Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Classic 'he said-she said' dispute over whether there was consent: he's arrested and tainted as a 'rape suspect,' she's an anonymous victim

The news story below sets forth a garden-variety rape claim by a young woman as well as the garden-variety claim of a young man that the sex was consensual.

The D.A. is dropping the charges, but the young man is still painted in the story as someone "suspected of raping a woman" (read the first sentence -- is that good journalism? Is it fair? I think not), despite the evidence that the claim was motivated by revenge.

Of course you don't read about the possible revenge motive until near the end of the story. It is not given nearly as much prominence as the fact that the young man is someone "suspected of raping a woman."

And once again, ladies and gentlemen, a young man is JAILED on the basis of nothing more than a young woman's uncorroborated claim. This, despite his obvious denials that she's the real criminal because she filed a false report.

Get it? Two conflicting claims of criminality, but only one arrest is made. Bet you can guess his gender.

Two conflicting claims of criminality, but only one of them is tainted as a man "suspected of raping a woman" while the other is shielded in lifelong anonymity.

Any woman, any girl, can destroy any man, any teenage boy, using the police and the media, on the basis of nothing more than a lie without any corroboration.

And that tells you everything you need to know that there is something terribly wrong with the system.


DA won't file rape charges

Insufficient evidence against Woodland man


Article Created: 07/29/2008 07:40:20 AM PDT

Prosecutors declined to file charges Monday against a Woodland man suspected of raping a woman last week due to insufficient evidence, according to the Yolo County District Attorney's Office.

Victor Argumedo III, 21, was arrested early Thursday morning last week on suspicion of raping a 20-year-old woman during a Tuesday night party at his cousin's house in Woodland.

His father, Victor Argumedo Jr., 46, who was at the same party, was also arrested for violating the "no drinking" clause of his parole.

The alleged victim, whose name was not released and who Argumedo Jr., said was family relative, reported the incident last Wednesday morning.

She reportedly told police Argumedo III had raped her sometime during Tuesday night's party.

According to Woodland police, she was taken to UC Davis Medical Center for an exam the next day on Wednesday.

Afterward, Woodland police detectives obtained a search warrant of the Argumedos' home in the 800 block of Brookside Drive, according to Sgt. Dan Letamendi of the Woodland Police Department.

Argumedo, Jr., said he and his son were arrested after arriving home last week early Thursday morning while police were still searching their home.

Argumedo III was held on $10,000 bail under suspicion of rape while Argumedo Jr., was arrested and later released with orders to reappear in court to answer for his alleged parole violation.

However, Argumedo Jr., said his son, who was scheduled to be released Monday evening, is innocent and was wrongly accused by the young woman.

"I was trying to get to the bottom of it," Argumedo Jr., said. "There was nothing there that night that happened. She's trying to get my son in serious trouble."

Argumedo Jr., said the woman was perhaps motivated to file a false claim by an earlier disagreement she had with his son that night.

He added that any sexual contact between the two was consensual.

"I just don't think it was right," Argumedo, Jr. said.

Deputy District Attorney Ann Hurd said in an e-mail, however, that her office declined to file charges "pending further investigation."