Thursday, June 9, 2016

Drink Responsibly...

I am just getting to old for this crap. Here's the story. A Stanford swimming star was charged, tried, found guilty by a jury, and convicted of raping a young woman for which he has been sentenced to 6 months in jail and his name in the Sex Offender database for the rest of his life. One would think that is a good outcome.

Oh, but wait folks...apparently not. The prosecutor asked for 14 years, but the judge chose to sentence the guy to 6 months (3 months off for good behavior) and a lifetime as a branded sex offender. Social media went insane because of the light sentence and petitions are making the rounds and being signed to recall the judge for the light sentence.

Here are the basic facts (from my perspective): Blind drunk girl with a blood alcohol level 3 times over the legal limit goes to a frat party. She comes into contact with a boy whose blood alcohol level is 2 times over the legal limit at a Stanford frat party. What could possibly go wrong, right? Drunk boy asks drunk girl back to his dorm room, but they don't make it past the dumpsters before they do what drunk boys and girls at frat parties do. Two students biking around at 1am in the morning for what reason only they know, find drunk boy having sex with drunk girl and stop it. The girl is obviously unconscious. This is bad because, even though the boy swears she gave consent, according to the law, an unconscious person cannot give consent and rightfully so. Ergo, the drunk boy is arrested, charged, convicted, and sentenced to jail time [See: sentence above].

Here is where my frustration comes in. Exactly what wisdom (or lack of it) have we instilled in young women to think that they can voluntarily get blind drunk (3 times over legal limit) and not bear just a tiny bit of responsibility for these kinds of situations? Mind you, the boy IS going to jail and rightfully so, but why does she get to play the completely innocent victim? This may sound harsh, but life comes with risks. And our job is to try our hardest to minimize these risks.

One of those ways is to, say, not take a casual stroll through Central Park at 2am. If you don't do that, then chances of getting mugged are drastically reduces and you have wisely chosen to minimize your risk of being mugged or worse. Another way is to lock your doors and windows when you leave your home to minimize the risk to being robbed. Of course, robbers break in, but by buying insurance against indicates that the homeowner understands that there is a risk and has it covered just in case.

Another very important way is to not get blind drunk before going out your door (or to a frat party). Yes, yes, I know, don't blame the victim. But when one sets out voluntarily to get blind drunk to the point one cannot remember who or where one is, one drastically raises the possibility of bodily harm. You should not get to abdicated personal responsibility and then call yourself an innocent victim. I have been branded a victim-blamer, but it seems to me we could minimize these kinds of crimes by instilling in young women that perhaps the wise choice would be to not go out of their way to make themselves vulnerable by getting blind drunk. If they can try to minimize the risk to their person, it would be a great first-line defense against bodily harm.

Let me stress that none of this means that what this guy who has been tried, convicted, and sentenced is in any way, shape, or form any less of a rapist. There are people in the world who want to do harm to others. But we have to start by acknowledging that there is a risk and to try our hardest to minimize that risk by being responsible and paying attention.

Discuss...or not.


tryanmax said...

I'm with you Bev. I don't know if you read her (incredibly long) letter, but she's spreading the oh so popular mantra that alcohol and sexual assault aren't even in the same universe; that drunk girls are helpless rag dolls while drunk guys have full--if not enhanced--faculties. (Drink apparently lets the evil out.)

I do feel sorry for the victim, but more for the fact that she shows signs of having been influenced by people who want her to think of herself as a victim first and foremost. They are not helping her.

But I also reserve the right to feel sorry for the guilty party. For one, stats suggest he's going to leave prison requiring a colostomy bag, and he won't have the advantage of being blackout drunk learning what happened second hand. I also don't believe in scarlet letters on people for life. If it weren't for the butt rape, he'd be better off staying in prison.

tryanmax said...

I should add that the victim's letter actually lambasts the notion of drinking responsibility, so I feel like I'm being pretty generous in mustering up any sympathy for her.

Koshcat said...

I've got nothing to say since I agree with both of you.

