Richard Cohen is a columnist for the Washington Post. He’s also a Roman Polanski apologist, a Clarence Thomas apologist, and a man who’s been personally called out for lewd behavior in front of a 23-year-old aide. So it’s no surprise that Cohen has absolutely nothing good to say about Miley Cyrus and her much ballyhooed twerk-happy VMA performance. In fact, says Cohen, he was so perturbed by the performance that he had to look up the definition of “twerk” in ye olde spellcheck. (We picture him doing this with the help of the Microsoft Office talking paper clip, Clippy, natch.)
Of the performance, Cohen said. “She’s a cheap act, no doubt about it, but for me her performance was an opportunity to discuss one of the summer’s most arresting pieces of journalism — a long New Yorker account [by Ariel Levy] of what became known as the Steubenville Rape. Cyrus should read it.”
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Last week, we told you about an appalling case in which Montana Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced convicted statutory rapist Stacey Rambold to a mere 30 days in jail for raping a then-14-year-old student (who subsequently committed suicide). Judge Baugh justified his lenient sentencing, saying that the victim was ”older than her chronological age” and “as much in control of the situation” as Rambold. People were understandably appalled and Judge Baugh has since apologized (though Rambold’s puny sentence stands). But writer and former lawyer Betsy Karasik (above) found herself “troubled” by this case for other reasons and wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post arguing that she doesn’t believe “that all sexual conduct between underage students and teachers should necessarily be classified as rape, and I believe that absent extenuating circumstances, consensual sexual activity between teachers and students should not be criminalized.”
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Yesterday, we told you about a story coming out of Yellowstone County, Montana: A teacher who’d repeatedly raped his 14-year-old student received a 15-year suspended sentence and was ordered to spend just 31 days in prison. Why? Because, ruled Judge G. Todd Baugh, the victim “seemed older than her chronological age.” At the time of the crimes, Stacey Dean Rambold was 49, and an authority figure in the girl’s high school.
According to Judge Baugh, that didn’t matter, though, because the way the girl — whom Baugh had never even met or interviewed — acted was much more mature (i.e. slutty) than what Baugh considers an average 14-year-old to be. Now the judge is coming under fire for not only the insanely light sentence he gave to Rambold, but also for comments he made regarding the sexual and emotional status of the victim. Not only did Judge Baugh say that he believed the victim was much older than her age, he also asserted in his ruling that the victim was “as much in control of the situation” as her rapist.
Oh, but that’s not all! Keep reading »