“Trial Mix”. Let’s talk about the George Huguely murder trial.

We’re now on Day 2 of jury selection in the trial of George Huguely, the University of Virginia lacrosse player accused of murdering his former girlfriend, fellow lacrosse player, Yeardley Love. I’d by lying if I said I didn’t have a dog in this fight for so many reasons. Mr. Huguely is represented by the same defense team that defended one of my rapists, and, seeing the coverage is certainly a bit of a trigger – it’s like time has stopped. Same courtroom, same Rhonda and Fran, same supporters of Miss Love, wearing pink, as my sorority sisters did in solidarity, much to the consternation and objection of Ms. Quagliana.

Courtesy: UVA Sports

It seems as though Judge Hogshire (same judge) is allowing the photographs of the crime scene, in a late decision this past Saturday night. Defense found these photos to be “prejudicial.” I daresay a jury should be allowed to see the photos of the alleged victim. Round One = Prosecution (same prosecutors, Dave and Claude).

In reading the excellent reportage from The Hook, The Daily Progress and WaPo, there seems to be a common thread among many commenters that they’ll be seeing Mr. Huguely “walking on the Downtown Mall” in about 10 years, due to the perception that Charlottesville juries are not so tough on defendants and that Charlottesville Circuit Court has a longtime history of short sentences for felony crimes. Feel free to comment on that one.

All I know is that my thoughts over the next few weeks are not with the ridiculous posturing and machinations of the defense team (they are, after all, doing their job) or how poor George had a terrible upbringing with an abusive, addict of a father and a pleaser of a mother. My thoughts are with Yeardley and her mother and sister and the notion that justice, even in the midst of a liberal jurisdiction and a media blizzard may be done.

May there be strength to all involved and prayers to the family – and wise choices on the parts of the jurors, prosecutors and Judge. I’ll be covering this and other subjects in the foreseeable future. It’s time we began to talk about this again – are University of Virginia (and other campus) women simply collateral damage behind the storied, ivied walls of a very traditional, Southern, sports-and-fraternity loving entity?

The book is here!

Have you read “Crash Into Me” yet? Available at Amazon.com, bn.com, borders.com and most independent bookstores. Feel free to leave a comment/review here or on the sites. Thank you to ICM, Bloomsbury, my great team and my family. We’ll be posting appearances and signing as we merge this blog into a new one soon.

Morgan Harrington update

I never like when law enforcement goes “radio silent” on a case, but usually it’s because a) they haven’t got anything new to report or b) they do and they need to keep it from the public while they continue to piece together the investigation. They owe us, the public, nothing and while I know many folks are angry about the lack of information about Morgan’s disappearance, The Hook, a fantastic Charlottesville weekly, has done the best job of covering the story.

Kudos to Courteney Stuart, an editor of the Hook, for her outstanding reporting. Please read this article about what some witnesses are saying.

We pray for the safe return of Morgan to her family and friends. So many unanswered questions.

1) are there any photos of her that night?
2) is there any surveillance video from JPJ Arena?
3) Why is the University of Virginia choosing to remain silent about the case?
4) have the sex offenders in the area been questioned about that night?

Given the massive amount of blog commentary, Courteney has indeed done her homework, though it seems hard to get quite a few of them to stay on topic.

A brave woman in Colorado deserves our praise.

Today, a friend sent me an article about a cold case in Colorado in which the victim is pressing on, nine years later. Bravo to her. Read the article and decide for yourself. The most troubling part of the article, though, is the comments section. It’s amazing that people blame her for her own rape because she was intoxicated.

Because, naturally, she wanted to end up covered in blood and mud having “had sex” with two men. That’s normal, right? I love her for her courage in coming forward. It is really hard to be public about this because a) you are then known primarily for the fact that you are a rape victim and not a daughter, wife, mom, hard worker, etc. and b) you need to endure the crazies on blog boards.

I honestly believe that one should have to register a credit card with their real name in order to comment on a blog. So many anonymous cowards, holding forth about something they have no experience with. Bravo, Julie Stene! Bravo!

VMI cadet accused of rape – first time ever a case there has gone to authorities

VMI – Virginia Military Institute, began accepting female cadets less than 10 years ago. One of my dearest friends is married to a VMI grad, so this has nothing to do with the school, and everything to do with the accused.