Anthony said...

I disagree with everyone.

There were times when I binge drank, blacked out and then and made a friend for the night, but while we both might have been drunk (usually the women would recall more than I did) but I know we both were both conscious (if impaired). I don't see the appeal in having sex with someone unconscious. Not only can they not give consent, its half a step above necrophilia.

I agree the woman bears a measure of responsibility, but honestly, she paid the price and more when the dude raped her. Personally, the women I've warned about the dangers of getting sloppy drunk alone are the women who lucked out and didn't get raped. Giving that lecture to rape victims is just piling on.

The victim's stupidity in no way, shape or form absolves the criminal whose actions in the case based on the undisputed available evidence are monstrous.

The perp claimed to have no idea how they wound up behind a dumpster. The victim's scars and the stuff in her hair indicated she had been dragged. When passersby came across the two she was clearly unconscious and he tried to run.

I think its really disturbing that the judge went on and on about the guy's athletic abilities and ambitions and how he didn't want to risk imperiling them with a harsh sentence before handing him a sentence far, far below the mandatory minimum for three felonies.

Critch said...

The Air Force encourages all the airmen; men and women, straight and gay, officer and enlisted to have a "wingman" when they go to parties. The idea is that you watch out for each other. Make a rule that if the wingman says "No." they mean "No.". Not a perfect solution. I still have problems with the idea that if women get drunk they are helpless and men are always the aggressor. I once warned a female colonel away from one of my airmen. She was sorta smitten with his athletic good looks and possible stamina...I quietly reminded her that her career would go down the tubes if anyone found out. I don't know the particulars on this case, but I have a feeling she was drunk as a skunk and flaunting things around that party...I've told my sons many times, don't pick up any drunk women, at all, ain't worth it, because for some reason the courts never believe the guy.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anthony. There is a very good article at the federalist that was posted yesterday. It links to the victim's letter,which I thought was very moving, and the rapist's father's letter, in which he talks about what a good athlete his son is and how he shouldn't have to pay a heavy price for "20 minutes action." It's never a good idea to drink yourself blotto but that doesn't mean it's open season on you. How many men were at that party? How many wound up digitally penetrating that woman behind a dumpster? One. The two guys who stumbled on this didn't say "Hey! A drunk chick! Let's pile on!" They chased and caught the punk, called 911 and stood guard until the cops showed up. The rapist ran when the other two guys showed up. If he wasn't doing something wrong why would he run when two guys rode by on bikes? I can see running from the cops because he's afraid of a public indecency ticket and he's on scholarship but why would he run from two guys riding up on bikes unlesss he knew he was doing something wrong? Who gives consent to have sex on the ground behind a dumpster? If he had consent, why not go back to his car or his room? Why drag her behind a dumpster? And I think it's telling that he told the cops that night he couldn't remember consent but a year later at his trial he had total recall of everything that she'd said to him. And anyway, when it comes to sex,unconsciousness trumps consent. Even if she said yes,once she passes out that's kind of a red flag. First of all, who wants to have sex with an unconscious person? Secondly, if she passes out after she gives consent maybe she wasn't in shape to give consent in the first place.
The guy was a swimmer at Stanford. He was convicted of 3 sex related felonies. The maximum penalty was 14 years and the prosecutor requested 6. He was sentenced to 6 months in the county jail(not even prison) band probation by a judge who, it turns out, had been an athlete at Stanford himself. At his sentencing he went on about how drinking is bad, etc. He never acknowledged that he's a rapist. His arrogance and his father's callousness toward the victim on top of the light sentence are, I think< what upset people.

Anonymous said...

I also think that if the circumstances were exactly the same but he was poor, obese and a high school dropout instead of a Stanford scholarship athlete the judge would have been a lot harder on him and that ain't right.

AndrewPrice said...

I have some general thoughts on this.

1. The idea promoted by feminists that women don't lie about rape is a lie. In my legal experience, women lie about rape for a lot of reason, with the most popular being to avoid the shame being heaped on them by family or friends for having sex with a particular boy they were told to avoid. Child custody issues also rank highly.

