Monday, October 29, 2007

Attacker sentenced to over 130 years in prison

This story is about a "man" who was sentenced to 131 years for raping two women in Indianapolis back in 2006 and earlier this year.

Their abduction and rape by [Audrain L.] Jones left indelible and devastating marks. They have moved, sold off reminders of the attacks and described sleepless nights, constant fear and the loss of their independence during emotional and frank testimony Friday. After they testified, a judge sentenced Jones to 131 years in prison.

"We are both being sentenced in this matter," one woman said. "Mine is just without bars."
Jones, now 19, kidnapped the 27-year-old woman inside a Downtown Indianapolis parking garage in February. The incident came nearly a year after he abducted a 25-year-old teacher in April 2006 from the parking lot of the Sycamore School on the Northside of Indianapolis.

Both times, Jones forced the women to drive their cars to ATMs to withdraw money. He raped the teacher twice before threatening harm if she went to police; in the later attack, the woman was raped but later escaped from the car.
The Indianapolis Star generally does not identify the victims of sexual assault.
"My entire life has been turned upside down because of what one vile, evil individual did to me," the teacher told Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, reading from a lengthy statement she had prepared.

One effect has been profound, she said. She had planned on remaining a virgin until marriage -- and now, she sees herself as broken and damaged.
"I didn't have a choice when I was raped inside a car by a stranger with a gun," she said. Jones didn't become a suspect until he was linked to the February incident. With her attacker -- and his parting threat to her -- still at large, the teacher decided to move.

She continued teaching at the private school for another year, but the stress and reminders of the attack proved too severe, she said. She has since left the job.
The woman involved in the February incident described an uneasy feeling as Jones followed her in a stairwell before getting into her car. After the incident she sold the car, trying to purge the crime scene from her life.

The judge said the nature of the crimes justified long sentences, though she also considered Jones' difficult upbringing. His grandmother had described neglect from his mother and said Jones' father was in and out of prison.

With Indiana sentencing, if a person stays out of trouble in prison, they can earn up to half off of their sentences. This means that 131 years can turn into 65.5 years. The story goes on to say:

By the earliest date Jones could be released from prison, he would be well into his 80s. Last month, he pleaded guilty to all the charges against him without a deal from prosecutors.
"I regret everything I done to hurt them victims," Jones wrote in part of a letter to the judge that was read aloud by his public defender, Melissa Perez.
"I think Mr. Jones' greatest fear is never seeing the light of day again," she said.

But the judge and Deputy Prosecutor Courtney Curtis recounted Jones' long juvenile criminal history, which began with battery at age 10. In that incident, the judge said, he hit a girl who ran away after Jones pulled down his pants and said, "Come on, baby." His record also includes theft and burglary. Each time, Curtis said, counseling and other measures had no effect.
"He has shown he cannot be rehabilitated."


Victims of Rape Tell Of Effects

Chiropractor sentenced to 24 years for sexual assaults

With the focus on teacher-student sex, one tends to forget that other fiduciary relationships can feature boundary violations. These can include the therapist and the patient, the preacher and his parishioners (not just Roman Catholic priests and young boys), and guards with jailers. Each incident of sexual abuse or assault brings just as much damage to the victim as a teacher-student case. Each incident leads to lack of trust in men, a distorted sense of normalcy, and greater chance of victimization by other sexual predators. This story features a chiropractor who used his practice as a hunting ground for vulnerable female prey.

Thomas Francis Dickershaid, 66, a former chiropractor in Westchester, CA was found guilty of raping 5 women between August 2004 to September 2006, including a woman who was interested in applying for a job at his office. Ages of the victims range from late 20s to their 60s. LA County Superior Court Judge Katherine Maier denied Dickershaid's request for a new trial regarding his September 26th conviction of 11 counts of sex charges including forcible rape, sexual battery by restraint, sexual battery by fraud and sexual penetration with a foreign object.

Dickershaid "used his business as a front to sexually assault unsuspecting patients. He preyed upon these women, who were oftentimes alone in his office, completely defenseless." Deputy District Attorney Lisa Houle said. "And he abused his power and the trust that's vested in him as a doctor."


Chiropractor Gets 24 Years For Rape, Battery

Sunday, October 28, 2007

2nd sexual assault incident in 2 months at FAU

Yet another story about campus rape:

A second student in less than two weeks has reported being raped by a classmate in a residence hall at FAU's Boca Raton campus.

Around midnight Thursday, a student contacted campus police to report an acquaintance had attacked her the previous Sunday.

No arrests have been made, and the investigation continues, said Florida Atlantic University Police Deputy Chief Keith Totten.

The student accused has been temporarily suspended pending the results of the investigation. He is not allowed on campus.

Campus administrators moved quickly to alert students to the reported attack, sending out a campus e-mail Friday.

On October 13th, another student reported that a male classmate has sexually assaulted her. Police searched his dorm and charged him with illegal prescription drugs and alcohol. FAU Police did not notify students immediately after the report because the suspect was an acquaintance of the victim.

Totten warned students to be on alert, but he said there is no concern for panic. "This is not a serial rapist," he said. "This is a date rape."

Note: Rape is rape, and it doens't matter whether the perp is a stranger or familiar to the victim. What matters is the violation of the woman's bodily integrity, the trust issues that she will have, and the inability to depend on men in the future. The betrayal of trust is higher in a date or partner rape than a stranger rape.

According to a memo distributed by FAU officials, 15 to 20% of college women report rape, compared to 5% to 15% of college men. Other studies have shown the rate of sexual coercion (rape, other forms of sexual assault, and pressured or unwanted but legal sex) to be as high as 40% for women and 20% for men in college.)