However, I will see that it seems, from reading the coverage on this case, that, on the face of it, female (or male) cadets who have been sexually assaulted are encouraged to keep it quiet. And as you read this report, notice that the VMI “police” are the ones who conducted the investigation.

As for the victim, she was “treated and back in class”? This just happened! Are you kidding me? Trauma takes forever and I hope she gets more help than this slapdash nonsense.

UVM coke ring head, fraternity president, sentenced, no longer BMOC.

I have lots of college-aged friends. Cocaine is HUGE again, just like in the 80s and 90s. It’s, like, so “Less Than Zero”, they tell me. It’s also an evil insidious drug that ruins lives and futures and promise.

That said, this guy got 70 months. Fraternity rapist? 5 months (and that’s the one I know of – so many walking free, I cannot begin to tell you).

This speaks directly to the point I was making about how manditory drug sentencing is overfilling our prisons and keeping dangerous offenders out on the street. We need more prisons and we had better be prepared to pay for them if we want our kids to be safe and the right offenders behind bars. It’s all about appropriateness. Relative to a coke dealer, a rapist should not serve a tiny fraction of the dealer’s sentence, but the Fed says it’s so. A coke dealer certainly hurts himself, but those buyers don’t have a gun held to their heads. He’s being a businessman.


Professor resigns over stolen bike. University brass still keep jobs despite rape and murder.

In this story, a USF professor was caught on tape stealing a bicycle (hey – you make over $350K a year – buy your own!)belonging to a student. The student wanted to press charges and Rao, the prof, pressured him not to. Good Lord!

Now, he’s stepping down over the embarrassment. Fine. Great. What I want to know is how Universities continue to violate the Clery Act and cover up rape and murder. Does anyone know anything new about the DeAnza rape case? The latest Virginia Tech murder? Nope – I didn’t think so.

Thank you, Gretchen Cook!

I’m just going to paste in this brilliant article that Ms. Cook wrote, which talks about how colleges and Universities, citing some great cases, keep victims silent when it comes to campus rape. I’ve spoken with Wendy Murphy at length – and she’s right. Read on:

Tactics to Minimize Rape Reporting on the Rise

Catherine Bath, program director for Security On Campus, Inc. says that data
collected by her King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based nonprofit group indicated
the number of campus rapes has remained relatively steady over the decade.
What she does see, however, is an alarming increase in the tactics schools use to
minimize reporting.

“We’ve seen victims outright discouraged from reporting rape because they’ve
been told they could be found guilty of drinking or having sex in the dorm,” says
Bath. She adds that campus rape victims are “afraid of even going through the
campus judicial system, for fear of being sanctioned.”

Two such cases have been in the headlines recently. Last year, Boston University
student Meghann Horner reported a sexual assault and told campus authorities
she had smoked marijuana with her assailant. The university cleared the alleged
rapist but charged Horner with illegal drug use. Those charges, later overturned,
came on the heels of protests over the treatment of another Boston University
rape victim. In that case, Kristin Roslonski was suspended for drinking on campus
after she had reported being raped by a fellow student. Roslonski has filed a $1.4
million civil suit against Boston University.

Wendy Murphy, a Boston attorney who has worked with campus rape victims for
10 years, cites other strategies schools use to discourage rape reporting. These
include: insisting victims turn over all information on psychological counseling or
medical exams prior to the assault and waiving any confidentiality rights to those
files; instituting strict statutes of limitations–most college victims will not
immediately report the assault; erroneously warning victims that if they get a rape
evidence kit done they will have to press charges even if they later change their
minds; and pressuring victims to accept a campus mediation process in lieu of
outside judicial recourse.

Murphy says that last hurdle–of pushing campus mediation–is the most
egregious. “What victims need most in these cases is access to outside counseling
and representation,” she says.

In another recent case, Georgetown University student Kate Dieringer reported
she was drugged and raped in 2001, her first year, by a student who was acting
as her student-orientation advisor. The school held a hearing on the charges, but
demanded Dieringer sign a confidentiality agreement before she could be informed
of the outcome–and know whether her alleged assailant would be allowed to
return to campus.

