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Fri Jan 17, 2014, 03:33 PM

"She Might Have Had a Case If She Had Been Unconscious During the Rape"

To those still confused about rape culture, the Missoula prosecutor's office refusal to prosecute even in the face of a DOJ investigation is a prime example.


Between January 2008 and May 2012, Missoula police received more than 350 sexual-assault reports, including multiple cases of assault allegedly committed by University of Montana football players. The US Department of Justice found that city officials did not adequately handle all of these reports—going so far as to charge that police were using "sex-based stereotypes" to discriminate against women who reported rape. Last month, the Justice Department proposed an agreement that would require the Missoula County Attorney's office to make a number of changes. The DOJ recommended adding two or three new staff positions, including an advocate for victims; ramping up training for county supervisors and prosecutors; and collecting more data on sexual-assault cases, including feedback from victims. Last week, the county's chief prosecutor rejected the offer and told the feds to take a hike, insisting they have no authority to tell his office what to do. . . .

Missoula's rape problem rose to national attention when six members of the University of Montana football team, the Grizzlies, were accused of committing, attempting, or helping cover-up sexual assault between 2009 and 2012. In March 2012, facing scrutiny over how it was handling assault allegations leveled against athletes, the university fired its football coach and athletic director. In May 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder said he was launching a federal investigation into whether Missoula officials and the university were discriminating against female rape victims, noting he found the allegations "very disturbing."

In May 2013, the Justice Department released findings from its investigation, indicating officials in Missoula were indeed discriminating against female victims in sexual-assault cases. For example, according to the Justice Department's report, one Missoula detective allegedly told a woman who said she was vomiting during her sexual assault—she was allegedly raped by several people—that "she might have had a case if if she had been unconscious during the rape rather than merely incapacitated." In another case where a woman reported vaginal and anal rape, a detective reportedly asked her why she hadn't fought harder, saying, "Tell me the truth—is this something we want to go through with?" (Van Valkenburg says, "Both our office and the police are very much aware of what is necessary to legally prove that a woman who is incapacitated by alcohol and/or drugs did not consent to a sexual act. Local prosecutors fully understand these issues​.") The Justice Department also determined that the Missoula attorney's office provides "no information" to local police as to why it declines to prosecute sexual assault cases and police are "frustrated" with the "lack of follow-up and prosecution." (Missoula Police Captain Mike Coyler says, "As a general rule, I disagree with this.")

The month it released those findings, the Justice Department entered into agreements with the University of Montana and the Missoula Police Department to beef up resources to combat rape. (Lucy France, legal counsel for the university, says that she disagrees with the Justice Department's findings that the university discriminated against victims and botched investigations, but "we agreed to work to continue to improve our responses to reports.") Last month, the US Attorney for Montana proposed that the Missoula County Attorney's office enter a similar agreement to ensure that it responds to sexual assault without discrimination. In response, Van Valkenburg wrote in a January 9 letter that his office would commit to help the police department and the university meet their commitments—but he wouldn't make the Justice Department's recommended changes to his office.


http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/01/montana-rape-investigation-prosecution

11 replies, 1071 views

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Reply "She Might Have Had a Case If She Had Been Unconscious During the Rape" (Original post)
BainsBane Jan 2014 OP
La Lioness Priyanka Jan 2014 #1
BainsBane Jan 2014 #2
geek tragedy Jan 2014 #3
BainsBane Jan 2014 #4
BainsBane Jan 2014 #5
redqueen Jan 2014 #6
JI7 Jan 2014 #7
DevonRex Jan 2014 #8
cinnabonbon Jan 2014 #9
marions ghost Jan 2014 #10
PowerToThePeople Jan 2014 #11

Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 03:35 PM

1. well i guess i can never go to montana now. too risky. nt

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 03:41 PM

2. Some like to pretend the US is superior

that gang rape and egregious human rights abuses such as those committed against rape victims are something external to our own culture. It's a willful and dangerous deception. Rape and murder are crimes that happen around the globe, and we in the US are in no position to point fingers at India. Remember, some members of this site found an Indian PSA on ogling women too radical to tolerate.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 03:43 PM

3. +1

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 04:35 PM

4. Seems to me

This out to be as upsetting to liberals as the DA's initial decision not to prosecute Zimmerman, only this is a long pattern of misconduct.

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 05:59 PM

5. kick

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 06:03 PM

6. There's no such thing as rape culture, though.

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 07:13 PM

7. i don't pay attention to sports that much but i know how popular it is in this country

and people do seem more willing to make excuses for offenses by sports figures. especially if it's someone popular and key to that person's team getting a victory.

remember the whole thing with sandusky and the rioting after that coach was fired ? and people actually begin to attack the victims of sex abuse .

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 07:28 PM

8. Van Valkenburg has to go. First this has to go viral.

Young women have to know they aren't safe there and that if something happens to them they're going to be treated badly by police and prosecutors. Attitudes and cultures as bad as that don't change overnight even when they want to change.

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 07:19 AM

9. "Tell me the truth—is this something we want to go through with?"



These people.

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 07:34 AM

10. Conscious vs unconscious. People who rape know they are raping

--they know it's not normal sexual intercourse. They are not unconsciously raping. But they also know that rape is tolerated to the point of active protection in this culture.

Until people who consciously rape are convinced that it is a violent crime and become afraid to commit this crime, nothing will change. The rapist should live with the fact that their behavior was monstrous and indefensible--for the rest of their lives.

That's all I have to say about "conscious vs unconscious" rape.



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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 07:46 AM

11. Hit the city & school with massive lawsuits

Start to hurt them financially, they will change their toon. Cash is the reason the sports are protected anyway.

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