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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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438 Responses

  1. The Cat Lady
    The Cat Lady April 13, 2007 at 12:27 pm |

    I just posted about this to similar effect.

    Thanks for pointing out what to you and I and other thinking people can walk away with from this story, and for supporting rape shield standards by not revealing this woman’s name.

    As you have pointed out, she is not a criminal, either.

  2. mythago
    mythago April 13, 2007 at 12:32 pm |

    But, see, the DA is a man. So his concealing evidence and trying to stack a lineup is, like, not as bad.

  3. Cortney
    Cortney April 13, 2007 at 12:34 pm |

    This is very eloquently written and right on. Thank you!

  4. XtinaS
    XtinaS April 13, 2007 at 12:36 pm |

    Rape is one of the least unsuccessfully prosecuted crimes out there.

    In the off-chance that this isn’t a reading comprehension issue, did you mean ‘least successfully’?

  5. Violet Socks
    Violet Socks April 13, 2007 at 12:47 pm |

    Jill, thank you for this post. Excellent.

  6. Kelley
    Kelley April 13, 2007 at 12:48 pm |

    I apologise for going off topic, but I’m on a mission.

    I would have sent a private e-mail, but you don’t seem to have a link.

    Here’s the pitch, for what it’s worth:

    I’m a Progressive, Pro Choice, stay at home mom who is so sick of the Republicans that I have decided to step up and take action.

    I’m running for The Ohio House of Representatives. This is important to all of us because:

    -Ohio has been targeted by the pro life movement for future legislation that will “trigger” an over turn of Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.

    -Ohio is a swing state, and our nation needs progressive votes in The Ohio House. (No President has ever been elected without winning Ohio.)

    -Even though Ohio has more Democrats than Republicans, the district lines skew voting in Republican favor.

    I’m not a professional politician, so I don’t have a built in constituency. Therefore I am asking all of my progressives friends on the world wide web to help me succeed.

    I may be “just a mom” with no political background, but I ran a successful business for twenty years and I’m a smart cookie. I’ve done the research, and I know this “strongly Republican District” is winnable, IF I can raise the money to run a competitive race. The trouble is, the democrats in my district don’t have much cash, and the political PAC’s won’t contribute until late in the campaign. Even then, they still won’t contribute unless I have successfully raised a minimum of seven thousand dollars on my own.

    I am working hard to do just that. I have brought in over two thousand so far, but I need to reach out to the progressive pro choice women across the country to help the women of Delaware County, Ohio reach our needed goal.

    I need 5000 pro choice women on the internet who will give one dollar to help us protect “Roe” in Ohio.

    Can you help me do that?

    Sincerely,

    Kelley L. Wenzlaff
    The “Mom” for The House
    http://www.momforthehouse.com

    “Give a holler & send a dollar.”

    Together, women can change the world!

  7. Thom
    Thom April 13, 2007 at 12:49 pm |

    It troubles me to see the post and other outlets go after her. It was clearly the DA’s screw up. If they want to hound him? Be my guest, but leave her out of it. I had similair thoughts about the possiblities of both “she could still have been telling the truth” as well as the possibilities of mental illness. It angers me that the media outlets are not showing more thought on this.

  8. norbizness
    norbizness April 13, 2007 at 12:54 pm |

    Trial by blog doesn’t work any better than trial by conventional media. Of course, no regular blogger or commenter would ever be let within 10 miles of a real jury.

    I too also don’t want to speculate on what actually happened, nor come up with any “punishments” for anybody involved in the case, including the gleeful shaming of the woman who came forward by national media outlets (the ugly flip side of turning local news into national news). The only person whom I can express contempt is the original prosecutor, who has done more to damage future rape prosecutions in that county that any knuckle-dragging MRA who waves the decision in any future victim’s face.

    However, if the “98% chance she’s telling the truth,” representing the recognized national average of false claims (2%), may be a little high given the pronouncements of the special prosecutor, unless it’s about the base allegation that she was assaulted by someone.

  9. blucas!
    blucas! April 13, 2007 at 12:55 pm |

    The Duke rape case is another in a long line of criminal cases that would’ve turned out better for everyone (victim, defendant, DA, the public) were it not for the 24-hour news networks looking for something salacious to boost their ratings.

  10. Lindsay K.
    Lindsay K. April 13, 2007 at 12:59 pm |

    Great post. I’m having a hard time sympathizing with anyone in this case, honestly. But the Duke players didn’t deserve to be pre-emptively demonized, and this woman does not deserve it. Even if she WAS a liar (and as you point out, there isn’t really any conclusive evidence that she lied), I don’t think she deserves to bear the responsibility for this entire fiasco on her shoulders.

    It’s pretty obvious to us normal people who the big villains here are: the unethical, lying scumbag of a DA, and the media that jumped into this case like a horde of sharks pouncing on a bucket of chum. I’m somehow not surprised that the news didn’t call out the second party (that is to say, themselves) but even they should be able to figure out the first one.

  11. twf
    twf April 13, 2007 at 1:04 pm |

    The corollary to the presumption of innocence is that “not guilty” is not the same as “exonerated.” Many prosecutions, for many types of crimes, are dropped due to lack of evidence, not because the crime never happened.

    The courts have a responsibility to presume the accused to be innocent. I have no such responsibility. I think she was raped, whether with a penis or an object, by somebody there that night. Do I believe it beyond reasonable doubt? No, but I do on the balance of probabilities.

  12. Henry
    Henry April 13, 2007 at 1:11 pm |

    Last I checked, there is no evidence that she lied about a rape occurring.

    Really? The fact that her story has changed so many times doesn’t bother you? Or that there was no DNA matches to any of the Duke guys in the house? Or that the DA flat out said that not only did they not wish to proceed, but went out of his way to explicitly state the three did nothing wrong?

    Being falsely accused of rape is not the same as being falsely accused of another crime. It’s just not. There’s nothing lower a man can be besides a child molester than a rapist. And since so often there isn’t a lot of clear cut certainty in these cases, usually once someone’s been accused they can never recover their reputation, even if they did nothing wrong. People (like yourself) are always going to have lingering doubts about it.

    The fact is that the three Duke men will go on leading lives of relative privilege. I’m not trying to downplay the trauma of being falsely accused of a crime, but these men have hordes of support. They are roundly perceived as innocent white victims of an evil black hypersexed slut. They had some of the best lawyers available. They will graduate from a top-tier university, and they will go on to have well-paying jobs.

    And here we get to the heart of it, and here we find why people are so pissed off about this. Given the facts of this case, there is no fucking way that this would have gone as far as it did if these kids weren’t rich white boys and the accuser wasn’t a poor black woman. It was the perfect cliche story to demonstrate the evils of our oppressive society, and the DA used it to score political points. If people are using this as a tool to bash feminists, it’s likely that they resent the assumption that these kids’ “privilege” makes this no big deal.

    Jill, I understand your desire to come down on the side of a woman reporting a rape, I really do. I’m aware that far too often people get away with rape because women are too afraid or ashamed to report it, and that’s wrong. But if society is ever going to get to the point where that isn’t the case, then it has to become an unspeakable act to falsely accuse someone of rape, precisely because so often a case relies on the credibility of the accuser. And for the love of Christ, if this case doesn’t meet the standards of reasonable assurance that the accuser lied, then what else would need to happen? Are we just to always assume the truth of the accusation unless she recants? I’m not sure how it could be more evident. Mike Nifong, in order to score some points and get famous, has done considerable damage to the ability of women to report rape, not the people saying she lied. If you want to be angry at someone, be angry at him.

  13. buggle
    buggle April 13, 2007 at 1:16 pm |

    “then it has to become an unspeakable act to falsely accuse someone of rape, precisely because so often a case relies on the credibility of the accuser.”

    How about instead, making RAPE itself an unspeakable act-that would help the 98% of women who report who are telling the truth, and the other MILLIONS of women who don’t report it-for reasons just like this. And you don’t even bother to question WHY “so often a case relies on the credibility of the accuser.” That is very problematic.

    If nothing bad happened-why did she run out without her purse, cell phone and FINGERNAILS, and call 911?????

  14. Ana Casian Lakos
    Ana Casian Lakos April 13, 2007 at 1:19 pm |

    Thank you for this post. I had honestly lost faith in people, with respect to this case.
    ´Honestly, up until, now I have witnessed nothing but sexist, racist, and classist reactions to the whole ordeal.
    I’m so sick of people calling that poor woman a liar and a whore. And even worse, justifying their doing so, with her occupation, and sexuality.

    So I’m very glad you’ve posted this.
    At least someone is able to come up with a coherent, compassionate post about the Duke rape case.

    I blogged about it here as well, if anybody’s interested….:

    –Ana

  15. Ana Casian Lakos
    Ana Casian Lakos April 13, 2007 at 1:20 pm |

    here:
    hot4bonjovi.livejournal.com

    (sorry, the link didn’t show up last time…)

  16. belledame222
    belledame222 April 13, 2007 at 1:24 pm |

    fine. there’s no reason to splash her personal information all over everything. for christ’s sake: the woman had nothing, has no power relative to the accused; how is she going to live, now? isn’t it enough that she may well have been sexually abused and will get absolutely no justice or compensation? now we need to drag her further through the mud, she hasn’t already had enough shit? this is crap.

    if someone now -does- attack her, crazies that there are and relatively devoid of (financial and social) protection that she is, or if she can’t find work, can’t support her kid, decides to pack it in:

    –oh, forget it. yes, thank god, the lacrosse season is safe, the boys are all innocent, we now return you to your regularly scheduled program. after we get in a few more kicks for good measure.

  17. Violet Socks
    Violet Socks April 13, 2007 at 1:24 pm |

    There’s nothing lower a man can be besides a child molester than a rapist.

    In what universe? You’re right that being charged with rape is different from any other crime: men get away with it a hell of a lot more. And even when they are convicted, there are always people like you who believe the woman was lying, or asked for it, or maybe was wearing such a short skirt that the man just couldn’t help himself.

    fact that her story has changed so many times doesn’t bother you?

    A statement like that makes it clear that your knowledge of this case is filtered wholly and uncritically through the defense attorneys’ media spin.

    The woman’s story was basically consistent from the beginning. The only major change was late last year, when she said that she couldn’t be sure what object was penetrating her from the rear, a penis or something else.

    The notion that she “kept changing her story” is a lie spread by the defense attorneys. What they did was cite incomplete reports from various people that night who misheard the story second- or third-hand (the police, some guy overhearing the police, etc.) to make it look like all the different accounts had come from her.

  18. belledame222
    belledame222 April 13, 2007 at 1:25 pm |

    slippage, was responding to 11.

  19. Natalia
    Natalia April 13, 2007 at 1:28 pm |

    Now that Nifong has apologized to the Dukies, perhaps it’s time to apologize to Ms. Mangum.

    Not that he would ever do it.

  20. Regina
    Regina April 13, 2007 at 1:32 pm |

    regarding Henry’s comment:

    In my mind it doesn’t really have anything to do with their lives of relative priviledge… this is how the justice system works, for better or worse. Plenty of people have charges brought against them that are dropped and never come before a grand jury. Plenty of people have charges brought, go before a grand jury, and the charges are dropped in lieu of taking cases to trial. Plenty of people go through jury trials and are found legally innocent.

    It happens every single day. These guys are not special in that regard. And their lives are not ruined. Changed, maybe. Ruined, just not.

  21. ekf
    ekf April 13, 2007 at 1:35 pm |

    Thank you so much for the wonderful, eloquent post.

  22. Natalia
    Natalia April 13, 2007 at 1:45 pm |

    NC Attorney General Cooper believes that the lacrosse players are innocent, which is an important distinction, as far as I understand it. He didn’t just leave it at “not enough evidence.” Here’s a quote from the Duke Chronicle:

    “We believe that these cases were the tragic result of a rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations,” Cooper said. “Based on the significant inconsistencies between the evidence and the various accounts given by the accusing witness, we believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges.”

    After trusting Nifong… I am learning to trust Cooper.

    I’m really glad that this thing is (hopefully) beginning to die down – but I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like now for a Durham woman who is raped.

    I live in Durham (off-campus – I graduated last year). Some creepy guy was stalking me in the gym last weekend. And all I could think about at the time was – “If something happens, if I don’t get away – is anyone going to believe me?”

  23. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne April 13, 2007 at 1:47 pm |

    Really? The fact that her story has changed so many times doesn’t bother you? Or that there was no DNA matches to any of the Duke guys in the house? Or that the DA flat out said that not only did they not wish to proceed, but went out of his way to explicitly state the three did nothing wrong?

    Did you miss this part of Jill’s post, Henry:

    But just because Reade W. Seligmann, David F. Evans, and Collin Finnerty may not have raped the woman in question does not mean that there was no rape, or that the woman is a liar.

    That means that just because the rapist was not one of those three, it doesn’t automatically mean that she wasn’t raped at all.

    Roy Criner did not rape and murder Deanna Ogg, but she’s still dead even though he’s been proven innocent. Cases like that happen all the time. The Duke guys were just lucky to have good lawyers so they didn’t end up rotting in jail for years, convicted of crimes that happened but that they themselves did not commit.

    She may not have been raped by one of the three who were originally accused, but that doesn’t automatically mean that she wasn’t raped at all.

  24. Blitzgal
    Blitzgal April 13, 2007 at 1:48 pm |

    Or that the DA flat out said that not only did they not wish to proceed, but went out of his way to explicitly state the three did nothing wrong?

    That irritated the hell out of me, actually. Just as Nifong had no place making pronouncements about the guilt of the three young men, the DA’s office has no place making pronouncements about their innocence. They made a determination about whether there was enough evidence to move forward with the case. Period. The DA does not determine guilt or innocence, so they had absolutely no cause in explicitly stating they are “innocent.”

    Jill, thank you for being so up front about this issue by writing this post. It’s excellent.

  25. Morgan
    Morgan April 13, 2007 at 1:54 pm |

    thanks, it had to be said

  26. Anonymous
    Anonymous April 13, 2007 at 1:55 pm |

    Some time ago, I worked with a person who, blind drunk and angry and scared, made a report of rape at gunpoint. The police pulled her in, still drunk, still angry, still scared, to take a report. The story she told involved the guy breaking into her house, holding her at gunpoint, and raping her. The story was inconsistent. The interview was nearly impossible for her to get through. The police were skeptical.

    The next day, she called back. She retracted her story. She wanted to drop charges. One problem: they’d found the rapist’s gun in the woods outside her house. It had his fingerprints all over it. They’d found a bunch of her stuff in his trailer. The forensic evidence supported her accusation of rape. The police didn’t want to drop charges.

    Another couple days passed. She called back and un-recanted.

    So, what happened?

    She was married. She invited the rapist over. She performed consensual oral sex on him. Then he took out his gun and he raped her. And in the worst moment of her life, drunk and scared, she couldn’t make the decision to destroy her marriage in order to hold her rapist accountable. So she made the human decision almost all of us would make, and she lied.

    The case was irrecoverable. The inconsistent stories constituted a reasonable doubt. Fortunately, we’ve got a good prosecutor, so he threw up a bunch of gun charges and grand theft — the perpetrator ended up with a three-year plea bargain. The perpetrator got nailed … sort of. What happened to her? She got a divorce, lost her kids to her husband, and I haven’t heard from her in a couple of years.

    I try to put myself in her situation whenever I hear an inconsistent story. Confronted with skeptical authorities with near-infinite authority, pressing for more information, pressing to be able to act, in a situation which has already spiraled out of your control, what do you do? You give more information. You give them more information whether or not you know for sure, or you try to give information in a way that doesn’t hurt you personally, or you lie to try to escape the very real personal consequences of reporting a crime. These are all methods to try and seize control of a situation that is already beyond your ability to hold together.

    At least one of the lacrosse players is clearly innocent — the one who wasn’t at the party when the rape occurred. But knowing what I do, I can’t be entirely unsympathetic with the accuser. She was intoxicated. She didn’t know what was going on. A police report turned into a national case. National figures were calling her a whore. She had to control her life somehow.

    So she did.

  27. documentation
    documentation April 13, 2007 at 1:57 pm |

    “The re-investigation of this matter indicates that this individual is innocent of the charges brought against him and in the interests of justice these charges are dismissed.” - Dismissal Notice filed by James J. Coman and Mary D. Winstead

    http://www.newsobserver.com/content/media/2007/4/11/Document.pdf

    “I apologize to the three students that were wrongly accused. I also understand that, whenever someone has been wrongly accused, the harm caused by the accusations might not be immediately undone merely by dismissing them. It is my sincere desire that the actions of Attorney General Cooper will serve to remedy any remaining injury that has resulted from the cases.” – Distric Attorney Mike Nifong.

    http://www.newsobserver.com/content/media/2007/4/12/Document.pdf

  28. KevinQ
    KevinQ April 13, 2007 at 1:57 pm |

    Nifong, the original DA, behaved criminally, and should be disbarred, if not arrested and prosecuted. He saw this case as an opportunity for political gain, and so he hopped on board and used it to his own end.

    The thing is, so did everybody else. This case hit everybody’s talking points. For progressives, it was a case of white elites using their power and money to abuse a poor person of color and get away with it. For conservatives, it was a case of a greedy and opportunistic stripper (read: whore) who was attempting to take advantage of a group of ‘our young men.’

    What everybody forgot was that these were real, actual human beings. They weren’t making a statement, they were living their lives the best they could. And because of events beyond their control, they became figureheads for every groups’ issues.

    When I first heard the story, I was sure that she had been raped. Even when her story shifted, I still believed. I’ve known rape survivors, and I know the toll that the legal system can take on even the strongest rape survivors.

    However, the state’s Attorney General sent the strongest possible message he could that, not only did the evidence not support her story, but the evidence actually refutes it. Maybe he shouldn’t have done that. It does, after all, make it easier for disreputable news agencies to mount a smear campaign, as they’ve done here.

    But without such a statement, it would leave a cloud over the head of young men who were tried in the media, but never got their day in court. I know that some people will never believe in their innocence, and I feel sorry for that. And I feel sorry for everything these people have gone through, the putative attackers and the putative victim, because too many of us were interested in our own issues, and not in the truth.

    K

  29. Raging Moderate
    Raging Moderate April 13, 2007 at 1:58 pm |

    “Just as Nifong had no place making pronouncements about the guilt of the three young men, the DA’s office has no place making pronouncements about their innocence.”

    Well, he did say he believed they are innocent, not that they are innocent. It’s a subtle, but important distinction.

    I just wish those who had proclaimed their guilt would have added that “I believe” more often.

    As for the media, I think they’re trying to correct the error they made in demonizing the accused by now demonizing the accuser.

    Two wrongs make a right in their world, I guess.

  30. Violet Socks
    Violet Socks April 13, 2007 at 1:58 pm |

    After trusting Nifong… I am learning to trust Cooper.

    My reaction was the exact opposite. I was appalled by Cooper’s statement; it was inappropriate and injudicious. I had hoped that the AG review would be fair, but as I read the statement I realized that his main goal was to get Nifong.

    A media commentator (forget where) had the same immediate reaction: Whoah! Bad blood between Cooper and Nifong? And the inappropriateness of going out of the way to say ‘innocent,’ when in fact he should have just said there was insufficent evidence to proceed.

    Cooper’s statement sounded like it could have been written by the defense attorneys, and it might as well have been. I personally believe that anyone who imagines that the bar in North Carolina is actually some kind of non-racist, non-sexist zone where white men AREN’T furiously defending their privilege is, I think, kidding themselves.

  31. Realist
    Realist April 13, 2007 at 2:03 pm |

    This is everything thats wrong with you feminist liberals. Are you kidding me?

    1)Rape shields laws are completely biased against the male. Why should the ACCUSED have their names and faces splashed acrossed media, but the ACCUSER not? The woman is treated like a victim from moment one, while the accsed are treated as convicted. Chalk it up as just another slight from a society that hates men.

    2)Despite the overwhlemingly obvious circumstances here that point to the accuser being a vindictive liar, and the 3 boys being setup, you and your readers still insist SHE is the victim? Gross. Disgusting.

    3)Any damage done to women in this story, and there was significant damage, lays at the feet of the accuser, for fabricating the rape and kidnapping story. Nifong shares some too.

    4)I hope the 3 boys sue everyone, including the woman (who will likely get off scott free), the school, the city, and the state. Let it be a lesson.

    5)When is the candlelight vigil being held for the innocently accused boys who were raped by society?

    *I expect the cowards who run this site won’t post this, because like most liberals, you can only tolerate your own warped viewpoints.

  32. feministe fan
    feministe fan April 13, 2007 at 2:07 pm |

    delurking for the first time, just to say:

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
    elegantly written, and dead-on, as usual, Jill.

  33. DDay
    DDay April 13, 2007 at 2:15 pm |

    Thank you Jill. I find it all so sickening. I know the struggles that sexual assault victims face in the criminal system as well as other legal arenas. It is just so hard to make others see how hard it is for victims to file charges. The police treat victims as suspects and question them relentlessly about very personal things. Such is the nature of our legal system and it sucks. But to face this suspicion and questioning from everyone in the entire country is such a hurdle I don’t know what victim could possibly stand up to that pressure.

    I’m not exactly sure what point I’m trying to make here, but overall the whole thing is just so sad.

  34. HughRice
    HughRice April 13, 2007 at 2:20 pm |

    Innocent until proven guilty…it’s not just a slogan.

    Take your head out of your ass.

  35. js
    js April 13, 2007 at 2:21 pm |

    do you delete all the comments that disagree with you? i find it hard to believe that the only people who respond are yea sayers.

  36. Mogg
    Mogg April 13, 2007 at 2:24 pm |

    Even if you believe that the attacks on this individual woman are warranted, consider the effects that they will have on rape survivors. Consider what rape survivors feel every time they hear her called a liar. Consider what women will internalize about rape from this incident. Consider how that will effect them in the future — how it will effect their own reporting, or their belief that their friend, their daughter, their mother is telling the truth.

    i would think woman who have be the victim of a rape would be even more upset with this woman than other people. by making accusations which are likely to be false gives others more ammo to support the misguided belief that many woman who claim they are raped are lying.

  37. Gadfly
    Gadfly April 13, 2007 at 2:24 pm |

    When the accusations came down, Jill and her ilk had no problem branding these young men rapists. Now that they have been completely exonerated, she’s saying that there’s still a 98% chance they raped her.

    What happened to innocent until proven guily?

  38. Fr Chris
    Fr Chris April 13, 2007 at 2:26 pm |

    Great thoughts as always, Jill.

    One impulse that seems to define the politics of the right in its current, evangelical incarnation is the attempt to enact all of evangelical morality into law — the idea that “not guilty” means “didn’t commit an evil act” is a corollary of that. That rape is seriously under-reported, seriously under-prosecuted, and convictions too hard to come by is an inconvenient fact that seems to be ignored.

  39. Nick
    Nick April 13, 2007 at 2:26 pm |

    I’d say there is a far greater than 2% chance this woman was not raped by anyone inside the house. While she may not have completely “recanted” her story about being raped, she changed it significantly, and going by the most recent retelling, she cannot recall ever being penetrated. The identification of the accused men was tainted to the point of being completely worthless. For the comments saying that false rape charges are not a big deal for a rich white man, I urge you to consider what would have been done to these boys in prison. They would have been raped, beaten, and completely used up. The false accusations and reckless prosecution are as bad as committing an act of rape, because a guilty verdict is a guarantee that these guys would have been raped repeatedly.

  40. Blitzgal
    Blitzgal April 13, 2007 at 2:29 pm |

    Chalk it up as just another slight from a society that hates men.

    Yes, that’s why rape is an underreported crime that has an extremely low conviction rate. Because society is biased against men.

    /sarcasm

  41. Nancy in NYC
    Nancy in NYC April 13, 2007 at 2:32 pm |

    Right on, Jill. Hey, you should be a lawyer:)

  42. ellenbrenna
    ellenbrenna April 13, 2007 at 2:34 pm |

    Realist needs to spend some time in the ER with their damned mouth shut for a while so they can learn to not use the phrase “raped by society”.

    Trial by media is unfair and intrusive and destructive but get a damn grip on this little thing we call reality and earn your handle. Assault is worse. Actual physical assault on your body is far worse.

    If you want to know why rape sheild laws exist you might want to read something on the OC gang rape case and how the victim in that case was treated by defendants and their lawyers during the run up to that trial. That other any other example of the profound social pressure put on women not to press for rape or to withraw charges once the have been pressed for rape.

  43. sadie_sabot
    sadie_sabot April 13, 2007 at 2:34 pm |

    A guilty conviction is not the standard for determining whether or not a crime occurred, or whether or not someone who files a criminal report is telling the truth. OJ wasn’t convicted of murdering Nicole, but she’s still dead. If your car is stolen and the police never find it, it doesn’t mean that the theft never happened.

    this is just such an important point.

    thank you for the whole post.

  44. zuzu
    zuzu April 13, 2007 at 2:39 pm |

    When the accusations came down, Jill and her ilk had no problem branding these young men rapists.

    Oh, I’d love to see a link for Jill saying that.

  45. DAS
    DAS April 13, 2007 at 2:41 pm |

    Women do not lie about rape any more than people lie about being victims of other crimes — but yet we look at rape charges with far more skepticism than we do crimes like theft or other kinds of assault.

    Who exactly is this we? I know there are some people do look at rape charges with far more scepticism than with other kinds of crime — in part because the criminality of the event which happened depends more on whose story you believe than is the case with other crimes* — but is that true, as if it’s worth anything if it’s not, for those of us in liberal left-blogostan? I’d say there is a tendancy among some some to believe whatever an accuser says, even if it’s not likely to be true, for whatever reasons (confusion, lying or who knows what).

    It generally would behoove us liberals to, well, stick to liberal principles**, among which should be a certain presumption of innocence and avoidance of prejudice: and that goes for all sides — we should neither assume “she’s a liar” nor should we just blithely assume “those evil menfolk are privileged oppressors and must have done something wrong”. Let’s leave the legal process to the legal process and the prejudice to the righty-tighties.

    I’m not saying the accuser is a liar. Nor that I necessarily believe the accused are definitely innocent. But I do find the degree to which, as much as we liberals are good about saying “wait a minute, just ’cause the DA says so and so is guilty doesn’t make it so” (c.f. liberal opposition to Gitmo and the Patriot Act), so many of us, when it comes to certain crimes alleged to be committed by certain groups of people suddenly believe everything the prosecution says and that nobody ever ends up getting falsely accused of rape (you’d think liberals would have, at least, read To Kill a Mockingbird).

    Those who disparage the accuser and have violated her privacy just because she dared to make an accusation of rape are dangerously wrong, for reasons discussed above. But it’s also wrong to blindly assume that whatever the prosecution was saying was right and that these boys somehow escaped justice they deserved.

    * if I show up in a police station or hospital with evidence of having been beaten up with a blunt object, then it’s pretty likely that a crime has occured — it’s doubtful that I would accuse someone and their response would be “yes, I beat him up, but he said it was ok”. OTOH, in the absense of clear evidence of forced penitration, it does become a matter of whose story you believe “she consented” vs. “no I didn’t” … and I bet people do lie, for example, about stuff being stolen.

    ** as a jump start to self-promotion Sunday, I do plan someday soon to blog about “blindspots of certain liberals” who are empathetic to everyone except group X or are always willing to presume innocence to everyone except those accused of Y.

  46. js
    js April 13, 2007 at 2:47 pm |

    did she pick these guys out of a lineup? if so, she either lied or was completely wrong. if she was wrong, why not take another look at the guys? she has not done that, so i presume she lied.

  47. Heraclitus (Jeff)
    Heraclitus (Jeff) April 13, 2007 at 2:48 pm |

    This is a really powerful post, Jill. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at the rush to ignore the rape culture that prevailed among these students (even if they’re just a small subculture at Duke) at one of our finest universities in order to brand the victim a lying, vindictive ho-raah, but I still am. Shouldn’t priveleged university students jerking off to American Psycho gives us just a little pause?