Georgetown’s Office of Student Conduct not only let the accused rapist off, but
the office’s director labeled Dieringer “a woman scorned.” Outraged that the
confidentiality agreement kept her from pursuing the charges elsewhere, Dieringer
filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education charging that the
agreement violated the Clery Act, which requires campuses to inform victims of
their right to outside counsel. Dieringer’s case is still pending.”

Texan Christian University gang rape civil suit against the U. I want to gouge my eyes out after reading the comments.

This girl, the victim of an (I have to use the word) alleged gang rape by three football players, was told by University brass it “would be easier” for her to drop the charges. Okay, I’ve heard those same three words over and over again. In 1984.

Seems one of these guys owed her money so she went to get it and was brutally attacked. How much you wanna bet one of these fools taped it? Maybe then his grandmother will stop telling the press what a nice boy he is. The D.A.’s office dropped the criminal case -and you know what? That happens a lot! D.A.s won’t prosecute unless they can win. That DOES NOT mean a rape did not occur. The defense of “consensual” is 99.99% of the time the defense. Do people not know this? It’s always the defense.

Most of the foolios on this board think because she’s suing civilly, K.S. (the alleged victim) is a) out for money, b) a drunk ho. What they don’t understand is that Universities will do ANYTHING to protect their endowments, especially athletic ones. If you’re the victim in a case with athletes (and I have no doubt what happened to this poor girl), your case won’t go to trial, the charges will get dropped and you’ll be silenced faster than a speeding bullet.

K.S., you press on with your suit. I hope you win. You’re my hero. So what if she sues? Why is she NOT entitled to damages? It’s called that because it is that – damages. Are coeds just “acceptable losses” in the University money game?

Sound off!

Heather MacDonald thinks campus rape is a big fat lie.

I’d like her to come on the road with me and see the hundreds of girls who have, indeed, been raped. It seems that Ms. MacDonald thinks the “mass hysteria” created by Universities is nothing but “campus rape myth”. She thinks “TBTN” rallies and Sexual Assault Centers are bogus wastes of money since college girls are just boozy whores who cry rape because they regret “hooking up”. You know what? I know differently and I am entitled to call bullshit on her. Click here to read her article.

I’ve talked to fraternity boys around the country and even those that I know. When I tell them the definition of rape includes having sex with an unconscious girl, they are shocked to realize they have indeed committed rape. If you’ve drugged someone and they cannot say “NO”, it’s still rape. If they pass out in your bed because you lure them there and you proceed to “have sex” with them, it’s rape. Not just strangers jumping out of bushes rape. Desperate men, dying to get a notch on their belt and prove their virility commit rape because of peer pressure and yes, that’s rape!

Um, the University of Virginia doesn’t publish its rape statistics because they are HIGH! Last year, 16 sororities reported that a member was raped during fraternity rush week – it was on the front page of the Cavalier Daily and of course, there was no follow up article because the DOS office quashed it. Ms. MacDonald only cites one weak ass article written by a complete moron at UVa. She should have done more research to see the writings about sexual assault at the University. They – University brass – reclassify them as simple assault, but the Clery Act will catch them. The reason those girls in her article didn’t think they were raped is because no one on Grounds does anything about it. Notice the choices those students have. Not once is “Go to the City Police” an option, just like in my case.

And enough about Duke. We get it. She was a false accuser but she does not represent all of us. I’ve said time and again, false accusers should face charges.

But the worst part of Heather MacDonald’s piece? The way she mocks the rape culture and the words “survivor” “co-survivor”, “one in four” etc. She cannot stand that Yale Student (where I spoke at Take Back the Night last year) get involved with helping to prevent sexual assault and heal those that do. You can feel the sarcasm and venom dripping from her pen. That’s what hurts the most.

Clearly, she has two categories – “real rape” – where she feels a stranger climbs into a bedroom window, usually a black man raping a white woman and “fake rape”, where a girl who has been drinking or has been slipped a roofie is raped. Wow. No in between? I am betting she thinks I am one of those boozy sluts who lied. Imagine if William Beebe hadn’t confessed? I’d be lumped in with those harlots who went to a party. She is racist and sexist and she doesn’t even take into account the men who are raped on campuses.

Think about it. Sound off.