One Woman Tells Us What It’s Like To Be Raped And Have Your Town Turn Against You, 21 Facts That Will Change The Way You Think About Sexual Assault, Five NOPD detectives mishandled rape, child abuse investigations

November 13, 2014 Comments Off on One Woman Tells Us What It’s Like To Be Raped And Have Your Town Turn Against You, 21 Facts That Will Change The Way You Think About Sexual Assault, Five NOPD detectives mishandled rape, child abuse investigations

 

One Woman Tells Us What It’s Like To Be Raped — And Have Your Town Turn Against You
‘There were flyers at school, kids wore T-shirts in his honor and even brought huge signs to his court appearances supporting him.’
by MTV News Staff  11/11/2014

Sixty percent of rapes go unreported to the police. But what’s it like to be part of that other 40% — and then have your community and friends turn against you? Emma Hanrahan knows only too well — and today she’s coming forward to share her story of pain and survival with MTV News, in the hopes that it will encourage that 60% to break the silence….

By Emma Hanrahan

….Almost immediately after entering the room I was pushed on the bed, and all of a sudden it went from being fun to being completely terrifying. I was dizzy and confused. Paris was on top of me. I said, “Slow down, I don’t want to do this. I want to go home.”

The moment they ignored me and kept going was the moment I knew exactly what was about to happen. One of the other guys was standing right by my head and I remember looking up and seeing the third guy standing at the door, almost like he was keeping watch.

Was this planned? How did everything fall into place so quickly? All of a sudden my pants were ripped right off me and Paris immediately started having sex with me. I was crying “No” over and over again.

….It was hard for me. I found peace many nights at the bottom of a cheap bottle of wine. My confusion and loss of self consumed me, while flashbacks and nightmares became a ritual in my already messed-up schedule. I had uncontrollable panic attacks that caused me to rarely leave the house. I spent many long days in my room not talking to many people at all.

The rape kit result came back and DNA was found, enough to at least make an arrest on Paris in the winter. Despite changing his statements drastically a few times, though, he gained the support from a majority of the school — and town for that matter. The school didn’t feel it was necessary to remove Paris or the other guys from their classes — even after the arrest. I couldn’t bear the thought of attending class every day sitting next to the guys that raped me, that broke me, that took everything from me, so I withdrew from school after only a couple of weeks.

….In the meantime, the town started taking sides — everyone did. These guys were star athletes — basketball players — and it seemed like everyone supported them. It didn’t take long for the blame to be put on me. The basketball coach even confronted me at a game once with his players in tow — including two of my attackers — and as a result I was thrown out of the game. And banned from campus.

People I thought were my friends dropped me in a second to jump on the “FREE PARIS” bandwagon — including some of my former roommates. There were flyers at school, kids wore T-shirts in his honor and even brought huge signs to his court appearances supporting him.

It drew attention from the local newspaper and radio stations, and people even wrote letters to the editor voicing their support for this man who took my entire life from me. Everywhere I turned “FREE PARIS” punched me right in the gut. I received threatening text messages from players and people I didn’t even know. I was harassed walking down the street; there are still blogs about me on the Internet created by students just to say awful and hateful things about me.

That’s the issue with how society as a whole thinks about sexual assault: They blame the victim. They blamed me. I was at a party. I was drinking. I was wearing a tank top. I was asking for it. Hearing those things over and over again –- you start to believe them. So many people told me that I was a slut. That I wanted it. It was really hard to not feel that way. I think that that just confirms that how people think of sexual assault and how they treat victims of a crime is backwards. We need to stop blaming the victims and start blaming their attackers.

….I got to the point where I was in such a dark place with my memories and my community’s nastiness that I had to try to put the whole thing behind me. I offered “Paris” a plea and he took it, and because he was arrested he lost his visa and was sent back home and not allowed to return. The other two guys were never arrested; “Paris” claimed they were never even with us.

….The harassment continued for years, despite letting Paris off easy. The next few years went by filled with unbearable pain and emptiness all at the same time. The only thing that helped me pull myself out of that place was talking to people in the same situation as me. I hooked up with the RAINN organization. I read other people’s stories — people who had gone through what I had and come out on the other side OK. People who told me that there was a life past everything I was enduring then.