  48. Realist
    Realist April 13, 2007 at 2:52 pm |

    First of all, I’m shocked that Jill actually posted my response. I expected much less of you, going on the track record of typical liberals.

    Allow me to retort:

    “Do you understand what rape shield laws are? They’re evidentiary rules, not media regulation laws. This is what’s wrong with all of you misogynist conservatives: You go off about issues that you don’t actually know anything about.

    Excuse me, I mispoke. Media rape shield practices are anti-male for the reasons i previously stated. Care to rebuke them? Also, Rape Shield Laws ARE anti-male, because they force the courts to completely disregard and disallow discussion of past sexual behavior of the ACCUSER (read not victim). Past behavior is important in determining the credibility of a witness, accuser, or accused.

    “What evidence would that be? I haven’t seen any definitive evidence that she was not raped. Changing a story, as other commenters have pointed out, does not mean that she’s lying. She was intoxicated, scared, and in the media spotlight. Again, this is not proof that she wasn’t raped.”

    Really? What planet are you living on? For starters, she had the seamen of multiple males not present at the party (I believe DNA tests showed them to be African American males) Aside from changing her story, then saying she “wasn’t sure she was raped at all”, she accused men that had airtight alibis, and she told the other stripper she was going to make the story up. All of this is widely reported. Also, she previously filed a false gang-rape report 10 years prior, apparently this is a common thing for her:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,193495,00.html

    “She filed a rape charge, she didn’t indict these three men. No one has proven that she filed a false charge. What, exactly, would they be suing her for?”

    Falsely accusing them of a felony? Wasting 13 months and over $1,000,000 in attorney fees? I hope they get filthy rich off the city of Durham, the lying stripper, the State of North Carolina and the University that turned its back on them

    I understand you have good intentions Jill, but its radicalized feminists like yourself who cause much of the animosity in modern society between the genders. You do much more harm than good, whether you realize it or not. You couldn’t be more biased in your viewpoint of this situation, which is clearcut to 90% of the public. Your clinging to nothing. The mass media who have combed over the full prosecution case gave up on it months ago. Its a total fabrication by a coked out lying striper. The real victims in the case are the 3 MEN (you happy now?), their families, the Duke Lacrosse coach and program and the University as a whole, women who actually are victims of sexual assualt and rape, and race relations of all of us.

  49. Gadfly
    Gadfly April 13, 2007 at 2:52 pm |

    Ok, maybe not you Jill, but definitely Samhita:

    http://feministing.com/archives/005101.html

    and Amanda Marcotte, in a post she deleted, called them rapists.

  50. Nick
    Nick April 13, 2007 at 2:56 pm |

    Yes, thank God that this case has shown us the perverse underbelly of America’s elite colleges. A place where guys drink beer, watch porn, and use locker-room language that objectifies women. Surely this is the real story, not that 3 innocent men were accused of a heinous crime, suspended from school, and torn apart in the media by both the liberal and black communities.

  51. Long time reader
    Long time reader April 13, 2007 at 2:57 pm |

    Honestly, I would have hoped you’d have actually read the AG’s statement before posting this, it’s obvious you didn’t.
    “Next week, we’ll be providing a written summary of the important factual findings and some of the specific contradictions that have led us to the conclusion that no attack occurred.”
    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1110AP_Duke_Lacrosse_Statement.html

  52. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 2:57 pm |

    Ms. Mangum was raped once before, when she was sixteen.

    Just throwing that out there.

  53. Realist
    Realist April 13, 2007 at 2:59 pm |

    Wow, and I thought you knew all about the case Jill? Nifong, instead of bringing in a host of random men, called in the entire lacrosse team, and only those present at the party for the lineup. This is unheard of in practice. The lying stripper then pointed to 3 random lacrosse players who have no had their lives ruined. Give it up.

  54. Gadfly
    Gadfly April 13, 2007 at 3:00 pm |

    I haven’t seen any definitive evidence that she was not raped.

    What, then, do you think the standard of proof should be in a rape case? Should the accused still not have a presumption of innocence?

  55. Since when did "all charges dropped" mean "innocent"? « Vox ex Machina

    [...] they didn’t rape her, who did. Because someone assaulted her that night. As Jill at Feministe points out, Women do not lie about rape any more than [...]

  56. Realist
    Realist April 13, 2007 at 3:00 pm |

    Perhaps the goddess of this site ought to practice what she preaches?

    April 13th, 2007 at 2:29 pm
    “This is what’s wrong with all of you misogynist conservatives:”

  57. Blitzgal
    Blitzgal April 13, 2007 at 3:00 pm |

    Ok, maybe not you Jill, but definitely Samhita:

    http://feministing.com/archives/005101.html

    and Amanda Marcotte, in a post she deleted, called them rapists.

    And Jill is responsible for the comments of others…why?

  58. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 3:01 pm |

    Realist, her being a stripper has nothing to do with anything.

  59. lizvelrene
    lizvelrene April 13, 2007 at 3:03 pm |

    Its a total fabrication by a coked out lying striper.

    I’m sorry, i’m sure it’s completely inappropriate to say so, but the fact that people like Realist are walking around on the same planet as me just fills me with despair and rage. This fucking planet. Just do me a favor, misogynist assholes, and identify yourselves up front so I can stay far, far away from you.

  60. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 3:03 pm |

    Thanks, Jill. I was about the say the exact same thing about rape shield laws.

    A sort of aside: Are you even allowed to bring up the accused’s past sexual assault charges in rape trials?

  61. Sarah
    Sarah April 13, 2007 at 3:04 pm |

    If the accuser worked in an office you’d be referring to her as a “lying receptionist,” right Realist?

    It couldn’t be any more clear that your hierarchy goes something like this:

    white men > everyone else > lower-class women

  62. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 3:05 pm |

    liz,

    i feel the same way. this is why i won’t be hanging out on this thread for too long. i’ve refused to leave the house for days because the comments on posts like this trigger the fuck out of me, and also make me lose hope for humanity (one of the worst feelings in the world for me). :\

  63. js
    js April 13, 2007 at 3:06 pm |

    my point is this. if she picked them out of the line-up, she was either lying or wrong about who she accused, especially considering the airtight alibi of one of the accused. She is either one or the other. I will give you your 98% chance that a rape occured claim (even though i think you are totally wrong). Why no movement to indict other players on her part? Why won’t the new DA slowly, carefully gather evidence and present a well-thought out argument that some other player raped her? It won’t happen because they have either determined that she lied and is sane, lied and is crazy, or won’t accuse anyone else for some reason.

  64. DAS
    DAS April 13, 2007 at 3:06 pm |

    Past behavior is important in determining the credibility of a witness, accuser, or accused. – Realist

    Ummm … just because you’ve consented in the past, doesn’t mean you’ve consented this time ’round. If I give money to someone on the street, for example, does that mean if another person meets up with me while I’m walking, he has a right to mug me?

    OTOH, if it is a she said/he said case (and feel free to flame me for pointing this out) and her past behavior was that she was quite picky about with whom she would have sex, then that’s very relevant to the case, as it means that his “but she consented” argument is not reasonable — whatever doubt his argument would raise would not meet the standards of reasonable doubt.

    Of course, Realist brings up a Fox News link, which says a lot don’t it? And, I’m no molecular geneticist (rather a biochemistry type), but how do you know un-ambiguously race from a DNA test? Certainly certain markers are more likely to occur in certain populations, but to say that someone having marker X is un-ambiguously African-American is a bit like saying that, since men tend to be taller than women, someone who is 6’5″ must be a man.

  65. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred April 13, 2007 at 3:07 pm |

    Can I add my pre-emptive and relevent little post from a while ago?

    It generally would behoove us liberals to, well, stick to liberal principles**, among which should be a certain presumption of innocence and avoidance of prejudice

    *yawn* first of all I’m a progressive, not a liberal, which means I care more about the woman raped than I care about some rich brat’s pasty white reputation being impinged upon, and I need a solid reason to think she made up a story about being raped. Secondly, to presume the duke lacrosse team innocent merely because that’s what the jury is bound to requires me to assume she made up the rape is to presume that she’s a purjorer and an extortionist – in a rape case you’re stuck between assuming she’s a liar or they’re guilty, and I’m just plain prejudiced against rich white men who make jokes about flaying strippers alive, and deeply biased towards believing the rape victim in such cases.

  66. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 3:08 pm |

    js,

    the prosecution did the line up wrong.

    even if the prosecution thought of a good, well-evidenced, and well-thought out case, it would not fly. that is the point. because of all the controversy around the case, i really don’t think that if they did get the right person and made the case stronger etc etc that it’d ever work.

  67. Realist
    Realist April 13, 2007 at 3:09 pm |

    Whats so amusing about this whole thing, is that you man-hating feminists, and thats what you are, man-hating don’t realize the irony of the Duke fiasco:

    The victims of race and gender bias were those that are supposedly immune from it: white males

    You wonder why so many men hate so many women these days? Women like you are why. Don’t beleive me? Go on men’s forums around the net, see what’s being said. In your pursuit of global domination by playing the oh so convenient victim card you’ve managed to turn an entire generation of men away from you. Have fun dying old and lonely.

  68. js
    js April 13, 2007 at 3:10 pm |

    what is wrong about bringing in every single person who could have raped her (that was a white, duke lacrosse player) and letting her pick? she picked wrong, or lied, simple as that.

  69. micheyd
    micheyd April 13, 2007 at 3:10 pm |

    Oh fuck, the misogynist slime is really coming out on this one.

    Jill, more moderation, please?

  70. Gadfly
    Gadfly April 13, 2007 at 3:11 pm |

    Of course I think that, in a court of law, the accused should have the presumption of innocence, and the prosecution should have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty.

    Then why do talk about the need for “evidence that she was not raped?” You realize that a presumption of innocence means a presumption that the accuser’s statements, standing alone, are not true?

  71. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub April 13, 2007 at 3:11 pm |

    do you delete all the comments that disagree with you? i find it hard to believe that the only people who respond are yea sayers.

    Obviously she hasn’t, dipshit. But do continue to pretend you’re martyrs to the big, bad feminists.

    And BTW, folks–if you doubt that raped women are not treated like shit, take a gander at the OC Rape Case. It was videotaped. She was still considered to be a slut and a liar, was harassed, was threatened, and found her personal medical information leaked to the media. The first trial almost ended up in an acquittal–it was a hung jury because ONE juror refused to acquit. The second trial got some convictions.

    And then there was the case of a teenage girl in IL who was gang-raped (on film, yet again) only to see her attackers acquitted because after all–she was a drunk slut who was asking for it.

    Yes, golly, the system is just SO STACKED against the menz!

    Who exactly is this we?

    DAS–that’s a rhetorical we. Look at the way rape is treated–she’s asking for it. She should have been smarter. She’s a slut. Oh, in TV and movies it’s erotic. It’s funny. Besides, women lie you know.

    Please note the knee-jerk responses to this woman when the story first broke–there wasn’t any “let’s wait until the facts are in” rhetoric on the Duke boy defenders’ side. There was a lot of “she’s a stripper and a whore so she couldn’t really be raped!” and “She’s a lying slut out to get some nice White boys!”

    Raped women the third degree from so-called ‘friends’ about what they were doing there in those clothes, with those people. They all got lectured about not fighting back, how it wasn’t really rape because they weren’t beaten up enough, how women lie (and so they must apologize for that somehow, or just STFU), and how they shouldn’t hate men.

    and I bet people do lie, for example, about stuff being stolen.

    Someone who files theft charges is not put through the wringer the same way someone who files rape charges is.

  72. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 3:12 pm |

    I am so upset for you and every other white man, Realist. I need some time away to cry for the injustices you have experienced.

    *yawn*

    Jesus I need some liquor.

  73. Realist
    Realist April 13, 2007 at 3:12 pm |

    last post, I promise.

    The entire premise that an accuser of a crime is to be shielded but the accused not, is a presumption of guilt right from the start. Its the antithesis of our legal system: innocent until proven guilty.

    Its that simple ladies.

  74. Gadfly
    Gadfly April 13, 2007 at 3:12 pm |

    I am neither Samhita nor Amanda. I like both of them very much, and I’m a big fan of their writing, but not all feminists are one and the same. If you have issues with what they wrote, take it up with them. I’m not responsible for it.

    All right, I apologize for that one.

  75. js
    js April 13, 2007 at 3:12 pm |

    i believe that i haven’t displayed myself as a misogynist. i am being civil, engaging in lively discussion.

  76. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 3:13 pm |

    what is wrong about bringing in every single person who could have raped her (that was a white, duke lacrosse player) and letting her pick? she picked wrong, or lied, simple as that.

    it’s simply not how you do a line-up. that is NEVER how you’re supposed to do a line-up, last I heard (someone please correct me on this if I’m wrong). I’m sure someone who’s more experienced in law can explain why, especially since I’m fucking dying of the flu at the moment. :\

  77. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub April 13, 2007 at 3:14 pm |

    Have fun dying old and lonely.

    Cupcake, if you’re my only option, I’ll be relieved you’re staying away.

  78. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 3:14 pm |

    i believe that i haven’t displayed myself as a misogynist. i am being civil, engaging in lively discussion

    i believe they were referring to Realist, not you.

  79. Sarah
    Sarah April 13, 2007 at 3:14 pm |

    Ooooooh, threatening us with the possibility that we’ll end up alone, wishing for the company of misogynist pigs.

    Not all men cling so tightly to privilege. Feminist women choose feminist men as partners (usually). Old and lonely? Not so much.

  80. micheyd
    micheyd April 13, 2007 at 3:16 pm |

    Yes, sorry js. I think we can discuss some things with you – namely the idea that it is cut and dry that she is lying.

    Realist is just here to spew hate.

  81. Sarah
    Sarah April 13, 2007 at 3:17 pm |

    Ok, bye bye Realist.

    “Typical liberal.”

  82. Nick
    Nick April 13, 2007 at 3:17 pm |

    what is wrong about bringing in every single person who could have raped her (that was a white, duke lacrosse player) and letting her pick? she picked wrong, or lied, simple as that.

    If you have a lineup consisting only of people who were there, then she cannot make a wrong choice. No matter who she picks, Nifong can say “well, that man was there that night, so this is a valid identification.” It is extremely prejudiced, and I don’t know how that cannot be evident to you. Every single media outlet identified that as an irregular and improper practice.

  83. js
    js April 13, 2007 at 3:18 pm |

    as a legal procedure, probably not the best, but the line up gave her a shot at everyone who could have possibly raped her. sounds like good odds to me. again, i say she either chose wrong or lied and invite anyone to prove that claim wrong. i guess it is possible that she chose right and they were able to get off, but do you think it is possible for three drunk off their butt lacrosse players to hide any and all possible evidence? i don’t so i discount that option.

  84. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred April 13, 2007 at 3:19 pm |

    The lying stripper then pointed to 3 random lacrosse players who have no had their lives ruined.

    I’ve yet to see someone actually explain how they’ve had their lives ruined, they’ve been able to offer the stripper a million dollars to drop the case but, somehow, their lives have been ruined, like micheal jackson’s was by all those allegations of being a pedophile.

    Whereas I’m sure they won’t use their high society connections to make sure the stripper is never hired for any high paying shows near duke ever again, or is harassed by the police or anything.

    Because they’re good boys, unlike that mean ol’ life destroying whore.

  85. Heraclitus (Jeff)
    Heraclitus (Jeff) April 13, 2007 at 3:22 pm |

    Gee, who would’ve thought rape apologists would be such assholes?

  86. js
    js April 13, 2007 at 3:24 pm |

    one guy lost his job offer. i don’t know much about Jill personally, but lets say she got a summer associate offer at Wachtel in their international law practice and you would be spending the bulk of the year traveling Europe closing huge deals, (oh and you are a male) and a someone accused you of a rape, which cost your summer offer to be rescinded, but you were later acquitted, you would be pretty worse off than you were before hand. the misconception that these guys were uber-rich is just false. One of them comes from a suburban Long-Island town, not the Hamptons or Park Ave., and another from a middle class suburb in NJ. Privileged? Please.

  87. js
    js April 13, 2007 at 3:26 pm |

    perhaps that their lives were ruined is a stretch (although i don’t think so), but you can’t argue that they were made worse off as a result of being accused of a crime they were not convicted of.

  88. js
    js April 13, 2007 at 3:27 pm |

    my above post should read “but you can’t argue that they were not made worse off”

  89. Nick
    Nick April 13, 2007 at 3:32 pm |

    I’ve yet to see someone actually explain how they’ve had their lives ruined, they’ve been able to offer the stripper a million dollars to drop the case but, somehow, their lives have been ruined, like micheal jackson’s was by all those allegations of being a pedophile.

    Whereas I’m sure they won’t use their high society connections to make sure the stripper is never hired for any high paying shows near duke ever again, or is harassed by the police or anything.

    Because they’re good boys, unlike that mean ol’ life destroying whore.

    Do you honestly think having rape charges hanging over their heads for over a year, being kicked out of school, and facing the possibility of years in maximum security federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison had no effect on the lives of these young men? I’m sure now that they have been exonerated, they will be putting their efforts towards manipulating the Durham area exotic dancing circuit, ensuring that the accuser’s “career” is ruined. Everyone knows that these white upper middle class men control both the Durham police, and the sex industry, and they will combine forces to ruin this woman’s life. Although, considering they have such powerful “high society connections”, it seems surprising that they allowed the very police and DA’s office they obviously control to arrest and charge them in the first place.

  90. pmoney
    pmoney April 13, 2007 at 3:34 pm |

    I just wanted to make a random observation, possibly useful, possibly not.

    One thing I have NOT heard is the flipside of that old “what did you expect?” blame-the-victim argument. I mean, if the Duke players are the victims of false charges, how come no one has scolded them for putting themselves in that vulnerable position?

    You know what I’m talking about. I’ve heard this A MILLION TIMES (even from other women and “liberal” men): “That girl had no business being in that boy’s room alone, anyway!”

    So why haven’t I heard this lecture ad nauseum: “Hey guys, if you don’t want to be accused of rape, don’t hire strippers for the unchaperoned kegger at your frat house. Also, don’t intimidate them and/or hurl racial slurs at them.”

    I mean, that’s just “common sense” right??

    (Just to be clear: I’m not saying I agree with either lecture. I’m just saying if you CONSTANTLY lecture women on preventing their own rapes, you should alao lecture guys on preventing their own false charges)

  91. Gadfly
    Gadfly April 13, 2007 at 3:34 pm |

    …so what? Nowhere in the post did I say that I think the three lacrosse men are guilty. My point is just that her misidentification does not mean that she lied.

    The problem is that, in the case of two of the players, she said she was “100% certain” that they raped her. So, no, you really can’t have it both ways.

  92. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub April 13, 2007 at 3:37 pm |

    Except I’m sure the rescinded job will be offered right back to him. I’m also pretty sure that this will not prevent these guys from getting high-paying jobs.

    William Smith of the Kennedy clan is a practicing doctor, prior rape accusation nonwithstanding. He stood trial and was acquitted. These guys won’t even be standing trial. So how are their lives ruined?

  93. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 3:40 pm |

    Link to anything verifying anything you’ve said? I realize that it is often painstaking and mind wrenching to develop a well thought out position and support it, seeing as women often fear TEH LOGIC, but you should really give it a shot.

  94. Heraclitus (Jeff)
    Heraclitus (Jeff) April 13, 2007 at 3:41 pm |

    That’s an excellent point, pmoney. Indeed, one might go so far as to wonder if this story will start figuring in abstinence-only propaganda.

  95. shawn
    shawn April 13, 2007 at 3:41 pm |

    “That doesn’t mean that they’re upstanding citizens — after all, they hired a stripper for a team party, harassed her, etc etc — but that doesn’t make them rapists. On the other hand, they may very well be rapists, and there was simply not enough evidence to make a case.”

    “Can we talk about that, rather than speculate about whether these men are guilty or not?”

    lol, come on Jill. On one hand you assert that there is simply not enough evidence to take the guys to trial, and that they are not necessarily innocent, and that there is a 98% chance that the accuser was raped.

    On the other hand your sycophants here deride the attorney general for having the unprofessional gall to suggest not only that there was not enough evidence to take to trial, but also that he, a prosecutor, believes that the men are factually innocent. Perhaps statements like this are necessary because so many of you discount the legal presumption of innocence: Sure they wont be punished – but that doesn’t mean they are inncoent.

    And then you make the assertion that there is a 98% chance she got raped? Are we applying general statistics to individual instances? Does this probablility change when the accuser is wigged out of her mind and cant remember anything? Does it change when her co-workers discredits her story? Does it change when she is called nasty racist names and storms out and perhaps has a motive to get back at the punks?

    Of course no one can prove 100% she was lying, but a lot of people judged and attacked the LAX players with a lot less to go on, than what we have suggesting the accuser was full of it.

  96. micheyd
    micheyd April 13, 2007 at 3:42 pm |

    Sorry about that. The comments are coming in really quickly, and I haven’t been able to keep up.

    No problem! I was just really squicked out at the way the thread was going. Thanks.

  97. Gadfly
    Gadfly April 13, 2007 at 3:42 pm |

    “A while back I went out to dinner with my boyfriend at the time and his mom. They were discussing the restaurant Jean Georges. He insisted that he had eaten there with her; she insisted that they had gone to his smaller restaurant next door. Both said that they were “100% certain.”

    Obviously, one of them was wrong. But that doesn’t mean that one of them was lying.”

    C’mon, Jill. You don’t see a little bit of difference between those scenarios?

  98. Raging Moderate
    Raging Moderate April 13, 2007 at 3:42 pm |

    Point to where I called these three men rapists

    Ok. So she’s stupid and deserves to be raped for it. No matter that some of these men were pretty stupid, and some (I would go as far as to say all, since none of them are willing to tell on their friends) were actively cruel and torturous to another human being.

    Apparently the second woman wasn’t raped. Perhaps that’s because these men targeted the woman who they perceived as less powerful because of her race.

    Is “rough-housing” code for “rape” here? Seriously? As for youthful hormones, well, I’ve got more than a few of those, but I’ve never been so fervently blinded by them that I physically attached someone and engaged in a gang rape.

    And a 27-year-old mother should have more sense to what, not get raped?

    Further, not raping isn’t about an ability to “restrain their baser impulses.

  99. js
    js April 13, 2007 at 3:42 pm |

    in the end, they may still end up getting “high paying jobs,” but if they get less high paying jobs or lose a better opportunity and were forced to take a lesser offer or a less-prestigious job, they still lose when they shouldn’t. they have the right to get any job that they could have gotten before the false accusations and shouldn’t settle for anything less. even better, if say one boy really wanted to work at lehman bros, because he loved it, despite the fact that working at goldman sachs is better and is forced to take the job at goldman, his career happiness has been taken away from him unjustly.

  100. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred April 13, 2007 at 3:47 pm |

    Privileged? Please.

    Yes, but you’re ignoring the fact that he goes to Duke and she’s a black stripper who went back into a place where she’d had racist slurs hurled at her because she needed the money.

    Whatever definition of “privileged” you’re using, it doesn’t gel with any I’ve ever seen used before, except in those pieces that paint George Bush to be a man of the people of course.

    “OMG his parents could only afford Two Cars! He’s practically homeless!”

  101. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub April 13, 2007 at 3:49 pm |

    Except now he could push to get the job that was offered to him.

    Their opportunities have not been taken away. They won’t get lower-paying jobs because of a charge that was never brought to trial. They’re getting boatloads of sympathy in the MSM.

    C’mon, Jill. You don’t see a little bit of difference between those scenarios?

    Mistaken identity + police pressure does not make her a liar.

  102. You don't have a clue
    You don't have a clue April 13, 2007 at 3:50 pm |

    With all do respect,

    Did you hear what Roy Cooper said? INNOCENT. There was no evidence. No rape. It was all a hoax and the evidence has shown this from day one. Don’t use Nifong as a scapegoat. The special prosecutors went in to great detail looking over all of the evidence and meeting with the accuser, they determined she lied. Solely the fact she is mentally unstbale is the reason they are not filing charges. To be honest, for true justice, she should wind up in prison for all of the pain she has caused to so many different people on so many different levels. This truly hurts the cause the next time a woman is actually raped. Because of the lies of the accuser, future rape victims will be hurt severely. If you acknowledged this, you would have a lot more credibility. Instead of writing articles like the one above, perhaps an apology to the wrongfully accused men is in order.

  103. Fr Chris
    Fr Chris April 13, 2007 at 3:52 pm |

    Sheelzebub —

    I think you’re right that this won’t negatively impact their ability to get high-paying jobs, but I think it’s important to remind the apologists for the lacrosse team that even if it did impact their lives down the road, that’s a price all Americans pay for living in our society.

    The Innocence Project at Duke has helped overturn convictions for plenty of African-American men who have spent years, even decades, in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. But there’s no outcry from these folks over their suffering. There’s a delicate balance in the law between giving rights to the accused, who may be innocent, and letting the justice system proceed with prosecutions and incarcerations. When we fail at that balance, it’s overwhelming against the disenfranchised, who don’t have access to adequate counsel. How sad that all the outrage is reserved for when wealthy, white men suffer (or seem, maybe to suffer) from an imbalance.

  104. js
    js April 13, 2007 at 3:52 pm |

    Whether or not she is poor has no bearing on these guys being privileged. So, what you are saying is that all people who go to Duke are privileged. Far from it, my friend. Where did you go to school? Bates, Oberlin, Mount Holyoke, Barnard? You must be privileged.

    Duke + 2 Cars = Privileged?

    They were middle class.

  105. belledame222
    belledame222 April 13, 2007 at 3:52 pm |

    Have fun dying old and lonely.

    Cupcake, if you’re my only option, I’ll be relieved you’re staying away.

    “Are you my alternative?”

    –Flo Kennedy

  106. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 3:53 pm |

    “Anti-feminists in particular are overjoyed with the players’ exoneration — not because they particularly care about justice, but because they think this is a good way to stick it to the feminists who support rape survivors, sometimes to the detriment of white men.” LINK?

    “Last I checked, there is no evidence that she lied about a rape occurring.” LINK? Because I seem to remember a series of phonecalls doing disasterous damage to her timeline. I also recall a variety of DNA evidence not helping her either. Of course, you might assert that “a” rape occurred, rather than “the” rape we are concerned with, in which case I’ll give up the point, since it’s irrelevant.

    “That doesn’t mean that they’re upstanding citizens — after all, they hired a stripper for a team party, harassed her, etc etc — but that doesn’t make them rapists.” LINK? Namely, what proof do you have that these three in particular harassed her rather than other members of the party?

    “But just because Reade W. Seligmann, David F. Evans, and Collin Finnerty may not have raped the woman in question does not mean that there was no rape, or that the woman is a liar.” LINK? I seem to remember the alleged victim being “100% sure” that the three in question were the guys. If she wasn’t sure, then she IS a liar.

    “Women do not lie about rape any more than people lie about being victims of other crimes.” LINK? I’m open to this being true, but I’d like to see some factual support.

    “The DA dropped the ball on this one, not the woman” LINK? I’m not sure how you arrived at the conclusion that the faults in this case fall completely on the DA given the multiple changes in accounts she delivered as well as the factual inconsistencies. Certainly the prosecution of the case was botched, but I wonder if that’s because they had a shoddy foundation to begin with?

    This is only from the first 1/3 of your post.

  107. Heraclitus (Jeff)
    Heraclitus (Jeff) April 13, 2007 at 3:54 pm |

    I love it when people too stupid to spell “due” correctly start lecturing others.

    And now we’re informed that the true wretched of the earth live on Long Island.

  108. js
    js April 13, 2007 at 3:54 pm |

    “Except now he could push to get the job that was offered to him.”

