Rape Allegations at Duke

Did Duke University lacross players rape a black stripper and call her racial names? That's what she says. Could there have been a dispute over money and she retaliated with a false allegation? Only she and some of the players know. But that hasn't stopped thousands of Duke students from declaring with 100% certainty that her allegations are 100% accurate, and transforming those allegations into an opportunity to rant about what a horrible nation we sadly find ourselves in (along with the hundreds of thousands of other shreiking protesters simultaneously denouncing the US and demanding citizenship).

The men who hire strippers and hookers are negative people, at least, and especially when, they are engaged in this activity. The stripper/hookers are also a negative bunch, and especially so, as they participate in these activities regularly. I have seen these activities; I have known customers of strippers, and strippers. I disdain the activity, and can authoritatively tell those of you who don't know first hand: it is a seedy activity, it attracts negative people and negative behavior on both end of the financial transaction. Customers and stripper/hookers both on occassion behave abhorently towards each other; they are, afterall, behaving abhorrently by definition to begin with.

Sometimes heated arguments errupt over money, and terms of service. Sometimes customers attack the strippers; sometimes they rape the strippers; sometimes they kill the stripper/hookers. But sometimes the strippers attack the cusomters; or steal form the customers; Sometimes one or the other lies on the other. It is an ugly, sorted business. But it is *NOT* one soley charactorized by asshole male customers behaving abhorrently towards innocent, honest young ladies trying to make an decent living. It is an activity in which two groups of sorted individuals engage each other in activities that demean themselves and each other.

Are the Duke strippers telling the truth? I don't know. And neither do all the shrieking student protesters who are using this incident to instruct the rest of us about what a horrible country we live in. This country contains some men who rape. It also contains some women who lie about such things. But mostly it contains people living in safety, working productively, and prospering.


Paul Hue said...

This report says the alleged victim "worked for an escort service", which is a ephamism for hooker. But it also has a neighbor charging that he heard one of the players call the girl a racial name; it doesn't say if he heard her in a shouting argument with the player in which they were exchanging racial slurs, or if the player was just calling her names.


Paul Hue said...

This article says that one of the protesters carried a sign, "All rapes deserve outrage." Indeed they do. I wonder how many reported rapes occur in a year in that town, and how many draw thousands of protesters. Surely something makes this allegation special. What could it be?


Nadir said...

How are you going to throw my name into your fictitious story?

We all know you got arrested and beaten by the cops at Ray's bachelor party. I didn't even know you then.

Paul Hue said...

Nadir: As improbable as this may sound, Ray got married twice. You have referenced the first wedding; my stripper story references the second. Ray wanted a stripper party to avoid the possibility of the entire groom's party awakening on the wedding day in jail.

Paul Hue said...

The stripper/hooker charges are gaining some credability with me:

- A 911 tape from earlier in the evening from a pair of two black Duke female students reports that guys from the house called them "niggers." The tape played on TV seemed very genuine. The girl on the tape was *very* distressed; I bet it is one of the only times in her life that she's been called a nigger by a white person. Forty years ago it would have been so commonplace that it wouldn't have warrented abject distress, or a 911 call.

- The stripper/hooker ("exotic dancer" / "escort") making the allegation had a police examination declared "consistent" with rape. On its own, I would not accept this conclusion as definative, given the propensity of police to declare their examinations of any evidence as indicating a crime even when no crime has been committed.

I wonder if the protesters had this information prior to their first loud protest; I wonder why similar charges around the country leveled against basketball and football teams have not triggered instant, daily loud protests. It seems to me that the stripper/escort's charges are getting taken seriously, and that black students at Duke are on average no less safe than white students there.

Tom Philpott said...

As I understand it, the athletes didn't cooperate with the investigation for a while, and that prompted outrage within the university. Generally, I think the phenomenon of "crying rape" is way overblown. What woman, particularly a stripper, would willfully subject herself to the humiliations of a rape trial? As in the Kobe Bryant case, as in the Mike Tyson case, the accuser always ends up on trial herself, always faces the stigma of "asking for it" etc. (Tyson's lawyers rolled out the "creep" defense: My client is a creep, everyone knows that, anyone who would consent to be alone with him had it coming, etc) Given the economic stature of the accused Duke boys, the accuser would have known well that she'd face high-octane lawyers in court, and she be savaged in public no matter the outcome.