….One of the reasons that I stopped feeling the way that I did was because I ran across another girl at college a few years later that was going through what I went through. I told her my story and about how I was better then than I had been before and that made her feel better. And it made me feel better that she felt better. Helping other people and guiding them –- that was the only way that I felt better.

What happened to me may have changed me, but who I am today is someone I am proud to be. I WAS a victim — now I’m a survivor, a mother, a fighter and an inspiration. I am strong.
http://www.mtv.com/news/1962056/rape-what-it-feels-like-no-one-believes/

21 Facts That Will Change The Way You Think About Sexual Assault

Join MTV and the White House in a new campaign to prevent sexual assault: ‘It’s On Us.’
by Brenna Ehrlich  9/19/2014

1. 1 out of every 6 American women has been either raped or almost raped in her lifetime.

2. 1 in 5 women in the U.S. is sexually assaulted in college — most during their freshman or sophomore year, according to It’s On Us.

3. In 2006, 300,000 college women were raped. That’s 5.2%.

4. 3% of U.S. men have either been raped or almost raped.

5. 80% of rape and sexual assault victims are under 30….

10. An American is sexually assaulted every 2 minutes….

17. Survivors can suffer from PTSD, substance abuse, sleep disorders, self-harm, eating disorders, depression and a host of other issues.

18. Survivors are 26 times more likely to take drugs….

20. 60% of sexual assaults go unreported and only 12 percent of college women report their attackers to the police.

21. Only 3% of rapists will ever go to prison.
http://www.mtv.com/news/1935098/its-on-us-sexual-assault-facts/

Police handling of child abuse intelligence to be investigated
12 November 2014
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will examine how Essex, North Wales and North Yorkshire handled information from Canadian police passed to the UK in 2012.

Around 2,000 names were sent by Toronto Police to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).

The three forces referred themselves to the IPCC for investigation….

BBC News obtained figures in October suggesting many forces had at that time only arrested around a third of the names among the Canadian intelligence….
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-30027045

Five NOPD detectives mishandled rape, child abuse investigations, inspector general finds
By  Naomi Martin, NOLA.com  The Times-Picayune
November 12, 2014

Five NOPD detectives have been transferred to street patrol and are under internal investigation after the city’s inspector general found they systematically failed to investigate and document allegations of sexual assault and child abuse.

The detectives wrote no investigative reports for 86 percent of the 1,290 sexual-assault or child-abuse calls they were collectively assigned to investigate from 2011 through 2013, according to the report released Wednesday. Two of their supervisors also were transferred and remain under investigation.

….In 65 percent of the cases reviewed, detectives submitted no initial incident reports — a basic summary of allegations — because the detectives classified those calls as “miscellaneous” incidents that did not merit any documentation at all.

“For 65 percent of their work for three years, no one can evaluate that,” said the inspector general’s lead investigator Howard Schwartz. “There is no record. Other than making it a 21 (miscellaneous).”

In 60 percent of the 450 cases reviewed, there was no supplemental report, a key record used by the department and prosecutors documenting investigative findings. Only 105 complaints became cases that were presented to the district attorney’s office. Of those, 74 cases were prosecuted, but only after the district attorney’s office conducted its own investigations, seeking medical records and interviewing witnesses and victims.

“The district attorney’s office should be commended for this,” Schwartz said.

The five detectives — Akron Davis, Merrill Merricks, Derrick Williams, Damita Williams and Vernon Haynes — represented the majority of the Special Victims Section, which had between eight and nine detectives throughout the three-year period.

….The inspector general’s office notified the NOPD on Oct. 3 that 13 children could be in danger in their homes after finding reports of physical and sexual abuse that apparently failed to get proper investigation. The department said it has made sure all are now safe by removing them from their homes or contacting child protective services, or both.

As of Oct. 3, NOPD had 53 outstanding DNA matches — notified in letters from the State Police crime lab since July 2010 — that they had not followed up on to start the process of finding potential rapists, the report says.

….The report alleges a culture of indifference.

Damita Williams told at least three different people that she “did not believe simple rape should be a crime,” the report says. Simple rape, under state law, is sex without the victim’s consent when the victim is intoxicated or incapacitated, and the offender should have known.