Another rape reported at FAU residence hall

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rapist, son of prominent Oakland politician, gets 14 years

Taken from the Contra Costa Times:

OAKLAND -- Ignacio De La Fuente Jr., the namesake of Oakland's City Council president, was sentenced Friday to 14 years in state prison for raping three prostitutes and a 15-year-old girl in the Fruitvale neighborhood.
Wearing a green jacket and tan slacks, De La Fuente Jr. sat still with no emotion, as Alameda County Superior Court Judge Allan Hymer told him he would spend about a decade in prison and have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Meanwhile, his family, including Council President De La Fuente also sat quietly showing little emotion.

The family was surrounded by almost two dozen supporters including council members Patricia Kernighan and Henry Chang Jr.; Danny Wan, former councilman and now an attorney at Port of Oakland; and Libby Schaaf, director of public affairs for the Port of Oakland.

As De La Fuente Jr. was escorted from the courtroom, he smiled and waved to his family and supporters.

None of the four victims appeared in court Friday morning, but the mother of the 15-year-old was present and asked to speak before the sentence was read. Her request was denied by Hymer.

The 34-year-old De La Fuente Jr. could be released from prison by his 44th birthday, a far cry from the multiple life sentences he faced when his trial began in May.

The article goes on to say:

The lesser sentence was a result of a plea bargain deal reached with the Alameda County district attorney's office. The deal was struck after three of the four victims testified.

"It's a compromise," said Robert Belles, an attorney representing De La Fuente Jr. "It could have been a life sentence and he would never have seen the light of day again."

Nevertheless, Belles said he still believes there are enough questions in the case to raise doubt about his client's guilt.

De La Fuente Jr. pled guilty to five criminal counts including forcible rape, forcible sexual penetration and forcible oral copulation.

His rape spree began from October 2003 through 2005. In each incident, De La Fuente Jr. picked up the women on the streets of Fruitvale and drove them to secluded areas near Oakland's waterfront, the women testified.

Once there, he parked his car with the passenger side against a building or fence to block their exit and then demanded a sexual act. After he was finished, De La Fuente Jr. refused to pay. The women said De La Fuente Jr. forced himself upon them without using protection. When he finished, the witnesses said, De La Fuente Jr. threw them out of his GMC pickup and drove away.

Although the defense team attempted to discredit the witnesses, the jury believed the sexual assaults had occurred, deputy district attorney Brian Owens said at the time of the plea deal.


Councilman's son gets 14 years in rape case

Ex-boyfriend arrested for rape

Taken from the Russellville (AR) Courier:

At a bond hearing Friday morning, District Judge Don Bourne issued a $75,000 bond to a Russellville man arrested Thursday night for rape. An Atkins woman accused Derek Winston Byrd, 24, of forcibly raping her at his home Thursday, according to a Russellville Police Department report.

The woman told officers Byrd was an ex-boyfriend. She said she had gone to the residence to pick up the rest of her things when Byrd allegedly raped her, according to the report.
Officers met the woman at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center, where the woman underwent a rape examination, according to the report. The rape examination kit and the clothes the woman was wearing were then taken as evidence. Byrd was later arrested at his home, according to the report. If charged, Byrd will make his first appearance Nov. 19 in Pope County Circuit Court.


Russelville man arrested for rape

Nursing Assistant pleads no contest to rape

A former nursing assaitant who pleaded guilty to rape of a paralyzed stroke victim will go to jail for at least 8.5 years, and perhaps life. Lamin Darboe, 40, entered an Alford plea Friday to a count of 2nd degree rape at the King County (WA) Superior court. An Alford plea means the defendat does not admit guilt but acknowledges enough evidence in there for a conviction. It's used to avoid an admission of guilt when defending civil lawsuits.

The Seattle Times reports:

Because he's been convicted of a violent sexual assault, Darboe falls under the jurisdiction of the Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board, which must agree that Darboe is not at risk of committing other sexual assaults before he can be released, said Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tim Leary. At a minimum, he will be incarcerated for eight-and-a-half years before he is eligible to come before the review board.

With the conviction, as well as accusations by others who say Darboe had inappropriate contact with them, he could spend the rest of his life in prison, Leary said.

Darboe's plea came before his second trial on the charge. His first trial ended in a mistrial in July after jurors couldn't agree on a verdict. King County prosecutors decided a short time later to retry him.

The paper goes on to say:

According to charging papers, Darboe was working at Kindred Hospital in North Seattle in the summer of 2006 when he fondled and raped a 31-year-old woman who was paralyzed and couldn't speak as the result of a stroke. The woman used an alphabet board to tell authorities about the rape, according to charging documents. After the rape was reported, Kindred officials placed Darboe on administrative leave.

During Darboe's first trial, jurors were not allowed to hear information about two young female patients who said Darboe had inappropriate contact with them when he was a nursing aide at Swedish Medical Center. Swedish fired him in June 2002.

After prosecutors asked the court to allow testimony from the two victims mentioned above plus a 3rd victim who alleged Darboe molested her while giving her a bath back in 2001, his defense attorney Gene Picuell said.

Darboe was acquitted of 2nd degree rape in Snohomish County in 2002.


Guilty plea entered in rape

Thursday, October 25, 2007

U of Tennesee holds vigil against sexual assault

One hundred women marched in the University of Tennesee's Take Back The Night gathering to protest against sexual and domestic violence. TBTN originated in London back in 1977, and stateside in San Francisco back in 1978, and originally was held to protest street violence against women, but now consists of a vigil and march against men’s violence towards women, most of which is done by people they know.

The Clothesline Project originated in Massachusetts in 1990 as an art project for victims of violence against women. People are encouraged to write on shirts and then symbolically hang them up on the clothesline. Over two dozen shirts were made at UT’s event.

“I had heard the event was really powerful, but I had no idea how emotional it was going to be,” said Anne Marie Sherman, junior in social work and child and family studies. “Events like this are great because you see that you truly are a part of the sisterhood. You realize the true sisterhood you have with women.”

TBTN continued with introductions from WCC members, a presentation from Kali Meister, and an open-mic session for attendees to share their stories.