2. It's stupid for a girl to get drunk at a frat party. That does not justify rape, BUT it makes me question whether or not it was rape. Far too often, I see girls get drunk, go to a frat parties or bars, have sex because they want to, regret it later and claim they were raped. Because of this, I automatically doubt rape claims that involve the girl being drunk at a bar or a frat party.

3. Rape-culture-enthusiast social media runs with the "it doesn't matter if she was naked and drunk and grinding all over the man, an unexpressed NO is still a NO!" and there is no discussion allowed that maybe it was consensual. This tells me that they are not reliable judges of rape cases and I am thankful that judges and juries decide the cases... not them.

4. Feminists claim that the deck is stacked against victims, but the truth is the opposite. Rape shield laws and the kid gloves treatment shown to "victims" by judges make rape cases extremely difficult to defend and result in lots of false convictions. I have never seen less fair cases than rape cases.

5. As for bruises, by the way, the state hires experts who will always find bruises, whether they are there or not. I've seen experts describe a single dime-sized discoloration you could barely see as evidence that is consistent with a "violent twenty minute rape over a tree."

6. As mentioned by tryanmax, it is annoying that drunk women can't be held accountable for their actions, but drunk men are presumed to be totally in control. I guess feminists think that women remain too delicate to be held accountable for their own actions.

7. That said... any male who has sex with a drunk girl he does not already have sex with regularly is a fool and is asking for this. That may not be fair, but that's life. Act accordingly.

8. The boy's father is a douche bag who needs a beating.

9. For those who think prison will get this boy raped, think again. Prison is not what you think it is. The sex tends to be consensual. Criminals are proud of their crimes. Rape isn't a big deal (kiddie rape is different). There are sports teams, good food and entertainment. You can join a band, play video games and lift weights. Some prisons even have dorm-like rooms where inmates get their own keys... not kidding.

10. Registering as a sex offender means nothing anymore because rape-culture-enthusiasts have stupidly defined sex crimes so broadly that it is no longer possible to tell from the registries who is a genuine sex offender and who got caught kissing his 16 year old girlfriend when he turned 18 and ran into a prosecutor looking to make a name for themselves.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - Yes on all points. Thanks...more clearly put than my rant.

tryanmax said...

Color me corrected on prison rape, but I still stand by my opinion on scarlet lettering, regardless how much weight it carries.

I want to add, I may not be the most objective person on this subject. My logic and my emotions are not at all in sync on this topic. My ex falsely accused me of rape during our divorce, though nothing came of it and ultimately I won custody. Still, it was f***ing terrifying in the moment and I relive that fear any time the topic of rape comes up. I realize I used a phrase more commonly uttered by rape victims, but I'm leaving it.

I don't think there was false accusation in the Stanford incident, I'm just pointing out that I'm stuffing heaps of psychological baggage just to write that. (And it took three edits!) I'm not going to name the other lasting effects, just know that it's not merely a bad day that you can simply forget about. Anyone who pooh-poohs the impact false allegations can have on a person at the very least deserves to have some leveled at them.

AndrewPrice said...

You're welcome, Bev.

Rape is a very difficult thing. It's so easy to allege, so hard to prove, and so devastating when it happens.

And unfortunately, it doesn't help that the whole thing is so politicized. Unlike crimes like murder, there is no lobby trying to pick a side before the trial even begins and skew the law to guarantee an outcome.

All of this makes this all very frustrating.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, The prison thing shocked me too until I heard it from the inmates themselves and saw it for myself. It's a bit like college at a lot of prisons. Some suck, but all the newer ones are actually quite nice.

I'm sorry to hear that you were falsely accused, but sadly in my experience that is not uncommon. Typically, in a nasty divorce the wife will suddenly allege abuse of some sort -- there are attorneys I am fairly certain who actually advise it. The level of abuse varies, but at times it does become a rape allegation.

