Thursday, February 26, 2009

Breaking news: rape claim against D.A. dropped due to lack of credibility

Comment: After a political fundraiser in July 2008, a woman willfully went with the local district attorney back to his office and engaged in sex with him. Once they started to have sex she claimed was incapable of consenting to it, and therefore it was rape.

Did you get that? Like a light switch: she is sufficiently sober to go with him of her own free will, but once they're having sex, she loses all agency. And he should go to jail for years.

The rape charges were dropped, but the D.A.'s reputation is likely damaged and possibly forever. The young woman, of course, is not named in the story, despite "the lack of credible specificity in [her] private criminal complaint, and significant evidence which contradicts the allegations of the complaintant." She alone is afforded anonymity; his name is splashed all over the news for the world to titillate to the details of his humiliation, and his family's.

This gender asymmetry -- where only the male's reputation is destroyed even though it was the female who likely lied about rape -- is what we call "male privilege." (And, no, please don't try to minimize the harm to this man by invoking unnamed other men who are not charged with hypothetical rapes. It is a favorite parlor game of certain feminist groups to minimize the harm to the falsely accused with unsupported broadsides about "underreporting." We have come to the conclusion that "underreporting" is vastly overstated; despite this, it is constantly invoked to inappropriately justify instances of gross inequity in the treatment of the presumed innocent charged with rape.)


A.G. Drops Case Against Higgins

Reported by: Tessa Mentus
Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 @12:46pm EST

BEDFORD, BEDFORD COUNTY -- A spokeperson for the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office has confirmed the rape case against Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins has been dropped.

Spokesperson Kevin Harley confirmed the decision to WTAJ News on Thursday. This is the end to a six month investigation. Harley released this statement:

"We have disapproved the private criminal complaint filed by the complaintant based on the absnece of sufficient evidence to support the existence of probable cause to believe that a crime has occurred, and it is also based on the inprobability of obtaining a conviction in this case."

"We have made this determination on the basis of lack of physical evidence, the absence of a prompt complaint, the lack of credible specificity in the private criminal complaint, and significant evidence which contradicts the allegations of the complaintant."

"This was a very lengthy and thorough investigation by the A.G.'s office."

The woman filed the private criminal complaint in August. She claimed Higgins raped her in his courthouse office on the night of July 11, 2008. The alleged rape took place after a Bedford County Republican Committee fundraiser. The woman said she willfully went to Higgins' office but had been drinking and was too drunk to stop the sexual incident.

Higgins admitted to having sex with the woman, but said it was consensual. He apologized to his family and the citizens of Bedford County. Higgins said what he did was wrong but said there was nothing criminal about it.

WTAJ News first reported the possible drop in the case Thursday morning after talking with Higgins. He said prosecutors let him know the decision, but the A.G.'s office wouldn't return our phone calls.

The woman who filed the complaint and her attorney, Thomas Crawford, said they hadn't heard anything official Thursday morning. Harley returned our call Thursday afternoon and confirmed the decision and issued the statement above.

Higgins said this is an unfortunate event made worse by the woman's false allegations. He went on to say it still doesn't excuse the decision he made to do a terrible thing to his family.

Crawford said his client will appeal the A.G.'s decision in Bedford County Court. If that happens the proceedings will be open to the public. Harley said that's when the details of the A.G.'s office will be released.

Keep watching WTAJ News for more updates in this case.