Jane Peoples, executive director of the Safe Haven Center for assault victims, said the following:

“We must affirm a woman’s right to live free from fear of sexual assault or violence. We have a right to fight for our aunts, our sisters, our children because they have a right not to be afraid,”

“Rape is about keeping us in our place. Rape is about degrading women. We must fight for the right to go to a party without the fear of being seduced into drug or alcohol assault.”

Kali Meister, a DV and CSA survivor who was raped during a nightly walk, said that the term “survivor” is inappropriate because it implies the lack of control the woman had over her life.

“I call myself a thriver. I refuse to settle for anything less. I will not be silenced ever again. Thriving is what I wish for all of you.”

After Meister finished, the “Speak Out” session, where women shared stories of abuse, began, and the stories continued even into the candlelight vigil.

Sarah Cleeton, a sophomore in political science and German said, “I don’t feel in danger every day, but I can see how you would. I don’t feel out of the group here. I feel completely accepted.”

A dozen forcible sex offenses were reported between 2004 & 2006, according to the University of Tennesee's Police Department.


Take Back The Night raises awareness of sexual assault

Jacksonville crime blotter feature sexual assaults, DNA links

A Jacksonville man was arrested after DNA testing linked him the alleged rape of a patient at a Jacksonville hospital. The patient, 31, was allegedly raped by Gerall Bernard Smalls after he told her to go to her room so vitals can be checked. Sexual battery can be punishable by up to life without parole, but without use of force and a victim over 18, is usually prosecuted as a 2nd degree felony, punishable by 15 years.

A second story featured a man wanted in an attack on a 62 year old Nassau County woman. DNA evidence linked Steven Lathell Jones, 41, to an attack back in January. Jones was arrested
and charged Tuesday with resisting arrest for attacking a police dog when the Jacksonville police arrested him.

Note - a 3rd story features a woman with a 16 year old boy, but this blog is intended to be about victims over 18.


DNA links worker to patient's rape

WI man appears in court for 2nd alleged rape

Just like child predators use MySpace and other networking websites to gain access to kids, adult predators use dating websites to gain access to vulnerable (mostly) female victims. The story below is another case where this has led to tragedy.

Brian King, 29 appeared in court for a second time to face rape charges stemming from an incident 4 years ago. He was arrested the 1st time after a 19 year old woman told detectives that after dating king on, she met him at his Dewey home in October 2003 , where he repeatedly raped her.

According to Assistant DA David Knappen, this is the 3rd allegation that King faced since 2003, though previous charges have been dropped. There is an incident from November 2003 which is being investigated and which may lead to more charges.

The article from the Appleton Post-Crescent (WI) goes on to say:

According to the criminal complaint, a 19-year-old friend of King's had gone to his town of Dewey home on the afternoon of Oct. 17, 2003, to pick up some of her belongings.

King pinned the woman to his bed and fondled her, eventually ejaculating on her, said the complaint. After struggling with King, the girl eventually escaped the home and fled to the Family Crisis Center.

King faces two counts of second-degree sexual assault for the incident.

King faces three counts of second-degree sexual assault and one of third-degree sexual assault for the incident in June of this year. At a September preliminary hearing, the woman in that case told the court through tears that King had repeatedly assaulted her while at his home.

A not guilty plea was entered on King's behalf at that hearing as he stood mute.

King made an initial appearance for his new charges Tuesday, having been released from the Portage County Jail on a $10,000 cash bond shortly after his June arrest.

A preliminary hearing for those charges has been scheduled for Nov. 13.

"(The woman) said she had discussed at length with Mr. King her wish to not have premarital sex ... she thought Mr. King would understand," said the complaint.

King faces up to 10 years in prison for 2nd degree sexual assault.

Note: It is obvious that just like the pedophile has a preferred age range and gender preference of victim, that there are predators of adults which have preferred age ranges and sexual preferences of adult victims also. The only difference between the pedophile and someone who preys on 19 year old women is that ages of the latter's victims are double (or more) the age of the former's victims.


Man faces second rape charge

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Survivor takes to the streets to hunt attacker

“Kelsey,” a mother who was injured during a rape at her Marysville, WA home Monday,

October 15, took to the street, armed with a sketch of her attacker and a group of friends. She was assaulted at knifepoint by an attacker who sexually assaulted her just a few rooms away from her kids, after her husband went to work.

“I’m still really emotional. I’m still having problems sleeping,” she told KOMO 4 news following the attack. “I still take lots of baths and showers trying to wash the memory away, but it’s still there.”

“Someone knows him, we’re trying to get him off the street,” said Kim Kinder, a friend. “He violently hurt one of my friends, broke in her home.”

Kelsey, gripping a bottle of mace, said the she felt that she was a victim of opportunity and the her attacker is probably still in the neighborhood.

The rapist is described as a man in his mid 40s who is 6 foot tall and more than 200 pounds. The attacker has short brown hair, graying at the temples and balding at the top. He has a nick in his left earlobe and may have been injured from Kelsey fighting back during the attack. Anyone with any information is urged to contact the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

Rape Victim Hunts for Attacker

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Man scheduled to plea guilty to rape

A trial for a 2002 rape has been canceled because the accused is expected to plead guilty to a charge of 1st degree rape and criminal deviant conduct against Sammy Porter Ayers, 27, both Class A felonies.

The events happened sometime after 10 PM on July 12, 2002. After meeting a woman at a mutual friend's house, Ayers drove to a park where both were going to smoke weed. After Ayers got out of the car, he returned with a gun and raped the victim, according to reports.

Ayers was supposed to return to Porter County Superior Court August 31, 2003, but skipped town before his bail hearings. He was arrested in Kentucky the following year, where he's serving time until September 2009. [Note: A lookup of the Kentucky inmate database states his convictions are for 2nd Degree Criminal Possession of forged instrument, theft over $100, and being a persistent felony offender. Porter Sam Ayers is an alias of his real name, Sammy Porter Ayers.]

Taken from the Gary Post Tribune

NC city official charge with rape after concert

A Lumberton (NC) city councilman was arrested and charged with 1st degree rape after a concert in a Louisville, Ky suburb.