Paul Hue said...

Tom: I don't know what fraction of rape charges are false. I'm sure it's small, but not insignificant. I'm also sure that a large fraction of sexual assaults do not even get reported. I know several girls who say they were raped or otherwise assaulted who did not bother reporting the incident. However, I believe that false charges reprepresent a true phenomenon.

In the case of strippers and hookers, we are dealing with a population with a very high incidence of low self-esteem and other negative personality aspects (most often, I have found, seeming to derive from childhood sexual assaults), including greed and vindictiveness. The appeal of filing false charges is especially high for such people when dealing with wealthy people, from whom they can expect payoffs. If you are a stripper/hooker, the threshold for "humilliation" is very, very high indeed. Other women who are not strippers or hookers also have negative personalities and situations for which the drawbacks of a false rape allegation are small in comparassion to what they consider to be the payoff, which could be child custody or simple "payback" for a perceived slight.

On the other hand, I recognize of course that in the case of celebrities and rich college kids we are dealing with a population with a very high incidence of arrogance and disregard for the rights and feelings of other people, and the consquences for their own actions. There is no way that I consider rape charges against such people to be incredable. But we do have recorded cases where the charges have not only been soundly disproved, but so soundly so as to result in the accuser being charged for filing a false report.

In the case of Mike Tyson, it should scare us all that he went to prison, even if everything that his accuser said was 100% accurate. This is because zero evidence proved her claim, which amounted to this: I claim that Tommy came to my house and stole $200 off of my counter top. Tommy admits that he came to my house, and he admits to having my $20 bills, but says that I gave them to him. If I reported this to the police, you would not even get arrested; only a sex allegation on such an incident results in arrests and convictions. The Mike Tyson case proves that unlike any other allegation, a sex accuser can get an arrest and even a conviction based entirely on an un-provable allegation.

Could Mike Tyson have raped his accuser? Yes. Could he have *not* raped her, but merely insulted the accuser and behaved in a way that ultimately made her feel ashamed of herself? Yes. The facts falsify neither of those possibilities. It frightens me that arrests and convictions are possible in such cirumstances. Surely you would rather have rapists go free than to have a system in which falsely accused people can go to prison.

I studied the Kobe story as well and believe that the same view applies: the provable facts support both his and her stories. Do you really support a legal structure in which a "tie" goes to the accuser?

I know that when I let people into my home, I expose myself to them stealing things in a manner that I will not be able to get the police to arrest them. Surely you do not want our system to permit me to have Nadir arrested for having in his possession my copy of Howard Zinn's "People's History", which he borrowed with my permission, but I changed the story once he angered me by calling my mom a dirty slut. If your female roommate calls the police and says that you stole from her the $100 in your wallet, I guarantee you will not get arrested. But if you guys have hot consensual sex, but you call out the name of Nadir's mom, and she calls the police and labels this rape, if you admit to the police that you had sex (or if she has your DNA on her), you are going DOWN, my friend. You might not get convicted, but if she's adamant, you are going to get arrested, and you are going to spend thousands of dollars.

Paul Hue said...

Tom: I in now way assert that the players are innocent. But if they *are* innocent, and they were unjustly accused, and they have responded to an unjust accusation in the most intelligent fashion, they would have called an attorney immediately, and that attorney would have ordered them to shut up.

It would not surprise me if the stripper is accurate, and at this point I am leaning towards her story. But neither would it surprise me if she is lying. We are dealing here with a situation that involves negative people acting under circumstances in which their most negative aspects are at play.

Paul Hue said...

Let me state my view here thusly: If, under these circumstances, thousands of Duke students protested in favor of the accused, insisting with certainty that the accuser is lying, I would have the same objections... even more so, given that emerging facts are supporting her story.