    The fact that he has to push to get a job that was righfully, deservingly his to begin with back is a harm that he didn’t deserve and wouldn’t have come about if not for his being wrongly accused of a rape that may or may not have happened, let alone that he was the perpetrator of.

  109. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 3:54 pm |

    Jill:

    Rape =/= Assault

  110. Long time reader
    Long time reader April 13, 2007 at 3:55 pm |

    “I’m not the one making factual claims without evidence” Oh, of course not, you cover your statements with the fallacy that it’s 98% certain.

    As I pointed out before, the Attorney General Said “Next week, we’ll be providing a written summary of the important factual findings and some of the specific contradictions that have led us to the conclusion that NO ATTACK OCCURED.”

  111. DAS
    DAS April 13, 2007 at 3:56 pm |

    So of whom were you thinking when you said “these men”? Not some men, but in a context where the discussion concerned three people accused of rape, “these men” …

  112. Friendly Intruder
    Friendly Intruder April 13, 2007 at 3:56 pm |

    Interesting post.

    What is your take on the below?

    Actually, FBI statistics show that about 9 percent of rape reports are “unfounded” — dismissed without charges being filed. The feminist party line is that most of these are valid complaints, nixed because the authorities lack sufficient proof or distrust acquaintance rape claims. But dismissals because of insufficient evidence usually occur further down the pipeline and are not in the “unfounded” category. Generally, a complaint is unfounded when the accuser recants or when her story is not just unsupported but contradicted by evidence.

    Measuring false allegations is all the more difficult since policies on unfounded complaints differ between jurisdictions. A Washington Post investigation in Virginia and Maryland found that nearly one in four rape reports in 1990-91 was unfounded. When contacted by the newspaper, many “victims” admitted they lied. More shocking figures come from a study by now-retired Purdue University sociologist Eugene Kanin published in Archives of Sexual Behavior in 1994. After reviewing the police records of an Indiana town, Kanin found that of 109 reports of rape filed in 1978-87, 45 — or 41 percent — turned out to be false, as the women themselves admitted after the investigation.

  113. belledame222
    belledame222 April 13, 2007 at 3:57 pm |

    in a rape case you’re stuck between assuming she’s a liar or they’re guilty, and I’m just plain prejudiced against rich white men who make jokes about flaying strippers alive, and deeply biased towards believing the rape victim in such cases.

    yup.

    does that mean i think it was okay to splash the names of the accused around the media? not so much. but good christ: this is not a level playing field here, yeah? I mean: so the boys’ good names have been cleared, and they can get on with the lacrosse season, getting the schmancy education, and generally continuing on the path toward being Master of the Universe. Which, and if the particular accused didn’t do it–mazel tov.

    What’s going to happen to her, now? Seriously.

  114. Gadfly
    Gadfly April 13, 2007 at 3:58 pm |

    Did you hear what Roy Cooper said? INNOCENT. There was no evidence. No rape. It was all a hoax and the evidence has shown this from day one.

    There was hearsay and conjecture. Those are kinds of evidence.

  115. belledame222
    belledame222 April 13, 2007 at 4:00 pm |

    and note to js: yes it bloody well is privileged. and yes, by that definition i am privileged as well. it isn’t a crime in itself. it is what it is. what IS a problem is refusing to even acknowledge that gee, there’s a discrepancy here; and yeah, the stripper in question in fact was being…at minimum, taken for granted, right from the get-go. god, where to even start?

  116. Friendly Intruder
    Friendly Intruder April 13, 2007 at 4:03 pm |

    I mean, if this is true: “After reviewing the police records of an Indiana town, Kanin found that of 109 reports of rape filed in 1978-87, 45 — or 41 percent — turned out to be false, as the women themselves admitted after the investigation” (see previous post above)…

    Then this statement: “yeah, it could be, but there’s about a 98% chance that she’s telling the truth”

    seems way, way off.

    In fact, there would then be a 59% chance she’s telling the truth.

  117. You don't have a clue
    You don't have a clue April 13, 2007 at 4:03 pm |

    Again, attaching your name to this hoax hurts the credibility for all feminists. The woman was a liar. She changed her story over ten times, had DNA evidence insider her from five unidentified males. Reade Seligmann had video footage that he was at a Wachovia during the time of the alleged attack.

    So are you saying just because a woman says someone rapes her, that in no way possibly could have because he was not there, she should be allowed to ruin the innocents life in the public.

    Nifong tried to help the accuser as much as possible. He refused to review exculpatory evidence. He did everything he could to frame the Duke three, but when there is no evidence, truth will always prevail.

  118. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred April 13, 2007 at 4:05 pm |

    Do you honestly think having rape charges hanging over their heads for over a year, being kicked out of school, and facing the possibility of years in maximum security federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison had no effect on the lives of these young men?

    And she’s been called a liar, a whore, a ghetto slut, had every racist, misogynist wanker who’s had opportunity insult her, slut shame her, accuse her of “asking for it” and I’m sure worse’ll happen to her now outside the court.

    Oh, and she’s been raped and her attackers are walking free (irregardless of whether they’re the lacross team or not).

    Cry me a fucking river for those poor oppressed white boys… There’s a rape victim in this and strangely enough people can’t stop focusing on the yawn inspiring plight of the lacrosse players.

    I’m sure now that they have been exonerated, they will be putting their efforts towards manipulating the Durham area exotic dancing circuit, ensuring that the accuser’s “career” is ruined.

    First of all, “career”? No prejudice there…

    Second of all, do you know how strippers get private dancing engagements? Word of mouth usually, they spread her name around a bit, and she’s blacklisted from a large amount of work she’d have gotten otherwise. Do you need diagrams? A flow chart maybe? Is this so hard for you comprehend? It’s not rocket science or a magic fucking bullet I’m talking about here. Now if your poor attempts at snark are done *rolls eyes*

  119. You don't have a clue
    You don't have a clue April 13, 2007 at 4:06 pm |

    She was not raped at all. Just like the time she falsely accused her ex husband of trying to kill her, she lied, period. When you ignore evidence in a case where it is so obvious she lied, future rape victims will be hurt. Next time, no one will believe you when you support an actual victim. If you are familiar with the case at all, you could see she was not raped. Review the case file that is available online.

  120. saucysaucy
    saucysaucy April 13, 2007 at 4:07 pm |

    I agree that being accused of a crime you didn’t commit is a horrible and potentially scarring experience, no matter what social class you’re in. But I’m not sure it’s fair to categorize their lives as ruined.

    And who are you to judge? I’m sure you’d jump all over someone who even suggest that the alleged victim’s life wasn’t ruined. But being accused of a false crime and being all over the news for something you didn’t do. Nope, nothing potentially life ruining about that.

  121. pmoney
    pmoney April 13, 2007 at 4:07 pm |

    That’s an excellent point, pmoney.

    Thanks, Jeff! :)

    When my husband was a young teenager, he was instructed by his female cousin (who was of the right age to give him “sisterly” advice) that if a woman ever says no, NO MATTER HOW SHE SAYS IT, even if you are 5 seconds from orgasm, you “get up immediately, put your pants on and leave. And make noise while you’re leaving so someone hears you.” :) This advice was as much about teaching my husband how to protect himself from rape accusations as it was about teaching him about issues of consent. To me (and to him), this is a no-brainer, and vital to a young man’s sexual education.

  122. Plato's Cave
    Plato's Cave April 13, 2007 at 4:07 pm |

    R. Mildred Says:
    April 13th, 2007 at 4:05 pm
    Do you honestly think having rape charges hanging over their heads for over a year, being kicked out of school, and facing the possibility of years in maximum security federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison had no effect on the lives of these young men?

    And she’s been called a liar, a whore, a ghetto slut, had every racist, misogynist wanker who’s had opportunity insult her, slut shame her, accuse her of “asking for it” and I’m sure worse’ll happen to her now outside the court.

    Oh, and she’s been raped and her attackers are walking free (irregardless of whether they’re the lacross team or not).

    Cry me a fucking river for those poor oppressed white boys… There’s a rape victim in this and strangely enough people can’t stop focusing on the yawn inspiring plight of the lacrosse players.”

    Do you have any idea how racists the above is?

    Really?

  123. You don't have a clue
    You don't have a clue April 13, 2007 at 4:07 pm |

    Yeah, there good names cleared? Are you kidding me? Their lives were ruined over the last year. They could npt play lacrosse, attend class, were vilified in the media, labeled as rapists and rapists, all because of lies.

    Oh, let me guess. Because they are wealthy males, that is perfectly acceptable?

  124. Violet Socks
    Violet Socks April 13, 2007 at 4:08 pm |

    The quote from the Salon piece about the Sierra thing seems particularly appropriate here: “There is nothing like hysterical masculine self-pity posing as righteous indignation.”

    It’s a curious fact that the Duke apologists keep saying that the Duke men were tried and found guilty in the media, that for a year now they’ve been publicly branded as rapists. It’s curious because that is the precise opposite of reality. I’ve been blogging this case since the beginning, and the overwhelming brunt of commentary throughout the media and blogosphere from day one has been that the woman was a “liar,” a “ho,” and so on. That the poor white guys were being unfairly accused, that the race card was being played, etc. Remember the guy who at the very beginning referred to her as a “mother” in quotation marks? That’s been the tone all along. The defense attorneys flooded the media with outrageous character assassination of the accuser from the beginning and the white misogynists flogged the “reverse-discrimination” angle for all it was worth. If anyone has been vilified in the media, it’s the accuser. The poor woman never stood a chance.

    Yet these hysterical white men continue to yammer on and on about how those poor little rich boys have been victimized.

  125. You don't have a clue
    You don't have a clue April 13, 2007 at 4:09 pm |

    They could have went to jail for something that never, ever happened. Why? The accuser, who was on her way to being arrested for public intoxication on the night of the part, lied to avoid spending the night in prison. Hey, she made up a rape before, but it went away. What a perfect way to get out of jail.

    Remember this quote.

    “Put marks on me” Why would someone who was raped ask for a woman to have marks put on her?

  126. You don't have a clue
    You don't have a clue April 13, 2007 at 4:10 pm |

    Who is the alleged victim you speak of? She lied, she is no victim. She is the alleged false accuser. Yes, the blogs such as Liestoppers tried their best to put an end to this hoax that you dreamed of.

  127. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 4:11 pm |

    I understand some of you want justice, and by justice I mean ripping down the WHITE PATRIARCHY that has oppressed women for so long. That the facts don’t support any of the allegations is, of course, a lamentable development for some of you. BUT DON’T WORRY, if you believe it hard enough dreams can come true. Maybe they’ll find a semen covered glove in one of the LAX player’s glove compartments. Just make sure he doesn’t try it on.

  128. DAS
    DAS April 13, 2007 at 4:11 pm |

    Their opportunities have not been taken away. They won’t get lower-paying jobs because of a charge that was never brought to trial. They’re getting boatloads of sympathy in the MSM. – Sheelzebub

    To kinda complement what Fr Chris says — and I’m not arguing the accused here should have their opportunities taken away without being convicted following a due legal process — in how many other cases does the MSM hysteria attack those accused of crimes and act as if they are already guilty? And in how many cases are innocents railroaded through what passes for a justice system because they are poor, etc.?

    Of course, two rights don’t make a wrong. Hopefully, though, what happened to these students will make people who otherwise are unsympathetic to basic notions of civil rights realize that “it ain’t just ‘those people’ who get accused of crimes”.

  129. Violet Socks
    Violet Socks April 13, 2007 at 4:12 pm |

    The other thing is that the Duke apologists never mention that the Duke men’s acknowledged behavior that night was reprehensible. These are men who threatened to rape two women with a broomstick, who called the women “n—s,” who made taunting remarks about slavery, and who joked with each other about torturing and murdering black strippers.

    Whether the accuser was raped or not by one of them, the men of the Duke lacrosse team are the scum of the earth.

  130. ellenbrenna
    ellenbrenna April 13, 2007 at 4:13 pm |

    Also the reason why the media releases the names of accused criminals and rarely mentions the names of accusers in most cases is because of fear of retribution and harassment for bringing charges in the first place.

    Retribution and harassment that is more often visited on the female accuser in a rape case than the accused males. In this society that hates men oh so very much.

    I have no fear of logic but there is no logic in an argument that starts from the supposition that accusers in rape cases have all the power.

    These men have been exonerated before trial, before conviction and before serving any prison time. These particular men not having assaulted the woman in question has little to do with the now unanswerable question of whether or not she was assaulted at all. The entire thing is so muddied that there is little way of determining that for sure.

    One suggestion that resonates with me is that all parties involved in a rape investigation should remain confidential until an indictment is handed down by a grand jury. It would have spared everyone involved here a good deal of exposure and speculation that was unhelpful. It most certainly would have prevented Nifong from demagouging an issue that should have been taken on more seriously and precisely.

  131. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 4:14 pm |

    To be serious for a moment:

    I think we can all agree that when the media becomes involved in a case, particularly one in the nascent stages, it creates a number of unfortunate outcomes. Neither the LAX players nor the alleged victim deserved the scrutiny they received, largely because such scrutiny was applied to gain interest through sensationalism rather than relate facts. Both sides were treated unfairly, and it’s unfortunate things happened the way they did.

  132. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub April 13, 2007 at 4:15 pm |

    Their lives weren’t ruined. People who spend years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit–their lives are fucked. The victim and the wrongly convicted in the Central Park Jogger case–their lives were fucked.

    These guys? No. It doesn’t even compare.

    The woman in the Duke case was labeled a whore, a ho, a n*****, a slut, a gold-digger, and a liar. She was falsely reported to be a prostitute. Because of her job, she was said to be a liar, or to be asking for it. Or she was simply not capable of being raped because of her job (stripper, or, if you listen to the misogynist liars out there, prostitute). She was threatened, and will probably be threatened for some time to come.

    So no, it’s not even close.

  133. You don't have a clue
    You don't have a clue April 13, 2007 at 4:16 pm |

    They allegedly said those things. Like the rape allegations, they are probably lies. They are not the scum of the earth,but people who rushed to judgment are.

    They threw a party, I do not condone that, but again you are focusing on all of the wrong points. They are the scum of the earth because they threw a stripper party, something that is common among all males acrosse the country. Is every man the scum of the earth. Do you live in a fantasy world?

    Also, according to the other dancer. On 60 minutes ,she said the only racist comment came after she first used a racial slur at one of the players.

    Again, refusing to look at that hurts your credibility.

  134. Gadfly
    Gadfly April 13, 2007 at 4:17 pm |

    These are men who threatened to rape two women with a broomstick, who called the women “n—s,” who made taunting remarks about slavery, and who joked with each other about torturing and murdering black strippers.

    The problem is that none of the men who were ultimately accused of rape committed the offenses you refer to. One of them, Reade Seligmann, left the party shortly after the stripper got there because he was uncomfortable with the atmosphere. Don’t you think that he pretty much did exactly what he should have done in that situation?

  135. Raging Moderate
    Raging Moderate April 13, 2007 at 4:17 pm |

    RM, did I say that the three indicted men rapists?

    No you said that some members of the Duke lacrosse team were rapists.

    Are you still saying that?

  136. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 4:18 pm |

    YDHAC:

    I don’t think they’re worried about credibility.

  137. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub April 13, 2007 at 4:20 pm |

    Hopefully, though, what happened to these students will make people who otherwise are unsympathetic to basic notions of civil rights realize that “it ain’t just ‘those people’ who get accused of crimes”.

    Reading through the various comments, blog entries, and articles sympathetic to the men in question, I sincerely doubt that will be the case. I’ve never seen such racist, misogynist drek as I have flung about in the direction of the woman in this case. Frankly, I think a lot of the people screaming for her blood would rather it stay on “those people.”

  138. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub April 13, 2007 at 4:21 pm |

    They allegedly said those things. Like the rape allegations, they are probably lies.

    Neighbors witnessed the racial slurs.

  139. Moira
    Moira April 13, 2007 at 4:26 pm |

    Do you even listen to yourself? “Oh, those poor, poor boys, forced to work at Goldman Sachs instead of Lehmans!”

    If only I had to face such desperate straits.

  140. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 4:27 pm |

    Moira:

    Agree. Most people don’t mind up one of their colleges years to endure searing criticism only to end up where they would be had none of this occurred.

  141. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 4:28 pm |

    “giving” up one of their college years

  142. Liz
    Liz April 13, 2007 at 4:29 pm |

    Going back to the original post about her picture and info being posted, I was extremely upset at this when I saw it on the news. As a rape survivor/victim myself I can’t believe that this is happening. Seeing this I would never want to come foward again; one because I know the chance of convicting the rapist would be almost impossible, and second because when he (it could be a she too, but more likely a he) wasn’t I would be labeled a liar, whore, out for money/fame, etc. I can’t imagine all the threats she is about to face. I can see this will most likely ruin her life.

  143. Gadfly
    Gadfly April 13, 2007 at 4:32 pm |

    Going back to the original post about her picture and info being posted, I was extremely upset at this when I saw it on the news. As a rape survivor/victim myself I can’t believe that this is happening. Seeing this I would never want to come foward again; one because I know the chance of convicting the rapist would be almost impossible, and second because when he (it could be a she too, but more likely a he) wasn’t I would be labeled a liar, whore, out for money/fame, etc. I can’t imagine all the threats she is about to face. I can see this will most likely ruin her life.

    Something tells me you didn’t feel the same moral revulsion when the names and pictures of the accused were plastered all over the media.

  144. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 4:33 pm |

    Liz:

    I assume your circumstances are dissimilar. Are you a stripper with a less than rigorous application process to be slept with? Are you prone ot manufacturing lies that are demonstrably false? If so, I retract my point.

  145. Raging Moderate
    Raging Moderate April 13, 2007 at 4:33 pm |

    As for the accused lives being ruined, I disagree.

    While it must have been a horrible experience, I think this will benefit them in the long run. As is now apparent, there is much public sympathy for them. After the inevitable book deals, I’m sure that they will be able to capitalize on their own misfortune.

  146. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 4:34 pm |

    Dude, I don’t know where you got this shit that she lied about being raped before, or this husband thing or whatever, but if you want to claim it and have it actually addressed here, you might want to post a link about it or something.

  147. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 4:36 pm |

    Baggins, come off the stripper thing. It’s irrelevant.

  148. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred April 13, 2007 at 4:36 pm |

    Again, refusing to look at that hurts your credibility.

    No, assuming she’s a liar because she’s black, she’s a stripper, a single mother, and because she’s a woman who actually dared file a rape accusation, would hurt our credibility as feminists and moral human beings.

    Your “credibility” isn’t worth a bowel movement, let alone swallowing the shit you’re shovelling.

  149. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 4:41 pm |

    Lorelei:

    Thankfully, the courts allow contextual evidence such as this since it helps to define the character of the story. I can understand your desire to not try the victim, and I’m generally in agreement with that sentiment, but arguing that the fact she was a stripper is irrelevant is terribly disingenious.

  150. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 4:42 pm |

    No, it’s irrelevant. Being a stripper does not mean you have weak character or reduced moral fibre.

  151. Conclusive Evidence
    Conclusive Evidence April 13, 2007 at 4:42 pm |

    As others have pointed out, an inconsistent story is not conclusive evidence that she’s lying.

    If you can show me CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE that no rape occurred, I’ll eat my words. But so far, the evidence only points to the fact that there simply wasn’t enough to indict these three players.

    For someone who, only months ago, was so quick to condemn the accused as rapists with far short of CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE (apparently, not even evidence strong enough to surpass the reasonable doubt, or for that matter, even probable cause threshold), you sure have changed your tune about the weight of evidence necessary to pass judgment upon people.

  152. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 4:43 pm |

    R Mildred:

    I can see you’re prone to histerics, seeing as a number of the “assumptions” you attribute to the other poster have never been mentioned. You should attempt to deeply inhale through the nose, focus your chi, and exhale. While some people are racist misogynists, I suspect the person you are so busily excoriating is not one of them.

  153. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 4:46 pm |

    “Being a stripper does not mean you have weak character or reduced moral fibre.”

    If this is your position, I certainly hope you argue that people who hire a stripper, or a prosititute, have reduced moral fibre either.

    I would also like to point out the VAST majority of the culture would adamantly disagree with your point.

  154. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 4:51 pm |

    What is it supposed to mean that the vast majority of culture would disagree with me on this point? The vast majority of culture has agreed on some pretty heinous things in the past (like, say, slavery, or that women shouldn’t vote, or that the earth was flat), but it certainly doesn’t mean they were right.

  155. David Fryman
    David Fryman April 13, 2007 at 4:52 pm |

    If a man is robbed, you can’t bring up the fact that he was really rich and had given money to charity as evidence of him consenting to being robbed.

    It’s possible that this is a really obvious point, but for some reason, the anology to robbery made the lightbulb go on in my head. Very good point. Thanks.

  156. Friendly Intruder
    Friendly Intruder April 13, 2007 at 4:54 pm |

    “Being a stripper does not mean you have weak character or reduced moral fibre.”

    Uh… yes it does. How many strippers do you know?

  157. DDay
    DDay April 13, 2007 at 4:55 pm |

    The report that the NC Atty Gen. will release more information next week makes me sick. Why does this have to be drawn out for another week? Make it stop!

  158. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 4:56 pm |

    Friendly Intruder,

    More than you do, I know that for certain.

  159. ACS
    ACS April 13, 2007 at 4:56 pm |

    Actually, FBI statistics show that about 9 percent of rape reports are “unfounded” — dismissed without charges being filed. The feminist party line is that most of these are valid complaints, nixed because the authorities lack sufficient proof or distrust acquaintance rape claims. But dismissals because of insufficient evidence usually occur further down the pipeline and are not in the “unfounded” category. Generally, a complaint is unfounded when the accuser recants or when her story is not just unsupported but contradicted by evidence.

    Actually, my job just gave me occasion to pull the unfounded statistics from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, and that’s a crock. First of all, the FBI’s current unfounded statistic for the crime of rape is 5.7%, which is nowhere near 9% (reporting year 2005). To put that in perspective, according to the FBI, the number of unfounded rapes is higher than the number of unfounded murders, but lower than the number of unfounded car thefts. For various reasons, I think this number is more solidly grounded than the 2% number — but it reflects something other than the “false reporting” that you seem to think it means.

    “Unfounded” is not the same as “false report.” “Unfounded” reflects that the police could not satisfy that the elements of the crime as reflected in the local statute had been met. If there is a marital rape exemption, and you report that your husband has raped you, it is an unfounded rape. If you’re blacked-out drunk and you had sex and you’re in a state where that’s legal, it is an unfounded rape. If you yell “rape” when your purse is being stolen, it is an unfounded rape. If you are mentally ill and you report that Jesus raped you, it is an unfounded rape.

    To an anti-feminist, “false report” means “a consensual sexual encounter that the crazy woman later reports as a rape.” That particular scenario has to sandwich somewhere into the 5.7% of rapes that are unfounded, along with false reports against fictional people, reports of rape by people whose local laws are bullshit, calls that are originally coded as rape but later unfounded (like the purse-snatching above), rape investigations that are terminated because the victim stops cooperating with police, and reports of rape that are simply improperly coded as unfounded.

    If I had to make a guess, I’d say that the particular scenario that anti-feminists use as the default has probably happened, at some point. But assuming that all rapes are vindictive false reports is like assuming that all murders were committed by the suspect’s evil twin: it’s a vanishingly tiny minority of cases in which that is the case.

    — ACS

  160. Friendly Intruder
    Friendly Intruder April 13, 2007 at 4:56 pm |

    Heh. Unlikely.

  161. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 4:57 pm |

    Congratulations, you’ve conflated slavery and the earth being flat with a relatively simple judgment that taking off one’s clothes for money is a less than optimal moral decision. Is your next move to equivocate building with clashing colors of play-dough with slaughtering baby children and eating them?

  162. Richard
    Richard April 13, 2007 at 4:58 pm |

    js, middle-class is privileged.

    It’s fair comment that they’re not upper-class, but anyone who can afford the lifestyle they had is privileged, certainly in comparison to the woman.

  163. Friendly Intruder
    Friendly Intruder April 13, 2007 at 4:59 pm |

    ACS: I haven’t heard the term “anti-feminist” in years. I find it hilarious that there seems to be a need to build categories like that.

    Anyway, I appreciate the response to my post. I am interested to know what you thought of the second part of my post:

    Measuring false allegations is all the more difficult since policies on unfounded complaints differ between jurisdictions. A Washington Post investigation in Virginia and Maryland found that nearly one in four rape reports in 1990-91 was unfounded. When contacted by the newspaper, many “victims” admitted they lied. More shocking figures come from a study by now-retired Purdue University sociologist Eugene Kanin published in Archives of Sexual Behavior in 1994. After reviewing the police records of an Indiana town, Kanin found that of 109 reports of rape filed in 1978-87, 45 — or 41 percent — turned out to be false, as the women themselves admitted after the investigation.

    THAT seems to address what you are saying. Thoughts?

  164. Mike McDougal
    Mike McDougal April 13, 2007 at 4:59 pm |

    “Last I checked, the woman has not recanted her story.”

    Which story? She told more than one.

  165. Liz
    Liz April 13, 2007 at 5:00 pm |

    Baggins:
    Well if you have to know I think my sexual history would come into play. Although I am not a stripper, my sexual past has had me label bad things. I just think its bull that someone’s past sexual history or her job can be used to show her low moral fibre. I don’t care if the “VAST majority of the culture would adamantly disagree with [Lorelei's] point” should affect the fact that these facts about the victim shouldn’t be used. A vast majority of people didn’t agree with the Civil Rights Movement, does that mean that shouldn’t have happened? P.S. I know for a fact any of my rape cases would never hold up in court (in fact I’m not sure if they would even be pursued by the DA), does that mean they didn’t happen?

  166. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 5:01 pm |

    It was only a matter of time before you discovered us Jill. But a few of my points have been heartfelt.

  167. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 5:02 pm |

    I was not EQUIVOCATING anything. I was saying that people have been in the majority of a belief before and they were flat-out wrong. I will give you that I worded it poorly.

    You have yet to explain this, however:

    I would also like to point out the VAST majority of the culture would adamantly disagree with your point.

  168. Flewellyn
    Flewellyn April 13, 2007 at 5:06 pm |

    Okay, YDHAC, Bilbo, and other defenders of the Duke Boys, listen closely.

    They were not tried. The charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence.

    That does not mean they are innocent, no matter what the Attorney General mistakenly said.

    Absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence.

    And your rush to believe that the accuser was lying, rather than mistaken or misremembering or suffering from fragmented memory due to trauma, is telling in itself.

  169. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub April 13, 2007 at 5:07 pm |

    “Being a stripper does not mean you have weak character or reduced moral fibre.”

    Uh… yes it does. How many strippers do you know?

    Plenty. And FYI, if being a stripper makes someone immoral, it should also make the characters and morals of the people who hire them suspect and immoral. Odd how the patrons are blameless good boys.

    Ahh so I see that many of our new trolls are coming over from AutoAdmit.

    The one-handed typing wonders. Odd how they don’t care so much about lies! damn lies! when they’re the ones spreading them about their fellow law students. Silly me, it only matters when white men go through it.

  170. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 5:08 pm |

    In any case, stripping usually has nothing to do with actually enjoying taking off your clothes for money and mostly to do with knowing that you’ll make more money that way than, you know, being a cashier at the corner store, and it’ll pay your bills better. It’s a socio-economic issue, not a moral one. And say what you want, it is far more practical to take the job that will give you more money. It’s not like you’re getting money for being a hitman or anything.

  171. Liz
    Liz April 13, 2007 at 5:08 pm |

    Baggins-
    Do some research on strippers, while some of them do enjoy what they do and are proud of it (meaning they made a choice to do this becuase they enjoy enacting their sexuality, something I wouldn’t deem as low moral fibre, becuase it is about time women enjoy it in what ever form it takes), but many also feel they have too, its not a choice they make becuase its the “funniest” option, but becuase its the only option, or the one that is the best in their situation. Please read some literature on what it is like being a sex worker.

