Police find no evidence in U-Va rape case

Charlottesville police revealed on Monday that they found no evidence of gang rape in the infamous University of Virginia case:

Police here say they have found no evidence to support claims in a Rolling Stone article that a University of Virginia student was gang raped at a campus fraternity in September 2012, noting that months of investigation led detectives to discredit several claims about the alleged assault.

Police Chief Timothy J. Longo on Monday afternoon said the police department had multiple meetings with “Jackie” — the woman who claimed she was gang raped at a fraternity party — and that she declined to speak about the alleged incident or provide any information about it. Numerous lines of inquiry yielded evidence that the fraternity did not have a party the night of the alleged attack, and police were unable to find anyone matching the description of the alleged attacker.

“We’re not able to conclude to any substantive degree that an incident occurred at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house or any other fraternity house, for that matter,” Longo said at a news conference. “That doesn’t mean something terrible didn’t happen to Jackie … we’re just not able to gather sufficient facts to determine what that is.”

I understand Longo’s position, however, the findings are fairly damning. Not only do they show that Jackie’s story is false, but they also show that she was unwilling to cooperate with police.

There is no way to spin this: it appears Jackie lied. Continue reading

The so-called victimless crime

The Washington Post ran an article in December titled No matter what Jackie said, we should automatically believe rape claims. Zerlina Maxwell penned the article following the fallout from media coverage of the University of Virginia fraternity rape case, specifically the revelation that the accuser’s story had many factual problems.

Maxwell, prompted by the numerous claims of false accusations in the U-VA case, wrote that a false accusation is not that bad for the accused:

The accused would have a rough period. He might be suspended from his job; friends might de-friend him on Facebook. In the case of Bill Cosby, we might have to stop watching, consuming his books, or buying tickets to his traveling stand-up routine. These errors can be undone by an investigation that clears the accused, especially if it is done quickly.

She should tell that to Kirk Odom. As the Washington Post reported:

When he was first sent to the federal prison in Lorton, Va., for a crime he did not commit, Kirk Odom was warned never to tell other inmates about his rape conviction. If he did, the information could make him prey to inmates seeking vengeance.

It was 1982 when a fellow inmate walked up to him and whispered, “I know what you did,” Odom recalled. Two days later, Odom was raped in his cell. It would be the first of more than a half-dozen sexual assaults Odom would endure during two decades in prison.

Some 15 years later, Odom took an HIV test. It was negative. Months later, a fellow inmate again sexually assaulted Odom. After that attack, he took another HIV test. This time, it was positive. “I was devastated,” Odom testified Tuesday in D.C. Superior Court.

Over two days on the witness stand, Odom has been recounting his time in prison, his sexual assaults, his suicide attempts, his depression and his estranged family relations; all of that is attributed, he says, to his false imprisonment for a 1981 armed robbery, burglary and rape conviction. He is suing the District for emotional and physical pain and distress from his time at the Lorton prison.

Yet according to Maxwell this can be “undone by an investigation that clears the accused, especially if it is done quickly.” How can the District of Columbia undo the rapes, the HIV infection, the suicide attempts, the depression, and the torn family relations? Odom certainly does not consider this an easy fix: Continue reading

Bulletin Board v254

Exeter football coach Anthony Mitchell jailed for raping boys — Anthony Mitchell used his position as manager of the team in the 1970s to gain access to 11 and 12-year-old boys. Mitchell, of Exeter, fed his victims drink or Mogadon sleeping pills before abusing them on overnight trips, the city’s crown court heard. His victims were prompted by the Rolf Harris and Jimmy Savile scandals to report his crimes to police.

Former Shefford boys are still fighting for justice over abuse — BACK in the 1990s I received a call from someone who had ‘a big story’. I was new to journalism so was quite excited but my more experienced, sceptical colleagues were unconvinced. ‘If it’s a cat up a tree, don’t offer to get it down for them,’ was the advice. This was the first time I met Damian Chittock and heard the story of St Francis Boys’ Home, Shefford. The home was run by the Catholic Church and the residents were mainly abandoned or orphaned boys between the ages of six and sixteen.

German prof apologizes after denying internship to male Indian due to ‘rape problem’ — A German professor has apologized for denying an internship to a male Indian student, citing India’s “rape problem” as a reason for his disqualification. It comes after Germany’s envoy wrote a scathing letter objecting to the professor’s reasoning. “I have made a mistake,” wrote biochemistry Professor Annette Beck-Sickinger of the University of Leipzig in a statement on Monday. “I sincerely apologise to everyone whose feelings I have hurt.” Continue reading

Stop The Abuse: The Innocence Project

Often times people want to help others but do not know how. This cannot be any truer than when it comes to helping abused men and boys. The resources sometimes are not apparent and are often difficult to find. Sometimes the resources are hidden or even barred by other groups who wish to polarize the issue. The intent here is to provide those who wish to help male victims with the opportunity to do so.