She was assigned 11 simple rape cases over the course of three years; only one was presented to the district attorney’s office.

In one case, she wrote that no DNA evidence was recovered. But State Police lab records showed that DNA evidence had in fact been found in that case.

In a separate case in which a victim reported her attacker was sending her threatening texts, Williams never documented any attempt to obtain phone records or the text messages. She never sent the victim’s rape kit to the crime lab for testing and in a log book, wrote that she “would not submit the kit to the DNA lab because the sex was consensual.”

Derrick Williams, who was the lead investigator on the case involving former New Orleans Saints football player Darren Sharper, submitted no supplemental reports on two rape cases in which nurses collected evidence and documented the accusers’ injuries.

In one case, State Police’s DNA lab found a possible match more than two years ago, but Williams had not submitted a sample to confirm it. In the other, State Police notified Williams that an incorrect kit had been sent in, and he had not responded.

Williams created two supplemental reports on the same day in 2013 after the inspector general’s office requested them — he dated one in 2011 and the other in 2010, the report says.

Vernon Haynes never documented any investigation into three cases in which the State Police crime lab found DNA evidence, the report says. He also had two cases that were lacking files in the office.

In one case, a victim reported she was raped and her iPhone was stolen; Haynes never documented any effort to track her phone or obtain phone records.

Merrill Merricks wrote in a report that he sent a rape kit to the State Police crime lab but they found no results. But the inspector general’s office reviewed State Police lab records and found the kit was never submitted. The kit had never actually moved from NOPD’s evidence room.

Merricks created four supplemental reports on the same day in 2013 after the inspector general’s office requested them — he dated three in 2011 and the other in 2010, the report says.

Akron Davis was assigned 13 cases of potential sexual/physical abuse involving children in which the juvenile victims potentially were still in the same home where the alleged abuse occurred. Of those 13, 11 lacked a supplemental report. Cases in which infants were hospitalized for skull fractures, a toddler tested positive for a sexually transmitted disease and a young child complained of sexual abuse at the hands of a registered sex offender were among those identified by the New Orleans Inspector General’s office as failing to get proper investigations….
http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2014/11/nopd_sex_crimes_problems.html

Celebrities Join the Fight to Stop Rape as a Weapon of War, Despite tougher laws, India can’t shake rape culture

June 17, 2014 Comments Off on Celebrities Join the Fight to Stop Rape as a Weapon of War, Despite tougher laws, India can’t shake rape culture

Celebrities Join the Fight to Stop Rape as a Weapon of War
By Janine di Giovanni 6/16/14

….“War zone rape thrives on silence,” Jolie said in her opening remarks, and Hague agrees: Sexual crimes should not be shameful. “It’s about waking people up,” he told Newsweek. “Despite all the communications within the modern age, these crimes have taken place on a vast scale without the world noticing. And that now is changing.”

….Five years after the Sri Lankan government defeated the Tamil Tigers, human rights groups report continued abductions, torture, rapes and other sexual violence against both men and women of the Tamil minority.

“For all intents and purposes, the war has not finished,” insists Frances Harrison, author of Still Counting the Dead, a brutal account of the Sri Lankan conflict. “Especially for young men and women who had association with the rebels, they are still being abducted, hunted down. It’s a mopping up operation five years on.”

Harrison says the Sri Lankan government—which is not considered a pariah state, despite its persistent human rights violations—“are using very sophisticated intelligence methods like facial-recognition software, as well as hooded informers who nod when they identify somebody.” ….
http://www.newsweek.com/celebrities-join-fight-stop-rape-weapon-war-255054

Despite tougher laws, India can’t shake rape culture
Mandakini Gahlot  USA Today Jun 16, 2014

NEW DELHI (RNS) Despite tougher laws against sexual violence, the grisly rape and murder of two teenage girls found hanging from a tree shows India has a long way to go to safeguard women in its male-dominated, socially stratified culture, critics say.

Protestors rally outside Sufdarjung Hospital in 2012 while seeking justice for a gang rape victim. Despite recent reform to toughen India’s sexual violence laws, India’s male-dominated and socially stratified culture isn’t helping solve the problem, critics say.

Protestors rally outside Sufdarjung Hospital in 2012 while seeking justice for a gang rape victim. Despite recent reform to toughen India’s sexual violence laws, India’s male-dominated and socially stratified culture isn’t helping solve the problem, critics say.

“Even though the laws are there, many people feel they can get away with anything, an attitude that some of our politicians have gone out their way to encourage,” said Ranjana Kumari, a prominent women’s rights activist and director of the Centre for Social Research in New Delhi.

The incident in Katra Sadatganj, an impoverished village in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is just the latest in a string of attacks. At least two other rape cases were reported in the past two weeks in the same state. The incidents are igniting debate about sexual violence against women and triggering outrage over lax attitudes about it, despite the strengthening of laws against rape last year….

More than 240,000 sexual offenses against women were reported in 2012, according to Indian government statistics. But human rights experts believe that number is vastly underestimated because many women don’t report the crimes.

India’s government enacted measures last year to address concerns after nationwide protests seeking more security for women followed Singh’s death. The new laws mandate strict guidelines for reporting rapes, shorter trials, less onerous hurdles for victims making accusations and requirements that female officers process victims.

However, high-profile rapes continue to occur, suggesting men’s behavior isn’t changing and marring the country’s image abroad. Last year, the number of female tourists dropped 10 percent, according to industry experts, in a country where tourism makes up 6 percent of GDP….
http://www.religionnews.com/2014/06/16/despite-tougher-laws-india-cant-shake-rape-culture/

Almost a quarter of men ‘admit to rape in parts of Asia’

September 11, 2013 Comments Off on Almost a quarter of men ‘admit to rape in parts of Asia’

Almost a quarter of men ‘admit to rape in parts of Asia’ By Tulip Mazumdar Global health reporter 9 September 2013

Almost a quarter of men surveyed in a UN report looking at violence against women in parts of Asia have admitted to committing at least one rape.

Rape was particularly common within relationships. However, one in 10 men admitted raping a woman who was not their partner.

Ten thousand men from six countries took part in the survey.
It is the first multi-country study to examine how widespread violence against women is and the reasons behind it.

Of those who admitted rape, just under half said they had done so more than once.  The prevalence of rape varied between countries.

In Papua New Guinea, more than six out of 10 men surveyed admitted forcing a woman to have sex.

It was least common in urban areas of Bangladesh, where it was just under one in 10 and Sri Lanka where it was just over one in 10.

In Cambodia, China and Indonesia it ranged from one in five to almost half of all men surveyed.

Percentage of men admitting rape
Papua New Guinea Bougainville Island – 62%
Indonesia Papua Province – 48.6%
Indonesia urban – 26.2%
China urban/rural – 22.2%
Cambodia – 20.4%
Indonesia rural – 19.5%
Sri Lanka – 14.5%
Bangladesh rural – 14.1%
Bangladesh urban – 9.5%
Source: United Nations

Part of the research has been published in The Lancet Global Health.

Sexual entitlement’

Nearly three quarters of those who committed rape said they did so for reasons of “sexual entitlement”.

Report author Dr Emma Fulu said: “They believed they had the right to have sex with the woman regardless of consent….
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24021573

Guilty plea by ‘Capturing the Friedmans’ sex offender Jesse Friedman was just: official review, Rape culture punishes boys too, Berlusconi Sex Trial Verdict: Italy’s Former Prime Minister Convicted, Sentenced To 7 Years

June 25, 2013 Comments Off on Guilty plea by ‘Capturing the Friedmans’ sex offender Jesse Friedman was just: official review, Rape culture punishes boys too, Berlusconi Sex Trial Verdict: Italy’s Former Prime Minister Convicted, Sentenced To 7 Years

– Teenager’s 1988 Sexual-Abuse Conviction Was Justified, Report Says
– Guilty plea by ‘Capturing the Friedmans’ sex offender Jesse Friedman was just: official review
– Jesse Friedman’s Child Abuse Conviction Backed Despite Documentary’s Claim
Were L.I. Man and Dad Computer Class Sex Fiends?
– Rape culture punishes boys too – A Colorado case shows boys can be assaulted too — and too often, teachers have ignored or even laughed about it
– Italy court convicts Berlusconi on sex charges
– Berlusconi Sex Trial Verdict: Italy’s Former Prime Minister Convicted, Sentenced To 7 Years

Teenager’s 1988 Sexual-Abuse Conviction Was Justified, Report Says
By PETER APPLEBOME June 24, 2013

Jesse Friedman, the Great Neck, N.Y., teenager whose role in a sexual abuse case a quarter-century ago was portrayed in the Oscar-nominated documentary “Capturing the Friedmans” and came to symbolize an era of sensational, often-suspect accusations of child molesting, was properly convicted and should not have his status as a sexual predator overturned, according to a three-year review that was released on Monday.

In a 155-page report written with very little ambiguity, the Nassau County district attorney, Kathleen M. Rice, concluded that none of four issues raised in 2010 in a strongly worded ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit were substantiated by the evidence.

Instead, it concluded, “By any impartial analysis, the reinvestigation process prompted by Jesse Friedman, his advocates and the Second Circuit, has only increased confidence in the integrity of Jesse Friedman’s guilty plea and adjudication as a sex offender.”

The review concludes another chapter in a case that came to national attention after the 2003 release of the film, which portrayed both the breakup of a deeply troubled family and what was characterized as a flawed, biased police investigation and judicial process. The case led to guilty pleas in 1988 by Jesse Friedman, then 18, and his father, Arnold Friedman, who ran a popular computer class at his house on Piccadilly Road in the affluent Long Island community of Great Neck.

The report’s conclusion was not entirely unexpected, even by Mr. Friedman and his advocates, given the explosive nature of the charges, the impossibility of a definitive finding on many of the allegations more than 25 years in the past and the high bar for prosecutors to overturn convictions, especially those based on confessions.

Still, Mr. Friedman’s lawyer, Ron Kuby, and the film’s director, Andrew Jarecki, reacted with disappointment and anger, saying the report was a biased whitewash by the office that originally botched the case. Mr. Kuby promised to pursue appeals…..

Yet Ms. Rice’s report, in all instances, found that the preponderance of evidence pointed toward upholding the conviction. And her report comes with a limited, but potentially powerful, seal of approval in a case that is also being played out in the court of public opinion.

When she began her review, Ms. Rice, a Democrat first elected in 2005, appointed a four-member independent advisory panel to guide and oversee the work. It included Barry Scheck, a founder of the Innocence Project and one of the country’s leading advocates for overturning wrongful convictions….

The report centered on four points raised in the film and by the appeals court: that the case may have been tainted by repeated police interviews that pushed children toward confessions; that children may have been hypnotized to recover memories not based on fact; that the case was distorted by a “moral panic” that created false accusations and a predisposition toward conviction; and that Jesse Friedman’s guilty plea may have been unlawfully coerced by the police, prosecutors and a hostile judge.

The review rejected them all. It said that though some interviews late in the case may have been flawed, the rapid pace and early flow of accusations from children in the classes indicated that the allegations arose from spontaneous accounts, not from investigators pushing children toward accusations. It said the first child interviewed reported improper behavior, 12 children leveled accusations of illegal sexual behavior at Arnold Friedman in the investigation’s first two weeks and, five weeks into the investigation, 13 boys described criminal behavior by Jesse Friedman.

It said, that despite one student’s account in “Capturing the Friedmans” of making allegations after being hypnotized, any use of group therapy or hypnosis came after all the indictments were filed. It disputed the one account of hypnosis in the film….

It cited other evidence damaging to Mr. Friedman’s case — students and parents who stuck by their accounts and added fuller details, a psychiatric evaluation conducted for his defense that labeled him “a psychopathic deviant” and a telephone interview with Arnold Friedman’s brother, Howard Friedman, in which, according to the report, he said: “Jesse is guilty and you’re going to ask me how I know. Because Arnold told me.” He said Arnold Friedman had confessed that both he and his son had “misbehaved” with children in the class, but it is not clear from his statements what that misbehavior might have entailed….

Most glaring of the conflicting accounts was the one given by Mr. Goldstein, who said that “every single thing” in his grand jury testimony had been a lie and that he had been “coached, rehearsed and directed” by a prosecutor and a detective to tell the story they wanted, which was devastating for Jesse Friedman’s defense. The review said his recantation was unreliable.

Ms. Rice said in a statement that “instances of wrongful conviction are real and exist in far greater numbers than any of us would like to admit.” But she added: “The case against Jesse Friedman is not one of them.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/25/nyregion/friedmans-sexual-abuse-conviction-was-justified-report-says.html

Guilty plea by ‘Capturing the Friedmans’ sex offender Jesse Friedman was just: official review
By KENNETH GARGER and BRUCE GOLDING  June 24, 2013

They captured the Friedmans — and they were right.

Jesse Friedman — who proclaimed his innocence in the Oscar-nominated documentary “Capturing the Friedmans” — “was not wrongfully convicted” in the notorious child-molestation case that sent him and his pedophile father to prison, according to an official report released today.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said a comprehensive review guided by a blue-ribbon panel of legal experts had affirmed Friedman’s 1988 guilty plea, which he now disavows.

The three-year probe was spurred by a federal appeals court ruling that upheld Friedman’s conviction on a technicality, but urged the Nassau DA to conduct a “complete review” of his claim that he was railroaded when cops used questionable tactics to obtain “recovered memories” from his accusers.

“We were fully prepared to exonerate Mr. Friedman if that’s where the facts led us,” Rice said.

“But the facts, under any objective analysis, led to a substantially different conclusion.”

“This exhaustive and impartial process has only strengthened the justice system’s confidence that Jesse Friedman was involved in the sexual abuse of children,” she added.

Friedman and his late father, Arnold, both pleaded guilty to shocking charges that they sexually abused more than a dozen underage boys who took computer classes inside the Friedman’s home in Great Neck, LI….

The 155-page report from a “Review Team” led by three senior Nassau prosecutors says that Jesse’s allegations regarding “aggressive” police interrogations of his accusers are “exaggerated,” and that the cops’ interview techniques were “appropriate.”

The report also says the claim that four of the accusers have since recanted “is simply not accurate,” and that “Capturing the Friedmans” used selectively edited interviews to suggest that Jesse was the victim of public hysteria, police misconduct and judicial bias.

“The Review Team committed itself to follow the facts wherever they might lead, and found that the whole truth diverged significantly from the edited version of events portrayed in the film,” the report concluded.
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/review_affirms_guilty_plea_jesse_YCws6DgLFLPO5gb7seFoOO

Jesse Friedman’s Child Abuse Conviction Backed Despite Documentary’s Claim
Were L.I. Man and Dad Computer Class Sex Fiends?

By Reuters
Published June 24, 2013.

A New York man who spent 13 years in prison for the sexual abuse of minors in the 1980s was rightfully convicted, prosecutors said on Monday, a legal setback in a decade-long campaign to exonerate Jesse Friedman after an Oscar-nominated documentary questioned his prosecution and guilt.

An extensive three-year review “has only increased confidence in the integrity of Jesse Friedman’s guilty plea and adjudication as a sex offender,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a 155-page report.

Friedman was 18 in 1988 when he and his father, Arnold Friedman, were accused of molesting more than a dozen boys during computer classes taught in their home in the upscale Long Island town of Great Neck.

Both Friedmans pleaded guilty, and Jesse served 13 years in prison before being released on parole in 2001.

In 2004, he began efforts to overturn his conviction, saying he had been railroaded by the criminal justice system amid a fervor to jail child molesters….

Supporters of Friedman, hoping to clear his name, say five of the 14 children who accused him of molestation have recanted.

The review panel referred to “misleading film portrayals” of the judge and detective who helped prosecute the case.

“Thirteen children accused Jesse Friedman of criminal misconduct within the first five weeks of the investigation,” the report said.

“None of the five individuals who Friedman advocates suggest ‘recanted’ have,” it concluded.

Friedman’s attorney Ron Kuby said the report was “disappointing but hardly surprising.”….

The review panel included a half dozen prosecutors and an independent review team.