    P.S. Jill, thank you for this posting, I’m usually just someone who looks around on your site, but I had to stand up with you and all the others on this issue.

  172. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 5:09 pm |

    Certain facts about the victim absolutely should be kept from the public view (jury) but other contextual facts are critical to informing a situation. As a general rule I am strongly against sexual history (with partners other than the accused) being used against the victim; HOWEVER, I do strongly believe that certain contextual evidence is critical.

    For instance, if the charge is sexual assault, then the knowledge that a person is a stripper is critical since the nature of the job contemplates some physical contact that is decidedly inappropriate in other contexts. Granted, this is a stripper claiming a rape in this case, and being a stripper is not the same as being a prostitute, but it is contextually helpful to the point where it is relevant. If it turns out to be highly prejudicial to the point where it would outweigh the probative value then I’m all for excluding it, but I don’t think that applies in this case.

    As your your post-script: I have no reason to disbelieve you Liz, you seem to be an honest and genuine person. Unfortunately, the same may not be said of the victim in this case, her credibility has been shattered by numerous factual inconsistencies. Now, that doesn’t mean that a rape never occured, but it does mean that the likelihood of her allegations must be discounted to the point where carrying on is inadvisable. I suspect your previous experience makes it very hard for you to disentangle yourself from the victim’s viewpoint, and I understand that, but I don’t need to respect an emotionally compelled viewpoint that belies facts as an intellectual matter.

  173. Allison
    Allison April 13, 2007 at 5:10 pm |

    Jill, you wrote a great post. Thank you for it.

    I almost hesitate to write this because I have a feeling it will be thrown back on you somehow (in the category of “dissent-stifling feminists”), but I think this thread should be closed. No one’s actually addressing the substance of what you wrote, because everyone who comments here in good faith is busy trying to fend off the trolls. And the trolls on this one are of viler stuff than I’ve seen on a Feministe thread before. They’re really starting to scare me.

    Trolls: you may now return to your regularly scheduled fuckwittery.

    Everyone else: good luck.

  174. Amananta
    Amananta April 13, 2007 at 5:10 pm |

    Once I was accused of a crime I didn’t commit, namely, threatening and assaulting someone. I spent about 6 months in and out of court and had to pay some lawyer’s fees, which were, for my tight budget, pretty hefty. Eventually the charges were dismissed.
    Was it really stressful? Heck yeah.

    Did it ruin my life? No. Now it’s a kind of funny story.

    Know what HAS ruined my life? Being repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted during my childhood by family members who swear up and down I’m a crazy liar, and against whom I have no chance in court of ever seeing justice done. Just like almost every other woman and girl who’s been raped.

    And yeah if I dared to try to bring them to court I’m sure I would be harrassed and threatened by my family. Don’t suggest to me that I then get a restraining order – women who have restraining orders out on their rapists and batterers get murdered all the time. It isn’t even front page news anywhere, it’s so common.

    Meanwhile the rich white boys will sail by on pity for the next few years for the *sob* horrible ordeal they had to go through of… not even really ending up on trial. Or something. Oh and the adulation of most of their college, and the support of their family’s and the support of the millions of misogynist men in the country, etc. They are free to continue to have parties where they verbally abuse the strippers they hire, knowing none of them will dare ever complain lest they be targeted for vigilante attacks next. Yeah. Poor things.

  175. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 5:10 pm |

    Did you hear what Roy Cooper said? INNOCENT.

    ZOMG. ROY COOPER IS GOD. HE IS INFALLIBLE. HE KNOWS ALL!!!!!

  176. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub April 13, 2007 at 5:11 pm |

    I understand that, but I don’t need to respect an emotionally compelled viewpoint that belies facts as an intellectual matter.

    You really should apply this logic to your own rantings.

  177. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 5:13 pm |

    shorter Baggins:

    ‘oh, silly woman, i know it’s so hard for you to be rational because you’ve actually had a relevant experience that may give you deeper insight about this situation than me, but worry not! i am an ever-rational white man! i am always right, and my opinion is very important! besides, women are hysterical!’

  178. Mike McDougal
    Mike McDougal April 13, 2007 at 5:14 pm |

    “The investigation, [Nifong] said, ‘led us to the conclusion that no attack occurred.'”

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/n/a/2007/04/11/national/a113721D83.DTL

  179. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 5:18 pm |

    Flew:

    Actually, yes, it does mean they are innocent. Innocent UNTIL proven guilty. But I realize that is a semantic issue.

    I should state how my belief system developed: I initially was against the LAX players since the circumstances of the story dictated that belief. Unfortunately, the facts of the case consistently came down against the alleged victim, requiring her to change her story a number of times. This pushed me toward undecided/slightly against the victim. Then the Nifong allegations surfaces, which placed me firmly against the victim’s side of the case, though not necessarily the victim herself. I finally came down in firm belief that the LAX players were innocent of the charges when the independent prosecutors dropped the case.

    I would have been more inclined to give the alleged victim the benefit of the doubt had she not been so completely POSITIVE of the identities of players, who were subsequently not linked by DNA evidence. If she came out initially and said, listen, I’m not sure what happened, but something did, then maybe I would have changed my credibiltiy judgment on her, but the MOUNTAIN of direct factual evidence that undermines her formulations of events destroys her credibility.

  180. shawn
    shawn April 13, 2007 at 5:19 pm |

    Flewellyn Says:
    April 13th, 2007 at 5:06 pm
    Okay, YDHAC, Bilbo, and other defenders of the Duke Boys, listen closely.

    They were not tried. The charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence.

    That does not mean they are innocent, no matter what the Attorney General mistakenly said.

    Absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence.

    Listen to yourself! Could it be that the AG looked into it a little closer and was persuaded that not only was there insufficient evidence – but that the guys were factually innocent?! Since you seem to believe she was raped no matter what, maybe going the extra step to exonerate the players is necessary in light of the way they have been dragged through the media over the past year.

  181. ginmar
    ginmar April 13, 2007 at 5:21 pm |

    Shawn, are you stupid? They were not tried. Period.

  182. ACS
    ACS April 13, 2007 at 5:22 pm |

    Actually, yes, it does mean they are innocent. Innocent UNTIL proven guilty. But I realize that is a semantic issue.

    And you’re in law school? This refers to the presumption of the court, not the state of reality. Note that you left out the word “presumed.”

    — ACS

  183. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 5:22 pm |

    Liz:

    I completely believe that stripper believe that what they are doing poses no moral threat (and, as a patron of strip clubs, I’m inclined to agree with them); however, I wonder if you might have a selection bias in your sample.

    Lor:

    Agree. It is an economic decision. That’s why I sell cocaine to middle schoolers. It has nothing to do with morality, I just can make more money at it than at the corner store. If they don’t want my service, they don’t have to partake!

    Moral obligations attach to economic decisions all of the time. That something may be economically efficient does not absolve the person of general moral judgments. See E.G. Enron.

  184. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 5:25 pm |

    Lor:

    I’m not white.

    I don’t deny the value of prior experience, I do question whether a person who has suffered a tremendous emotional trauma can objectively evaluate a high complex factual scenario closely linked to that previous trauma.

  185. Liz
    Liz April 13, 2007 at 5:26 pm |

    And I still don’t understand why being a stripper or let alone a prostitute (gasp! the horror) has anything to do with whether someone would lie or not ( or perhaps doesn’t really get raped (but I’m sure thats not what you are saying)).
    And I don’t think me having a real experience which gives me emotion makes me irrational in this. Emotion doesn’t equal the lose of rationality.But of course if we are going to use this patriarchal nonsense then women really have no real logic or reason or rational because we only have half a soul, and therefore shouldn’t even be talking about this Please do yourself a favor and drop the dichotomies.

  186. Friendly Intruder
    Friendly Intruder April 13, 2007 at 5:27 pm |

    “In any case, stripping usually has nothing to do with actually enjoying taking off your clothes for money and mostly to do with knowing that you’ll make more money that way than, you know, being a cashier at the corner store, and it’ll pay your bills better. It’s a socio-economic issue, not a moral one. And say what you want, it is far more practical to take the job that will give you more money. It’s not like you’re getting money for being a hitman or anything.”

    I completely agree with this. Absolutely. Nor would I suggest that the LAX team is not morally responsible for hiring strippers.

    However, I can say for a fact that strippers have a VERY different set of moral standards then held by the majority of society. Very different. You can’t argue with that without being dishonest.

    Look: I hate the South. Intensely. Further, these LAX jocks look obnoxious.

    That being said, the DA AND the prosecutors are apologizing for charging them. These three are innocent of rape.

    If you want to argue they still assaulted her in some other way (which is also awful) then I would concede the point.

    BUT SHE WAS NOT RAPED BY THOSE 3. In fact she had had sex with three different dudes at some point in the previous week (which, by the way, may illustrate my earlier point concerning morality).

    I fail to understand how some of the posters here can argue this is all part of the evil male patriarchy. I would understand if there was actual evidence for the allegation beyond the initial medical assessment… like, say, DNA from any of the 3 kids, but there wasn’t.

    What exactly are the posters on here so upset about? Rape is bad. Assault is bad. There is no evidence these 3 kids did either.

  187. Kristen from MA
    Kristen from MA April 13, 2007 at 5:28 pm |

    One of them comes from a suburban Long-Island town, not the Hamptons or Park Ave., and another from a middle class suburb in NJ. Privileged? Please.

    they’re not rich, but you have to realize that being a white man from a middle class suburb IS privileged in American society. maybe you don’t realize that.

    (and I’m not trying to imply anything about their or anyone else’s character with that statement. i’m just saying…)

  188. Liz
    Liz April 13, 2007 at 5:28 pm |

    And I still don’t understand why being a stripper or let alone a prostitute (gasp! the horror) has anything to do with whether someone would lie or not ( or perhaps doesn’t really get raped (but I’m sure thats not what you are saying)).
    And I don’t think me having a real experience which gives me emotion makes me irrational in this. Emotion doesn’t equal the lose of rationality.But of course if we are going to use this patriarchal nonsense then women really have no real logic or reason or rational because we only have half a soul, and therefore shouldn’t even be talking about this Please do yourself a favor and drop the dichotomies.

  189. shawn
    shawn April 13, 2007 at 5:28 pm |

    I never suggested they were tried. However it’s reasonable to assume the AG investigated the facts thoughroughly and perhaps, if he says he believes the men are factually innocent instead of just lacking evidence to go to trial, its because thats what the evidence strongly suggested.

    Why make the announcement – to refute those of you who think they probably did it, and are just getting away with it because the case is weak.

  190. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 5:30 pm |

    ACS:

    Thank you for pointing out the stunningly obvious. By citing to the presumption of the court I meant to suggest that, as a general matter, we are better served by employing this presumption rather than prematuraly try people (such as the media has done here) without the benefit of full disclosure.

    I realize many people may be guilty in reality but I am disinclined to rely on my own incomplete knowledge to allege said guilt. Therefore, I rely on the presumption used by the courts because it strikes me as a fairly sensible way of handling things.

  191. Friendly Intruder
    Friendly Intruder April 13, 2007 at 5:32 pm |

    “they’re not rich, but you have to realize that being a white man from a middle class suburb IS privileged in American society. maybe you don’t realize that.”

    Jesus. Are we still on about “white males”? Still?

    Our generation has moved past sexism to a large degree. Fighting a fight that was pretty much won by the late 90s seems like a waste of effort.

    Yeah, I know. I don’t get it. I dated a rather extreme feminist for quite awhile and I tried like hell to understand her position. But she went to Yale, so it was difficult for me to feel her discriminated pain.

  192. Regina
    Regina April 13, 2007 at 5:32 pm |

    None of which has anything to do with Jill’s post, really.

    Thanks for the derail, jerks.

  193. Friendly Intruder
    Friendly Intruder April 13, 2007 at 5:34 pm |

    Regina Says: “blah”

    Uh. We’ve been on topic, actually. Just responding to posts here. We’ve also been civil.

  194. Liz
    Liz April 13, 2007 at 5:35 pm |

    I’m sorry you think having sex leads to lower morality. I really don’t understand that. And I still don’t understand how being emotionally involved can take away from their ablity to look at the facts. That means African Americans can’t factually look at racism in America. Why can’t I do the same with rape? My emotional attachment doesn’t do anything to stop me from looking at the facts.

  195. alfonso
    alfonso April 13, 2007 at 5:37 pm |

    People: it’s perfectly possible to be raped without semen being present. not every rapist will ejaculate; some will wear condoms. thus absence of dna evidence is not evidence of innocence. therefore, even though all the white team members were required to provide dna samples, that indeed does not exonerate the team. But I’m still perplexed by the decision not to obtain a dna sample from the black player.

    There are several victims and no winners here: the confused woman who earned her living legally in an unconventional way, to whom SOMETHING traumatic happened; the lacrosse coach who was fired, apparently now, for no reason; the three accused players who were kicked out of school and stigmatized on the cover of Time magazine; and the players’ parents who had to go into debt to clear their sons’ names.

  196. Nick
    Nick April 13, 2007 at 5:39 pm |

    And she’s been called a liar, a whore, a ghetto slut, had every racist, misogynist wanker who’s had opportunity insult her, slut shame her, accuse her of “asking for it” and I’m sure worse’ll happen to her now outside the court.

    Oh, and she’s been raped and her attackers are walking free (of whether they’re the lacross team or not).

    First of all, “career”? No prejudice there…

    Second of all, do you know how strippers get private dancing engagements? Word of mouth usually, they spread her name around a bit, and she’s blacklisted from a large amount of work she’d have gotten otherwise. Do you need diagrams? A flow chart maybe? Is this so hard for you comprehend? It’s not rocket science or a magic fucking bullet I’m talking about here. Now if your poor attempts at snark are done *rolls eyes*

    Where do I even begin with this comment? She is a liar; she falsely identified the 3 men, and falsely reported an attack that is deemed not to have occurred. Whether or not she is a “slut” depends on personal interpretation, but I think being a stripper with an illegitimate child and having the ejaculate of numerous males inside her would qualify her as such in the eyes of some people.

    Her “career” as a dancer is likely over in Durham because of the publicity surrounding this case, not negative “word of mouth.” That’s right, “career.” I choose to view the way she earns money with disapproval. That does not mean I automatically dismissed her claim of being a victim of an attack, and it certainly does not mean I think she deserves to be attacked. People will probably not be rushing to hire an exotic dancer who has falsely accused clients of raping her in the most high-profile rape case of the decade. Are you so dense that you think any negative comments the guys could spread around Durham are going to be more damaging to her continuing to work as a private dancer than the circus that has gone on for the last 14 months?

  197. Gadfly
    Gadfly April 13, 2007 at 5:39 pm |

    “Absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence.”

    It was this brilliant logic that led us to war in Iraq. The administration used precisely that phrase.

  198. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 5:40 pm |

    Lor:

    No, emotion does not equate to the loss of rationality, but it is certainly a valuable contextual clue I use when judging a person’s credibility in a particular scenario. I don’t see what is so outrageous about this.

    Her profession is relevant to defining the context of the events. It increases the likelihood of certain events, and decreases the likelihood of other events (for instance, her being a stripper makes me more inclined to believe there was a party going on). Now, is this information relevant? Sure, full disclosure of the circumstances often helps a jury rectify innaccuracies between conflicting stories. Is the probative value outweighed by the potential prejudice from moral puritans on the jury? I’m not really sure, I’d need more information.

    I will say that her being a stripper doesn’t have a significant effect on my credibility judgment regarding her willingness to lie, but it may have an effect on my willingness to believe that she engages in sexual acts with greater frequency, or with less compunction, than a standard person. But, again, the value of this judgment, or whether this judgment is even permissible, is up to a judge, not me. I really don’t have enough facts to make the call.

  199. V. Reason
    V. Reason April 13, 2007 at 5:41 pm |

    “That doesn’t mean that they’re upstanding citizens — after all, they hired a stripper for a team party …”

    WTF? If you a hire a stripper for a party you are automatically NOT an upstanding citizen? DOES NOT COMPUTE. DOES NOT COMPUTE.

  200. ACS
    ACS April 13, 2007 at 5:42 pm |

    Thank you for pointing out the stunningly obvious. By citing to the presumption of the court I meant to suggest that, as a general matter, we are better served by employing this presumption rather than prematuraly try people (such as the media has done here) without the benefit of full disclosure.

    I realize many people may be guilty in reality but I am disinclined to rely on my own incomplete knowledge to allege said guilt. Therefore, I rely on the presumption used by the courts because it strikes me as a fairly sensible way of handling things.

    The reason that the courts require such an extraordinary evidentiary burden in criminal cases is that the criminal courts are empowered to commit coercive acts that would be criminal themselves if committed by any entity other than the state. We are not playing with fire in the same way that the criminal courts are: we are dealing with our own individual judgments, and those judgments are normally subject to much lower evidentiary burdens.

    Clearly, a reasonable doubt exists as to whether a rape occurred. There are several different stories, they are incompatible, and at least one of the players has an ironclad alibi. I’m not going to argue about that.

    However, you are applying an evidentiary burden to the story of the rape that you aren’t applying to your accusations directed at the alleged victim. There were injuries consistent with a sexual assault, according to the nurse examiner. She was in a state of extraordinary distress. She had no clear motive to lie, and nothing to gain — the rumors that she was potentially going to be committed are utterly unsubstantiated.

    Knowing that, don’t you think it’s reasonable to at least suspend judgment on the motives of the alleged victim in reporting a rape?

    — ACS

  201. bluestockingsrs
    bluestockingsrs April 13, 2007 at 5:43 pm |

    I graduated from law school and last time I checked factually innocent was a judge’s determination, not a DA’s, which only further points out that all a DA can do is conclude that there isn’t enough evidence to sustain charges.

    Along with the presumption of innocence that the trolls seems to be twittering on about, where is the problem? Clearly, these men are innocent by your rationale, where is the lasting harm?

  202. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 5:47 pm |

    Liz:

    I never said sex leads to lower morality. I said society generally places a load of moral suspicion upon the world’s oldest profession.

    I will say, for my part, I generally think sex out of a committed relationship isn’t a particularly brilliant thing to engage in, but I don’t really care one way or another. I also understand that my viewpoint is in the minority, and that people generally feel sex is an expression best reserved between two people in a committed relationship.

    As for emotional trauma and it’s effect on rationality, I’m really at a loss. I sorta thought this was basic psychology. A person who has suffered through a traumatic event is less likely to be able to evaluate said event with an objective eyes, this does not mean that all people in such a position are unable to do so, it just decreases the likelihood that they will be able to.

    Example. My father was unfaithful to my mother, and he destroyed her life because of it. I find I am utterly unwilling to accept infidelity in relationships now. This emotional response may make me atypical.

  203. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 5:51 pm |

    I see your point ACS, and I think our disagreement stems from me failing to appropriately flesh out my full views on the matter.

    I am completely willing to believe that something inappropriate occured at some point, and I am further willing to believe that the evidence of sexual assault really does suggest she suffered such an event. My only gripe stems from the specific rape charge in this case the the likelihood that THAT event occured.

    I am keeping an open mind about other potential issues, but since I really lack appropriate evidence on them, I’m refraining from judgment.

  204. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 5:52 pm |

    She’s a stripper, not a prostitute, Bilbo Baggins. ACTUAL SEX does not factor into her job. STRIPPING does.

    Also, please explain how frequently consenting to sex means that the time you did NOT consent to sex somehow… is completely irrelevant because you had frequently consented before?

    Since you already stated yourself that

    I really don’t have enough facts to make the call

    , then you might want to quit rambling about how she was a stripper.

  205. ginmar
    ginmar April 13, 2007 at 5:52 pm |

    I’ll exonerate the players when the rape apologists exonerate the victim. Not until.

  206. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 5:55 pm |

    Blue:

    Good post.

    There may not be lasting harm, though I might point out that many of those posting on this board still maintain a strong belief in their guilt. This fervent belief will be unlikely to fully fade and may have continued negative ramifications on their lives in perpetuity.

    I would also note that I believe lasting harm will be visited upon the alleged victim in this case, something I don’t find particularly savory either.

    Also, given the unique nature of this case, I’m fairly certain that, if the prosecutors could make it stick, they would have, even if they didn’t think they could win. Of course, this is conjecture and could be completely off base.

  207. ginmar
    ginmar April 13, 2007 at 5:58 pm |

    Shawn, if you’re assuming things without evidence, you’re not worth talking to. I want evidence or reason, not your assumptions. Men make too damned many assumptions about women—-as many are doing about this woman.

  208. The Debate Link
    The Debate Link April 13, 2007 at 5:58 pm |

    Quick Thoughts on the Duke Lacrosse Case and Other

    LGM documents what happens to innocent men who aren’t rich enough to afford top-flight legal talent and don’t have DNA evidence that can “prove” their innocence. Fernando Bermudez was ID’d in a shooting by five witnesses. The problem is they were …

  209. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 5:58 pm |

    Bilbo Baggins,

    you are hurting people by selling cocaine (10% of people accidentally overdose on cocaine their first try, i think). you are not injuring anyone by stripping. this is why in my comment i said: ‘it’s not like you’re getting money for being a hitman.’ i think it will be quite easy to see the distinguishment between cocaine and stripping, seeing as people have DIED from cocaine usage, whereas when women strip, nothing particularly awful happens to the person who paid for it (nor is anything bad happening to anyone else).

  210. V. Reason
    V. Reason April 13, 2007 at 5:59 pm |

    ““That doesn’t mean that they’re upstanding citizens — after all, they hired a stripper for a team party …”

    WTF? If you a hire a stripper for a party you are automatically NOT an upstanding citizen? DOES NOT COMPUTE. DOES NOT COMPUTE.

    Read the rest of the sentence.”

    I did. That does not change the eariler part of the sentence. You believe hiring strippers somehow makes individuals less than upstanding citizens. You must believe it or you would not have included that as evidence of their less than upstanding behavior. No offense, but that is an asinine assertion.

    Although I agree with you that SOME at the party appeared to have acted in a racist and sexist manner, there has been no evidence that the 3 accused did ANYTHING improper at all on the night in question.

    For you not to relent on even this point shows a clear bias on your part against men. That is a shame in my opinion. Having read your comments in the past I expected better of you. Clearly you are smarter than this. I feel as if you are trying to put some sort of positive spin on this entirely seedy affair.

    With all that said, I do agree that at least 95% of women who claim to have been raped most propably were raped. However, I think it is obvious to any IMPARTIAL observer that this case is squarely in the 5% anomaly range.

  211. Liz
    Liz April 13, 2007 at 5:59 pm |

    amen ginmar

  212. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred April 13, 2007 at 5:59 pm |

    I can see you’re prone to histerics

    Actually that was just plain old vitriolic rhetoric.

    And hysterics is spelt with a “Why did you spell that histerics!?” btw

    Jesus. Are we still on about “white males”? Still?

    Strange that, seeing as how she kept getting called a ghetto whore, and who the defendants called a nigger.

    If only people could just ignore all the racism involved in the case, then maybe we could understand why people keep going on about “white males”.

    In fact she had had sex with three different dudes at some point in the previous week (which, by the way, may illustrate my earlier point concerning morality).

    Yes yes, I see your point, sexism Is largely nonexistent these days. With all the evidence in your favor, I don’t see how anyone could imply that sexism is rife in society.

  213. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 6:00 pm |

    Christ, Lor.

    I don’t give a damn whether she had prostitute or whether she was a stripper. My SOLE point is that others may find it relevant, rightfully or wrongfully, and it is potentially useful as a contextual clue. It may be ENTIRELY outweighted by prejudice, and therefore not included, but it is still relevant, even if it is only minorly so. Please stop attributing my efforts to explain the rules of evidence to you as a Stripper Witch Hunt.

    This is a really really basic point of evidence. I understand a lot of people don’t agree with it, and that’s why we have Rape Shield laws, but the protection of Rape Shield laws are not absolute; they leave the door wide open for contextual evidence directly related to the events in question.

  214. prairielily
    prairielily April 13, 2007 at 6:02 pm |

    WTF? If you a hire a stripper for a party you are automatically NOT an upstanding citizen? DOES NOT COMPUTE. DOES NOT COMPUTE.

    Let’s see… paying someone money so you can sexually demean her as an object for your entertainment.

    Sorry, but my definition, that does mean you’re not an upstanding citizen. But you can go ahead and keep thinking that you’re a wonderful person who occasionally likes to engage in a little harmless degradation of another human being, if you’d like.

    Just don’t expect me to praise you or give you a free pass.

  215. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 6:02 pm |

    R Mild:

    Yes, I spelled a word wrong. I’m trying to carry on a 4 pronged conversation and I’m not spell-checking. You have fully defeated the logic and thrust of my post by nitpicking my spelling. Kudos.

  216. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 6:05 pm |

    Lor:

    When a husband goes to a back room and received a rigorous lapdance from a stripper multiple times a week, neglecting his relationship, is any harm created?

  217. V. Reason
    V. Reason April 13, 2007 at 6:08 pm |

    “prairielily Says:
    April 13th, 2007 at 6:02 pm
    WTF? If you a hire a stripper for a party you are automatically NOT an upstanding citizen? DOES NOT COMPUTE. DOES NOT COMPUTE.

    Let’s see… paying someone money so you can sexually demean her as an object for your entertainment.

    Sorry, but my definition, that does mean you’re not an upstanding citizen. But you can go ahead and keep thinking that you’re a wonderful person who occasionally likes to engage in a little harmless degradation of another human being, if you’d like.

    Just don’t expect me to praise you or give you a free pass.”

    That’s interesting. You make a judgment about men who hire strippers that they are less than upstanding. Let’s follow that logic to its inevitable conclusion. So, a woman who is a stripper must also be less than upstanding. Has to be or you would be totally inconsistent in your thinking, which I am sure you are not. So, we really shouldn’t take strippers accusations to seriously since they are less than upstanding? That is a position I am unwilling to take. Ironic that you would hold such a tight line on this issue though. Well, to each her own I guess.

  218. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 6:08 pm |

    First of all, that was not your sole point, if I recall. You were the one who brought it up as a morality issue, and only referring to your point of view, not others.

    I assume your circumstances are dissimilar. Are you a stripper with a less than rigorous application process to be slept with?

    This is how it was first brought up. You did not mention juries, courts, or anything. You made your own simple judgement, on your own, and disqualified the credibility of the accuser because of her profession. This is how your comment came off. If it isn’t what you intended, I advise you write these things more carefully.

    I also advise that you quit fucking condescending me. I am TRYING to be as kind as possible, here, and my only ‘mean’ comment was after you condescended A RAPE SURVIVOR and practically told her that she could not evaluate the situation properly because of her experience. I know the rules of evidence. There was nothing you had to explain to me, since what I had originally said to you was to quit rambling about her being a stripper because it was irrelevant — which would show that I know the rules of evidence (specifically the rape shield laws, the ones that are going to apply because it’s a rape trial).

    Don’t talk to me like you’re doing me some sort of favor, in any case.

  219. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 6:10 pm |

    When a husband goes to a back room and received a rigorous lapdance from a stripper multiple times a week, neglecting his relationship, is any harm created?

    The stripper is usually not aware of these situations (whether her client is married or whatever the fuck else). Drug dealers know the dangers of the drugs they’re pushing.

  220. ACS
    ACS April 13, 2007 at 6:12 pm |

    When a husband goes to a back room and received a rigorous lapdance from a stripper multiple times a week, neglecting his relationship, is any harm created?

    Unless you’re making the somewhat circuitous argument that strippers are attractive nuisances with pasties, then fault for that harm does not fall on the stripper: it falls on the person visiting the stripper. The argument that all people necessary to complete a bad act are equally culpable for that act is a non-starter.