Please remember that you do no have to empty your wallets to help. Even a small donation can go a long way. And for those on the other side of the issue, it would go a long way to demonstrating real concern for all victims if you donated as well.

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The Innocence Project

Mission Statement

The Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University to assist prisoners who could be proven innocent through DNA testing. To date, 266 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 17 who served time on death row. These people served an average of 13 years in prison before exoneration and release.

The Innocence Project’s full-time staff attorneys and Cardozo clinic students provide direct representation or critical assistance in most of these cases. The Innocence Project’s groundbreaking use of DNA technology to free innocent people has provided irrefutable proof that wrongful convictions are not isolated or rare events but instead arise from systemic defects. Now an independent nonprofit organization closely affiliated with Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the Innocence Project’s mission is nothing less than to free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.

Please donate and help make a difference.

Bulletin Board v248

As Falsely Accused Man Sits in Jail, A Woman’s Rape Accusations Fall Apart on Damning Video — In the video, we see a woman’s rape allegations against her male co-worker fall apart as he sits helpless in jail. Though one case is not representative of all cases, it does raise the question of how many rape allegations are false. A thesis by Edward Greer published in the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review examines the issue of false rape allegations and reports some of the findings. At issue is the oft-repeated claim that only 2 percent of rape allegations are false.

Harvard Law Professors Slam Government Stance on Sexual Assault — One of America’s most prestigious law schools got a legal slap on the wrist on Tuesday, and many of its professors are unhappy. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights announced that Harvard Law School had failed to respond adequately to student claims of sexual harassment and assault and was therefore in violation of Title IX. The decision will see that the Ivy League law school revise its sexual harassment policies again, in addition to the university-wide changes announced earlier this year.

Judge orders more jail for mother who contacted teen sex-abuse victim — A Landisville woman convicted of sex abuse of a 17-year-old boy is not getting out of prison just yet. A local judge again scolded 32-year-old Rikki Salzman for breaking terms of her original house-arrest sentence by having the teen victim over to her home. Lancaster County Judge Howard Knisely ordered that Salzman spend four more months in Lancaster County Prison. She’s been in since Aug. 26, in accordance with Knisely’s previous order. Continue reading

The problem with “automatic” belief

Feminists are scrambling following Rolling Stone’s apology for their recent article about a gang rape. Rolling Stone issued an apology for the article after other news outlets revealed serious inconsistencies in the accuser’s story. This led feminists to attempt to dodge the obvious problem: the accuser’s credibility and feminists’ credibility in regards to their theory of “rape culture” is in question.

Several feminists wrote articles concerning that issue, although none received as much backlash as Zerlina Maxwell’s piece. Maxwell’s argument is bizarrely problematic, yet also troubling is what happened in the 24 hours since the Washington Post published it.

The initial title of the article was “No matter what Jackie said, we should automatically believe rape claims”. It now reads “No matter what Jackie said, we should generally believe rape claims”. No one needs to take my word for it. Here is the evidence.

Maxwell’s argument is absurd. It was Sabrina Erdely and Rolling Stone’s automatic belief of Jackie, the accuser, that resulted in the apology. Had Erdely taken Jackie at her word but fact-checked her story, Erdely might have caught the inconsistencies and been able to question Jackie before the article reached print. Had Rolling Stone’s fact-chekcers bothered to question Jackie’s story, they too might have caught the inconsistencies.

What makes Maxwell’s argument particularly moronic is that this is not an instance of Jackie telling only Erdely the story. She told the story to her friends, to activists, and spoke about it on campus. Jackie has likely told the story dozens of times, each time repeating elements that appear to be untrue.

This does not mean that Jackie was not raped, yet it does mean that the story she told everyone appears to be partly untrue, to which Maxwell replied: Continue reading

Rape by fraud

New Jersey state Assemblyman Troy Singleton introduced a bill that would make it illegal to use deception to obtain sex. The bill defines the act as “an act of sexual penetration to which a person has given consent because the actor has misrepresented the purpose of the act or has represented he is someone he is not.” Note the gendered language used in the bill. This would make the law only apply to men as the aggressors.

Singleton created the bill due to a recent case:

Singleton decided to introduce the legislation after talking to Florence resident Mischele Lewis, who had been duped into paying $5,000 to her boyfriend, Cherry Hill resident William Allen Jordan, for what he claimed was a security clearance. Jordan said he was a British military official, but it turned out he was a serial bigamist and scam artist who pleaded guilty to defrauding Lewis on Nov. 10.

Prosecutors had initially tried to charge Jordan with sexual assault by coercion, but a grand jury refused to indict him on that charge.

“I truly believe that we have to look at the issue of rape as more than sexual contact without consent,” Singleton said. “Fraud invalidates any semblance of consent just as forcible sexual contact does. This legislation is designed to provide our state’s judiciary with another tool to assess situations where this occurs and potentially provide a legal remedy to those circumstances.”

Accordingly, the charges resulting from the law could be the same as first degree rape charges, with potential sentences ranging from 5 to 20 years in prison. Singleton attempted to justify this: Continue reading