The 18 year old woman was allegedly raped early Saturday morning at a Marriott hotel in Jeffersontown, KY by John Cantey, Jr. She reported the rape at about 6:30 AM. Investigators arrested Cantey after the alleged victim implicated him. They were traveling with the rapper Juvenile, who performed at a concert in Frankfort Friday. He’s the CEO of J.C. Houseman Production Agency.

Lumberton city officials declined comment, but referred questions to City Attorney Robert Price. Cantey was elected as a write-in candidate to Precinct 5 back in 2005. His term is supposed to expire in 2009, but according to North Carolina law, elected officials retain their seats until and unless convicted of a felony, at which time the official is automatically removed from office. Cantey has a misdemeanor conviction for fraud by receiving unemployment benefits while working as a salesman. His sentence was 18 months of unsupervised probation.

Annie Sherman, a neighbor, was shocked to hear about Cantey's charges. "I just can't see it. Some people yes, but not him. I'd trust my children with him," she said.

Cantey is currently being held on $100,000 bond by the Louisville Metro Department Of Corrections.

Lumberton Councilman Charged With Kentucky Rape

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Woman appeals rape conviction

Stephanie Stark, convicted of the rape of two young women, is appealing her 7-year prison sentence for rape to the Maine Supreme Court, stating that the sentence was too harsh, higher that what the state was seeking.

Stark and another defendant, Peter Mills, were convicted of raping three women, two of which worked with Mills in a Southwest Harbor restaurant. The drug assisted rape of the college women took place June 15, 2005 at Mills' home in Bar Harbor. A 48 year old woman was raped two days later at Stark's Surry home.

The article says,

“The court’s use of a predetermined sentence imposed two days before the sentencing hearing infringes on defendant’s right to counsel at sentencing,” Mr. Smith wrote. “The defendant was prejudiced by the court’s failure to consider the defendant’s mitigating witnesses and rebuttal arguments.”

Mr. Smith also pointed out that, while Ms. Stark was acquitted of the charge of engaging in forcible rape, the judge’s sentencing analysis included a “finding of physical force.”

“The court should not be allowed to substitute its own factual findings where the jury has held that force was not used,” he said.

Finally, Mr. Smith claimed that Judge Brodrick did not consider Ms. Stark’s low score on a risk assessment test, which indicated she was unlikely to commit another crime.

Stark is being held at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham. Smith filed his own appeal earlier this month.


Stark Seeks Rape Sentence Appeal

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Man allegedly rapes, chokes ex-girlfriend

Joseph Blue, 27, is accused of assaulting, strangling, then raping his ex-girlfriend, according to reports by Oak Harbor, WA detective Teri Gardner and Officer Mike Clements. Prosecutors formally charged him with 1st degree rape, and 2nd degree assault by strangulation and sexual motivation in Island County Superior Court August 22, charges he plead not guilty to on September 4th.

According to the reports, Blue went to his ex-girlfriend's apartment, assaulted her for 13 hours, then strangled and raped her.

The victim complained of severe throat trauma. Gardner wrote that she documented the woman’s injuries, including “what appeared to be petechial hemorrhaging in both eyes,” redness and scratches on her neck, a swollen and purple eye, bruises and four bite marks on her body.

Blue claimed that the biting was part of their normal sexual activity, they had just broken up, and she was drunk, according to Officer Mike Clements.

The assault by strangulation charge was put in place because strangulation is the 3rd leading cause of domestic violence deaths in Washington, according to the Washington Attorney General's Office.

Blue faces 11 years, 4 months in prison assuming standard sentencing.


Man faces rape, choking charges

Students warned about date-rape drugs

Salisbury (MD) University has alerted its students to date rape drugs Friday after two separate incidents where alleged rapes occurred with the chemicals' help.

A visiting University of South Carolina student, age unknown, says she was slipped a drug and raped this past weekend while visiting one of the Milford Street apartments, said Salisbury Police Cpl. Rich Kaiser.

That same night, a Salisbury University student, whose age is unknown, was allegedly rendered unconscious by a similar drug in a different apartment, said SU Police Chief Edwin Lashley.

"(Both) said they consumed a minute amount of alcohol and completely passed out," Lashley said.

The university sent a e-mail out to all of its students stating that drinks should never be left alone, or accepted from strangers, and to watch out for friends.

That advice was echoed by Jennifer Berkman, director of the university's Student Health Services.

"Don't leave your friends alone, Don't leave that one straggler who says, 'Oh, I'll get a ride back.' We go on the symptoms they describe to us," Berkman said. "If a student says, 'I had two beers, but can't remember the rest of the night and my friends carried me home and then felt completely out of it for 24 to 48 hours,' then we know."

Police have a non-student suspect in one of the incidents, but no suspects in the second incident.

Salisbury University Students Warned Over Date Rape Drugs

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

another student accused of rape

Three University Of The Pacific students have accused a fellow 24-year old student of rape. The alleged rapes occured this year - one in late January, and the other last weekend, according to Pete Smith, a spokesman for the Stocton Police Department.

The students, two 18, and the other 19, knew the suspect from the same circle of friends, and initially reported the rapes to the campus police department, who turned the investigation over to Stockton police. Police have not arrested the suspect, and are re-interviewing the victims.

The article goes on to say,

He is also still a student at the university, though, if arrested, he will have violated the school's code of conduct. His case could then be reviewed by a judicial committee of faculty, students and administrators, said Patrick Giblin, the university's public relations manager.

The last on-campus rape occurred in February. The suspect was immediately arrested, and, by law, the school was not required to alert students.
About four rapes have occurred on campus in the last four years, Giblin said.

Students were alerted about the assaults Monday by an electronic newsletter and fliers, however, seven students interviewed Tuesday were not aware of them.

University Of The Pacific Student Accused Of Rape

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Man allegedly rapes co-worker at hotel

Timothy George, of Queensbury, NY, was formally charged with rape of a 22 year old coworker in a room at a hotel where they both worked.

