Friday, January 28, 2011

College baseball players cleared in "he said/she said" rape claim arising from alcohol-fueled threesome: a cautionary tale for sexually active young men

We are seeing a rash of baseball players being accused of rape. In the past few weeks, we've seen stories about Lenny Dykstra, Johan Santana, and Garrett Wittels. Add two more college baseball players to the list, this time, from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. They were accused of rape last November after a wild night of partying that ended in an alcohol-fueled threesome. On the basis of nothing more than a "he said/she said" allegation, the men were charged with aggravated rape; suspended from their team; and had their names dragged through the mud. She, of course, retained her anonymity in the news reports.

But yesterday afternoon, a Grand Jury in Ouachita Parish found insufficient evidence to indict the two young men.  See here

If you think that it's grossly unfair that we allow presumptively innocent young men to be treated as if they are guilty on the basis of nothing more than an unsubstantiated allegation by a lone accuser, you'd be right. Our society attaches a wholly unjustified and mind-numbingly irrational sanctity to naked rape allegations.

For example, when a rape allegation is leveled against a college athlete, if the college fails to kowtow to the angry bow wow of the feminist sexual grievance industry and suspend him from the team at least until the charges are dropped, the college's administrators will be accused of not taking rape seriously. Not the allegation of a rape, but rape itself. The allegation thus becomes its own conviction. For sexually active young men on campus, it is Salem, Massachusetts, 1692.

Until we can change it, that is the milieu we are stranded in, and young men need to better adapt to it.  Even though the young men in this case were cleared, this is a cautionary tale for all sexually active young men. The circumstances of the charges here were all-too common: the young people were drinking, and they engaged in a threesome which would be very difficult for her to explain after-the-fact. Those things are recipes for disaster.

We have highlighted the situations where false rape claims are more likely to occur here: One of the common danger situations involves mixing sex and excessive alcohol. The alcohol-fueled hook-up culture is a disaster for both men and women. To suggest that couples should never drink and fool around denies eons of accumulated knowledge about gender relations. Couples often drink to lower inhibitions, knowing full well where it will lead. It's drinking to excess that's the problem, especially for college-aged couples and slightly older. Asking the police or a jury to sort out what happened afterwards based on a "he said/she said" account puts an impossible burden on our law enforcement and judicial apparatuses. Young men looking to "score" in that situation need to understand that (1) when women drink to excess, at some point, they lose the ability to factually and legally consent, and the breaking point is very difficult to discern; and (2) women experience much greater after-the-fact regret than men do. Sometimes feelings of regret are translated into feelings of "being used," and sometimes feelings of "being used" are misinterpreted or purposefully misconstrued as "rape." Unfortunately, it is the politically correct thing to urge young women to party like the guys -- without bothering to tell them about the regret asymmetry that separates the genders.

Another of the danger situations involves "one girl/more than one guy." This is a recipe for a false rape claim. Ground zero, in fact. We've seen this multiple times. The reasons are obvious: how on earth can she possibly explain this to a boyfriend, a parent, or a friend? How will she hold her head up on campus? Most sane young women will deeply regret that encounter after-the-fact and will worry that if word got out, it would destroy what's left of her reputation. (And she will worry that one of the young men she had sex with will brag about it.) The fear of "slut shaming," as the feminists call it, seems to spawn off-the-charts regret, and that is a false rape claim waiting-to-happen. Men should never, ever put themselves in this awful situation.

This is just another example of the elephant in the room that we routinely ignore.

The circumstances surrounding the instant charges were difficult to track down. One news story chronicled the charges in detail, but it disappeared from the newspaper's Web site. We were able to find and retrieve it, and we post it here:

Conflicting statements made in rape case against two University of Louisiana Monroe athletes

By Stacy Temple •

Gannett Louisiana

No court dates have been set in the case of two University of Louisiana at Monroe athletes accused of the aggravated rape of an intoxicated female.

Monroe police filed an affidavit in support of arrest warrants for Shelby Esters Aulds, 21, and Kendall Scott Thamm, 20, Friday in Fourth Judicial District Court. The two men turned themselves in to Ouachita Correctional Center Friday afternoon and were each booked on one count of aggravated rape. Both posted $15,000 bond each and have since been released from jail.

According to court documents, Monroe police were contacted Nov. 12 after an 18-year-old female went to a local hospital and said she had been raped.

The victim told detectives that she had been at a nightclub the prior night and had been drinking. She said she met Aulds and Thamm at the club. After they left the club, the victim told police they went to someone's apartment to hang out.

The victim reportedly drank some more and left that apartment and went downstairs to Thamm's apartment.

The victim told police that she and Aulds began kissing when he got forceful with her and the two engaged in sexual activity. Thamm reportedly came into the room and also began being forceful with her, according to the victim. The woman told police she was forced to have intercourse with Thamm while continuing to participate in sexual activity with Aulds. She said she began crying and they stopped and Aulds left.

The victim told police that she got dressed and left a short time later.

The two suspects said the incident happened in a different manner.

Aulds told detectives that after coming home from the nightclub, he and the victim had consensual sex at Thamm's apartment. He said the two were still in the bed together and cuddling when Thamm joined them and began kissing the victim. Both suspects began interacting with the female, and Aulds said once Thamm began having intercourse with her, he left. Both suspects maintained the interaction was consensual and Thamm said that when the victim became emotional and started crying while having sex with him, he stopped when she said so.

The female then reportedly got dressed and left the apartment and refused a ride home from Thamm.

Aulds, of 111 Briarcliff Drive, West Monroe, and Thamm, of Baytown, Texas, are both students at ULM and members of the Warhawk Baseball Team. Aulds is a sophomore right-hand pitcher who lettered in baseball and football for West Monroe High School. This is Aulds' first season on the team.

Thamm is a junior college transfer who signed with ULM last year and reported to campus in August for the fall semester.

Over the weekend, ULM suspended both men from the baseball team pending an investigation. On Monday, the university released a statement after being asked if the two would still be allowed to attend classes. The statement read that the "decision will be made by the University Conduct Standards Office pending their investigation."

Story not available on the newspaper's website -- found here: