Frat Boys Gone Wild...
Unless you have been living in a cave, you certainly have heard something about the case of an "exotic dancer" (i.e. whore with a better paycheck) in Durham, NC, who claims she was hired to...ahem...work...at a party being thrown by the Duke University Lacrosse team, and was subsequently (allegedly) raped by three of the players at the party.
Two suspects have been "identified" and a third remains unknown.
The case, in the meantime, has been tried in every public forum imaginable, which absolutely makes a mockery of the criminal justice system.
Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong wasted no time at all in going to the media to announce, proudly and arrogantly, that his office had just landed the mother of all cases. Just as big as OJ, just as nasty as Lacy Peterson, just as salacious as Micheal Jackson, and it was right here in lil' 'ol Durham, previously only famous for bar-b-que and possibly incest (trust me, I lived in NC). It's got everything you need: sex, racial overtones, forcible gang rape, drinking and possibly drugs. It's the perfect set up: rich, white college boys take adavnatge of a poor, black, working mother (almost an oxymoron, I know), just trying to make ends meet (or in this case, meat).
And your's truly, Mike Nifong, District Attorney of a city that hardly deserves to be on the map, except that it fills in the blank space between Virginia and Charlotte on the map, will be there to try it.
And so, Mr. Nifong went on the air and in the papers with all the information he had (or at least was willing to talk about), and poisoned the well with regards to this trial, should it ever happen. He gave out all kinds of prejudicial information: the boy's names, for example, the fact that DNA tests were taken (and proved nothing, apparently), that the boys have had previous legal trouble (so has the alleged victim, but Mr. Nifong has suddenly become all high-and-mighty about it: just because she has a record doesn't mean she's a bad person. Hmm, I wonder why she's entitled to that consideration but the alleged rapists here are not. I'd say something about the pot calling the kettle black, but there are racial overtones to this whole thing...ooops!).
One of the alleged attackers seems to have an alibi (couretsy of his cell phone, a cab company and his ATM records), and possibly was not even present during the attack. The D.A. in this case seems to have jumped the gun and exposed his pecker for all to see: it's tiny, and is suffering from shrinkage as the weakness of his case is made apparent on television on a daily basis. However, he's up re-election and now also looks like and idiot for starting this whole business with no proof, but he seems more than willing to drive this case, kamikaze fashion, through the courts. Never underestimate the ability of a man who can't say "I'm sorry...I made a mistake" to turn his original mistake into a major disaster.
Of course, once the D.A. had gone ahead and exposed his pecker in public with the weakness of his evidence and the supposed lack of character of his victim, the defense attorneys took the opportunity to further muddy the waters. As far as I can see, we have a "rape" which sounds much more like a drunken woman who may have engaged in some rough sex (whether at the party or someplace else, no one can say for sure), she's not the most credible witness, having been intoxicated at the time, and with a known substance abuse problem, and possibly mental issues, to boot.
On the other side of the ledger, we have a bunch of stupid, arrogant, jocks, all of whom seem to have reputations as anything but choir boys, who managed to put themselves in a position where this could happen to them. I'm so glad they're teaching these kids to think at Duke University.
Of course, what's really amazing about all of this is the American public's ability to be distracted by something this sordid while much more important things are happening. Look, I don't condone rape, and I don't advocate being in a position where you can get raped (i.e. working as an "exotic dancer"), or in a position to be accused of rape (a drunken, college jock throwing stag parties in an off-campus house). I do believe, however, that at some point in life, people have to take responsibility for their actions.
If this woman, either willingly, for money, or under the influence of alcohol, engaged in sexual activity that she later regretted, that's too bad, but it does not give her the right to ruin someone else's life over it. You chalk it up to experience and move on with your life.
If these boys are in fact guilty of what they have been accused of, then for damn sure they should swing from the highest yardarm you can find in Durham (that'll be hard since most people there can't even SPELL yardarm, let alone know what one is). They do not have the right, just because they're Duke University Athletes, priviledged, drunk or stupid to take the dignity of another human being, or to forcibly engage in sex with an unwilling partner.
Quite frankly, I believe the DA should try his weak case, and regardless of the outcome, shoot everyone involved just to be certain they can no longer pollute the airwaves.