On September 9th, Harvey allegedly raped the woman, then threatened harm if she told, but she told both police and a supervisor, who then took her to a hospital. Harvey allegedly denied the rape when confronted by police.

The article goes on to say,

The victim gave a "very prompt, almost instant, outcry to a (hotel) supervisor," Warren County District Attorney Kate Hogan said. "There is medical corroboration."

Harvey is being held in Warren County Jail for lack of bail pending arraignment in Warren County Court. He is being represented by the Warren County Public Defender's Office.

Harvey's criminal history goes back to 2005, when he was arrested for physically assaulting his brother. He was arrested in September and initially charge with 3rd degree rape, which requires lack of consent only, as opposed to 1st degree rape, which requires force or coercion. First-degree rape is punishable by up to 25 years in state prison.

Taken from the Post Star, Glen Falls, NY

Monday, October 15, 2007

Rape myths, stereotypes contribute to low conviction rates

An Australian report states that rape myths are contributing to the deplorable 10% conviction rate regarding rape cases, and that juries are already prejudged against victims based on existing beliefs. The report from the Australian Institute of Criminology found that jurors could not be relied upon to make objective judgements because of the influence of rape myths and stereotypes.

“Pre-existing juror attitudes about sexual assault not only influence their judgements … but also influence judgments more than the facts presented and the manner in which the testimony is given,” report author Natalie Taylor said.

“It is time to acknowledge that jurors do not - because they cannot - make objective judgements about consent and guilt based on the facts presented to them in court.”

Dr Taylor said common myths about rape were perceived as a guide to a defendant’s guilt by too many jurors, which was “unfortunate” for prosecutors.

"Rape is not always committed by strangers, victims do not always scream for help, obvious physical injury is uncommon and the majority of victims do not report the incident to police at all,” she said.

“As long as misinformation about rape and stereotypical beliefs about how a victim would behave exist within the community, the likelihood of convincing a jury that a sexual assault did occur in the absence of supporting evidence will remain low.”

Dr. Taylor said that more research is needed to make sure that juries aren't prejudiced against the alleged victim.

“It is particularly crucial in light of the fact that most sexual assaults occur in private, with no corroborating evidence, and involve one person’s word against the other.”

She says that prosecution (and conviction) rates should rise when rape myths are countered.

Jurors Overlook Rape Evidence

Sunday, October 14, 2007

PA state bill would require sex assault education

Bill to initiate program on sexual assault
Sara Ganim
STATE COLLEGE — Rep. Scott Conklin hosted a hearing Thursday in which sexual assault awareness advocates voiced the need for increased sexual assault education for incoming university students.

The hearing before the State Education Committee focused on legislation introduced by Conklin, D-Philipsburg, that would mandate a sexual violence training program that is similar to the one Penn State gives to its incoming students.

Freshmen are at an increased risk for becoming the victims of sexual assaults, Penn State’s Center for Women Resources director, Peggy Lorah, testified Thursday.

The bill, known as the College and University Sexual Violence Education Act, would use Penn State’s current 45-minute interactive program as a template for implementing an awareness program across the state, Conklin said.

The goal is to educate incoming students, who may be otherwise naive to the effects of alcohol, the laws regarding consent and ways to avoid situations that may lead to an assault, Conklin said.
Of the 250 sexual assaults reported to the Centre County Women’s Resource Center last year, 49 were from Penn State students, and about 20 were reported within the first two months of the fall semester, director Anne Ard said.

Ard said Penn State has provided the students access to resources, opportunities to stay informed, and help for victims of assault that “makes them more likely to come forward.”

Still, rape is a crime that most often goes unreported, and more can be done, Ard said.

After public hearings, the committee will vote on whether to move the bill out of committee. Conklin hopes to have a House vote this fall, chief of staff Tor Michaels said.

Taken From Centre(PA) Daily
Bill to initiate sex assault prevention

Woman subjected to sexual torture at boyfriend's hands


Boyfriend subjected woman to terrifying rape ordeal

A WOMAN suffered a horrific rape ordeal after she agreed to play kinky sex games with her boyfriend, a court heard today.

Stephen Inglis, 19, bound and blindfolded the 31-year-old, before threatening her with a knife and saying she was to be his "sex slave".

He then raped her, stole her bank card and used it to withdraw £300 before attempting to strangle her with a plastic bag.

The nightmare at the woman's Edinburgh flat, on June 15, began when Inglis asked his girlfriend – who had never had a relationship before – to tie him up before massaging him and pouring hot candle wax on his back.

She then agreed to be tied up, blindfolded and massaged, although she made it clear she did not want to take part in any pain or bondage.

Dr Alastair Brown, prosecuting, told the High Court in Glasgow that Inglis then held a knife to her chin, asking her: "Tell me what this is?" When she replied it was a knife, he told her "good girl", speaking in a calm, precise and measured tone.

Dr Brown said: "He didn't sound angry, but she was uncertain and shocked because they had never done anything like this."

Inglis then stuffed tissues in her mouth and taped over them. He bit her and as she screamed in pain he told her "that's it" and she thought he was going to kill her.

He then ran a bath, forced the blindfolded woman into it before getting in himself. He then tried to burn her blouse with a cigarette and used the knife to cut it open from the front.

Just before she was forced forced to commit a sex act, she pleaded: "Don't kill me, I value my life."

After that, still blindfolded and tied, she was taken from the bath and pushed onto a living room sofa with Inglis telling her: "I think you should be my sex slave for the night."

He then raped her, biting her on the breast and shoulder and telling his victim: "I'd prefer it if you would moan a bit more, it makes it more exiciting for me."

Dr Brown said Inglis told her that his plan to kill her and then himself hadn't worked, and that he would have to leave the country.

Inglis then forced the woman to give him her bank card, PIN number and mobile phone.

Before leaving her he took off her blindfold, but he tied her to the bed, cut the phone lines, and then went to a cash machine to withdraw £300.