    — ACS

  221. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 6:13 pm |

    correction, the ones that apply in a rape trial.

  222. Lauren
    Lauren April 13, 2007 at 6:16 pm |

    In my own case, which Jill links to, I was a kid, a virgin who didn’t really know what sex was. By the time I did report it, to a therapist during a session some years later after the effects of the rape and keeping it silent turned me toward drugs and promiscuity, nobody believed me, thus I was given the status of a maybe-liar, maybe-victim of an essentially perp-less crime. So, what? Did I rape myself?

    There are several victims and no winners here: the confused woman who earned her living legally in an unconventional way, to whom SOMETHING traumatic happened; the lacrosse coach who was fired, apparently now, for no reason; the three accused players who were kicked out of school and stigmatized on the cover of Time magazine; and the players’ parents who had to go into debt to clear their sons’ names.

    Yep, but somebody made some serious money off this case: the media that covered it, speculated on it, commented on it, and added to the confusion and hysteria surrounding the very real social concerns that converged in the matter. Everyone a loser except those that could profit from it, namely Nifong and the MSM. And maybe this is naive of me, but when I see an elected public defender saying a crime did happen and the proof is there to convict, I tend to believe him or her. And so it goes.

    There’s a reason cases like this make it to the national news level, and I suggest we take the time to recognize why and continue to consider that when we levy opinions on guilt and innocence.

  223. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 6:18 pm |

    Lor:

    I wouldn’t be condescending if you would stop speaking on my behalf rather than pointing out potential spots of misunderstanding/disagreement.

    The credibility of the accuser is lowered by factual inconsistencies, again I don’t care that she is a stripper. I just don’t. I’m sorry. Perhaps it is because I have been friends with a few for a long time, or perhaps it is because I don’t really see why it matters. If I have misled you, then I apologize.

    “Stripper is irrelevant.” Under the rules of evidence, and in any court of law, this is false. If you were not talking about relevancy as a legal matter, than it was a misunderstanding, and I apologize.

    The morality issue is folded into the relevancy issue. In part because it is a morality issue, it has effects on both credibility and contextual judgments. If I failed to address this connection, then I apologize.

    Finally, your refusal to accept my point that a person who has unendured trauma may have difficulty evaluating a similar situation objectively, is lamentable. If I read the tone of your words correctly, you are fairly upset, which only serves to prove my point. For this, I do not apologize.

  224. prairielily
    prairielily April 13, 2007 at 6:21 pm |

    That’s interesting. You make a judgment about men who hire strippers that they are less than upstanding. Let’s follow that logic to its inevitable conclusion. So, a woman who is a stripper must also be less than upstanding. Has to be or you would be totally inconsistent in your thinking, which I am sure you are not. So, we really shouldn’t take strippers accusations to seriously since they are less than upstanding? That is a position I am unwilling to take. Ironic that you would hold such a tight line on this issue though. Well, to each her own I guess.

    Nope. You just chose to read that into my comment all on your own. I have no issue with the women who work in the sex industry.

    The day that no one makes comments about how strippers are evil, lying whores and there is no shame attached to the profession is the day that I don’t criticize men who hire strippers and then act like they are dirty, evil, and ridden with disease for feeding the false power imbalance.

    I don’t think I’m going to live until that day, though.

  225. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 6:22 pm |

    Unless you’re making the somewhat circuitous argument that strippers are attractive nuisances with pasties, then fault for that harm does not fall on the stripper: it falls on the person visiting the stripper. The argument that all people necessary to complete a bad act are equally culpable for that act is a non-starter.

    [I'm not sure if you caught the entire context to his comment, so here it is: his comment was in response to a comment of mine. Somewhere up in the thread, I said something about how stripping is usually about socio-economic factors, not about enjoyment of stripping, and he said sarcastically that the same socioeconomic factors cause him to sell cocaine to middle schoolers.]

    In any case, his comment totally ignored that middle schoolers are too young and unexperienced to be held responsible for half of the shit they do — legally and generally — which is most of what makes selling cocaine to middle schoolers immoral. However, a married man is most likely an adult freely making an informed decision on the matter (and also, the stripper is probably unaware of his situation in any case. A middle school cocaine pusher is aware of the age of his clients).

  226. Bilbo Baggins
    Bilbo Baggins April 13, 2007 at 6:22 pm |

    ACS:

    I am inclined to agree with you, but I am disinclined to issue a blanket denial that some people rightfully feel that strippers may also be morally culpable for their actions.

    My argument is a non-starter for both you and I, but I accept that some disagree with us.

  227. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 6:23 pm |

    Oh, fuck Jill, I’m wicked sorry, I didn’t notice the post was edited at ALL until just now. Sorry about my comment, I didn’t mean to ignore what you said, I just had no idea. I’ll drop it now.

  228. Regina
    Regina April 13, 2007 at 6:24 pm |

    Thank you, Jill.

  229. ginmar
    ginmar April 13, 2007 at 6:29 pm |

    Uh, guys? When you automatically ASSUME strippers are lying whores—and actually say so, absent evidence—–you’re painting a very unpleasant and accurate opinion of yourself. There’s a lot of ground between truth and lie. You guys jump right to ‘Women lie, especially strippers.’

    Women tell the truth, then get called liars. You might want to think about trying that crap. Once you do it, you’ve revealed yourself.

  230. Casey
    Casey April 13, 2007 at 6:31 pm |

    They are the scum of the earth because they threw a stripper party, something that is common among all males acrosse the country. Is every man the scum of the earth. Do you live in a fantasy world?

    Thank god i don’t live in the same world you do. i have many guy friends and none of them throw stripper parties. thinking “all males” do this is pretty sad.

  231. V. Reason
    V. Reason April 13, 2007 at 6:35 pm |

    “Nope. You just chose to read that into my comment all on your own. I have no issue with the women who work in the sex industry.

    The day that no one makes comments about how strippers are evil, lying whores and there is no shame attached to the profession is the day that I don’t criticize men who hire strippers and then act like they are dirty, evil, and ridden with disease for feeding the false power imbalance.

    I don’t think I’m going to live until that day, though.”

    1stly, strippers don’t work in the ‘sex industry.’ They are entertainers – not that far from actresses really.

    2ndly, I have never said anything derogatory about strippers or women so I am unclear why you are directing that comment at me. I actually admire strippers and their ability to perform for the ugly and fat men they mostly deal with.

    Lastly though, your logic is very inconsistent. You seem to just look at any opportunity to lash out at men generally. That is a very unhealthy attitude. I am a man. I love and respect women. These are NOT mutually exclusive principles.

    Peace out.

  232. Sforza
    Sforza April 13, 2007 at 6:43 pm |

    So lets re-cap and stay on topic

    1. Girl becomes newsworthy by making rape accusations that prosecutor feeds to the media. She accuses three Duke LAX players, not “somebody” of raping her.

    2. Her story is debunked and refuted at every turn. The case is abandoned for lack of evidence. There is no assertion that someone else at the party raped her, nor one of the 4 non-lacrosse men whose semen was swimming around in there.

    3. She is now a celebrity without a credible story as a rape victim. Her picture and name go up. No one has to prove that she was not raped – they just need to feel comfortable that she is newsworthy and that her story is BS.

  233. ACS
    ACS April 13, 2007 at 6:45 pm |

    Yep, but somebody made some serious money off this case: the media that covered it, speculated on it, commented on it, and added to the confusion and hysteria surrounding the very real social concerns that converged in the matter. Everyone a loser except those that could profit from it, namely Nifong and the MSM. And maybe this is naive of me, but when I see an elected public defender saying a crime did happen and the proof is there to convict, I tend to believe him or her. And so it goes.

    I actually kind of feel for Nifong. Or, I guess, because I work so closely with prosecution in my daily life, I can empathize, because … I don’t know. The criminal justice system in college towns, at least in my experience, is a place where there actually are feminists, or where there’s frequently a feminist voice speaking in your ear, however ghettoized it is to the victim services arena. Frankly, Nifong did exactly what I wanted him to from the very beginning, and what I would have been professionally pressuring him to do had I been working out of his office: aggressively pursue this case.

    It’s easy to end up in a double bind: wanting to do the right thing (but also wanting to be rewarded for doing the right thing), being pressed to go ahead on a 50/50 shot, and not knowing what all the evidence is goin to be once it comes in. The smart thing to do would have been not to feed the bears; not to talk to the media. He didn’t do that. But that’s a human mistake, too.

    Starting about two months ago, I don’t know that there was a good solution. If he’d shut down the prosecution in February, there’s a good chance that I would’ve been first in line with the nails to crucify him. I’m not sure I don’t have the nails out now.

    Unfortunately, even with the law (or especially with the law), there is no guarantee of finding the truth, and there is only a limited capacity for the law to act as a stand-in for justice. I just hope that whoever is innocent in this case can walk away with scars that aren’t crippling — and, innocent or not, the lacrosse players have a far better chance of that than the victim.

    — ACS

  234. Casey
    Casey April 13, 2007 at 6:47 pm |

    Liz:

    I completely believe that stripper believe that what they are doing poses no moral threat (and, as a patron of strip clubs, I’m inclined to agree with them); however, I wonder if you might have a selection bias in your sample.

    Lor:

    Agree. It is an economic decision. That’s why I sell cocaine to middle schoolers. It has nothing to do with morality, I just can make more money at it than at the corner store. If they don’t want my service, they don’t have to partake!

    Gag.. in the same paragraph, he manages to say strippers aren’t posing a moral threat, and in fact HE ATTENTS STRIP CLUBS HIMSELF (and surely he doesn’t consider himself immoral right?), AND compares stripping to selling cocaine to middle schoolers!! (posing no moral threat?)

    so which is it? i have a feeling he thinks strippers are immoral sluts, who can’t be raped (taht’s why he thinks i’ts relevant) but men who WATCH strippers (and are the reason they exist, they PAY them after all) are fine, in fact, normal, and not a problem.

    yuck.

  235. ACS
    ACS April 13, 2007 at 6:48 pm |

    1. Girl becomes newsworthy by making rape accusations that prosecutor feeds to the media. She accuses three Duke LAX players, not “somebody” of raping her.

    2. Her story is debunked and refuted at every turn. The case is abandoned for lack of evidence. There is no assertion that someone else at the party raped her, nor one of the 4 non-lacrosse men whose semen was swimming around in there.

    3. She is now a celebrity without a credible story as a rape victim. Her picture and name go up. No one has to prove that she was not raped – they just need to feel comfortable that she is newsworthy and that her story is BS.

    Oh, I see! Her motivation was a desire to get drug through the mud in the media as a lying whore! Gosh, the facts just fall into place now! I don’t know why I didn’t see it before!

    — AcS

  236. ginmar
    ginmar April 13, 2007 at 6:48 pm |

    sforza, your comments are true only if you swallow what the defense attorneys are peddling.

  237. Sforza
    Sforza April 13, 2007 at 6:50 pm |

    Most people who end up on the news would prefer not to be on the news.

    We are arguing about whether its wrong to have her up there. She is definitely newsworthy – whether her fault or not.

    Does she fall under the media shield for rape victims? Not when she doesn’t make a reasonably supported assertion that she is a victim.

  238. V. Reason
    V. Reason April 13, 2007 at 6:52 pm |

    “Oh, I see! Her motivation was a desire to get drug through the mud in the media as a lying whore! Gosh, the facts just fall into place now! I don’t know why I didn’t see it before!

    — AcS”

    I think it is clear that her likely motive was a monetary one. That is assuming she wasn’t really raped. That is a BIG ASSUMPTION, but at this juncture it seems highly likely.

    To repeat though, I believe the large majority of rape claims are true. This claim though has faltered at every turn to include even the other stripper who was with her.

  239. ACS
    ACS April 13, 2007 at 6:57 pm |

    I think it is clear that her likely motive was a monetary one. That is assuming she wasn’t really raped. That is a BIG ASSUMPTION, but at this juncture it seems highly likely.

    To repeat though, I believe the large majority of rape claims are true. This claim though has faltered at every turn to include even the other stripper who was with her.

    This isn’t a civil case. There was never any money at stake. Even when before any of the exculpatory evidence about the lacrosse guys came out, she was never paid to tell her story. This is nonsense.

    — ACS

  240. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 6:57 pm |

    I just want to be clear on this, someone who’s more law-savy than I am: if I recall, this was going to be tried as a criminal case. I also think I remember reading that she had been offered money to drop the case and refused it. Had the case gone to trial, and let’s say these men HAD been convicted, would she have gotten any money from the settlement?

    I thought since it was a criminal case, the settlement would’ve been that these people go to prison or are on probation or whatever, not money?

  241. Sforza
    Sforza April 13, 2007 at 6:57 pm |

    even if her motivation was anger at not getting paid, and at getting called a n***** by the players, it still makes her a valid media target once her rape accusation is refuted (not necessarily disproved).

    I would argue that the racial element to the facts makes it more likely that she was lying.

  242. V. Reason
    V. Reason April 13, 2007 at 6:59 pm |

    “This isn’t a civil case. There was never any money at stake. Even when before any of the exculpatory evidence about the lacrosse guys came out, she was never paid to tell her story. This is nonsense.

    — ACS”

    Are you for real? Her actions that nightly easily could have been motivated by money. Let me spell it out for you. 1st you file a police report and then after they are convicted you file a civil suit. It is done all the time.

  243. Lauren
    Lauren April 13, 2007 at 7:01 pm |

    I would argue that the racial element to the facts makes it more likely that she was lying.

    Yes, historically, white men have never raped black women.

  244. ACS
    ACS April 13, 2007 at 7:02 pm |

    I just want to be clear on this, someone who’s more law-savy than I am: if I recall, this was going to be tried as a criminal case. I also think I remember reading that she had been offered money to drop the case and refused it. Had the case gone to trial, and let’s say these men HAD been convicted, would she have gotten any money from the settlement?

    I’m wondering what anyone could possibly be talking about. Paying a great deal of money to a witness, even a complaining witness, in order to change their testimony is not called a “settlement”; it’s called “witness tampering”, and is a serious crime. Criminal cases are offenses against the state. The victim is considered a party to a criminal case in only a very limited sense — “dropping charges” is up to the prosecutor’s discretion*.

    — ACS

    * I have an inkling that this isn’t the case in some places, but I’m pretty sure that North Carolina isn’t one of them.

  245. ACS
    ACS April 13, 2007 at 7:04 pm |

    Are you for real? Her actions that nightly easily could have been motivated by money. Let me spell it out for you. 1st you file a police report and then after they are convicted you file a civil suit. It is done all the time.

    What? These are college students. Their defense was being paid for by their parents, whom she would have no standing to sue. We’re talking about a blood-from-a-turnip judgment, at best, and one that requires two separate juries, operating on a reasonable doubt and then a preponderance of the evidence standard, to find them guilty.

    What kind of fucking Rube Goldberg plot is that?

    — ACS

  246. V. Reason
    V. Reason April 13, 2007 at 7:07 pm |

    To all that don’t believe this could have been a monetary motive.

    I recommend reading this link.

    http://www.talkleft.com/story/2006/05/16/995/97624

    You ALWAYS are advised to wait to sue until criminal proceedings are completed so a defense attorney can’t dress down the witness during the criminal prosecution and make them look like a money grubber.

  247. Reclusive Leftist » Blog Archive  » A World of Twits

    [...] roves exactly what you’re saying? Over at Feministe I’ve been following the Duke case thread, which has been infested by trolls from Auto-Ad [...]

  248. Lauren
    Lauren April 13, 2007 at 7:21 pm |

    recommend reading this link.

    http://www.talkleft.com/story/2006/05/16/995/97624

    Funny. When I read the post the first thing I thought was that if the case is still being pursued something must have happened to pursue. Despite apparently popular opinion, making up stories from thin air and suing on zero evidence isn’t a great money-making sceme, even for a coked out stripper slut.

  249. V. Reason
    V. Reason April 13, 2007 at 7:26 pm |

    Lauren,

    You and I might not think it a brilliant plan, but I assure you others would.

  250. Joe
    Joe April 13, 2007 at 7:37 pm |

    So, apparently, this dumb coked out stripper was brilliant enough to concoct a plan to extort three unsuspecting good ol’ white boys out of millions? If you’re going to slander someone, you sort of have to pick between “dumb druggie whore” and “evil genius.” I don’t really think it’s possible to be both.

  251. Melissa M.
    Melissa M. April 13, 2007 at 7:40 pm |

    Jill, thank you for the insightful post. The comments are depressing though. No one is discussing how disturbing it is that the woman in the case now has her name smeared thoughout the national media. She is not facing charges of filing a false report and even if she was I still don’t think that releasing her identity is justified. Despite the people who are trying to hijack the discussion into questions of guilt and inocence that casual observers cannot answer, I was happy to see that many other people are not willing to automatically blaim this woman for how the prosecution handled the case. I wish that people would discuss why it is important to shield alleged rape victims from public attention rather than arguing about the case.

  252. V. Reason
    V. Reason April 13, 2007 at 7:47 pm |

    “She is not facing charges of filing a false report and even if she was I still don’t think that releasing her identity is justified.”

    Just wow. I assume then you think the Duke 3 also should have not had their identities released? I am just shocked how some of the people in this thread ‘think.’

  253. CTD
    CTD April 13, 2007 at 7:48 pm |

    Maybe OJ can help her find the “real rapist/s.”

  254. Lauren
    Lauren April 13, 2007 at 7:55 pm |

    I assume then you think the Duke 3 also should have not had their identities released? I am just shocked how some of the people in this thread ‘think.’

    If you have an issue with the way alleged perps are treated by law and in the media, I suggest you work at it somewhere other than this website. We aren’t lawmakers, enforcers, or reporters.

  255. Lauren
    Lauren April 13, 2007 at 7:58 pm |

    Maybe OJ can help her find the “real rapist/s.”

    And later he’ll sell the whole thing to Rupert Murdoch and call it a hypothetical memoir.

  256. jfpbookworm
    jfpbookworm April 13, 2007 at 7:58 pm |

    I think that one of the loudest messages from this case is that, if you’re a district attorney, and you prosecute a rape charge against a white man in a wealthy family, you risk losing your job.

    Now, I don’t know if Nifong was acting in bad faith, or just fucked up. None of us do, including the next prosecutor who gets a case like this. And I think that’s a goal of a lot of people making the outcry: to push the standard for bringing a rape charge to something so extreme that only the most egregious offenses (i.e., only the guy jumping out of the bushes with a knife, not the boyfriend who was “just overzealous”) will ever have a chance of being punished.

  257. fishbane
    fishbane April 13, 2007 at 7:59 pm |

    I didn’t see anyone address directly this charming statement:

    The fact that he has to push to get a job that was righfully, deservingly his to begin with back is a harm that he didn’t deserve and wouldn’t have come about if not for his being wrongly accused of a rape that may or may not have happened, let alone that he was the perpetrator of.

    If you believe the hypothetical job was “righ[t]fully, deservingly his to begin with”, I’m sure you’re a supporter of minimum wage laws, unions, and other French concepts of labor law?

  258. Lauren
    Lauren April 13, 2007 at 8:00 pm |

    If you believe the hypothetical job was “righ[t]fully, deservingly his to begin with”, I’m sure you’re a supporter of minimum wage laws, unions, and other French concepts of labor law?

    Not if they’re French. Them’s pussies.

  259. V. Reason
    V. Reason April 13, 2007 at 8:02 pm |

    Lauren,

    You said that even if she was a perp her identity should not be released. You are the one who wants it both ways, not me.

  260. Melissa M.
    Melissa M. April 13, 2007 at 8:06 pm |

    The case is political at this point. The original prosecutor made ethnical mistakes in how he treated the case and the new prosecution has decided to drop charges. This woman has become more than an alleged rape victim to most observers because her accusations have been politicized. I question whether the statements that the DA’s office has released aren’t in some ways an attempt to put all of the controversy behind the office. I didn’t like the fact that the media latched on to this prosecution in the first place. Making criminal prosecutions into public spectacles might tell us a lot about the obsessions and failings of our current culture but I do not think that it leads to better justice or treatment for alleged victims of crimes or for people accused of committing crimes.

  261. Melissa M.
    Melissa M. April 13, 2007 at 8:10 pm |

    V. Reason,

    Please do not confuse individuals. I personally do not agree with releasing the identities of alleged victims or perpetrators of crimes to the public for the media to speculate about before trials. I know that this probably puts me in the minority.

  262. Lauren
    Lauren April 13, 2007 at 8:11 pm |

    You said that even if she was a perp her identity should not be released. You are the one who wants it both ways, not me.

    How is she a perp? Is she being sued? Accused of a crime?

    And speaking of which, what do you mean “both ways”? Are you in favor of slandering victims?

  263. Lauren
    Lauren April 13, 2007 at 8:11 pm |

    Making criminal prosecutions into public spectacles might tell us a lot about the obsessions and failings of our current culture but I do not think that it leads to better justice or treatment for alleged victims of crimes or for people accused of committing crimes.

    Word.

  264. V. Reason
    V. Reason April 13, 2007 at 8:19 pm |

    Lauren,

    I apologize. The comment was intended for Mellisa who said …

    “She is not facing charges of filing a false report and even if she was I still don’t think that releasing her identity is justified.”

    That essentially says if she was indeed a perp, she still should have not had her identity released. I am fine with taking such a position if the other side of that position is that the Duke 3 also should not have had their identities released.

    That is all. Just looking for consistency.

  265. Lauren
    Lauren April 13, 2007 at 8:31 pm |

    See, I think this plays into the media coverage too. This wasn’t some girl accusing some guy(s) of some crime. This is the so-called perfect story. Not only do you get the race and class angles, but you also get a better story if the accused are public figures who are locally known for notoriously bad behavior. It makes for the convergence of several stereotypical lines that make the lax guys the perfect villians.

  266. Melissa M.
    Melissa M. April 13, 2007 at 8:32 pm |

    As I hoped was evident from my previous post, I do not think that the lacrosse players should have had their identities released before a trial. Releasing peoples’ identities to the media leads to a trial by public opinion before an actual trial even begins. I think that it is harmful to everyone involved to turn trials and prosecutions into media events.

  267. CTD
    CTD April 13, 2007 at 8:38 pm |

    Lauren, true ‘dat.

    Who cares to quibble about facts and evidence, and who is guilty of what when there’s a race-class-sex “meta-narrative” to “construct?”

  268. Lauren
    Lauren April 13, 2007 at 8:40 pm |

    Who cares to quibble about facts and evidence, and who is guilty of what when there’s a race-class-sex “meta-narrative” to “construct?”

    Word. Which is why it’s so important to decontruct the popular narrative.

  269. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred April 13, 2007 at 8:43 pm |

    That is all. Just looking for consistency.

    Since when did anyone whip out an inconsistency on that count?

    And who did actually put out the lacrosse players’ names?

  270. Found Poetry at  Faux Real
    Found Poetry at Faux Real April 13, 2007 at 9:01 pm |

    [...] in Poetry. In every senseless idiot flame war, I resolve to find poetry. They threw a party; I do [...]

  271. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 13, 2007 at 9:53 pm |

    I had never thought about the idea of releasing the identity the accused before the end of a trial, but the Duke Lacrosse thing has really made me think about it — because of how fucked up the media got about the whole mess, I do not think anyone’s identities should be released to the public if at all possible until the end of the trial. It doesn’t help anyone out.

    Is there some legal/social thing I’m missing? If there is, someone tell me please.

  272. Random Lawyer
    Random Lawyer April 13, 2007 at 10:02 pm |

    In response to your “they haven’t been hurt that much” argument – you can’t have it both ways. Regarding the AutoAdmit attacks, you stated that the Yale students would have issues getting jobs due to anonymous posts about them on some website that is no better than National Enquirer. Now you state that being charged with rape will have no effect on the men.

    I hope you can see the contradiction.

  273. Longhairedweirdo
    Longhairedweirdo April 13, 2007 at 10:04 pm |

    The most sensible hypothesis I’ve come up with for her actions are that she flashed back to the earlier gang rape at, IIRC, the age of 13. It was reported to the police, but no followup was taken; the article I read said there was no evidence, and hence, no investigation.

    If a flashback confused her story- during a traumatic flashback it can be hard to distinguish what’s happening *now* with what happened *then* -it would explain how she made an unsupportable police report.

    I don’t know what happened in the house that night, but I have a hard time believing an experienced stripper picked that night to freak out and leave behind her purse, money, cell phone, etc..

    As for her appearing drugged or drunk, people appear dazed when traumatized.

  274. Longhairedweirdo
    Longhairedweirdo April 13, 2007 at 10:09 pm |

    Oh: and to get on-topic, clearly, I don’t think she should be penalized if she told the truth as best as she was able. If my suspicion is correct, then those trying to harm her would end up hurting her for the sin of having been gang-raped and having a flashback.

  275. ACS
    ACS April 13, 2007 at 10:39 pm |

    Measuring false allegations is all the more difficult since policies on unfounded complaints differ between jurisdictions. A Washington Post investigation in Virginia and Maryland found that nearly one in four rape reports in 1990-91 was unfounded. When contacted by the newspaper, many “victims” admitted they lied. More shocking figures come from a study by now-retired Purdue University sociologist Eugene Kanin published in Archives of Sexual Behavior in 1994. After reviewing the police records of an Indiana town, Kanin found that of 109 reports of rape filed in 1978-87, 45 — or 41 percent — turned out to be false, as the women themselves admitted after the investigation.

    THAT seems to address what you are saying. Thoughts?

    I didn’t see this post until just a little while ago.

    I can address the second issue, but I don’t know anything about the first. The Kanin study is seriously methodologically flawed, for several reasons. First, it was a study that occurred entirely within a single jurisdiction; one that consisted largely of a single mid-sized metropolitan area. Second, it was the policy of the police department in that jurisdiction to: (1) pursue all rape allegations, (2) disallow “dropping charges” without recantation, (3) subject all rape victims to polygraph examination, and (4) treat complaining witnesses in rape cases as hostile. They also told rape victims that if their charges were not substantiated, that they themselves would be prosecuted.

    These are clearly aberrant numbers caused by poor police procedure. The same methodology the Kanin study uses (reporting numbers of unfounded rapes) is replicated every year, on a national scale, by the UCR. The UCR consistently produces lower numbers; furthermore, the UCR consistently produces lowering numbers. In the mid-ninetys, the UCR’s unfounded-report rate was the highest of any crime — close to 9%. By the early aughts, the number had moved down to 6%. I think 2005 is the first year it’s been under 6%. That tells us one of two things: either that women are making fewer false reports, or that police are hewing closer to the actual federal standards for unfounding crimes. Does that answer your question?

    — ACS

    * I don’t have any statistics on this, but in my experience, there are some jurisdictions that unfound a truly disproportionate number of rape cases. One rural county south of here unfounded 70% of the rape cases, and thought it might be a good idea to go to the media to tell them they don’t believe rape victims. Is that going to skew the statistics? Yeah.

  276. Darleen
    Darleen April 13, 2007 at 11:21 pm |

    Now, I don’t know if Nifong was acting in bad faith, or just fucked up. None of us do,

    What I do know is that within a short time, the dda’s around my office were cringing. Even the early reports were bad enough that the talk was Nifong is the kind of cynical opportunist that taints the majority of hard-working, ethical dda’s. From what few facts were known not one dda in my office would have filed. And the [deliberately] botched photolineup would have nailed it shut as a turndown for filing. Nifong feeds into the stereotype of “win at all cost” prosecutors. It’s kinda like the bad cop that makes people look with suspicion on all cops (until they get mugged).

    So stop quibbling about “we can never know! something must have happened.” The NC AG deliberately used the word “innocent”.

    Deal with it. And deal with the shared culpability of every “well, where there’s smoke there must be fire!” piling on both the new and old media did, so eager were they all to “get the rich white boys”.

  277. Matthew Morse
    Matthew Morse April 13, 2007 at 11:31 pm |

    I read the original post and was all set to respond about how thoughtful this was. Then I went out for a few hours, and cambe back and read the updates up top, and now all I have to say is fucking fuck. People suck.

  278. Matthew Morse
    Matthew Morse April 13, 2007 at 11:32 pm |

    And that the preview doesn’t help if you don’t read it until after you click submit.

  279. Revena
    Revena April 13, 2007 at 11:32 pm |

    Thank you for writing this post, Jill.

  280. jfpbookworm
    jfpbookworm April 13, 2007 at 11:37 pm |

    So stop quibbling about “we can never know! something must have happened.”

    That’s *not* what I said. What we don’t know is whether Nifong was a “cynical opportunist” trying to build a career on a case he knew was without merit, or whether he believed the case had merit and merely handled it incompetently. (Just as I can’t know if your failure to read what I actually wrote was poor reading comprehension or bad faith argument.)

    What I’m saying is that, the way the case was discussed, I didn’t get the impression that prosecutorial bad faith/incompetence needs to rise to the level exhibited in this case for the prosecutor to be a target.

  281. exangelena
    exangelena April 13, 2007 at 11:59 pm |

    I don’t like to play detective or psychic – so I never followed the Duke lacrosse case – but no matter what really happened, there is no excuse for the disgusting racism, sexism and elitism oozing from the media coverage from day one.
    I read Lauren’s story ages ago. Just heartbreaking, but amazing that she’s survived what would pulverize many people.

  282. exangelena
    exangelena April 14, 2007 at 12:22 am |

    So I just read the comments thread until I started getting queasy …

    Lorelei, Jill, Liz, Sheelzebub, Violet Socks and all the rest – you are my (s)heroes :)

    And yeah, what Matthew Morse said at 309.

  283. Lesley
    Lesley April 14, 2007 at 12:38 am |

    -You’re clearly one of the people who posted nasty things on the AutoAdmit board, you’re gone. And your IP address very well may be going up in a subsequent post.

    Hell, I’d be sending those IP addresses to the local police force. And complaining to the ISP. These fucktards should face some consequences for once in their miserable gutless lives.

  284. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 14, 2007 at 1:12 am |

    awww!!!! thank you so much, exangelina!! that seriously brightened my week so much!!

  285. Tony
    Tony April 14, 2007 at 1:30 am |

    She was raped, the DA screwed the case, the white boys had good lawyers and they got off.

    End of story.

  286. Susan
    Susan April 14, 2007 at 1:43 am |

    Excellent post, Jill. Of course plastering her photo everywhere is abhorrent, and all those involved should be ashamed of themselves. In fact, it’s such a useless exercise that you know their real agenda is to put her (and by extension other victims) in her place. Thanks, once again, for your broader perspective and clear thinking.

  287. raging red
    raging red April 14, 2007 at 2:52 am |

    I had never thought about the idea of releasing the identity the accused before the end of a trial, but the Duke Lacrosse thing has really made me think about it — because of how fucked up the media got about the whole mess, I do not think anyone’s identities should be released to the public if at all possible until the end of the trial. It doesn’t help anyone out.

    Is there some legal/social thing I’m missing? If there is, someone tell me please.

    The 6th Amendment gives criminal defendants the right to a public trial. Trials can be closed from the public, but there has to be a compelling reason. While everyone involved in this case may have been better served by the accuser’s and the accused’s identities remaining private, there are tons of other situations where that wouldn’t be such a hot idea. Having a public trial can benefit the defendant — we’re talking about the government depriving citizens of liberty, and it keeps the process more fair and honest if it’s done in the open.

    Also, the public may have a genuine interest in knowing about and watching criminal trials. The states and the federal government prosecute crimes on behalf of the people, and we should be informed about what they’re doing.

    The huge difference between today and when the 6th Amendment was written is the nature of the media. Cases that may be of local interest and importance can be broadcast worldwide. Does a citizen living hundreds or thousands of miles away have an interest in a rape case in Durham, N.C.? They don’t put Nancy Grace on television because of some noble idea of a fair, open criminal process and the public’s right to know.

    I understand how this case would make people think closed trials might be a good idea, but it’s really not. And I realize you were talking about keeping just the names private until after the trial, but I don’t see how that could be done unless the whole process was kept private.

    It’s super late and I’m sleepy and someone else probably could’ve made that argument better than I, but oh well. That’s what I get for writing comments at almost 4:00 a.m. after drinking beers.

  288. Joe
    Joe April 14, 2007 at 4:36 am |

    Raging Red is right. The real solution is to enact laws against all forms of punditry.

  289. Mitch Crawford
    Mitch Crawford April 14, 2007 at 5:02 am |

    I have followed this case closely, and this is a situation that appears to suggest as definitively as is possible that no rape occurred. I don’t wish to call this woman a liar, exactly. The attorney general’s office indicates that she may suffer from mental illness, and news reports suggest that she suffers from substance addiction. She may sincerely believe that this happened to her, but she has told no story that other facts can corroborate, and very zealous police and prosecutors worked very hard to make a case fit together here, and every version of her story is contradicted by evidence.

    The real problem here is how far this has gone. There are allusions above to “white male privilege,” and these players were as privileged as anyone can be in this society, and yet it took over a year and a million dollars in legal bills for them to be vindicated. Reade Seligmann produced very compelling alibi evidence, corroborated by several independent sources, placing him across town at the time of the alleged attack, and the charges were still pursued.

    The lesson here is not that privilege was vindicated, but, rather that, even with the best resources available, prosecutorial power used carelessly or opportunistically or maliciously can bring down even the very privileged. The real point is that innocent people without the resources available to these men probably could not fight off a bogus accusation, even if they have compelling evidence of innocence.

    Another point; assuming that it’s true that 98% of rape accusations are true, the analogous situation here is like looking at a coin on a table with the “heads” side up and insisting that it might be “tails” because tails are statistically half of coin tosses.

    This woman alleged an unusually violent gang rape, which involved far more physical force than most rape allegations, AND she was examined within several hours of the alleged attack by hospital staff, whose reports only noted diffuse swelling of the vagina as evidence corroborating rape, but that sort of swelling would also be consistent with the kind of sex toy strip shows that she had recently performed.

    Many rape victims report their attacks the next day or days later, often after they’ve showered or washed their clothes. The opportunity to do the rape kit immediately after the attack is a relatively uncommon coup for investigators, and in this case, it gave them absolutely nothing to corroborate her accusations, nor was there residue from a condom.

    Second, the state of the art in forensic testing was performed, and the results could not corroborate in any way a sexual assault by the Duke Lacrosse players. Even though she claimed to have fought back, no DNA was recovered from under her fingernails. Even though she claimed that she had been violated in every orifice and that the men had ejaculated, no DNA was recovered from her that was consistent with any member of the lacrosse team.

    This is the kind of accusation that should be possible to corroborate with forensic evidence, especially when a rape kit can be performed shortly after the alleged attack.

    When you combine the failure of forensic evidence to corroborate the allegations with her “100% certain” false identifications and the insistence of the entire lacrosse team that nobody had sex with her, and the other stripper’s inability to corroborate the accusation (and her initial assessment that the rape claim was “a crock”).

    At what point do you consider a claim to be false?

  290. Mitch Crawford
    Mitch Crawford April 14, 2007 at 5:10 am |

    I just want to be clear on this, someone who’s more law-savy than I am: if I recall, this was going to be tried as a criminal case. I also think I remember reading that she had been offered money to drop the case and refused it. Had the case gone to trial, and let’s say these men HAD been convicted, would she have gotten any money from the settlement?

    I thought since it was a criminal case, the settlement would’ve been that these people go to prison or are on probation or whatever, not money?

    Never corroborated. Her cousin/family spokesperson “Jackie” alleged that, but I think her father denied it. Nifong supposedly investigated it, because making that offer would have been a crime.

    I don’t think anyone really offered them money to drop the charges.

    As for a reason why she might make a false allegation, I can’t think of one. It does not seem to be in her best interest, and she did not try to play any economic angle as far as I can tell. From what I have read about her in the press, she seems to be a very disturbed person.

  291. CoRev
    CoRev April 14, 2007 at 9:23 am |

    The issue for me is responsibility. She must take responsibility for her actions just as the “BOYS” must take theirs. Hers resulted in her name and picture in the news. So did the “BOYS.”

    ACS, you are cherry picking, but even yours numbers are way higher than 2% implied by Jill. Using numbers form the FBI reports takes the non-univerasal definitions across every jurisdiction in the US.

  292. CoRev
    CoRev April 14, 2007 at 9:24 am |

    I wish I could learn to type!

  293. exangelena
    exangelena April 14, 2007 at 9:31 am |

    Jill, zuzu, piny – Sort of related, but there’s a bizarre article in the NYT style section called “The Man Who Liked Models” about a fashion designer accused of raping many women, most of them underage. (Yes, that’s in the style section and I believe I did transcribe the title correctly.) Pretty please, rip it to shreds!!
    And does the fact that none of my comments hit moderation mean that I’m a feministe “regular poster”? Squeee!

  294. Lauren
    Lauren April 14, 2007 at 9:39 am |

    The issue for me is responsibility. She must take responsibility for her actions just as the “BOYS” must take theirs. Hers resulted in her name and picture in the news. So did the “BOYS.”

    How, then, ought she take responsibility? If the accused want to “hold her responsible” they have the legal avenues to do so. I sincerely doubt they will take that route.

  295. mythago
    mythago April 14, 2007 at 10:01 am |

    Lorelei, you’re mixing up criminal and civil law. There is no ‘settlement’ in a criminal case; there can be a plea bargain, where the defendant pleads guilty to lesser charges and/or fewer charges rather than going to trial. An accuser is NOT a party to the criminal suit. That’s why a criminal case is “People v. Soandso”, not “Accuser v. Soandso”.

    A civil case would be if the accuser had sued the Duke students–not for “rape”, but for battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and so on. In a civil case, offering money to drop the case is a settlement and is appropriate.

  296. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 14, 2007 at 11:12 am |

    thank you, mythago, for clearing that up.

    btw, the reason i used ‘settlement’ to describe criminal cases is because i’m wicked sick, so i was writing the comment and i’m like ‘uhhh… fuck… what’s the word… oh fuck it, i’ll just use settlement.’ i totally knew it wasn’t settlement in any case, lmao..

  297. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 14, 2007 at 11:16 am |

    Raging Red,

    I totally get what you’re saying. I was indeed talking about keeping the name private. I was thinking it could be done in the same way we keep the victim’s name private throughout the proceeding (giving a pseudonym or whatever else they do). How badly do you think it would hinder the public trial thing?

  298. HughRice
    HughRice April 14, 2007 at 11:40 am |

    The comments on this board are nothing short of one of the most powerful arguments ever for making rape charges harder to bring. These kinds of allegations ruin lives, and it’s not okay to simply assume that someone did something like that. I’m sure it makes you feel righteous to condemn ‘violence against women’ and ‘rape’ and all else that is evil, but here, the allegations were so flinsy that the DA is potentially facing charges for even having pursued this investigation.

    I’m not saying that rape or denigrating women is okay–far from it–but you all need to get some perspective on this situation. You can’t just go around demanding heads because it makes you feel powerful and right. It’s a fairly awful trait, and ultimately, it’s also one that is entirely damaging to your cause.

  299. ACS
    ACS April 14, 2007 at 12:00 pm |

    The issue for me is responsibility. She must take responsibility for her actions just as the “BOYS” must take theirs. Hers resulted in her name and picture in the news. So did the “BOYS.”

    ACS, you are cherry picking, but even yours numbers are way higher than 2% implied by Jill. Using numbers form the FBI reports takes the non-univerasal definitions across every jurisdiction in the US.

    Jill and I are talking about apples and oranges. Or, more accurately, Jill and I are talking about apples and Granny Smiths. 5.7% of rape accusations are coded as unsubstantiated, a category that “false accusations” are a subcategory of. While I’m not a believer in the 2% number — Brownmiller uses the same sort of cherry-picking that Kanin does — Kanin’s number is so far beyond any other estimate, and his methodology so self-evidently flawed, that, frankly, it’s simply bad faith to ever use it in an argument.

    Also, how is using the FBI’s own statistics, gathered by 98% of American law enforcement agencies, “cherry picking?”

    — ACS

  300. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred April 14, 2007 at 12:04 pm |

    These kinds of allegations ruin lives

    And the thread has lapped itself.

    With all these trolls, david bowie has to show up now and set them off singing about hoodoo, we’ve done every other thing that always happens in a duke rape thread, I say we drag Bowie out of the basement and get him singing.

  301. elgie
    elgie April 14, 2007 at 12:37 pm |

    For instance, if the charge is sexual assault, then the knowledge that a person is a stripper is critical since the nature of the job contemplates some physical contact that is decidedly inappropriate in other contexts.

    And the nature of an hotel owner’s job contemplates that people use up your rooms to sleep in in exchange of money. Though, this doesn’t allow me to break in a hotel room, nor allows me to invite my whole family ovewr when I just paid for a single use room. And I surely wouldn’t be allowed to use the ‘well he rents his rooms for money so he has no dignity/moral/whatever’ as an argument in a trial.

    It’s a weak metaphore, I know, but not more than thinking one strips one’s morals off along with the clothes.

  302. mythago
    mythago April 14, 2007 at 12:46 pm |

    The comments on this board are nothing short of one of the most powerful arguments ever for making rape charges harder to bring.

    And how, precisely, should we make rape charges “harder to bring”?

    Somehow, I have a feeling that your answer would be “treat them all as lying cunts from the get-go.”

  303. CoRev
    CoRev April 14, 2007 at 1:46 pm |

    ACS, for the reasons you disagree with the Kanin study

    First, it was a study that occurred entirely within a single jurisdiction; one that consisted largely of a single mid-sized metropolitan area. Second, it was the policy of the police department in that jurisdiction to: (1) pursue all rape allegations, (2) disallow “dropping charges” without recantation, (3) subject all rape victims to polygraph examination, and (4) treat complaining witnesses in rape cases as hostile. They also told rape victims that if their charges were not substantiated, that they themselves would be prosecuted.

    I give it credence. Items 1-3 make sense if you are confirming events item 4 and beyond are over the line.

    One thing common on the studies providing higher numbers is the practice of following up with later investigations. An USAF study showed a recantation rate of 60% of those they could follow up and investigate. Of course that is for the cases that DID NOT go to trial. I do not know what the overall rate was.

    As for Bronwmiller and the 2%Speer did a document search and found that there is no back up for that number. Here is the Greer site: http://llr.lls.edu/volumes/v33-issue3/greer.pdf

  304. ACS
    ACS April 14, 2007 at 2:06 pm |

    I give it credence. Items 1-3 make sense if you are confirming events item 4 and beyond are over the line.

    One thing common on the studies providing higher numbers is the practice of following up with later investigations. An USAF study showed a recantation rate of 60% of those they could follow up and investigate. Of course that is for the cases that DID NOT go to trial. I do not know what the overall rate was.

    As for Bronwmiller and the 2%Speer did a document search and found that there is no back up for that number. Here is the Greer site: http://llr.lls.edu/volumes/v33-issue3/greer.pdf

    First of all, subjecting people to polygraph examinations has roughly as much scientific basis as subjecting them to a phrenological examination. A 2003 NAS report found that when testing for relatively uncommon facts (like false rape reports or foreign spies), a polygraph examination has a lower than 5% detection rate. Despite this, the police department continued to do so.

    Second, a rape investigation is incredibly stressful. Consider that the numbers were collected between 1978 and 1987, before any protections were in place, in most jurisdictions, for victims of rape. If a rape investigation won’t be ended unless the alleged victim recants (and the alleged victim has been warned that if they do not recant, and the rape allegation is unsubstantiated, that they themselves will be prosecuted for a felony), you have just set up laboratory-perfect conditions for false recantation: you have given alleged victims a motive to recant.

    Third, I am not defending the Brownmiller number, because is poorly substantiated (though not a number pulled from thin air). If you want to talk about the Brownmiller number, talk to someone else.

    Four, every large-scale study has produced lower numbers of unsubstantiated rape allegations than the two twenty-year-old studies that you choose as your preferred numbers. Your numbers are, on the low end, eight times higher than the numbers that the FBI — which is very much not a Women’s Studies department — produces.

    There are no reasons, other than disingenuous ones, to argue for an epidemic of false rape accusations.

    — ACS

  305. Jason
    Jason April 14, 2007 at 2:07 pm |

    Back to the original topic of posting the womans picture over the internet, I can’t say that I think it’s a bad thing.

    In the past couple months there’s been ample time to read about the defendants, about their misdemeanors and take it as proof that these men aren’t innocent. It’s the past that influences our perception of the present, we assume that actions in the past indicate what is happening in the present.

    Now the accusers name has been revealed, and it’s possible to see her history, her history of mental disorders, that time she stole a taxi and then tried to attack a cop, some fairly serious stuff.

    Without information about the accusers name, we would only know of the transgressions of the duke men, which would create the false impression of the case being bad men versus a neutral woman. Now we can look into her past and see what she’s done in her life.

    In short, by posting the accusers picture and information over the internet, we are allowed a more even perspective of the players in this case.

  306. ACS
    ACS April 14, 2007 at 2:10 pm |

    Also, note that the McDowell checklist — the checklist developed by Charles McDowell, the author of that USAF study — was banned for use by MPs in the mid-1990s. Why? Because it incorrectly classified rape reports as false.

    — ACS

  307. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 14, 2007 at 3:00 pm |

    how is giving rape victims polygraph tests reasonable? do victims of any other crime ROUTINELY get polygraph tests?

  308. Frumious B
    Frumious B April 14, 2007 at 4:22 pm |

    Re: Updates

    Go Jill. Your blog, your discretion. I’m sorry it came to this, but I’m glad to see you stopping the buck.

  309. heocwaeth
    heocwaeth April 14, 2007 at 5:48 pm |

    Jason,

    Do you suppose it’s possible to steal a cab and also, later, be raped?

    How about being mentally ill, can you be that and be raped?

    Can you attack a cop, and also be a rape victim?

    A truly just system does not allow the police to refuse me help because I was a “bad girl” in some unrelated way at some time in the past.

    And don’t these past “misdemeanors” on the part of the ‘boys’ include assault based on sexual bias? So, wouldn’t that relate in some way to “might be a rapist” in a way that *stole a car* does not relate to “might not be a rape victim.”

  310. Zach
    Zach April 14, 2007 at 6:12 pm |

    The accuser’s own family denied that she was ever offered hush money so quit using that as a an argument. And while we’re on the subject, NO dna from any of the lacrosse players was found in or on this woman. That means NONE of them raped her. And for the rape to have occured as she described it in her first of fur or five different stories, there would be dna. Face it, they’re innocent and you guys are ticked that the big evil oppresive white boys turned out to be innocent.

  311. ginmar
    ginmar April 14, 2007 at 6:13 pm |

    Christ, Jason, they’ve not been proven innocent and she’s not been proven guilty. Boy, nothing makes men more vengeful than the idea a woman might speak up and say she was raped by the whitest of whtie boys.

    Oh, and by the way, Jason, the reason they got all that publicity is because they, their lawyers, and their families decided to trot out sexist lies to poison the jury pool.

    It’s not the rapists that make me hate men. It’s the rape sympathizers who declare that any woman who’s ever stripped, lost the will to press charges, or even had sex before is a lying ho and a vicous bitch. That makes me hate men, and every damned bit of it is richly deserved.

  312. Jason
    Jason April 14, 2007 at 6:19 pm |

    heocwaeth

    It’s definitely possible to do all those things and be raped.

    It’s true, the men in this case are no angels, one assaulted another man who he thought was gay, and another had a noise violation and a ticket for underage drinking. Personally, yeah, I believe his prior actions should be taken into account in this case.

    The accusers is also no angel, This is the stuff I’ve got from wikipedia.

    In 2002, she stole a taxi from a man to whom she was giving a lap dance. A high speed chase then ensued, and when the deputy chasing her approached the stolen taxi on foot, she tried to run over him. She pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of larceny, speeding to elude arrest, assault on a government official and driving while impaired. She was sentenced to 3 weekends in detention.[20][21]

    #
    # She had made a similar claim in the past which she did not pursue. “On Aug. 18, 1996, the dancer – then 18 years old – told a police officer in Creedmoor she had been raped by three men in June 1993, according to a police document. She did not pursue the allegations. The officer who took the woman’s report 10 years ago asked her to write a detailed timeline of the night’s events and bring the account back to the police. “Apparently she never returned,” Granville County DA Sam Currin said.”[26]

    I suppose that my argument is that we now know about these problems in her past, while previously we only knew about the mens past. More information about the accuser, seems like a great thing, it allows us a deeper understanding of the case and the individuals who are in the case. This information allows us to make judgments about the character of the players in this trial. While this was possible for the last few months in relation to the men, it’s only now that we have access to the information about the accused.

  313. Darleen
    Darleen April 14, 2007 at 6:22 pm |

    do victims of any other crime ROUTINELY get polygraph tests?

    Parents of missing or murdered children are routinely asked if they will take a polygraph. Spouses or significant others of murder victimes are routinely asked to take polygraphs.

    And the Duke players offered early on to take a poly and the DA refused to allow them.

  314. Darleen
    Darleen April 14, 2007 at 6:29 pm |

    they’ve not been proven innocent

    It wasn’t by accident that the NC AG declared them “innocent”.

    Stunning move, that. It demonstrates that the AG office found not one bit of corroborating evidence that any crime took place that night and found the exculpatory evidence (such as one player being across town at the exact time he was supposedly raping) undisputable.

    IMO I expect sometime soon that the Duke players’ attorneys will make a motion for either a directed verdict of innocent or a factual finding of innocent (if, of course, NC statutes have such a provision). Then the Duke players will have their records expunged, right down to destruction of the arrest record.

  315. ACS
    ACS April 14, 2007 at 6:30 pm |

    Parents of missing or murdered children are routinely asked if they will take a polygraph. Spouses or significant others of murder victimes are routinely asked to take polygraphs.

    And the Duke players offered early on to take a poly and the DA refused to allow them.

    As it should be, since polygraphs have never been shown to test anything other than the conductivity of your skin.

    — ACS

  316. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred April 14, 2007 at 6:41 pm |

    It demonstrates that the AG office found not one bit of corroborating evidence that any crime took place that night and found the exculpatory evidence (such as one player being across town at the exact time he was supposedly raping) undisputable.

    Umm… “they’re innocent” is not the same as “no crime occurred”. They’re not even close in fact.

    It’s true, the men in this case are no angels, one assaulted another man who he thought was gay, and another had a noise violation and a ticket for underage drinking. Personally, yeah, I believe his prior actions should be taken into account in this case.

    They also called the victim a whore and a nigger – and were witnessed doing so.

    So they’re racist, violent, misogynistic assholes with poor impulse control and no consideration for others.

    Yeah, they’re “no angels”.

    The accusers is also no angel

    For the benefit of the next five thousand autoadmit trolls here’s the thing:

    She wasn’t on trial.

    She wasn’t on trial.

    She wasn’t on trial.

    She wasn’t on trial.

    She wasn’t on trial.

    She wasn’t on trial.

    She wasn’t on trial.

    She wasn’t on trial.

    She wasn’t on trial.

    She wasn’t on trial.

    And for the five thousand trolls after that:

    She’s a human being.

    She’s a human being.

    She’s a human being.

    She’s a human being.

    She’s a human being.

    She’s a human being.

    She’s a human being.

    She’s a human being.

    She’s a human being.

    She’s a human being.

    She’s a human being.

    She’s a human being.

    She’s a human being.

  317. Darleen
    Darleen April 14, 2007 at 6:53 pm |

    RM

    No crime occured against her in that house, on that night by those players

    She may indeed be mentally ill, which damns even more Nifong/Sharpton/Jesse/the 88 profs, et al, that cynically used her to advance their own agenda

    to the detriment of real rape victims

    so for the 5,000 politics-over-facts commenters

    she was not raped by the Duke players
    she was not raped by the Duke players
    she was not raped by the Duke players

    maybe the owners of the DNA that WAS found on her should be tracked down.

  318. Mitch Crawford
    Mitch Crawford April 14, 2007 at 7:21 pm |

    Umm… “they’re innocent” is not the same as “no crime occurred”. They’re not even close in fact.

    When a prosecutor exercises his discretion in withdrawing a prosecution because there is insufficient evidence to meet his burden of proof, that’s what he says.

    When a defendant is acquitted because the jury entertained a “reasonable doubt” or because a judge rules that the burden is not met by the prosecution’s case, he is “not guilty.”

    “innocent” has no special legal meaning, outside its plain language context that the accused did not commit a crime. When Cooper, after his office’s extensive investigation and review of the case, determined that these young men did not commit a crime. It is extremely rare to hear a prosecutor describe a criminal defendant as “innocent.” It is not a term of art. It is a term of vindication. It is an apology.

    Keep in mind that these young men were kicked out of school. Their homes were protested. They were lambasted by Al Sharpton. They were villified by the press. They were threatened by something called the New Black Panther Party. They had their pictures and names posted on campus on fliers that called them rapists. 88 of the school’s professors published an open letter condemning them.

    They were arrested, perp-walked, mug-shotted and booked. The team produced photographs time-stamped to refute the claim that the accuser was locked in the bathroom for a long period of time. Reade Seligmann immediately produced extensive evidence to show that he could not have been in the bathroom, and the victim, coached by investigators, changed her story to try to accommodate the exculpatory evidence.

    DNA tests, which Nifong said would conclusively prove the accused and vindicate the innocent revealed that the best forensic testing available could not find any genetic trace of any Duke player on the accuser, in her body, or on her clothes. And the case went on.

    Nifong is now at risk of losing his law license for pumping up this thin case to the press. David Evans lost the job he’d spent four years at Duke working to get. These three young men who didn’t harm anyone have spent a year in limbo with charges hanging over their heads that could send them to prison for 30 years, because of these accusations, which were false.

    And their coach, who had built the team into one of the top in the nation was summarily forced out. And a teammate who was never indicted had his gross and indefensible, but nonetheless private correspondence released to the public and had a search warrant executed on his home and his name published in the national media.

    A lot of people have been harmed by these accusations. That harm is very significant.

    She’s a human being.

    She’s a human being.

    She’s a human being.

    Absolutely. She is a deeply flawed human being who has harmed a lot of people. I feel sorry for her. But I no longer believe a word she says.

    And I feel sorry for her victims.

  319. Mitch Crawford
    Mitch Crawford April 14, 2007 at 7:23 pm |

    This is the full text of the Attorney General’s statement, for those who have not been carefully or closely following the case. The emphasis is mine:

    Good afternoon, everyone.

    On Jan. 13 of this year, I accepted the request of the Durham district attorney to take over three Durham cases. At the time, I promised a fresh and thorough review of the facts and a decision on the best way to proceed. I also said that we would have our eyes wide open to the evidence, but that we would have blinders on for all other distractions. We’ve done all of these things.

    During the past 12 weeks, our lawyers and investigators have reviewed the remaining allegations of sexual assault and kidnapping that resulted from a party on March 13, 2006, in Durham, N.C.

    We have carefully reviewed the evidence collected by the Durham County prosecutor’s office and the Durham Police Department. We have also conducted our own interviews and evidence gathering. Our attorneys and SBI (State Bureau of Investigation) agents have interviewed numerous people who were at the party, DNA and other experts, the Durham County district attorney, Durham police officers, defense attorneys and the accusing witness on several occasions. We have reviewed statements given over the past year, photographs, records and other evidence.

    The result of our review and investigation shows clearly that there is insufficient evidence to proceed on any of the charges. Today we are filing notices of dismissal for all charges against Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans.

    The result is that these cases are over, and no more criminal proceedings will occur.