I did an appeal for a 21 year old kid who got 37 to life for the most unbelievable rape story ever told. Not a piece of it made sense or fit the evidence but the judge and the prosecutor were bragging that they would get this kid right before an election and they did. And they used things like the rape shield laws to limit cross-examination of her and to exclude her history of prior false rape allegations with other boyfriends.

The reason the girl told this story was a custody dispute. And once she did, an entire industry kicked into gear to prove the kid was a rapist. They invented a rape location and got her to agree that was where it happened, found a random gun nowhere near where the couple had been and let her claim he used it (they explained the lack of fingerprints by having an expert claim that "fingerprints don't stick to smooth surfaces"), and found bruises that didn't exist. Eleven police officers and nurses were allowed to repeat her story from start to finish even though they witnessed nothing... normally, that's called hearsay and isn't allowed.

In the end, it took me ten years to get the kid out of jail. And the whole time, she would visit him in jail promising to recant but never doing so.

AndrewPrice said...

Let me add too, I'm not particularly pro-defendant. I am pro-fairness. Nor do I think that most rape allegations are false. A significant number are and I think it's asinine that we are told we can't consider that without being written off as anti-woman, but as a percentage, that number is still very small. The vast, vast majority of men (and women) in prison for rape deserve to be there.

tryanmax said...

"Eleven police officers and nurses were allowed to repeat her story"

Despicable. It's pretty obvious what they were doing. I think it's a fact that hearing a story repeatedly tends to make people believe it, regardless of the evidence. In any case, it certainly appears the prosecution thought the same.

BevfromNYC said...

And this is my perspective. My 5 floor walkup apt building has many apts rented out has student housing for the local universities (big money-maker for our landlord).

In the last few years, I have been awakened on several occasions from a dead sleep at around 3am in the morning (enough time for the bars to close and for drunk people to disperse), by some young woman who swears in her slurred almost unintelligible blather that she is supposed to be meeting her friends here in this building in Apt# and I should let her in. First making sure that she isn't actually in any real danger (except for her soon to be encounter with a very angry middle-aged woman who has just been awakened...blah, blah), I go down to see what the deal is.

Said young woman, swears that this is the building her friends lived in. I repeat, uh well, no such Apt# or 7th floor (I live in a 5 floor walkup building, btw). I follow her up a few floors and she soon realizes that maybe this isn't the right building, but her friends will be here soon, they just told her. I escort to the front door and explain that she has 10 minutes to wait and then she had a choice - she was either going to have to go stand inside the 24 market across the street or I am going to have to call the police and an ambulance to help her sort out her drunk/incoherence problem because she was clearly too stupid to be on the streets alone. Btw, I also lectured her on why she was very freaking lucky that she rang MY bell and not someone get the drift. I would have taken her cellphone and called her friends, but then I would have been accused of assault.

I have very little patience for women who get into that kind of condition where they have no idea where/who/or what they are doing. They start off by making themselves voluntary helpless victims. And her friends are just as culpable for letting her be the potential dead gazelle separated from the herd.

Kit said...

Interestingly, I think the defense attorney was also surprised by the sentence. The prosecution suggested 10-14 years (full sentence given what he was charged w/). My guess is that he was hoping for 5.

So he probably had the same reaction you have when you take a test that you expect to get a C on and instead get an A.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's exactly what happened. It was 12 against one, and 11 of the twelve wore official uniforms and each introduced hearsay evidence and said, "in my professional judgment, this is consistent with her testimony and consistent with rape."

To give you an example, she claimed to be kidnapped at gunpoint (by a gun not found in or near the car when the cops found them at a gas station where he oddly let her use the phone while he went to the bathroom), driven around for two days as he beat her with a pistol (no bruises, but the nurse said this was consistent with rape and being beaten) until he took her into the woods in a national park, dragged her for twenty minutes through the brush (no cuts or dirt) and then violently raped her over a tree trunk.

A week after the arrest, a park ranger drove her around the park looking for tree trumps. She eventually picked one and said, "this looks like it." He then took photos. When he testified, he repeated her story, introduced the photos, called it "the rape site" and said it was consistent with her description of what happened and said he searched the site and "I found that something had happened here that looked consistent with rape" -- that "something" being that the grass had been trampled at some point.

His trial attorney tried to point out these flaws, but when the eleven officers in uniform say that in their professional judgment, this was consistent with rape, there's not much you can do... after all, they're "unbiased," right?

Anyways, the real killer was the rape shield laws which kept out basically anything that would point to her motive to make this up, her mental state or her prior history. Apparently, falsely accusing two prior boyfriends of rape isn't relevant to a rape case and would do the poor victim harm if you were allowed to ask her about that.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, (except for her soon to be encounter with a very angry middle-aged woman who has just been awakened LOL! :)

Whatever college I've been too, or around (or anywhere in West Virginia), I've seen the same thing. Young women who are just as stupid and self-destructive as the stupidest young men.

Unfortunately, feminists still push this idea that all young women are fainting lilies with Victorian sensibilities, so little has been done to stem this problem... like teach then how to behave.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I'm sure they were.

When you get a judge going way out of the norm like this, there's usually a reason. Either the judge thinks the jury is crazy (and may think the girl is lying), or there's politics behind it (you see this mainly with liberal judges), or there's some bias.

I don't know what happened here, but I can't imagine an attorney would expect that sentence after a conviction.

AndrewPrice said...


The victim's stupidity in no way, shape or form absolves the criminal.

I agree with this, but it's not that simple. Think about this...

Scenario 1: If a woman goes to a party, gets drunk, passes out and a guy has sex with her. That is rape and her conduct does not affect his crime.

Scenario 2: BUT if a woman goes to a party, gets drunk, becomes flirtatious and has sex, that's not necessarily rape. You need to ask (1) was she sober enough to give consent, (2) was the guy able to tell how sober she was, and (3) did her conduct make him think she had consented. If the answer to any of these is no, then it's rape. If the answer to each is yes, then it shouldn't be.

The problem, which I think is what everyone is talking about, is that the rape-culture industry attacks anyone who asks if the woman did something that could be interpreted as consent as "blaming the victim," and then says that the woman's conduct is entirely irrelevant... thereby converting all of scenario two into rape no matter what.

That's the problem.

ArgentGale said...

I was wondering if you or Andrew were going to do an article on this, Bev. This whole thing's been so sensationalized that it's been difficult for me to get a read on it one way or another - and I still don't have a good read on it beyond "Complete and utter clusterf@#$% by all parties involved," to be honest. I always get suspicious whenever I see social media in full outrage mob mode, though, especially when agendas and narratives start attaching themselves to it. Regardless of how this particular case ends up shaking out in the end, Andrew, would I be right in guessing that the attempts to politicize it aren't going to move the needle on the issue with the public by a noticeable margin, if it does at all?

As far as the other issue, I do agree that people really need to be more careful and think it's a shame that a serious crime like rape has become so politicized. I don't see that benefiting anyone involved (except for the activists of course). And as always, I'm glad Commentarama is a "sane space," so to speak, where everyone can actually talk these issues out without angry attempts to shut down the debate at all.

- Daniel

Anthony said...


I get that sometimes the lines can be blurry, but this isn't exactly a 'he said she said' situation in which a drunk woman woke up besides a guy and claimed rape. In this case some random passersby saw this creep on top of a clearly unconscious woman behind a dumpster (where the physical evidence indicates he dragged her) at which point he tried to run off.

Anthony said...

On an unrelated note there was a body found in my neighborhood late last night (or early this morning depending on how you look at it). I know the household (the daughter is a friend of my daughters) and I know the guy by reputation (he didn't live there, but visited a lot because it was his baby mamma's house).

Based on everything I know of him, the world is no poorer for his loss (both law enforcement and child protective services had visited the house before), but I hope the girl's mother wasn't involved.

She and the guy beat on each other often enough, but in his line of work people don't settle their disputes in court so perhaps she wasn't involved.

