results of the rape examination, the lovely little email sent by one of the players to his teammates the day *after* the incident discussing the skinning of strippers, the racial epithets thrown, the possibility of the victim having been given a roofie, the wall of silence thrown up by the players (who identified themselves to the strippers as members of the track team, not lacrosse), the cell phone, money and fingernails left behind — and concluding that the accuser was telling the truth about having been raped and robbed and insulted at this party.

    What would be unfair would be to pin it on any particular person at this point, since there just isn’t enough evidence made public for that. It would also be unfair to accuse the DA of pursuing this case only because of his upcoming election, or to say that the accuser must be lying because the DA is up for re-election. Or because she was drunk. Or because she had a previous record. Or whatever.

  131. runningman
    April 17, 2006 at 3:01 pm

    What would be unfair would be to pin it on any particular person at this point, since there just isn’t enough evidence made public for that. It would also be unfair to accuse the DA of pursuing this case only because of his upcoming election, or to say that the accuser must be lying because the DA is up for re-election. Or because she was drunk. Or because she had a previous record. Or whatever.

    it’s nice you’ve come around. fact is, we still don’t know if a member of the lacrosse team is responsible, students from duke, someone who she gave a lap dance to earlier or even if she herself is responsible for the injuries she has. anyway, since you weren’t satisfied with my previous examples, try to spin these please zuzu:

    # zuzu Says:
    March 28th, 2006 at 3:46 pm

    Gabriel, they viewed her as disposable. As Other. As less than.

    They told us why they thought she was so, because they requested a black dancer and then hurled racial epithets at her and threatened her with sodomy-by-broomstick (Abner Louima, anyone?), and they raped her.

    They insulted her with racial epithets and then they raped her.

    What more do you need?

    When under the title gender, class, race and rape …..jill says, “rachel says it all” and links to her comments, that is taken to mean she agrees with those statement please go read them:

    This is also one of those “if this had happen to a White woman would we have already heard about it” stories.

    statistics prove otherwise, anyway, when you are done chewing on these
    two, just let me know.

  132. April 17, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    Raging Moderate:

    If you proclaim that you believe her accusation is true (on a blog, tv show, newspaper, or a placard carried in a march), and it turns out you were wrong, doesn’t it hurt your credibilitiy and the credibility of the movement you support?

    If you believe this is wrong, why isn’t it equally wrong for people to proclaim they believe the lacrosse team members and the defense attorneys?

    If it turns out those who say no rape occured are wrong about their belief that no rape occured, won’t the outpouring of support for the lacrosse team hurt their credibility and the credibility of all accused rapists? And if the prosecutors prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this woman was raped, no man who says, “I didn’t rape her!” shoiuld be believed from that point on according to your theory.

  133. zuzu
    April 17, 2006 at 3:08 pm

    Statistics prove what otherwise? You still havent’ figured that one out.

    And I see nothing unreasonable or castrate-the-bastards about either statement you quoted. Both were based on facts known at the time, added to well-known racial dynamics in the media and in society at large. Jill’s comment hardly rose to the level of accusing anyone of rape; it was merely a statement about the disparity of media attention in cases like this.

  134. Raging Moderate
    April 17, 2006 at 7:32 pm

    Lesley:

    Lastly, I think refusing to believe women who say they were raped just because some of them lie about it (a minority by the only statistically valid report I’m aware of, the FBI’s UCR) makes it worse for future rape victims.

    Absolutely. My point is that those who mistakenly and publicly proclaim the accused to be rapists are making it worse for future victims too, by giving more ammunition to those inclined not to believe such accusations, if it turns out they were wrong this time (yeah, sure she was raped; but you said that the last time too – why should we believe you this time?).

    Your point is valid if there are only two shools of thought; accusers are always lying, or accusers are always telling the truth. I don’t think that’s the case, however. I think the majority of people don’t automatically jump to one conclusion or the other. They judge each case individually. These are the people who could be pushed into the “accusers are always lying” camp by those who mistakenly and publicly proclaim the guilt of all accused. You’re taking a chance that I’m not willing to take (that my actions, although motivated by compassion, may discourage future victims from coming forward or being believed).

    Personally, I think you are trying to shame people who think the woman is most likely telling the truth.

    That’s unfortunate. I only am trying to make people see that there may be unintended consequences brought on by their actions if they are wrong.

    Zuzu:

    So, RM, when we know that in 95% or so of the reported rapes — just the reported ones, mind you — the victim is telling the truth, we should refrain from giving the accuser the benefit of the doubt because… why again?

    I guess we see “giving her the benefit of the doubt” differently. To me it means that the autorities don’t dismiss the allegations out of hand. It means the accuser is treated with respect. It means that the allegations are investigated fully, and those found to be guilty are punished accordingly. It doesn’t mean we publicly proclaim the accused to be guilty. I’m Canadian, so that might explain the difference in thinking.

    Marcella:

    If you believe this is wrong, why isn’t it equally wrong for people to proclaim they believe the lacrosse team members and the defense attorneys?

    I have said all along that they are equally wrong.

    And if the prosecutors prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this woman was raped, no man who says, “I didn’t rape her!” shoiuld be believed from that point on according to your theory.

    Regardless of the outcome in this case, no man should ever be believed when he says “I didn’t rape her”. The allegations should be fully investigated in all cases.

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