When he returned he tried to put a plastic bag over her head and then attempted to strangle her for several minutes.

The victim's eight-hour ordeal ended when Inglis left for a while before returning to untie her and beg for forgiveness. He then left again.

Dr Brown said that the woman feared that if she called the police Inglis would harm her parents. Eventually she phoned them and the police were called.

She was taken to hospital where she was found to have a large number of injuries all over her body including bites and an internal injury.

Dr Brown said that as a result of her ordeal the victim is now frequently tearful, suffers from nightmares, sleep disturbance and flashbacks. She also lost weight and her hair began to fall out.

Inglis, whose address was given as Edinburgh Prison, was found to be sane and not suffering from any mental illness. He denied to police he had raped her and said he considered killing her after she made the rape allegation.

He was originally charged with attempting to murder the woman, but the prosecution accepted his plea of guilty to the reduced charge of assaulting her to her injury and rape.

The judge, Lord Matthews, was told that he had a previous conviction for assaulting a woman, who was a complete stranger, at night.

The judge called for reports pending sentence on Inglis next month.

Taken From The Scotsman

Suspect arrested in abduction, rape of woman

Police arrest suspect in abduction, rape of woman at LRT station
A 20-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the kidnapping and rape of a woman at a Minneapolis light-rail train station in the early morning hours of Oct. 4, Metro Transit Police said Saturday.

By Chris Havens, Star Tribune

Last update: October 13, 2007 – 1:19 PM

A 20-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the kidnapping and rape of a woman at a Minneapolis light-rail train station in the early morning hours of Oct. 4, Metro Transit Police said Saturday.
St. Paul police arrested the Minneapolis man, who has no permanent address, shortly before 4 p.m. Friday. He's being held in the Hennepin County Jail pending charges.

Metro Transit Police are handling the investigation. According to Metro Transit spokesman Bob Gibbons:

The woman was alone on the 38th Street platform waiting for a northbound train about 1:55 a.m. when a man approached her. He put a gun to her back and verbally threatened her. Then he forced her off the platform and took her to a laundry facility in an apartment building east of Hiawatha Avenue where he beat and raped the woman and stole her purse.

The victim, who had been with friends at a nearby bar, made her way to an acquaintance who lived in the area and called police. She was taken to the hospital, where she was treated and released.

It was the first abduction on the light rail system since trains began rolling in 2004.

Transit police investigators worked with other law enforcement agencies, witnesses, video from the platform and other evidence to identify the suspect, said Transit Police Chief Dave Indrehus.

Gibbons said the victim remembered key details and was very helpful in the investigation.

All of Metro Transit's 17 LRT stations, 27 train cars and 850 buses have video cameras.

"Once again, the importance of transit surveillance video has been affirmed," Indrehus said.

Police Arrest Suspect in Abduction, Rape Of Woman

Saturday, October 13, 2007

ex-football player pleads not guilty to attempted rape

Another college football player has entered a plea of not guilty in a alleged attempted rape case. Josh A. Rojas, of Ellensburg, WA, will be tried on charges of 2nd degree attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment December 11th. A second trial for another 2nd degree rape charge is scheduled for December 4th. Rojas pleaded not guilty to that charge October 1st.

Superior Court Judge Michael Cooper issued a standard protection order prohibiting contact between Rojas and his alleged victims. The first charge against him was investigated by police September 21st. After his arrest, and mention in the local paper, a second woman came forward to report an incident which took place November 30th.

Rojas, a CWU football team member, is still enrolled as a student for now, but school officials are deciding whether to either suspend or expel him from campus. He has already been suspended from the football team until resolution of charges. CWU also requires Rojas to check in with campus police or chief conduct officer Jack Baker each time he is present on campus.

Man pleads not guilty to 2nd rape charge

Rape crisis center reports increase in assaults

There have been 502 assaults reported in Hennepin County this year - 78 in September alone. This number is the highest in 30 years.

One woman, brutally sexually assaulted by her best friend's brother, said that just after the attack, "I didn't think I was going to live." While most attackers are known to the victim, there has been an increase in stranger-perpetrated assaults (by 10%) and assaults with physical violence. "We've had significant injuries in a lot of the rapes this summer and we don't normally see that," said Sexual Assault Resource Service (SARS) Center Director Linda Ledray.

The SARS Center provides nurses to all Hennepin County hospitals to treat, counsel, and collect evidence from sexual assault victims.

The reason for the rise in rapes is not clear, but may be connected to an increase in violent crimes overall. SARS center directors believe that mace, self-defence classes, and not walking alone at night are reactionary, rather than rape prevention, geared towards males.

Rape Crisis Center Reports Increase in Assaults

Not guilty plea in South Dakota campus rape

A former University of South Dakota student pleaded not guilty to a charge of 2nd-degree rape Friday. Zachary Larson, 19, allegedly entered the victim's dorm room and forced himself on her despite the victim's pleas to stop. The incident followed a gathering with other students in their shared dorm. Arrested on his birthday, September 19, USD ordered him off of campus and he is now living with family in Blaine, Minnesota. Larson remains free on $2500 bond, with a no-contact order regarding the victim.

Teddi Gertsma, Clay County District Attorney, said, "Anytime you have victims of rape, it is a serious matter, and we simply want to protect everyone and prosecute to the fullest extent."

Clay County Public Defender Phil Peterson said about his client, "Obviously, a heavy cloud hanging over him, it's a serious allegation, and something he wants to have us defend to the fullest."

Defense, Prosecution Discuss USD Rape Trial

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Two separate Joplin, MO assaults reported

Joplin (Missouri) police are investigating a sexual assault and an attempted rape over the weekend.

In the 1st incident, a 29 year old woman allegedly woke up to a man performing oral sex on her after she fell asleep at his house early on the morning of October 5th. After fighting her assailant off, the victim hailed a ride to St. John's Regional Medical Center for a rape exam. When she went down to the police station to file charges, the alleged attacker claimed the charges were false.

