note: While we usually post things that make us laugh at human stupidity, this article deals with a serious subject that will probably (and should rightfully) tweak your sense of right and wrong: Rape and how it’s handled in the courts. I can’t talk about this without some degree of graphic description, so please use your own discretion in whether or not you wish to view the rest of this article. This afternoon, I read an article written by R. Scott Moxley for the Orange County Weekly. (Which, for the purposes of this little post, I will be liberally borrowing from.) While the rest of the news is engrossed in the torturous treatment of Iraqi prisoners, the article in this discussion dealt with a rape trial currently underway in Orange County, in which three teenage boys are being charged with gang-raping an unconscious minor. While normally I would read the article, feel terrible about mankind in general for a little while, and then go on with my day, but this trial sticks in my head. So much so that I had to create a new category (Evil) for it. Why? Because of this man:
Cavallo, along with at least nine other attorneys, a publicist, a jury consultant, and a host of private investigators, is defending the three accused against the 24 felony counts against them. I’ll admit to being a bit flabbergasted over three defendants with a legal team that large in a rape case, but what really stood out were the sheer depraved and incredulous accusations that Cavallo was making against the victim.
In his opening remarks, Cavallo made the assertion that the victim enticed the accused into a ‘sexual frenzy’ and then while faking unconsciousness, sexually assaulted them. He followed this up with “Why isn’t she being charged with this crime?”
My jaw just dropped when I went over that sentence. And then I read on.
Rather than describe in detail, I’m going to just summarize what was done to this girl. (the aforementioned article contains a very graphic and complete description, for anyone who would care to read it.) According to the prosecution, after drinking, getting high, and then being slipped GHB (otherwise known as ‘the date rape drug’ ) , this girl’s unconscious body was forcibly used by the three accused for sex. Not only did they use her limp, unresponsive body for oral and vaginal sex, they raped her with a Snapple bottle and a metal fruit juice can, and then eventually (and repeatedly) sodomized her with the grip end of a regulation sized pool cue. Throughout this ordeal, the victim was completely limp and unresponsive. So much in fact, that when earlier the three boys moved her from a couch to a pool table, they dropped her on her face generating no reaction whatsoever. All the girl remembers from the night was passing out, waking up to vomit, and nothing else. A medical examination had to occur for her to know she’d been raped. Part of me considers that a small blessing that she doesn’t remember, but goddammit…the rest of me is pretty fucking angry that such an act could be committed upon a person and they’d never know if not for the police and a medical doctor telling her that it was so.
I don’t know about you, but that seems pretty gawdamned cut and dry to me. Three guys sodomizing an unconscious woman on tape? A tape that they put a fucking soundtrack? Sounds like gang-rape to me, folks. After all, when a group of people found the tape after one of the accused (the son of an Orange County Assistant Sheriff, no less) lost it(!) at a rental beach house, they turned it into the police because they thought they were watching three people have sex with a corpse!
But maybe I’m unreasonable. After all, in Cavallo’s opening remarks, he asserted that the victim was “a nut,” “a pathological liar,” “a cheater,” an “out-of-control girl,” “the aggressor,” a wanna-be “porn star,” “a troubled young lady,” “a tease–that’s what she is!” “a mess,” a “master manipulator,” a “little opportunist,” “a compulsive liar,” “a cheat–that’s what she is” and a “callous” drug addict and alcoholic who trimmed her pubic hair, bragged about liking group sex and once drank a beer in a car.”
Oh sweet lord…she once drank a beer in a car! And trimmed her pubic hair! Well, then she certainly got what was coming to her! Burn the witch!
Oh folks..it gets better..(actually worse, to be perfectly blunt)…during the preliminary hearings, he actually called her “a slut”. In court, without irony, and without apology. And we all know that sluts love to be drugged and then forcibly raped on camera by three bragging, laughing, teenage Romeos. At this point, one would hope that the rest of the defense team would show at least a modicum of respect for the victim, but oh no…as “…in the hallway just outside, a defense consultant openly and repeatedly called Jane Doe “a fucking whore.”
*sigh* I don’t even know how to bring my thoughts together on this, it angers me so.
I firmly believed that every individual who is accused of a crime should be given their due representation and the chance to defend themselves in an open court of law. And I fully understand that the strongest defense is rested in creating a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors, but the idea that Cavallo and the rest of his defense team would willingly and deliberately stand in front of fellow human beings and launch the accusation that the victim was actually the perpetrator in this crime offends my sense of decent human behavior to a degree that I cannot fully express without a firearm.
I don’t care if this girl has fucked her way across creation; no one, and let me reiterate for the morally slow, no one deserves such a horrible act to be commited upon them. And in no way is it morally acceptable to somehow claim that ‘she had it coming’, or that ‘she wanted it’, or any such lopsided rationalization. And the thought that Cavallo and his ilk will walk away from this trial (and those like it that will, sadly and inevitably, follow this one) with a hefty chunk of cash in their pocket is enough to drive me completely fucking insane. These are the instances in which I actively wish for some natural holocaust to wipe us from the earth.
You’d think that having grown up in a law enforcement household would somehow blunt my suprise at this kind of behavior, but this case has proven that my cynicism is insufficent armor against such reprehensible behavior. The horror and revulsion I feel when contemplating what was done to that girl actually pales in comparison to my disgust at what those defense attorneys are doing to get their clients off. The only thing giving me hope is that the prosecution is gunning for 27 years minimum for the accused, and that the jurors were appropriately horrified by the acts the accused commited on that tape.
Hopefully, Justice will be served. We don’t deserve our humanity if it isn’t.
Normally, I’d offer an apology for darkening up your day with reassurances that our on-going mission to make you shoot coke from your nose with laughter will continue post-haste, but I can’t find any reason to apologize for trying to bring this to the widest possible attention.
But I will assure you that our never-ending parade of inane-ness will resume as soon as I can manage to stop thinking about this.