Friday, January 29, 2010

Hofstra false rape victims speak out

Below is an excerpt from a news story about a television show (The Steve Wilkos Show) where three of the false rape victims appeared. Please note the rampant victim blaming, especially by the ex-Marine, ex-police officer host -- it was the boys who showed poor judgment. And note the talk about protecting our daughters. "Our daughters?" Yep. Our daughters. Seems our daughters weren't the ones in need of protection in the Hofstra case, but the discussion seems to sort of assume that the young men commit a kind of legal rape. Finally, please note that one of the falsely accused young men isn't allowed to play baseball at his college because he would be a bad influence.

This story shows how far we still have to go.

Link to full story: -- but here's the pertinent part.

In the final segment of the night, three of the five men falsely accused of rape took center stage.

Rachelle Wilkos applauded the courage it took for the men to tell their stories.

"I wouldn't want my daughter involved in something like this, but it was pretty brave of them to come on the show," she said.

"In these cases, you don't often hear the whole story. You always hear about the rape victim. Here, these boys' lives are ripped apart."

During the taping, Steve Wilkos pointed out that two of the accused watched and filmed the consensual sex between the woman and two of the men.That video footage caused the case against the men to crumble, and prompted the woman to say she lied about being raped.

"I think you all showed bad judgment," Wilkos said. "In a way, that video was a good thing to save your (butts). I'm not being a prude, and I enjoy sex as much as the next guy. Maybe if you hold yourselves to a higher level of conduct, stuff like this wouldn't happen."

While most of the audience's response was empathetic toward the three men, one female student -- a junior at Hofstra -- felt the issue was being trivialized.

"I thought (the false rape charge) was horrible," she said. "What you do in your private life is your business. But you're making a circus out of this."

Wilkos disagreed, saying this is just an opportunity for the men to tell their side of the story.

"We're not making a circus out of it; this is the point of the show," the host said.

"I want to do everything to protect my daughter and everyone else's daughter."

One of the accused, 20-year-old Jesus Ortiz, said he's trying to turn the horror of having his name dragged through the headlines into a positive.

"People said I was a monster," Ortiz said. "I can't play baseball (at Bronx Community College) because the coach says I'm a negative influence on the team. I want to be a social worker or guidance counselor to help people like they helped me."