Friday, October 29, 2010

Man Acquitted of Rape, Despite Massive Evidence Against Him

Timothy West broke into a house through the kitchen window at 1:30 in the morning in March of 2009. He then threatened a woman with a knife and raped her twice. At the end of the 3 hour ordeal, West asked the woman for her number, and she gave it to him (hoping to catch him later). Her brother called 911 right after West left the home, and police became involved.

The next day when West texted the survivor, she asked him why he raped her. He "apologized" and then asked her "You mad at me?... I can't call you no more?" He also admitted that he chose her house at random. This whole conversation was recorded by police. The bravery of the woman in giving her phone number to her rapist in hopes of bringing him to justice resulted in clear evidence against him.

Despite all of that, West was acquitted of all charges.

This exemplifies the struggle survivors face when trying to get justice. This woman's case had clear evidence, and even an admission of guilt from the rapist caught on tape. It also involved a scenario that is traditionally thought of as clearly rape, a break in by a stranger and a weapon being brandished. If the justice system did not manage to get justice for this survivor, it's no wonder that women or men raped by acquaintances or partners, using coercion or threats instead of a weapon or countless other scenarios are not able to get justice. Clearly, something is wrong with the system if such a clear case cannot get a conviction.

Many of the comments on the original NY Times article say something along the lines of "Why was her rapist texting her? She must have known him and just decided to call rape."

To that, I'll relay the words of another commenter:

"hjo4: Rapists get off on power and control. Being able to call his victim, wantonly confess to his crime, and insist that she accept his apology for violating her is right in line with that. Rapists take all sorts of risks such as taking trophies from victims, harassing them, using the same neighborhood as his hunting grounds all in spite of it increasing his chances of getting caught."

Read the article here.

Apology for Harassment Claims

Attached is an article about a sexual harassment incident which occurred nearly two decades ago, but has recently resurfaced. The story is that in 1991, Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas was accused of sexual harassment by Anita Hill, one of his employees. Earlier this month, Clarence's wife Virginia left a message on Anita Hill's answering machine requesting an apology and explanation.

The particulars are enclosed in the following article:

Monday, October 25, 2010

MSU Basketball Players Not Charged For Sexual Assault

Here is the article.

I was surprised by the decision not to prosecute in this case with the statements from the one basketball player said about the other player"'despite her reluctance and statements that she did not want to continue.'" To me this and the survivors statements about the incident seem like enough evidence to say there was coercion. What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ex-Footballer Blames the Victim

An Australian former athlete has posted comments on Twitter blaming a survivor for her assault.

Via Jezebel:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fears of rape in Kenya's slums 'trap women'

High rates of rape in Kenya has forced many women to avoid public places, including public toilets. This has led to serious sanitation problems, as well as disease. Who says sexual assault is not a community issue?