Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Lawyer's Defense of Gang Rapists: 'She Didn't Affirmatively Say No"
Yes, this is what America's law schools are teaching their students these days.
A alleged gang rape by football players in Steubenville, Ohio of a passed-out-drunk 16-year-old girl shocked the entire country, especially after a video went viral of one of the boys who was at the party where it occurred laughing and joking about how the victim was 'so raped' and referring to her as a 'dead girl'.
The words 'dead girl' are indicative of the victim's condition. She was so intoxicated that she was unable to walk and had to be carried from one party to another. In fact, the entire episode was recorded on cellphones, and one screen shot even shows the girl being carried into a bedroom by the two perpetrators by her hands and feet.
So how does Walter Madison, the attorney of one of the alleged perpetrators respond?
"She didn't affirmatively say no."
"The person who is the accuser here is silent just as she was that night, and that's because there was consent," he said.
He claims that the sex was consensual...even though the girl is involved is underage and has no memory of what occurred. She and her parents only found out what happened after the cell phone videos surfaced on the internet some months later.
Because of the time lag between the crime and its discovery, there's also no way of knowing whether the victim was excessively drunk or whether her drink was spiked with Rohypnol, GHB or some of the other substances used for the purpose of rendering someone defenseless for this kind of assault.Nor does it matter, really.
Ohio Associate Attorney General Marianne Hemmeter said at an October hearing: 'The state doesn't have to prove that she was flat-lined.'
'Everybody agrees she's puking. She's puking on herself. People have to help her walk. She can't talk. She's stumbling,' Hemmeter added.
As one teen witness who was there testified, "I wouldn't say she was passed out but she wasn't there to say yes or no."
Those witnesses are another interesting aspect. Only two football players were charged, Ma'Lik Richmond, 16, and Trent Mays, 17. There may have been others involved, and at least 3 other boys were along for the ride, and rather than trying to stop it they pulled out their cellphones and took video and photos of what was going on.While the Steubenville police were able to confiscate the cell phones as evidence, a number of photos had been deleted and were not able to be recovered. Richmond and Hays are the only ones who are implicated in the ones that remain.
All of the other three boys agreed to cooperate and testify - provided they weren't charged with anything aside from being pretty sorry examples of manhood. Which fortunately for them isn't actionable.
The attitude of the attorney, Walter Madison particularly sickens me. I understand he has been hired to put on a defense, but to say the victim 'didn't affirmatively say no' in these circumstances is a new low.But very indicative of how far the standards of the legal profession have fallen.
Since Ma'Lik Richmond is black and the victim was not, I would not be at all surprised if the race card was played on appeal.
Fortunately, this trial has been played out before Judge Thomas Lipps, rather than a jury. Lipps is a visiting judge who has no ties to the community and extensive experience with juvenile crime.
The ruling is expected next week.