In the second incident, an 18 year old woman was allegedly attacked after trying to retrieve her cell phone from a man at her friend's apartment. The man allegedly grabbed the victim's phone and told her she would have to go into a room with him to get the phone back. After going into the bedroom, the man allegedly tried to pull her clothes off. The suspect is still at large as of Monday, October 8th.

Two separate assaults reported to police

2 women, both 19, assaulted at party

Yet another young man is charged with sexual assault after allegedly getting two 19 year old victims drunk at a party, then raping them. Both victims were allegedly assaulted at a party in Corvallis, Oregon September 17th. Jason Klontz, 21, of Redmond, was charged with two counts of 1st degree rape and unlawful sexual penetration, both Class A felonies. Klontz was also charged with two counts of sexual abuse, a Class B felony, and furnishing alcohol to minors, a Class A misdemeanor.

According to the police affidavit, three other women reported similar encounters with Klontz in recent years, with a similar M.O. Judge David Conell set bail for Klontz at $1 million. His next court appearance is scheduled for Monday.

Man faces rape charges after parties

18 year old woman allegedly raped by acquaintance

An 18 year old woman was allegedly the victim of acquaintance rape in Frederick, MD early Sunday, October 7th.

According to Detective Jerry Morales, a group of friends went to a street festival. After getting drunk, they returned to a house. An 18 year old woman and the suspect, John Wayne Harmon was alone. The sexual assault occurred while the woman was watching TV. Harmon is charged with 4th degree sexual offense, second degree assault, and false imprisonment.

Man charged with rape

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Kathleen Collins - assaulted by her coach

While this blog is geared towards victims over 18, the case of Kathleen Collins, a woman who is a sexual abuse survivor, shows both the damage done with sexual abuse at any age, and the stuggle to regain identity after "being molded into an object for sexual pleasure." She was groomed at 11 by her volleyball coach, Jeffery Foster, for a sexual relationship which started at age 17. Kathleen went from team captain to depression and attempted suicide before beginning a process of healing. Whether 12, 17, 22, or 27, the symptons and devastation is the same, and the jorney towards healing is the same. Kathleen's story speaks for itself.

Woman, 21, raped after meeting man online

Online safety is usually geared towards children and teenagers and their parents. There have been two high profile cases of teenage girls meeting someone who is a convicted sex offender and running away with them this week. Both of these girls have been found alive, unlike other cases like Polly Klaas, Samantha Runnion, or Jessica Lunsford. But safety is a concern for vulnerable folks of all ages, including those over 18. One woman learned that the hard way.

David Graham, a convicted New York Level 3 sex offender, allegedly met a 21 year old Indianapolis woman from this website. After she traveled to Queens to meet him Tuesday, October 2nd, he allegedly raped and sodomized her until she managed to escape early Wednesday morning. He faced rape, sexual misconduct, and criminal misconduct charges as of October 4th.

The same precautions that teens are urged to take, people over 18 should take. Predators do not stop at 18, and the sexual victimization is just as traumatic when done to an adult as it is when done to a child or teen.

Woman raped after online meeting

It's not dating, but grooming if there is abuse

I would like to introduce you to a term used by child sexual abuse investigators and experts - grooming. Grooming is the process where a child molester first selects, then zeros in on his child or younger teen victim (the AOC ranges from 16 to 18 in the US; 14 in Canada), then erodes boundaries so that sexual abuse can occur. This happens in five ways:

Grooming of a child victim:

1) Approach
2) Gaining trust of the child's parents be acting as a very close friend to the child (or child's parents)
3) Erosion of boundaries - i.e. convincing the child victim that "bad touch isn't truly bad if it's between a child and their special friend," and events like sleeping together, nudity, etc.
4) Escalation - child may be threatened, or (more likely) told "if you tell, they'll take me away" so the abuse continues or increases in frequency
5) The continual sexual abuse

Dating usually has these five steps:

1) Approach
2) Gaining trust of date and family (including parents)
3) Intimacy, the blurring of previous boundaries
4) Reinforcing intimacy with sexual contact
5) Sexual intercourse (though delayed until marriage for certain people)

In both cases, behaviors in the earlier stage of the process are intended to increase the likelihood of behaviors in the later stages of the process.

Why am I talking about techniques that child molesters use to seek victims along with dating? Because the same tactic is employed with victims OVER 18 as well. If dating is the closest analog to grooming, and if perps use dating to establish dominion over, then victimize, then it's not dating, but grooming of an over 18 victim.

A main difference between grooming and dating is that dating involves mutual consent (there's that word) of two people over 18 (or of similar age if both partners are teenagers under 18). Consent means reciprocity or understanding of all the implications and consequences of the sexual act. Grooming of a child is always wrong because the adults always has more knowledge and power regarding sex that the child in child molestation/statutory rape cases. There can never be mutuality in adult/child sex, only manipulation.

It can be argued that not all relationships between adults have the ability to be truly consensual. Fiduciary relationships, like those between a doctor (or therapist) & patient, and custodial relationships, between guards and jailers, preclude true consent and therefore are always considered to be sexually coerced at best or assaults at worst.

If there are significant power differences between parties, even if both are 18, and even outside of a custodial of fiduciary relationship, then a feminist argument is that such a relationship isn't truly consensual, and there can only be apparent consent. This lack of power can occur with a victim of childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault, or domestic violence.

When power differences is associated with one's first sexual encounter due to CSA, then power differences may be expected with other sexual encounters in adulthood, leading to revictimization. It can also occur when a woman has been taught to be subservient to a man in sex. Lack of information can occur when there is lack of sexual experience. If there is lack of sexual experience, then the sexual, or devious motives behind an approach can be missed. Therefore, some relationships between adults over 18 may not be truly consensual because of power or information gaps. And of course, power differences are involved with forced or coerced sexual activity. Non-consensual sex is coerced at best or sexual assault at worst.

