Tag Archives: sexual assault

Today’s Lady News: On The Texas Cheerleader Forced To Cheer For Her Rapist

  • We’ve long been following the story of the Texas cheerleader who was kicked off the squad for refusing to cheer for a student athlete who sexually assaulted her. Hillaire, of Sislbee, Texas, was 16 years old when she was raped in October 2008 by fellow student Rakheem Bolton, then 17, at a party. Bolton and three other boys removed her clothes and locked the door; a friend outside the door heard Hillaire saying “No!” and “Stop!” That friend kicked the door open to find Hillaire on the floor crying; three of the four boys had broken a window and fled. That same night, the owner of the house called 911 to report a rape. Despite all this, Rakheem Bolton initially claimed the sex was consensual, fueling rumors she was embarrassed because he is black and she is white. Rakheem Bolton eventually plead guilty to assault, but continued playing on the Silsbee basketball team. (Never mind that under Texas law, neither a minor nor someone who is intoxicated can legally consent to sex.) Four months later when it came time to cheer for the basketball team, Hillaire refused. Her coach told her she had to cheer “for everyone” or leave. So she left. She was then kicked off the cheerleading squad, which prompted her father to file several lawsuits against the school district, the superintendant and the principal. All lawsuits were unsuccessful and — if all this is not crazy enough — one ruling declared that Hillarie and her family had to reimburse the school district for legal fees. If it’s any consolation, an appeals court ruled this week that Hillaire and her family are not required to pay the entire $35,000 in fees. I don’t know about you, but that hardly seems like something to celebrate. I heartily encourage you to read this Daily Beast piece, because it is fantastic — as well as heartbreaking. [The Daily Beast, Ms. Magazine]

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T-Mobile Won’t Release Brooklyn Rapist’s Contact Information — UPDATE

UPDATE, 2:40p.m.: Anti-street harassment group Hollaback! has announced that T-Mobile responded to the Change.org petition and provided the requested phone numbers to the NYPD. Thank you, T-Mobile, for doing the right thing. [Hollaback!]

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T-Mobile has the ability to provide police with the phone number for a rapist who sexually assaulted a 22-year-old woman inside a car in Brooklyn. But despite a police subpoena, T-Mobile has refused to hand over the phone number — which could possibly get this rapist off the streets — by claiming it would violate the “privacy” of their customers.

In the meantime, the rapist(s) (possibly looking like this or like this or like this) is still at large. An investigator for the NYPD told the Brooklyn Paper that two or three individuals may be involved. Keep reading »

Karl Lagerfeld Sticks Up For Dominique Strauss-Kahn

“I love DSK [the former head of the IMF who was accused of sexually assaulting a New York City hotel maid]. I love his wife. They are great people and when they came back to Paris I sent them flowers. But you know, for people in politics, it’s very embarrassing. On the left they had hoped he wouldn’t come back, because I think other people want his job. And on the other side … but even in America, Clinton survived his blowjob.

Style: But there was not a lot of doubt that [Bill Clinton's affair] was consensual.

They all do it in the political world. They get horny from politics, from power. And he had unbelievable charms. He is really charming. He’s fun, he’s great. He’s a sweet guy—as long as you’re not a woman. That’s the problem.”

— Oh, Karl Lagerfeld. I know I’m supposed to revere you because you’re a kooky old genius, but sometimes you are just a bonehead. It is true that prosecutors decided to drop all criminal charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn because the hotel maid was found to be not credible after she was caught lying about some items on her immigration paperwork. But prosecutors never said DSK didn’t do it — they only said that the case was not worth pursuing because the hotel maid had the public perception of being a liar. Big difference. I don’t claim to know exactly what went on in that hotel room. But DSK is still being sued in a civil lawsuit by the hotel maid and for Lagerfeld to characterize that entire incident as “embarrassing,” and describe DSK as “sweet … as long as you are not a woman,” is gross. This boys-will-be-boys attitude is completely unacceptable, even for kooky geniuses. [Styleite.com] Keep reading »

NYPD “Rape Cop” Juror Is Cashing In

For the past year, the country has been following the sordid tale of the two NYPD “rape cops” who were accused of sexually assaulting a drunk woman whom they were called to remove from a taxi cab and take into her apartment. After a night of partying, the 27-year-old Gap employee was put into a cab by friends. She vomited on herself and was disoriented, so a cab driver called police to come to her aid. The cops who arrived on the scene helped her inside her place, but returned to her apartment several times over the course of the night to “check up on her.” Ex-officer Kenneth Moreno claimed he cuddled the blackout-drunk woman in her bed while she wore only a bra, although the woman herself claims he raped her and can recall her panties being removed. Moreno’s partner, Franklin Mata, allegedly hung out elsewhere in the woman’s apartment while Moreno was alone with her in the bedroom. The pair were also accused of faking 911 calls that would allow them to stay in the area near the woman’s apartment.

Shocking those of us who followed the case, Moreno was found not guilty of sexual assault. Jurors did not trust the victim’s memory because she had been blackout drunk; they also said they could not convict him due to a lack of DNA evidence. (Moreno had admitted on tape, when he was approached by the victim at his police station, that he had used a condom.) The surely-despondent victim released a sad statement after the verdict to say she was “devastated and disappointed by the jury’s decision.”

So it is in this environment that one of the jurors in the case, Patrick Kirkland, decided to cash in, publishing an article on the blog Gothamist called “Confessions of a ‘Rape Cop’ Juror,” for which he charged $1.99 on Kindle and $2.99 on PDF. Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: NYPD Officer Being Investigated For Unsolved Rapes

  • Last week, New York City police officer officer Michael Pena was charged with allegedly grabbing a 25-year-old woman off the street, flashing his gun, and raping her in her yard. Pena was caught, literally with his pants down, when a neighbor saw the sexual assault from her window and called 911. Now the NYPD is investigating several other unsolved rape cases and seeing if his DNA matches any that was retrieved from a rape kit in those other incidents. The police commissioner would not comment on the specific reasons certain cases were being examined. However, another NYPD official indicated that a stranger rape on the street is relatively uncommon — most rapes are committed by individuals who know each other — so those may be the types of cases the police department is examining. Regardless, it’s very unnerving a cop allegedly did this. [New York Times]
  • The rate of unintended pregnancies among low-income women is on the rise, according to a new study by the Guttmacher Institute. Wait, you mean abstinence-only sex education and funding cuts for family planning services means people get pregnant? [Think Progress]
  • Blogger LaToya Peterson at the blog Racialicious reacts to this New York magazine piece on all the (skinny, white) women in the fall TV lineup. [Racialicious]

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Today’s Lady News: All Charges Dismissed Against Dominique Strauss Kahn

  • All criminal charges for sexual assault against Dominique Strauss Kahn, former head of the IMF, were dismissed by a judge today. Prosecutors said that they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that DSK had sexually assaulted hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo in his New York City hotel room because Diallo was found to have lied about numerous items on her immigration asylum application, including a gang rape in her home country of Guinea. Diallo’s lawyer has accused the Manhattan DA’s office of “abandon[ing] an innocent woman.” Meanwhile, Diallo still has a civil lawsuit pending against DSK in the Bronx, where she lives. [NY Times]
  • The number of women working as writers on primetime broadcast TV shows dropped to 15 percent last year from 29 percent during the 2009-2010 season, according to a study at San Diego State University. Among women directors on such TV shows, the numbers dropped to 11 percent from 16 percent. Women appeared as 41 percent of all on-air characters, a slight two-percent drop from the year before. [Los Angeles]
  • Another New York City police officer has been arrested on rape charges: off-duty cop Michael Pena, 27, is accused of asking a woman for directions, showing her his gun, and then raping her in a backyard. [WNYC]

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No Sexual Assault Charges For Dominique Strauss Kahn, Sources Say

“We couldn’t tell the jury that she kept lying to us but that they should believe her.”

That’s an anonymous official speaking to The New York Times regarding the case against Dominique Strauss Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fun who was forced to step down three months ago after he was accused of sexual assault by a New York City hotel maid. The 33-year-old housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo, claimed that on May 14, DSK forced her to perform oral sex on him when she arrived to clean his room at the Sofitel Hotel; he has insisted the two had a consensual sexual liaison and insinuated rather slanderously that she is a prostitute. The maid’s ripped stockings and DNA from DSK were seen as damning physical evidence against him.

But in the weeks following the alleged attack, during which DSK resigned from the IMF, it came to light that Diallo had lied on her asylum application from her home country of Guinea and repeated those lies to investigators. No one has accused Diallo of lying about the details of the alleged assault in the Sofitel, but even her legal team seems to agree a jury won’t see her as trustworthy and therefore the case can’t be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Tomorrow, prosecutors are expected to announce charges against DSK will be dropped. [UPDATE: Aroudn 4p.m. EST this afternoon, news outlets began reporting prosecutors would ask a judge that "some or all" of the charges would be dropped. — NPR] Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: NYPD “Rape Cops” Sentenced

  • The NYPD officer accused of raping a drunk woman in 2008 was sentenced today. Kenneth Moreno, who was acquitted of rape charges in May, was sentenced to one year in jail for three counts of official misconduct. Moreno and his partner, Franklin Mata, were also kicked off the NYPD. [New York Observer]
  • Anti-abortion groups seeking to gather signatures to put a “fetal personhood” amendment on the ballot have gotten approval from the state government to move forward. Activists need 48,000 signatures in order to put a initiative on the ballot in the 2012 election that will grant fetuses the same rights as human beings and therefore criminalize all abortions. [Florida Independent]
  • Nafissatou Diallo, the housekeeper who was allegedly sexually assaulted in the NYC hotel where she is employed, has filed a civil lawsuit against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund. The lawsuit asks for unspecified monetary damages for physical, emotional and psychological harm. Strauss-Kahn has denied all charges against him. [CNN]

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Date Rape Drug Test May Soon Be Available

date rape drug photo

A test for date rape drugs may soon be available so women can learn in real-time if their drinks have been spiked. All a boozer has to do is dip the test into the drink and the test tells you whether it’s been roofied with either GHB or ketamine. The test works equally well on beer, cocktails, mocktails and soft drinks and allegedly has a 100 percent success rate. Date rape drug tests, created by Israeli scientists, should be commercially available in a year and a half. Keep reading »

Esquire Magazine Tweets A Sexual Assault Joke

esquire tweet

Really, Esquire? Someone posting to the magazine’s Twitter feed tweeted a link to an article earlier today which read, “How to get a better blowjob than DSK – we think.” DSK, of course, is Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, who is accused of forcing a hotel maid to perform oral sex on him. Wouldn’t any blowjob that doesn’t involve forcing yourself on someone be a “better blowjob”? Does that mean this is an article about how not to sexually assault someone? Your readers need that?

This tweet has since been deleted from Esquire‘s Twitter feed, but was screengrabbed by Jezebel blogger Irin Carmon. Esquire followed up with a tweet which reads, “Sometimes our sense of humor doesn’t come out the way we intend. Sorry if an earlier tweet offended anyone.” I’m hoping the initial tweet came from a social media intern who didn’t know any better and is getting their wrist slapped right about now. [Yfrog.com/IrinCarmon] Keep reading »

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