    We believe that these cases were the result of a tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations. Based on the significant inconsistencies between the evidence and the various accounts given by the accusing witness, we believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges.

    We approached this case with the understanding that rape and sexual assault victims often have some inconsistencies in their accounts of a traumatic event. However, in this case, the inconsistencies were so significant and so contrary to the evidence that we have no credible evidence that an attack occurred in that house that night.

    The prosecuting witness in this case responded to questions and offered information. She did want to move forward with the prosecution.

    However, the contradictions in her many versions of what occurred and the conflicts between what she said occurred and other evidence, like photographs and phone records, could not be rectified.

    Our investigation shows that:

    The eyewitness identification procedures were faulty and unreliable. No DNA confirms the accuser’s story. No other witness confirms her story. Other evidence contradicts her story. She contradicts herself. Next week, we’ll be providing a written summary of the important factual findings and some of the specific contradictions that have led us to the conclusion that no attack occurred.

    In this case, with the weight of the state behind him, the Durham district attorney pushed forward unchecked. There were many points in the case where caution would have served justice better than bravado. And in the rush to condemn, a community and a state lost the ability to see clearly. Regardless of the reasons this case was pushed forward, the result was wrong. Today, we need to learn from this and keep it from happening again to anybody.

    Now, we have good district attorneys in North Carolina who are both tough and fair. And we need these forceful, independent prosecutors to put criminals away and protect the public. But we also need checks and balances to protect the innocent. This case shows the enormous consequences of overreaching by a prosecutor. What has been learned here is that the internal checks on a criminal charge — sworn statements, reasonable grounds, proper suspect photo lineups, accurate and fair discovery — all are critically important.

    Therefore, I propose a law that the North Carolina Supreme Court have the authority to remove a case from a prosecutor in limited circumstances. This would give the courts a new tool to deal with a prosecutor who needs to step away from a case where justice demands.

    I want to thank everyone in the North Carolina Department of Justice. I want to thank our investigators, our SBI agents and especially attorneys Jim Coman and Mary Winstead for their hard work in this matter.

    I’ll take some of your questions now.

  320. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred April 14, 2007 at 7:25 pm |

    She may indeed be mentally ill

    Noooo, she has a past history of mental illness, this is not the same thing, A != B ergo B != A.

    Oh ffs, we need venn diagrams, picture books and a five hundred foot flow chart explaining this insanely basic concept of logic to you don’t we.

    God forbid a troll show up who isn’t a dribbling mouth breather!

    There is no evidence to the contrary that she wasn’t rpaed that night, in that house, by members of the racist misogynists who happen to make up the Duke Lacrosse team. All we know for certain is that ONE of the players, that she probably picked at random because rape victims rarely get an opportunity to take polaroids of thier attackers and nifong is an idiot, wasn’t one of hte rapists because he had an alibi.

    Which is not the same thing as knowing that the duke lacrosse team did not rape her. A != B, comprendi?

    maybe the owners of the DNA that WAS found on her should be tracked down.

    the only DNA found “on” her was her own, due to how the vagina is inexplicably not a sterile enviroment, this is ANOTHER basic fucking concept that was covered several months ago, but nevermind.

  321. anon
    anon April 14, 2007 at 7:51 pm |

    Jill, I know I am coming in on this conversation a day late, but I am surprised that you seem to believe it is only anti-feminists that are overjoyed with the students’ exoneration.

    I can think of many feminists that in fact are overjoyed with the students’ exoneration as evidence that the system worked.

    As one example, Is Jeralyn Merritt not a feminist?

  322. anon
    anon April 14, 2007 at 7:53 pm |

    Are the women in this thread, and in commenting in similar threads around the net, not feminists?

    Is Darleen a feminist or an anti-feminist?

  323. ACS
    ACS April 14, 2007 at 8:13 pm |

    As one example, Is Jeralyn Merritt not a feminist?

    Jeralyn Merritt is a criminal defense attorney. This has colored her coverage of this issue since the beginning. I don’t hold it against her, but you really have to take that into account when assessing why she’s been on the side she has.

    — ACS

  324. Lauren
    Lauren April 14, 2007 at 8:24 pm |

    Re: 353 — And to add: if you look through the TL archives Merritt tends to come down in defense of the accused in rape cases, most likely because of her profession.

  325. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 14, 2007 at 8:24 pm |

    Parents of missing or murdered children are routinely asked if they will take a polygraph. Spouses or significant others of murder victimes are routinely asked to take polygraphs.

    I’m thinking this is to rule them out as suspects of the murders/kidnappings, not to check if they’re lying about the person being murdered.

    They are also not the alleged victims in these circumstances, seeing the victim is, you know, dead.

  326. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred April 14, 2007 at 9:01 pm |

    I’m thinking this is to rule them out as suspects of the murders/kidnappings, not to check if they’re lying about the person being murdered.

    And it’s still bullshit because the only people a polygraph can’t be readily manipulated and lied to are people who’ve just experienced a traumatic event in thier life and are having to repeat it – polygraph tests in a rape trial would benefit a false accuser, and be nothing more than another means to terrorise legitimate rape victims.

    Which is why it as suggested – it ensures false rape accusations and punished rape victims, it’s perfect from the MRA pov of such things.

  327. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil April 14, 2007 at 9:30 pm |

    middle class suburb in NJ. Privileged? Please.

    I know I’m late to the game, but have you ever been to this part of NJ? For goodness sake, Seligmann went to Delbarton.

  328. anon
    anon April 14, 2007 at 11:38 pm |

    So we can ignore criminal defense attorney’s perspectives? Any other feminists that we should ignore? Wendy McElroy seems pretty pleased. What is the argument for ignoring her? http://www.wendymcelroy.com/news.php?extend.786

    Is it true that supporting and celebrating the Duke Student’s victory means you must be anti-feminist?

  329. Violet Socks
    Violet Socks April 14, 2007 at 11:46 pm |

    Wendy McElroy isn’t a feminist; she’s an anti-feminist. Geez.

  330. anon
    anon April 14, 2007 at 11:54 pm |

    What is your basis for saying that? You may disagree with her on economic issues, but it is pretty clear that she considers herself a feminist, and I would suspect agrees with you on about 80% of what you believe is the feminist agenda. In terms of feminist articles and books written, she clearly has far superior bona fides then you.

    On what basis can you say she is not only not a feminist, but an anti-feminist?

    Is there really only one strain of feminism, and it is yours?

  331. Violet Socks
    Violet Socks April 15, 2007 at 12:02 am |

    Oh for heaven’s sake. I can sit in my driveway and call myself a Subaru; that doesn’t make it true.

    McElroy is and has always been explicitly opposed to feminism. She is this generation’s Phyllis Schafly. The fact that she dubs herself a “feminist” simply represents the advance of Orwellianism in our public discourse. Where Schafly and her ilk were content to call themselves the “real women of America,” McElroy and her group go further: they are “the REAL feminists!” And these “real” feminists want nothing more than to serve the patriarchy and occupy whatever subservient role men give us, since they recognize that women really are inferior and the sooner we ladies own up to the truth, the better.

    They are “feminists” in precisely the same way that the logging industry lobbyists are “enviromentalists,” and the Healthy Forests (read: clearcutting) Initiative is a conservation measure. By dubbing herself a “feminist,” McElroy can get paid lots of money to go on Fox News and pretend to represent what “real” feminists are thinking.
    Of course everyone on this thread who’s not a moron already knows this. Take the hint.

  332. Manju
    Manju April 15, 2007 at 12:21 am |

    It’s ugly in here. Truth is the first casulty of ideology. Humanity the second.

  333. Mandolin
    Mandolin April 15, 2007 at 6:06 am |

    Geez, this is one of those threads I get through by only reading the comments written by people whose names I know.

    Hell hath no fury like people REALLY wanting to uphold the hierarchy they know.

  334. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred April 15, 2007 at 10:17 am |

    but it is pretty clear that she considers herself a feminist

    A horse in a bowler hat is not neccesarily a stockbroker.

  335. Leia
    Leia April 15, 2007 at 10:55 am |

    It is extremely rare to hear a prosecutor describe a criminal defendant as “innocent.” It is not a term of art. It is a term of vindication. It is an apology.

    So what? It’s also extremely rare for criminal defendants to be rich white young men with extremely good lawyers–most criminal defendants are indigent, and don’t have people clamoring for their vindication.

    That the prosecutor called them “innocent” doesn’t mean that there’s proof of their innocence (there doesn’t need to be such proof), it just means he’s being dramatic. And it CERTAINLY doesn’t mean there’s proof that the victim was lying. If there is such proof, let’s see it. Innocent until proven guilty works both ways–where’s the proof that this woman was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of fabricating a rape charge?

  336. Beth Brewer
    Beth Brewer April 15, 2007 at 11:20 am |

    Admittedly I’ve read only 100 or so of the above posts so, I apologize in advance…

    First, I would love for someone to explain feminist vs anti-feminist to me….and how Wendy M qualifies as an anti but to my point…

    I have followed this case much much more closely than most. I have no connection with Duke, lacrosse, the young men involved or the defense. I do live in Durham.

    When this allegation first came out I was ‘horrified’ as were most. However, it did not take me long to begin questioning what was going on. To say that the accuser in this case (and I do believe ‘false accuser’ is an appropriate label) is not a liar, one must assuredly admit that most of her stories must be false — at least to the extent that she contradicts herself and most of her stories are contradict the prior. We’re not talking minor inconsistencies… she was raped, she wasn’t raped but groped, she was raped by 2,3,5, 20 men, one rapist ejaculated in her mouth and she spit it on the floor near the toilet, one (or two) penetrated her vaginally and anally with their penises without condoms, the other dancer was also attacked, the other dancer assisted in the attack on her, the other dancer robbed her, etc. etc.

    There are pictures of the two dancers performing that evening and the accuser is missing some of her stick-on nails at that point. Unless you believe she performed after being beaten and gang raped, the nails didn’t come off during a vicious gang rape. Some of the nails turned over to the PD were unpainted and unused … no DNA was found under the nails which would be expected had she scratched her attackers. She is seen in pictures passed out on the back porch just minutes after 1) using her cell phone and 2) being pictured on the back porch holding her purse/make up bag sans one shoe. Her belongings were found in the back yard by the captains the next day and turned over to PD two days later. According to multiple witness statements (including one by neighbor Jason Bissey who was not an LAX supporter to say the least) she was returning to house to get her shoe (would she do that after having been beaten/gang raped in that house?).

    In her first interview with PD, the other dancer called the accusation a ‘crock’ saying it couldn’t have happened. Only after very favorable parole violation treatment by the DA’s office did she water down her statement. However, later statements certainly supported the argument that the accuser was impaired, acting out of control and making things up.

    Like it or not, this case seriously harms future rape victims. I personally (and many others feel the same) will not automatically believe a victim/accuser. Instead of being initially ‘horrified’ as I was in this case, I will wait until a claim is substantiated. This is not a case that feminists, anti-feminists, survivors, or any group — should support/hang their hat on. This is a case of a confused unstable person’s faulty accusations — an out of control media — a district attorney who took control of the case before the investigation was complete, ignored evidence, hid evidence, lied about evidence, incited the public. This woman may have been raped but, not that night and not in that house. There was no “something” that happened and to continue to claim that there was shows that you 1) are ignorant of the facts or 2) have an agenda.

  337. jfpbookworm
    jfpbookworm April 15, 2007 at 11:20 am |

    but it is pretty clear that she considers herself a feminist

    And yet a huge portion of her writing is about what’s wrong with feminism.

    Now, you can say, “oh, she’s a libertarian feminist, and so disagrees with the nonlibertarian ones,” but then where are all the disagreements with non-feminist libertarians? Her “ifeminism” is co-option, the “intelligent design” of feminism.

  338. Loosely Twisted
    Loosely Twisted April 15, 2007 at 11:21 am |

    # Bilbo Baggins Says:
    April 13th, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    Lor:

    I wouldn’t be condescending if you would stop speaking on my behalf rather than pointing out potential spots of misunderstanding/disagreement.

    The credibility of the accuser is lowered by factual inconsistencies, again I don’t care that she is a stripper. I just don’t. I’m sorry. Perhaps it is because I have been friends with a few for a long time, or perhaps it is because I don’t really see why it matters. If I have misled you, then I apologize.

    “Stripper is irrelevant.” Under the rules of evidence, and in any court of law, this is false. If you were not talking about relevancy as a legal matter, than it was a misunderstanding, and I apologize.

    The morality issue is folded into the relevancy issue. In part because it is a morality issue, it has effects on both credibility and contextual judgments. If I failed to address this connection, then I apologize.

    Finally, your refusal to accept my point that a person who has unendured trauma may have difficulty evaluating a similar situation objectively, is lamentable. If I read the tone of your words correctly, you are fairly upset, which only serves to prove my point. For this, I do not apologize.

    Your inability to read the thread, read her posts and understand and comprehend what she is saying is clear evidence of your emotional standing in this argument and thus it is deamed you don’t know what your talking about. Subsequently STFU.

  339. exangelena
    exangelena April 15, 2007 at 11:26 am |

    Lauren – considering your story that Jill linked to in her original post, I’m so sorry that the sewer has really backed up on this comment thread.

    And feminist agenda? WTF?

  340. exangelena
    exangelena April 15, 2007 at 11:46 am |

    “In terms of feminist articles and books written, she clearly has far superior bona fides then you.”
    So, to be a feminist, you have to be financially successful and educated? Too bad for those of us who can’t afford to go to college or who have to pursue high-paying fields in college (science/law/business) to support ourselves in the future … I guess we’ll always be inferior feminists.

  341. saucysaucy
    saucysaucy April 15, 2007 at 12:17 pm |

    That makes me hate men, and every damned bit of it is richly deserved.

    Wow, ginmar, you’re a sick, sad little woman, aren’t you? Replace “men” with “blacks” or “gays” or hell, “women” and see how that sentence sounds.

  342. ginmar
    ginmar April 15, 2007 at 12:24 pm |

    Christ, Jason, they’ve not been proven innocent and she’s not been proven guilty. Boy, nothing makes men more vengeful than the idea a woman might speak up and say she was raped by the whitest of whtie boys.

    Oh, and by the way, Jason, the reason they got all that publicity is because they, their lawyers, and their families decided to trot out sexist lies to poison the jury pool.

    It’s not the rapists that make me hate men. It’s the rape sympathizers who declare that any woman who’s ever stripped, lost the will to press charges, or even had sex before is a lying ho and a vicous bitch. That makes me hate men, and every damned bit of it is richly deserved.

    Saucysaucy, you’re a sick, sad little illiterate troll, aren’t you? Blacks don’t control the culture and form the power structure, and neither do gays or women. Stop being intellectually dishonest, especially after almost four hundred comments full of trolls and misogynists. When you troll, you want to be subtle. You fail.

  343. anon
    anon April 15, 2007 at 1:00 pm |

    And yet a huge portion of her writing is about what’s wrong with feminism.

    Is all of her writing about what’s wrong with feminism? Or is a large chunk of her body of work about obtaining what she believes is right for women (and for men?)

    Are you saying that to call yourself “X”, you have to be firmly “X” and never critique “X”? Do you understand Thomas Kuhn and the Structure of Scientific Revolutions? Are Democrats not Capitalists because a large body of our work is about the problems of capitalism?

    In terms of feminist articles and books written, she clearly has far superior bona fides then you.”
    So, to be a feminist, you have to be financially successful and educated? Too bad for those of us who can’t afford to go to college or who have to pursue high-paying fields in college (science/law/business) to support ourselves in the future … I guess we’ll always be inferior feminists.

    Distort much? Reading comprehension problems? I never once said you had to be financially successful or educated. I said this one particular woman has clearly been deeply involved with feminist thought, having written books, having debated her thoughts in public, having been an activist. While you don’t have to be successful to be a feminist, now you are using her success against her. Isn’t she a role model? An independent, critical thinker, active for her beliefs, successful in her endeavors? Isn’t she a role model for our daughters?

  344. Sidney
    Sidney April 15, 2007 at 1:10 pm |

    All I can say is that if she did indeed get raped, it wasn’t by any of those Lacrosse players as proven many times by DNA evidence. Indeed, DNA from at least four other males had been found on her, none of which from any of the players, and yet Nifong et all didn’t seem to want to ID those people, who may have been the ones who raped her after all. Makes you question the DA’s motive, and hers as well.

  345. jfpbookworm
    jfpbookworm April 15, 2007 at 1:13 pm |

    Is all of her writing about what’s wrong with feminism? Or is a large chunk of her body of work about obtaining what she believes is right for women (and for men?)

    I don’t know if it’s all of her writing, but a large chunk *is* directly and specifically about what’s wrong with feminism rather than what’s “right for women.”

    As for the book tally, its easier to be successful at that as a conservative anti-feminist, because not only is it a more wide-open field, you’ve got institutions like the Cato Institute supporting you.

  346. biosparite
    biosparite April 15, 2007 at 1:56 pm |

    I gave legal advice in a rape case once. I don’t do criminal work, so the advice was of a more common-sense nature. The case was dropped by the prosecutors on the day of trial. The alleged female vicitm never allowed the prosecutors to give her a polygraph test, which, I understand, immediately aroused prosecutorial suspicions but not enough to drop the case. There was evidence that the female was angry at the alleged perp because he would not go out and steal a stop sign for her after a party (the accuser and defendant were just finishing high school at the time). There was some evidence the alleged victim had been abused sexually by a parent. The alleged perp lost a year of his life and much more to this case. My experience has made me very cautious about drawing conclusions from media reports about alleged rapes. The facts can be very complex, and without a command of the facts, how can one draw conclusions? And, in addition, the “facts” are often a tangle of accusations and responses combined with other evidence that does not necessarily clarify what really did or did not occur. As for publicizing the Duke-case accuser, the media are playing to the profound racism among the population. Mobs have always been easy to stir up. The media could not resist the mug shot. The accuser is presented in the prejudicial context of a mug shot as a presumed member of the criminal Black underclass. Don Imus just sensitized or refreshed the sensitivity of white racists to the “nappy-headed ho” concept. What a mess. I would hate to be Black in this country.

  347. ginmar
    ginmar April 15, 2007 at 2:07 pm |

    Funny how you can tell a great deal about people who are so willing to bring up their anecdotes of lying victims, yet somehow that never seems to square with all the women who’ve been raped and yet have never reported it. Hm. I guess it’s too boring to think about all the rape victims in this country who’ve never gotten justice—after all, how tedious it would be, if we took them seriously and talked about what the real problem is. It’s sure not women falsely accusing men, yet somehow, there’s always the person who wants to talk about that.

  348. exangelena
    exangelena April 15, 2007 at 2:19 pm |

    Sorry, Jill, but compelled to respond to 376.

    anon – What I took from your comment is that (and this may not have been your intention) Wendy McElroy is a “superior” feminist and has better qualifications than me or R. Mildred or Violet Socks, because she’s a published author and successful public figure. I never said that she can’t be a feminist because she’s successful, so I’m not using her success against her. Materially successful and educated women can be feminists, but that doesn’t make them better or more qualified feminists than those of us who are not wealthy or educated.

  349. Manju
    Manju April 15, 2007 at 2:44 pm |

    They were found innocent, not just not guilty.

    I suppose it is still possible “something” happened, but by that standard its possibe “something” happenned to the two prostitutes who accussed the scottsbourough boys.

    The accusers story has been proven false, though she may not be lying, since lies entail intentional flasehoods and the AG hinted that private medical records indicate she is delusional.

  350. Manju
    Manju April 15, 2007 at 2:45 pm |

    “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.” When McCarthy tried to continue his attack, Welch angrily interrupted, “Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?”

  351. For the Record « The Apostate
    For the Record « The Apostate April 15, 2007 at 2:58 pm |

    [...] r; Demons For the Record April 15th, 2007 · No Comments Jill is absolutely right about the shameful treatment of the acc [...]

  352. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred April 15, 2007 at 3:12 pm |

    Replace “men” with “blacks” or “gays” or hell, “women” and see how that sentence sounds.

    Yet if you replace “men” with “nazis” or “fascists” it’s perfectly valid. Funny how hating on groups that are notable for raping and murdering is somewhat different from hating on groups who are raped and murdered by those groups.

    Of course the point is that she has experiences that lead her to feeling ways are gut level, instinctual and justified by the normative nature of her experiences, but the issue, as with everything else, is that she can’t have valid experiences, or react to those experiences.

    Oh ginmar, why do you hate men, not all of them are rapists and abusers, don’t you know you have to be distinguishing while they are indiscriminate.

    So you’re a hypocritical strawfeminist ginmar, while they’re merely hypocritical rape apologists for trying to call you on it. And they’re men, so they have the moral high ground

    Bow your head in shame!

    Materially successful and educated women can be feminists

    But only if they act like one.

  353. Disgusted Beyond Belief
    Disgusted Beyond Belief April 15, 2007 at 3:20 pm |

    In my (usually not so humble) opinion, I think whether the accuser lied or not is not really the point or the problem. Personally, I think it is beyond clear that the accused players are innocent. And there is evidence she lied, or at least has severe confusion, because her story has changed so many times.

    But I don’t think the focus should be on her at all. Really, even if she did lie, I have some sympathy for her because she obviously has personal troubles that led her there. Not that this excuses her lying – doing so in this case is criminal, but see, whether she lied or not is irrelevant because the DA and police are professionals who are supposed to verify crime complaints before filing charges. I see this as a failure of the DA and the police alone. I see this as yet another corrupt prosecutor, interested in politics and power and not justice.

    All this scorn heaped on the accuser is missing that important point and letting the true guilty parties off easy – the DA and the police. The prosecutor and the police should be the ones with their pictures plastered in the paper with captions like ‘liar!’ and worse. They should lose their jobs. They should be prosecuted. They are the professionals who have no excuse. The accuser, even if she did lie, it looks more like mental illness to me than malice. Of course, that’s just my opinion. In any case, it is rather nasty to hold that against her. Regardless of her veracity, it was irresponsible for the police and the prosecutor to do what they did when the evidence clearly did not support it. They are the ones at fault here, not her. Anyone can lie. Not everyone has to believe a lie. Responsible police and prosecutors don’t without supporting evidence.

  354. Jason
    Jason April 15, 2007 at 3:35 pm |

    Funny how you can tell a great deal about people who are so willing to bring up their anecdotes of lying victims, yet somehow that never seems to square with all the women who’ve been raped and yet have never reported it.

    I always assumed it had to do with the people you could open up to. Guys talk to, and feel open with other guys, and talk about false rape accusations they know of. From there it spreads, and all the guys in the group know about it.

    Similarly, women know more about rape because they’re on that end of the spectrum.They talk with other women and then all the other women know about it.

    So I guess it comes down to women knowing a woman who was raped, and all guys knowing a guy who had a false rape accusation leveled against him.

  355. Dana
    Dana April 15, 2007 at 3:49 pm |

    This is a long article, and I’ll admit that I haven’t read through the 383 comments which preceed mine, so this point may have been made before.

    I’m troubled by your statement:

    The DA dropped the ball on this one, not the woman, which is why I don’t understand the desire to post her picture and her personal information online.

    Yet, you chose to publish the names of the three men she accused who did not rape her, three men that even you held probably did not rape her.

    You separated it by saying:

    The fact is that the three Duke men will go on leading lives of relative privilege. I’m not trying to downplay the trauma of being falsely accused of a crime, but these men have hordes of support. They are roundly perceived as innocent white victims of an evil black hypersexed slut. They had some of the best lawyers available. They will graduate from a top-tier university, and they will go on to have well-paying jobs.

    She will forever be branded a lying whore. She will go back to her home in Durham — not her pricey dorm room, not the house her parents pay for her to live and party in — and she’ll try to move on with her life. She’ll have survived assault, and she’ll have survived being used as pawn by the media and her local legal establishment. She isn’t coming out unscathed. Further attempts to cause her harm — posting her pictures, calling her a liar — strike me as unbelievably cruel (not to mention usually hypocritical).

    Well, no, Jill, not quite. One of the three men had already been graduated, and had secured a good job on Wall Street; that job was put on hold through all of this, so he has lost about a year’s salary. All three of them have huge legal bills. The two men who were sophomores at the time lost a year of school, and although Duke has chosen to allow them to return, they haven’t; they have applications out to other colleges, the acceptance of which (according to the CBS Evening News on the day the charges were dropped) were all in abeyance, pending the dropping of the charges.

    Eventually they’ll be graduated from some school, though probably not one as prestigious as Duke. And when their résumés go out, there will be a lot of human resources people who take one look at the names and say, our companies don’t need this guy, not when we’ve got other equally qualified candidates. Picture yourself as an HR manager: would you consider Mr Evans if you had other qualified candidates — or would his résumé go in the roundfile?

    These men were not guilty, and if they are no longer sweating jail, they have had their lives financially ruined, and their careers probably hurt.

    The “accuser,” whose name you will not allow to be used, isn’t coming out of this easily either. Her injury in this case is not the same as the injuries to the three men, but you will print their names and not hers; that’ to me, is a huge double-standard.

  356. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred April 15, 2007 at 4:32 pm |

    *throws a bucket of water on duke lacrosse team* “I’m Ruined! Roo-ind!…”

    our companies don’t need this guy

    …because he’s prone to hiring strippers, then refuses to pay them prior to hurling racist and sexist slurs around at those strippers in front of witnesses, and is therefore a liability to the company.

    Which he is.

  357. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred April 15, 2007 at 4:33 pm |

    and all guys knowing a guy who had a false rape accusation leveled against him.

    No, thye know a freind of a guy who’s cousin was accused of rape.

  358. Tom Becks
    Tom Becks April 15, 2007 at 4:43 pm |

    Cooper’s faulty decision not to prosecute Precious for filing a false police report leaves room for ideologues like Filipovic to continue to pursue an agenda on the backs of the Duke 3. It’s a travesty.

    In order to shut down irresponsible people like Filipovic, Precious must be thoroughly exposed for the liar she is. She must be deposed. She must be cross examined. And she must be forced to pay in some equitable fashion for the egregious and destructive lies she told.

    Rae “Wrong Families” Evans has promised to litigate against Nifong. One hopes that litigation will include Precious, too.

  359. exangelena
    exangelena April 15, 2007 at 4:58 pm |

    Almost 400 comments – maybe we should play antifeminist bingo.

  360. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 15, 2007 at 5:28 pm |

    Loosely Twisted,

    Thank you for responding to Bilbo Baggins’ post so that I didn’t have to bother (this is not sarcasm). You basically said that needed to be said. :D

  361. Stace
    Stace April 15, 2007 at 6:06 pm |

    Oh ginmar, why do you hate men, not all of them are rapists and abusers, don’t you know you have to be distinguishing while they are indiscriminate.

    So you’re a hypocritical strawfeminist ginmar, while they’re merely hypocritical rape apologists for trying to call you on it. And they’re men, so they have the moral high ground

    Uh, well yes, that’s true. They are not all rapists, and in fact only a small minority of men are rapists. So in fact yes, we do have to be distinguishing.

    It is not and never has been that “they” are indiscriminate if “they” means men. Even in the context of your sentence, “they” has to mean the very small minority of men that are rapists.

    Yes, we have to understand that most men are not rapists and that regardless of what most men do and what we want a very small minority of men are rapists and a small minority of women are violence prone as well.

    Some women do kill their husbands, their lesbian lovers, and their children. Should men tar us all indiscriminately?

    R. Mildred, aren’t you being sexist here?

    It is no

  362. ginmar
    ginmar April 15, 2007 at 6:26 pm |

    Stace, are you being stupid here, or is it natural?

  363. Sjofn
    Sjofn April 15, 2007 at 6:27 pm |

    Thank you for the post, sorry to see that the comment thread is so depressing.