“The four principal concerns raised by the Second Circuit are not substantiated by the evidence,” the report said. “In fact, by any impartial analysis, the re-investigation process prompted by Jesse Friedman, his advocates, and the Second Circuit, has only increased confidence in the integrity of Jesse Friedman’s guilty plea,” it concluded.
http://forward.com/articles/179235/jesse-friedmans-child-abuse-conviction-backed-desp/

Rape culture punishes boys too
A Colorado case shows boys can be assaulted too — and too often, teachers have ignored or even laughed about it
By Mary Elizabeth Williams
Monday, Jun 24, 2013

The endlessly repeated argument that rape is just one of those things that guys can’t help doing because girls can’t stop provoking them ignores a simple, brutal reality: Males don’t just perpetrate sexual violence – they are the victims of it as well. And when they come forward, male victims often face a raft of suspicion, bullying and blame, as a heartbreaking recent case out of Colorado proves….

After the victim’s father reported the incident to police, the assailants pleaded guilty to sexual contact without consent and third-degree assault — but it was the victim and principal who were tormented at school. The man says students taunted the boy on his Facebook page, verbally berated him, put “Go to hell” stickers on his locker and wore shirts supporting the perpetrators – shirts paid for by the mother of one of the accused. And he says the coach, who was also president of the school board, shrugged off the attack, telling him, “This happens 1,000 times a day around the U.S.” The father subsequently resigned from his position as principal. His family has since moved to a town 200 miles away, where his son continues to wrestle and play football. The school, meanwhile, gave the coach a letter of reprimand for leaving the students alone and then renewed his contract….

The hostile responses a teenage boy has had to endure in the wake of a vicious assault are truly stomach-turning. What makes the story far more depressing, however, is that it’s not unique. As PRI reports Monday, as many as 10 percent of high school boys report they’ve been the victims of “rape, forced oral sex or other sexual assault.” And Bloomberg News reports that “More than 40 high school boys were sodomized with foreign objects by their teammates in over a dozen alleged incidents reported in the past year” — a sharp rise from a decade ago. Recent incidents involved boys being violated with “a broken flagpole outside Los Angeles; a metal concrete-reinforcing bar in Fontana, Calif.; a jump-rope handle in Greenfield, Iowa; and a water bottle in Hardin, Mo.” And, Bloomberg adds, “In at least four cases of sodomy hazing last year, the coach or supervising teacher was alleged to have known about it, ordered it, witnessed it or laughed about it.”….
http://www.salon.com/2013/06/24/rape_culture_punishes_boys_too/

Italy court convicts Berlusconi on sex charges
By Silvia Aloisi and Sara Rossi
MILAN Mon Jun 24, 2013

(Reuters) – Silvio Berlusconi was handed a seven-year jail sentence on Monday for abuse of office and paying for sex with a minor, adding to the complications facing Italy’s fragile left-right government.

The former prime minister will not have to serve any jail time before he has exhausted an appeals process that could take years, but the conviction angered members of his centre-right party who questioned whether he should continue to support the coalition.

The 76-year-old media tycoon expressed outrage at the verdict which he said was politically motivated….

Berlusconi was found guilty of paying for sex with former teenage nightclub dancer Karima El Mahroug, better known under her stage name “Ruby the Heartstealer”, during “bunga bunga” sex parties at his palatial home near Milan.

The panel of three women judges also convicted him of abuse of office by arranging to have El Mahroug released from police custody when she was held in a separate theft case.

The verdict closes a two-year trial that has mesmerized Italy with its accounts of wild sex parties at the billionaire’s villa outside Milan while he was premier in 2010….
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/24/us-italy-berlusconi-verdict-idUSBRE95N0VK20130624

Berlusconi Sex Trial Verdict: Italy’s Former Prime Minister Convicted, Sentenced To 7 Years  6/24/2013

Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been convicted in a sex-for-hire trial, the Associated Press reports on Monday.

According to Reuters, Berlusconi was sentenced to seven years in jail and the Milan court banned the 76-year-old politician from holding public office.

More from the Associated Press:

MILAN — A Milan court on Monday convicted former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi of paying for sex with an underage prostitute during infamous “bunga bunga” parties at his villa and then using his influence to try to cover it up.

Berlusconi, 76, was sentenced to seven years in prison and barred from public office for life – a sentence that could mean the end of his two-decade political career. However, there are two more levels of appeal before the sentence would become final, a process that can take months….
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/24/berlusconi-sex-trial-verdict-convicted_n_3490210.html

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