Another difference between dating and grooming when adults are involved is that grooming sets the victim up for abuse, dating doesn't. Other than this, there are no other significant differences between dating and grooming when adult victims are involved. Grooming leads to sexual, physical, and emotional victimization; dating doesn't. Grooming ends only when the victim of the perpetrator leaves - or is killed; Dating ends in breakup by either mutual consent or cheating or positively with a long term relationship or marriage.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

legal sexual predation - a loophole in the law

With the focus surrounding sex offenders, sexually abusive teachers, and getting tough on the child sexual abuser, people need to be reminded that abuse doesn't stop at 18, and that there are sexual predators which will never target a child, but will solely target adults. Most of these predators will target women, and due to inadequate laws, will never be charged with any offense. Therefore, a woman can't check her local sex offender registry to see if he has a history of sexual assault or abuse. These perps will get away with it because of 1) the lack of physical force they will use, and 2) by only targeting victims past their 18th birthday.

Unfortunately, sexual predation does not stop at 18, or with legally chargeable rape. There are ways that a predator can legally prey on victims without causing legal consequences, but with devastating consequences to his (or less likely, her) victim. When such an event occurs, the lack of physical force coupled with the age of the victim will usually prevent formal criminal charges from occuring. There are different scenarios for sexual abuse of adults whose 18th birthday is in their past to occur without the threat of criminal charges.

One way to do this is through a combination of emotional/psychological abuse and sexual coercion. This may be done by calling the victim names like "bitch, slut, or frigid," until she submits to his sexual control. By destroying the victim's self-esteem, he makes her into a sexual object just as surely as a child molester or rapist does. The woman (or less likely, man) will then be under the thrall of a predator who has her where he wants her - under his control. There may be sex within the relationship, and she may say "Yes" 10 times, but in no way can the sex be anything other than coerced. There can not be true consent because the power difference the predator created prevents true consent in such a relationship.

A second method such a perpetrator may use is to create a situation where the victim (again over 18) becomes financially as well as emotionally dependant on him. It the predator does not allow the victim to work outside the house without abuse of any type, that's considered financial abuse. By preventing the victimized woman from earning her own money, he increases his power and control over her. She has to depend on him for all of her physical and much of her emotional needs, and if he's getting sexual favors out of the deal, he has just sexually abused her. There can be no true consent in this case either because her options are limited. This is another case where the law allows sexual abuse which leaves obvious damage.

A third method used by perpetrators is to isolate victims from their friends or family. The perp does this by telling his victim he's the only one who care about and loves her - then threatening her if she doesn't believe it. By isolation and threats, the perp makes himself the most powerful person in her life. Family members, especially parents, supportive friends, and others who are best able to help will be shut out because part of the perp's isolation includes telling the victim that her family isn't really there for her - or that they can't do anything about it.

A victim may recognize these situations and try and extract herself from it. Unfortunately, when she tries to go for help, she'll find out that as someone over 18, she won't usually be covered by statutory rape laws, and as someone who apparently consented to the sexual encounter, rape laws won't usually be applicable. So you have a person who is being victimized while her perpetrator goes scot-free.

The lack of incapacitation or physical force, coupled with the fact that the victim may have said "Yes" to the sexual encounter will label the coerced sex legal in the eyes of the law. Though pressured sex is highly immoral and degrading to the victim, without force or incapacitation, and with an over 18 victim, it is still legal sex.

The AOC protects people who are under it from sexual exploitation. However, in some cases, it can also act to mask acts which would be obviously sexual abuse if commited by an adult with a child or an under the AOC teenager. Attitudes towards women (as opposed to child) sexual assault victims, the idea that adults should be able to consent to, if not embrace sex, and the idea that a woman should submit to a man all contributes to the phenomenon of adult sexual coercion.

If a 30 year old man is with a 15 year old girl, society rightly sees that as sexual abuse. If a 30-year old woman is with a 15 year old boy, society is waking up to the fact that that's also sexual abuse. However, if two 30 year olds are in a sexual relationship, don't assume that the 30-30 pairing isn't sexual abuse. There could be power differences which makes the third pairing as unhealthy as the two previous examples. If the woman (or more rarely) the man had a history of domestic violence victimization, sexual abuse, or sexual assault, then the pairing between two 30 year olds may very well be a victim-offender pairing, and the dominant "partner" may be re-victimizing the submissive partner.

Since financial and non-physical abuse directed towards a partner is still domestic violence, the woman needs to recognize the situation and then FLEE as fast as she can before it turns into sexual abuse, physical DV, or worse. The dynamics shown above need to be taught about so more folks can know and take action to prevent further victimization.

In Milwaukee, Soujourner Truth House is a battered women's shelter which a female victim can flee to. Lovefraud is a website which is dedicated to detection and countering sociopaths (defined as those without consciences) in relationships.

Soujourner Truth House


Date rape and other sexual assault underreported

The story below is taken from the University of Georgia's Red and Black website. It is about dape rape, drugs used to facilitate it, and common precautions college age women can use to prevent it.

One 19 year old woman describes an acquaintance slipping her a spiked Corona. She passed out, and when she came to, he was all over her at his dwelling. According to statistics, 25% of college age women are raped, mostrly by someone who they either knew or knew of. While there are over 20 "date-rape" drugs, "the most common date rape drug is alcohol itself" According to Lieutenant Greg Paul of the Athens-Clarke County police.

Even if a woman is not passed out, but still drunk, sexual intercourse with an intoxicated woman is still RAPE. Period, end of sentence. There is NO such thing as consent when it comes to intoxicated victims because consent requires sobriety. Incapacitation turns what would normally be considered consensual sex into rape.

Unfortunately, sexual assault and other coercion is vastly under-reported, and more education - and stricter punishment is needed to educate college students BEFORE rape or other incidents of sexual assault occur. It is also possible for there to be sexual assault which CAN'T be legally charged if there is a lack of incapacitation or force. I'll have more on this in the next few posts.

Date Rape Underreported