  364. MrSoul
    MrSoul April 15, 2007 at 6:51 pm |

    Anonymous, #26, thank you so much for you post. I’ve been thinking about it for two days now. You’ve taught me a great deal, in just a few paragraphs.

  365. Common Sense Political Thought
    Common Sense Political Thought April 15, 2007 at 6:53 pm |

    The Duke not-rape case

    Why is it that the “victim’s” identity needs to be protected, but the names of the wrongly accused “assailants” do not?

  366. Actual Liberal
    Actual Liberal April 15, 2007 at 8:09 pm |

    Jill, you really ought to familiarize yourself with the facts before writing something like this.

    For one thing, you keep saying that the nurse’s exam “found injuries consistent with assault.” It did? Really? Since when? In reality, the ONLY thing is found was “diffuse edema of the vaginal walls” – exactly what you’d expect from an escort who had been to three previous one-on-one engagements in the previous 24 hours (from the statement of her driver) and who had engaged in intercourse with many different men recently (from the DNA reports).

    As far as the fact that you don’t even know about the ridiculous “line-up”… how can anyone possibly take anything you say about this seriously, since you don’t know the most basic facts?

    Unless the laws of physics don’t apply in Durham and EVERYONE is lying EXCEPT the accuser, it is simply impossible that she was raped. She was never alone with anyone except the other dancer. Why did she leave her stuff behind? Because she was wasted out of her skull on booze and Flexeril and god knows what else! In fact, she DIDN’T mean to leave her purse behind, because she mistakenly grabbed Dave Evan’s shaving kit by mistake when she left the bathroom (according to his lawyer, and it’s also visible in her hand in the picture of her standing on the back porch, smiling – after she was supposedly “brutally raped”).

    If one woman in a million is lying about being raped, then guess what, this is that one in a million. You’d be doing feminists a favor if you could just recognize that.

  367. Dave
    Dave April 15, 2007 at 9:52 pm |

    While many of the posts highlight the angst this case has caused, I, for one, as a feminist male, am more fearful of how some people have twisted factual information or used discredited information (e.g., rape kit evidence) to bolster a position. For instance, several posts assert that the victim did not materially change her story, which is untrue even in the most generous of interpretations. I was aghast at the more recent description offered by Cooper as to how the accuser said she was hoisted into the air while in a small bathroom and violated, a version quite different than the two main storylines she proffered earlier and a virtual impossibility given the physical space. Wow. Anyway, I have refocused my energy toward feminist causes benefitting those who have mental health issues, but remain without societal help. Women such as the accuser might very well fall into this category (indeed my early belief that she suffered from such was the inspiration). Would I help her gain community support, absolutely. Would I help her persist with rape allegations, absolutely not.

  368. Blog of the Moderate Left » I Shouldn’t Even Bother With This…

    [...] nd think them guilty.  As for what I feel actually happened, I think Jill sums things up better than I can.  Incidentally, for her troubl [...]

  369. Blog of the Moderate Left » Why Kathy Sierra Matters

    [...] ed by her very presence in the boys’ club.  Jill Filipovic has been repeatedly threatened with rape and sexual assault for daring to [...]

  370. ginmar
    ginmar April 16, 2007 at 8:24 am |

    Why is it that when somebody takes care to name or describe themselves as an actual liberal or something like that, they proceed to act like everything but a liberal?

    God, rape brings out the rape apologists and the guys who think it’s okay to blame women viciously. They leap right to it, over a whole spectrum of behavior. Never mind all the evidence that the Duke guys were utter scumbags who are precisely the kind of privileged assholes who only need to take one more step to be rapists. They have to defend men, no matter how scummy.

    We’re noticing, guys. You’re defending scumbags and bashing women. Don’t think we’re not paying attention.

  371. ginmar
    ginmar April 16, 2007 at 8:26 am |

    Why is it that when somebody takes care to name or describe themselves as an actual liberal or something like that, they proceed to act like everything but a liberal?

    God, rape brings out the rape apologists and the guys who think it’s okay to blame women viciously. They leap right to it, over a whole spectrum of behavior. Never mind all the evidence that the Duke guys were utter scumbags who are precisely the kind of privileged assholes who only need to take one more step to be rapists. They have to defend men, no matter how scummy.

    We’re noticing, guys. You’re defending scumbags and bashing women. Don’t think we’re not paying attention.

  372. Lunatic Left  » Blog Archive   » God I Hate This Story - A Liberal Blog with Interesting Content Therein

    [...] ; Finally! Some trolls!

    God I Hate This Story

    Jill has a nice post about it. I hate public rape cases. They bring out th [...]

  373. Actual Liberal
    Actual Liberal April 16, 2007 at 10:24 am |

    Never mind all the evidence that the Duke guys were utter scumbags who are precisely the kind of privileged assholes who only need to take one more step to be rapists.

    Such as what, exactly?

    Stupidly hiring a couple of strippers is a long way from rape. If you have *any* evidence that indicates that anybody got raped, please, do share it with us. Otherwise it’s her ever-changing word against everyone else’s, plus all the evidence, plus the findings of the attorney general and the special prosecutors.

    I think your agenda is showing.

  374. PoliticalCritic
    PoliticalCritic April 16, 2007 at 10:24 am |

    Wow, you get comments like that on the blog? That is completely unacceptable.

    As a blogger who writes controversial material, I get my share of rude and inappropriate commentary, but nothing that rises to this level.

  375. SixtiesLiberal
    SixtiesLiberal April 16, 2007 at 11:28 am |

    Even after North Carolina’s Attorney General says his office reinvestigated this case and the defendants are innocent of these charges and no sexual assault occurred in that house, there is a lot of emotion on the case. Over 400 responses!

    Well, here is another. I don’t thinkpubishing her picture really deters true victims from coming forward and it might deter further fraudulent claims.

    As to the topic of the original essay not being about what happened in the case, it is hard for us who have obviously read more than Jill has read not to respond to statements of hers like this:

    …there’s about a 98% chance that she’s telling the truth.

    This isn’t a choice between the three Duke lacrosse players being guilty OR her being a liar. They can be innocent, and she can still be raped. There were a lot of people in that house that night, and the three indictees are not the only possible perpetrators.

    Ay, yi, yi. When highly sensitive DNA testing finds no DNA of any team player on or in her body, yet finds multiple others’, when other non-testimonial evidence (ATM photos, photos at the house, cell phone records) contradict her police statements, how could you possibly cling to the idea she was sexually assaulted inside that house? Please, please read what Mr. Cooper releases which he says supports his finding.

    The only thing that explains your clinging to the belief that white lax players sexually assaulted her that night is cognitive dissonance. Look it up.

  376. The problem with widely publicized rape cases « I am the Lizard Queen!

    [...] sm, Sex, Media, News at 10:09 am by The Lizard Queen Jill over at Feministe wrote a great post on Friday about the exoneration of the Duke lacross [...]

  377. Lorelei
    Lorelei April 16, 2007 at 12:54 pm |

    Well, here is another. I don’t thinkpubishing her picture really deters true victims from coming forward and it might deter further fraudulent claims.

    had this happened before i was raped, it would’ve been reason #7453984798 to not attempt to prosecute.

    because i totally need my name and picture all over the fucking place while trying to prosecute a crime that many people will think is my fault.

  378. Actual Liberal
    Actual Liberal April 16, 2007 at 1:03 pm |

    Seems like your anger would be better directed at the woman who filed the false report, and the scumbag DA who exploited her to get himself free publicity for his political campaign.

  379. appletree  » Blog Archive   » Angry Feminists Get Active

    [...] ral good points as she objects to the practice of publishing photographs of the accuser in th [...]

  380. ACS
    ACS April 16, 2007 at 1:29 pm |

    The key problem with this case is that both the defense and the prosecution decided that the media, not the courts, had jurisdiction. The defense parceled out leaks to friendly media (like, for instance, the two different putative results of the rape examination) while the prosecution, which should have had its hands tied, revealed information it shouldn’t have.

    This case became clearly unprosecutable at some early point: leaks by the prosecution, poor investigative techniques (the photo lineup was inexcusable), and the accuser’s own changing story created what would certainly constitute — for anyone who believes that a reasonable doubt can exist in a rape case — a reasonable doubt. That much is clear. However, the defense — because of its reduced ethical burden — has been allowed to reveal far more evidence than the prosecution. My own experience with defense counsel, and especially defense investigators*, has made me more than a bit skeptical of information coming out of a defense investigation. Of course, I’m also skeptical of information coming out of cops, but, hell, at least cops have some standards they’re forced to adhere to.

    My issue is not whether this trial-by-media has had a fair outcome, but whether a trial-by-media is the correct way to determine the guilt or innocence of someone accused of a crime. Given the results of this clusterfuck, the only reason to insist on the same treatment for the accuser is to punish her without the need for a trial; indeed, the investigation has resulted in no charges against her whatsoever.

    — ACS

    * We have a local defense investigator, working for the local attorney that pretty much handles all the second-degree rape cases around here — the date rape cases — who used to be a lieutenant for the local police department. He can still use the title, apparently, because police departments are paramilitary. He’ll call victims, and tell them, “Hi, I’m Lt. (name), and I’m working on your case. I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions?” And then he does.

  381. Actual Liberal
    Actual Liberal April 16, 2007 at 1:38 pm |

    That would certainly explain why the Attorney General and the Special Prosecutors who investigated the case determined not just that there wasn’t enough evidence to go forward, but that there was no evidence whatsoever that any attack occurred and that the accused players were not just not guilty, but factually innocent.

    Because of the media. Right.

  382. ACS
    ACS April 16, 2007 at 1:59 pm |

    That would certainly explain why the Attorney General and the Special Prosecutors who investigated the case determined not just that there wasn’t enough evidence to go forward, but that there was no evidence whatsoever that any attack occurred and that the accused players were not just not guilty, but factually innocent.

    Did I dispute any of that? No. I think this case was monumentally fuckered from start to finish. What I don’t understand is why your position is: “The poor, poor boys received a trial by media! They got all the facts wrong! Now let’s subject the accuser to the same treatment!”

    There has been a substantiative declaration by the prosecution team that no prosecutable crimes occurred: that the lacrosse players were factually innocent, and that the accuser did not, for whatever reason, meet the NC standard for false reporting. Why are you accepting one and eliding the other?

    — ACS

  383. Actual Liberal
    Actual Liberal April 16, 2007 at 2:33 pm |

    Nice strawman argument. I’ll thank you to not put words in my mouth and then attempt to argue with them.

    I don’t demand that the accuser receive a “trial by media”. To tell you the truth, I don’t really have strong feelings about her one way or the other – it would be one thing if I thought she was doing this simply to extort money or something, but according to the Attorney General, who certainly knows better than I do, the accuser is one extremely disturbed young woman. The AG seems to feel that she is so messed up that there’s no point in prosecuting her for filing the false report. That’s good enough for me, I see no point in making her situation worse than it apparently is already.

    At the same time, I don’t see why she is entitled to any protection as far as her identity goes. She is not a rape victim. She was never a rape victim (at least, at the “lacrosse house”). Therefore, she is not entitled to the protections that we – quite properly – give to rape victims, and even to people who make accusations of rape. I think the protection of the identity of rape victims is completely appropriate. I think we should protect the identities of people who make rape accusations as well, even if there is no finding of guilt. HOWEVER, when it is conclusively established that the accuser made a false report – as is the case here, whether people want to admit it or not – they should no longer be entitled to that protection.

    I look forward to all the insults and angry names I’m sure to be called after advocating something so sensible.

  384. ginmar
    ginmar April 16, 2007 at 3:27 pm |

    Something so sensible? Nice that you’ve appointed yourself judge and jury of this woman.

    Oh, yeah, and you know what else? I’d call a conviction for gay bashing—-assault—-a documented history of being rude, racist, sexist, and inconsiderate to their neighbors a pretty fair documentation of being scumbags. But I’m funny like that.

    Yeah, by all means, let’s expose this victim. Why, I’m sure reasonable assholes won’t track her down and make her life hell. After all, it’s not like innocuous tech writers get harassed. I’m sure a rape victim that men are eager to bash and harass and libel is going to have a walk in the park.

  385. Actual Liberal
    Actual Liberal April 16, 2007 at 4:06 pm |

    Might want to check the facts again, ginmar.

    No gay bashing.

    No rape victim.

    No clue.

  386. CTD
    CTD April 16, 2007 at 4:08 pm |

    Yeah, by all means, let’s expose this victim.

    Ugh. There’s that word again. Precious is not the victim here.

    The three innocent men she falsely accused are.

    She was not raped in that house that night. Unless, of course, you are privy to some information to which the rest of us are not. I’m sure the North Carolina AG would love to hear it.

  387. Tom Becks
    Tom Becks April 16, 2007 at 4:34 pm |

    Am I surprised that you lack the integrity to post my wholly relevant comments? Not at all. It’s in perfect keeping with the ideology you espouse, which denies humanity its maddening complexity, and demands rigid conformity from the simpletons who abide by it.

  388. Regina
    Regina April 16, 2007 at 5:42 pm |

    Tom Becks: hold your horses. comments get held up in the moderation queue all the time, and if that’s what happened it’s nothing personal. If it turns out that Jill deleted your supposedly relevant comments, then that’s at her discretion– and if the comments were so darned important then go write your own blog.

  389. ginmar
    ginmar April 16, 2007 at 7:33 pm |

    Colin Finnerty pleaded GUILTY to the assault on a gay man in Washington DC and got his sentence cut by another good ole boy. I really don’t need to quote the various comments about ‘n-words, skinning strippers and so forth that surfaced in the media. But, hey, if you think assaulting gay men and wanting to skin women is okay, no wonder you take up the case of these guys.

  390. rainne
    rainne April 16, 2007 at 8:02 pm |

    women knowing a woman who was raped, and all guys knowing a guy who had a false rape accusation leveled against him

    Really? All men know, personally, a guy who’s had a false rape accusation leveled at him? First-hand?

    And even if they do, I think you’ll find that women don’t ‘know a woman who was raped’, they (we) know lots and lots of women who were raped. Often including ourselves.

    If you, as a man, can point to ten of your personal friends and swear that five of them have had a false rape accusation leveled against them – them, not their brother’s mate’s houseguest or some guy they’ve never met but have read about in the media or the apocryphal ‘man in an empty train carriage’ anecdote – then I’ll reconsider my position.

    Right now, it seems like I hardly know any women who haven’t been raped. And I have never met a woman who reported it, let alone got a conviction. Never. That’s just me, and that’s just anecdata, but let’s not equivocate, hmm?

    On topic: raging red, thanks for that explanation of why it’s sometimes better to publish the names of the accused (for various crimes). I understand the idea of transparency of the legal system, of course, but do you think there’s an argument for not releasing personal information until … eh, I don’t know, a case is actually in court on trial? I don’t know. I always feel uncomfortable when I see the names and faces of alleged (non-convicted) criminals in the paper, and yet I see what you’re saying. Is there a compromise?

    As for this case, whilst I am in agreement with Jill as to the vulnerability of this particular woman and horrified at the vile reaction I’ve read here and seen elsewhere – for the purposes of the exercise, I wondered if it would have been okay to publish the name and picture of someone who had clearly, unequivocally, beyond all possible doubt manufactured a false allegation for malicious reasons?

    Please note that the following example DOES NOT reflect any views about the actual case in hand!

    Say you’ve got a little old granny, who alleges that her son-in-law has sexually attacked her. And he’s vilified in the media, and he loses his wife and custody of his kids, and his friends shun him, and he loses his job. And it turns out – without doubt – that she has fabricated the entire thing wilfully and maliciously, in order to separate him from his family because she never liked him.

    Should her picture be published with LIAR written next to it?

    No. Still no. Because the next time an elderly woman does experience an attack by a relative, she’ll keep silent for fear of not being believed. Because we shouldn’t sell papers and air time and talk shows on hate. Because if you believe in the legal system you don’t need to resort to public shaming.

    And because it doesn’t achieve anything. What does having this woman’s picture on the front cover do for the falsely accused? What does it achieve except to threaten those who may come forward that the consequences are dire? It’s just punishment. And it makes me sick.

  391. Mitch Crawford
    Mitch Crawford April 16, 2007 at 8:22 pm |

    Colin Finnerty pleaded GUILTY to the assault on a gay man in Washington DC and got his sentence cut by another good ole boy. I really don’t need to quote the various comments about ‘n-words, skinning strippers and so forth that surfaced in the media. But, hey, if you think assaulting gay men and wanting to skin women is okay, no wonder you take up the case of these guys.

    My understanding was that Finnerty called a man an epithet used to denote gays while in a some kind of a drunken shoving match. I don’t think the guy actually was gay. It sounds like it was a bar fight; if he’d targetted a person for attack for being gay, that probably would have been an exacerbating circumstance, which would have made the attack a felony. DC is a very Democratic town, and I’m sure their hate crime statute covers sexual orientation.

    And nobody got skinned. According to an article in Newsweek this week, the lacrosse players had paid $800 for two hours of performance, and the accuser showed up in a condition of such severe intoxication that she could barely stand up.

    The strippers danced for all of five minutes, and then the scene turned ugly. Basically the kind of thing that would probably happen when a group of college guys pay $800 up front for a stripper who shows up too drunk to stand up. Names were called back and forth. An epithet was used (although not by any of the accused) Somebody took the money out of the accuser’s purse which she left in the bathroom when she was staggering around and collapsing on the lawn.

    But nobody raped her. She fabricated or imagined that, and pursued it for over a year, and, inexcusably, the prosecutor continued to pursue the case even after it was very clear that the identification was flawed, the witness was not credible, and the evidence was contradicted every version of her story.

    I take up the case of these guys because they were accused of a heinous crime that they did not commit. A crime that did not occur. You’d apparently build some kind of frat boy concentration camp if you ran things, but I think few people are of an ideological disposition thatwould allow them to support criminalization of the condition of being a college undergraduate man.

  392. Knemon
    Knemon April 16, 2007 at 8:39 pm |

    “I’d rather our prisons weren’t holding pens for War on Drugs offenders”

    You have at least one thing in common with William F. Buckley. Who knew?

  393. Actual Liberal
    Actual Liberal April 16, 2007 at 8:55 pm |

    No. Still no. Because the next time an elderly woman does experience an attack by a relative, she’ll keep silent for fear of not being believed. Because we shouldn’t sell papers and air time and talk shows on hate. Because if you believe in the legal system you don’t need to resort to public shaming.

    And because it doesn’t achieve anything. What does having this woman’s picture on the front cover do for the falsely accused? What does it achieve except to threaten those who may come forward that the consequences are dire? It’s just punishment. And it makes me sick.

    I’m sympathetic to your position here. But I would note that what your hypothetical has is a person who has been punished for doing nothing wrong (a false allegation of rape) and a person who has NOT been published for actually doing something wrong (the false accuser).

    One the one hand, I understand your point that you don’t want to discourage real reports. On the other hand, the system you advocate would result in there being absolutely no consequences for falsely accusing someone of rape.

  394. ACS
    ACS April 16, 2007 at 8:56 pm |

    My understanding was that Finnerty called a man an epithet used to denote gays while in a some kind of a drunken shoving match. I don’t think the guy actually was gay. It sounds like it was a bar fight; if he’d targetted a person for attack for being gay, that probably would have been an exacerbating circumstance, which would have made the attack a felony. DC is a very Democratic town, and I’m sure their hate crime statute covers sexual orientation.

    It does. Their hate crimes statute (DC ST § 22-3703) does not, however, automatically elevate to felony status. It allows a discretionary multiplier to be applied to the sentence. Please at least look or, alternately, get your JD, before blithering about what the law “must” say.

    — ACS

  395. ginmar
    ginmar April 16, 2007 at 9:11 pm |

    So Mitch is psychic and he KNOWS what happened in that house. Gee, all that time we wasted. Love the whitewash job on your little hero, though.

  396. Actual Liberal
    Actual Liberal April 16, 2007 at 9:39 pm |

    I suspect it’s merely that Mitch can read, while ginmar can’t be bothered. Why let the reality-based community intrude on her little hate-fest?

  397. Grumpy
    Grumpy April 16, 2007 at 9:46 pm |

    On the original topic, no: I don’t think it’s right to turn the media barrage on her. When the guys were charged my position was “wait for the verdict” and I’ll take the same position for her, and that’s if she’s even charged.

    A couple of side notes:

    Imagine you’re the director of human resources and one of these guys is interviewing for a job with your company. I’m sure YOU won’t hold it against them, but will it influence your decision that some of their potential coworkers might? Or that the company might lose clients over it?

    Jill: sorry, but I have to say this.

    “I haven’t seen any definitive evidence that she was not raped.”
    “show me CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE that no rape occurred”
    “if in fact they were not involved with the assault”
    “if there was any conclusive evidence that a rape never occurred”

    You think it is the responsibility of the accused to PROVE that no crime occurred?

    “there’s a 98% change that she was raped”
    “my believing that she was raped, that it happened in that house, and that there were multiple assailants”

    What are you basing this on? The medical exam did NOT show evidence of assault, despite what several have said here

  398. Jason
    Jason April 16, 2007 at 10:44 pm |

    The more I read this blog, the more I think that it’s necessary to post her photo and information. I think it’ll help reduce the knee jerk reaction of immediate vilification of the accused. While this may induce a skepticism of the accuser, perhaps that’s a good thing? The fact that this case continued for a year suggests that perhaps it is too easy to accuse someone of rape.

  399. rainne
    rainne April 17, 2007 at 3:00 am |

    But, Actual Liberal, then you have a balance between ‘making it too easy to falsely accuse’ and ‘making it too hard to legitimately accuse’, and I guess I’m disagreeing with what I see as your balancing choice.

    Look.

    If you have faith in the legal system, then you believe that those who are falsely accused will not be convicted, and those who are legitimately accused will be. Can we take that as a given for the purposes of this argument? That we’re only talking about the harm to reputation, etc?

    So the only purpose of shaming accusers/alleged victims would be because you believe that, in general, false accusations should be avoided more than legitimate complainants should be encouraged to complain. With me so far?

    In which case you are also saying that being falsely accused (and then acquitted with no gaol time) is worse than being the victim of a violent crime and feeling that you have no way of getting justice.

    Let me ask this simply. If the statistics were 50:50. If it was zero-sum. If by increasing the possibilities of shaming, one false report was discouraged for every one legitimate complaint that never got heard. If the laws were changed in the other direction, so that one legitimate victim was able to complain where she would never before have dared and one false accuser was emboldened to do the same.

    If this was the case, do you think it more important to stop the false accusations, or encourage the silent victims to seek justice?

  400. Actual Liberal
    Actual Liberal April 17, 2007 at 5:13 am |

    In which case you are also saying that being falsely accused (and then acquitted with no gaol time) is worse than being the victim of a violent crime and feeling that you have no way of getting justice.

    We’re on the same page here. What you have in the quote above is a situation where one party (the falsely accused) has suffered actual harm through no fault of their own, while the other party (the real victim) is suffering a “feeling.” (Obviously they are suffering plenty of actual harm from the rape, but that’s outside the focus of this discussion.) The thing is, that “feeling” is not based on truth – they actually can get justice (again, assuming that the justice system works, which again is a leap of faith, but one we’re taking as a given for the purposes of this discussion).

    In the end it’s a policy decision, and like most policy decisions there’s no perfect solution. As an attorney, I certainly lean towards favoring protecting the rights of the accused to maintain their presumption of innocence. And frankly, the fact that as a man I’m a lot more worried about being falsely accused of rape than I am about being raped almost certainly influences the policy I would favor. I imagine that as a woman the fact that you presumably have the opposite worry probably influences that policy you would favor as well. Perfectly reasonable.

    I think that in the case at hand, the facts are *so* extreme (regardless of what Jill wants to believe, there is zero chance that the accuser was raped at the lacrosse house), and it is *so* certain that the charges were utterly false that if there’s ever a set of circumstances where we should agree that a false accuser should not be entitled to the protections that real victims deserve, this is it. As I think I said previously – if it is justified one time in a million, then this is that one time in a million.

    I think that arguing that someone who made patently false allegations should be entitled to the same protections that real victims are entitled to weakens the case for those protections for the real victims, because that is such an unreasonable position. That’s why I think that continuing to support a false accuser is ultimately counter-productive.

  401. Disgusted Beyond Belief
    Disgusted Beyond Belief April 17, 2007 at 8:23 am |

    First, as I stated before, I don’t necessarily think the false accuser should be prosecuted. Though I do think what she did was wrong and ultimately inexcusable.

    But based on the information available currently in the public record, I’d say that if she were prosecuted, on that evidence, she would probably be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and convicted.

    And I wanted to say something about the Granny hypothetical above. Most crimes are not in the national media. Most local police departments do not talk to each other, particularly if they are some distance apart or in another state. There would be a VERY good reason to post Granny’s picture with ‘liar’ on it – to prevent her from committing the same crime again elsewhere, particularly if she wasn’t officially prosecuted for it the first time. I’ve watched plenty of real life crime shows where criminals have gotten away with things for years just by moving around alot, so they get a ‘clean slate’ and can victimise again. That’s why we have sex offender registries. And I think that’s why those who lie about crimes need to be publicised, and perhaps put in a registry. Sorry, but you don’t get to lie like that and then get a free ride to do it again. And if you later have a real crime to report, but are not believed, you have no one to blame but yourself for the first false report. Of course, all complaints should be investigated, but if it is something that comes down to just your word, and your word is proven bad, well, again, and this needs to be made very clear. Don’t lie. Ever. Not about matters like crime.

    Of course, my pet peeve about this is still the prosecutor and police action.

  402. rainne
    rainne April 17, 2007 at 6:22 pm |

    I assume no-one else is still reading this thread, but hey, Actual Liberal, in case you are:

    Nothing in my scenario fails to prevent the rights of an accused perpetrator to maintain their innocence. In our ‘the justice system always gets it right’ hypothetical, to be accused =! to be guilty. So I’m not seeing where ‘failing to punish false accusers’ challenges the right of an accused to defend the presumption of innocence.

    I also think that ‘feeling’ you can’t file charges against your rapist constitutes actual harm over and above the rape itself, so I still think we’re talking about equal things.

    But that’s okay, because you acknowledge that you come down on the side of ‘preventing false accusations’ over ‘encouraging legitimate accusations’ out of self-interest. I don’t think your risk of being falsely accused of rape compares in either likelihood (that it’ll happen) or magnitude (of the harm) to my fear of being raped without a way to punish the rapist. And of course, the statistics are on my side.

    But hey, it’s been a useful discussion. And just for the record, I’m a lawyer too.

  403. Actual Liberal
    Actual Liberal April 17, 2007 at 6:44 pm |

    I’m still checking in.

    Nothing in my scenario fails to prevent the rights of an accused perpetrator to maintain their innocence. In our ‘the justice system always gets it right’ hypothetical, to be accused =! to be guilty. So I’m not seeing where ‘failing to punish false accusers’ challenges the right of an accused to defend the presumption of innocence.

    The problem is that merely being accused of rape causes harm – it’s a stigma that never entirely goes away. For example, look at Jill’s article – she’s still claiming that the false accuser was raped, despite the lack of any evidence whatsoever that would back that up (the “evidence” she cites above is wrong in every particular – apparently she failed to get the memo that Mike Nifong lied his ass off about the strength of his case, because she’s still quoting his long-discredited claims as gospel truth). Even if the charges are completely false, there will still be a number of people who are still going to treat you as if they were true.

    I think that outweighs a “feeling” that is actually without basis, but that’s my calculus – yours is apparently different, but hey, that’s cool.

    I’m not sure how much I trust anybody’s statistics. I’ve seen statistics that would indicate that somewhere around half of rapes reported to police turn out to be untrue, and of course Jill cites another statistic that indicates that only 2% are untrue. Who knows. And of course, I am virtually certain that most rapes aren’t reported at all – I know several victims, and none of them reported it for various reasons.

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