I can't imagine who would take custody of the girl in that case. Not that her mother's custody or father's presence has been such a wonderful thing for the girl but by some miracle of God she seems to more or less have her head on straight(I've done what I could for her, but eventually I had to draw a line which resulted in her visits becoming much less frequent) despite the best efforts of her parents.

Anonymous said...

Anthony: I believe that the emergency room nurse that treated her testified that she had dirt and gravel in her vagina. That's from him wrestling her around in the parking lot to drag her behind the dumpster.

Anthony said...

Wow. He really lucked out in terms of judges.

tryanmax said...

A surprising moment of clarity from WaPo:

Contrary to campus conventional wisdom, the Turner case shows that the best way to deal with a campus sexual assault problem is to rely on law enforcement professionals to protect women and to pursue justice, not on campus disciplinary systems run by amateur sex bureaucrats.

tryanmax said...

According to a source called "romper" the judge said Brock's intoxication mitigated his blame. This is bound to infuriate the "alcohol has no influence" crowd, who will fail to recognize it as pushback against gendered double-standards regarding responsibility and intoxication.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony and GypsyTyger, I don't for a minute think this kid was innocent or that the sentence makes sense. This kid deserved a much greater sentence.

It's all the other crap they are trying to backdoor along with this kid's acts that bother me. This case should not be a pretext for essentially turning a mere allegation of rape into a guaranteed conviction.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, As sad as it is to say it, sometimes there are people who are better off dead.

AndrewPrice said...

Daniel, I don't think this will move the needle. The reason is this...

Prior to the 1960s, men accused of rape were doomed. If they were black, they didn't even reach the courtroom. They were lynched. And often the allegation was made up.

Then reforms were made and the system became fairly well balanced for the most part by the 1980s.

Then the 1990s came. Conservatives who wanted to win election promised to be tough on crime and worked hard to make the system harsher and to strip away legal protections for the accused. They were joined by feminists who did their best to put bubble wrap on the victims and make it impossible for defendants to defend themselves because that conferred official victim status -- the existence of a rape epidemic is vital to the survival of feminism.

At this point, the system is pretty wildly to the pro-victim extreme, and I think we've been seeing a backlash starting in libertarian and (black) liberal ranks.

This has caused feminists to push back and invent the idea of rape culture. They are trying to stop the public from rolling back some of the anti-defendant laws they won in the 1990s. (Hence, the repeated Violence Against Women acts.)

At this point, I don't think either side has the support of the public for moving in either direction yet. Indeed, I can't honestly tell you which way things will go at this point, but the feminists have been massively overplaying their hand -- see e.g. Duke Lacrosse false rape story.

My gut says that the reason feminists are pushing so hard is that they are losing, but I don't have enough of a feeling yet which way this will break.

ArgentGale said...

I think you just summarized what made me uneasy about the whole mess, Andrew, the piling on of the other things and the general agenda and narrative pushing coming out of a crap situation. Do you think this will resonate with the public or lead to other ill effects?

- Daniel

ArgentGale said...

Scratch my question, you answered it well.

ArgentGale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kit said...

"I don't for a minute think this kid was innocent or that the sentence makes sense. This kid deserved a much greater sentence.

It's all the other crap they are trying to backdoor along with this kid's acts that bother me. This case should not be a pretext for essentially turning a mere allegation of rape into a guaranteed conviction."

Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed.

Anthony said...

Going back to the murder case, the two killers have been arrested. They are the brothers of the baby mamma. Their involvement isn't a shock. They are both only lightly acquainted with the world of work (last I heard they were living off a medical settlement one of them got), used a lot of drugs and regularly got into it with the dead guy (for beating up their sister).

BevfromNYC said...

Anthony, we had a case just this week in NYC. Guy broke into a house and tries to rape this woman. The wife got away and called her cab driver husband. He came home, chased the guy down and beat him to death with a tire iron. Guess who has been arrested for murder? The husband should get a parade. The rapist was a long time violent criminal...

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