Friday, June 09, 2006

Rape Unsimilarity

Surely you are familiar with the “Duke Rape Case,” it would be about impossible not to be. Maybe you’ve not followed every detail and do not know all of the specifics, but you probably know that there was an alleged rape that involved some Duke Lacrosse Team players. I have followed it only because Duke is in the city of Durham, where I worked at a personal injury law-firm in my last life, the one I had before moving to the Middle East. The case is about an “exotic dancer” who alleged, originally, that twenty members of the Duke Lacrosse team raped her on the night in question when the Lacrosse Team threw a party and hired the alleged victim and another young lady to dance for them. The story was later “changed,” and now the victim alleges that only three of the members of this team raped her. If you are that interested in keeping up-to-date with this saga, LaShawn Barber has covered it from day one and she’s done the best damn good job of anyone in doing so! Durham’s local paper, The Herald Sun also covers some aspect of this case on an almost daily basis.

There is a fairly recent rape case here in Saudi where seven men have been arrested for gang raping a woman in Riyadh. Okay, so the Duke case, now involves only three men – but originally it was twenty. The “similarity” between the Duke rape and this rape is that the rapes involved multiple “rapists.” The biggest glaring difference between the two cases, one of two “unsimilarities,” is that fact that while the victim in the Duke rape case has been shrouded in secrecy – no one – outside the Duke Lacrosse Team, Kim Roberts Pittman [the second “exotic dancer”], a few medical professionals and the Durham authorities [Police Department personnel and the Durham County Attorney’s office] knows who this alleged victim is. In the case, here, not only has the victim been identified by name, as has her husband, but a 4” X 8” color photograph of the victim was printed with only her eyes blacked out.

The other “unsimilarity,” is that in the Duke case all three young men involved have been identified – their names, ages, addresses, family incomes, outside interests, college majors, high-school records, previous criminal records, kindergarten behavior, bicycle colors, etc., have been displayed for all the world to see. Here, however, the rapist’s names have not been provided to us, and any other information that would typically be given, specifically the nationality of the rapists, is left out. This other glaring omission, that the nationality of the seven rapists has not been specified, did not go unnoticed. Today’s Arab News has three Letters to the Editor, the authors of which all zoned in on what isn’t there.


  1. There has been an alleged rape.(Duke vase) Your post implies at the start guilt where none has been proven. So far from the evidence I have seen there is little to show anything happened of a criminal nature at all. IF there has been a rape then I say CUT the B$%%S off the guys. If it is shone that these charges are false and the "victim" made this story up what should her punishment be?

  2. northern shewolf6/10/2006 02:32:00 AM

    What the bleeping hell are you flapping your lips about 'anonymous'?
    Let me hazard a guess: male, more than likely totaly an apologist for the testosterone impacted idiots out there and not too given to fair hearings. (Reminds me of some USA O. I would rather forget about...) How I am doing so far?
    Oh! or else, you may be a ME type guy as well, which goes a long way to explain you total lack of clear headedness.
    The Duke thing, unlike the KSA rape cases (the ones that are reported, being the over the top no holds bar!), is going to get a FAIR HEARING in a REAL court of law, not one of those 'wave of the clerics hands' type of thing that is so bloody typical of Saudi, so whatever the outcome we can be sure of at least one thing: the Durham courts and the legal proceedings will be aired for everyone to see. Now, can you say the same about these 'devout Sharia courts niwits"?

  3. One other important difference anonymous - which you would have noticed if you had taken the trouble to read the article to the end.

    In North Carolina, the identity of the alleged victim was witheld in the papers whereas the identities of the accused were printed in the paper - since all arrests (regardless of citizenship or national origin)...

    Contrast this with Saudi Arabia. A photo of the complainent is plastered all over the paper while the names of the alleged perpetrators are witheld, EVEN THOUGH, in Saudi Arabia, whenenver an expat is arrested for anything, the names are released to the media.

    Is that clear enough?

  4. Thanks much, Anonymous! Good catch. And, I've "fixed" it. Please, in no way think that I believe a rape took place in Duke. In fact, I do not believe any such thing happened as the victim in this case might want for us to believe. The story, of this ALLEGED rape just seems to get more impossible as the days pass... Only my opinion, of course, but...

    My point, here, really wasn't about the actual "alleged Duke rape," however. It was the differences in how two "worlds apart" handle the reporting of rape. One country shields the victim, and one country publishes her picture.

    Although, interestingly enough, if you go to LaShawn Barber’s corner and click on the June 9th update, the victim’s name is listed, now, for the world to see… Figures, right after I do this, it would happen.

    And, what do I think should happen if it is found that Crystal Gail Mangum has made this whole story up and filed a false report? She needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law – and duly punished. Unfortunately, it will be too late for the three young men involved, but somehow, if it happens that none of this happened, they will need to be exonerated and the records of any such action expunged.

    I am not sue-happy. Oh, sure I worked for a personal injury law firm. Did I believe in what I was doing? Not for one single solitary second. [And, I will never, ever allow myself to do it again – I’d work for the defense this time – and forget that the “other side” is where the $$$ is.] But, in this case, should it turn out that Crystal lied, I’d suggest that the three boys sue the County of Durham for all they can get, and I hope they do. Only because I believe that the District Attorney went forward on the charges with purely political motives involved and with no regard to justice being served.

    Again, this is MY opinion, and I could be wrong. I don’t think so, but stranger things have probably happened…

    It will be interesting, in the end, to see how this has all played out.

  5. Thanks, Phasis! My point, exactly!

  6. N.S. and Phasis

    All I see that the Anon poster pointed out was an error in the way the opening post was written. An error Sabra has acknowledged and corrected. Or am I missing something?

  7. CW - No, I think you probably didn't miss anything. It would appear that Anonymous did - but for pointing out my error – duly acknowledged and corrected. I was in no way trying to analyze the "Duke" case, but only pointing out that in the States the victim remains virtually unknown, shielded from the public... Whereas, here, the victim is identified by name AND gets plastered in a 4" X 8" color picture on the second page of the paper for all to see. Truly a very, very major difference in the handling of the same crime…

    P.S. CW – You were going to e-mail me with some question. I’ve not received the e-mail yet. When are you next going to be in the Middle East? My husband and I would be happy to meet you for shwarmah [spelling - way, way off!] and suds…


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