NEW YORK POST
Times have changed, and so have the players. But one thing remains constant in affairs of the heart and other body parts — give it up too easily, and he won’t love you in the morning.
It happened in the 1990s with three players from the New York Mets, including legendary pitcher Doc Gooden. It happened again a dozen years later, with basketball star Kobe Bryant.
And the same type of psycho-sexual drama may be playing out today, law-enforcement sources say, with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s son Greg (pictured).
These famous men were all accused of sexually assaulting near-strangers. At some point, perhaps months after the fact, the gals woke up believing they’d been intimately brutalized.
But is it rape?
In the case of the Mets and Bryant, authorities determined after exhaustive investigations that the men engaged in an act no less degrading, but quite different, from rape: They didn’t call in the morning.
Which begs a question: When did feminists start telling women they could have emotion-free sex like men, and live with themselves?
In these days of random hookups and booty calls, where buying a girl dinner — or even getting a room — seem quaint notions out of the “Mad Men” era, how can a woman expect a guy to respect her if she doesn’t respect herself?
My first encounter with this trend dates back nearly 20 years, with a Manhattan jewelry designer who was temporarily dating Mets pitcher David Cone at spring training in Florida.
Motivated by some kind of twisted thirst for revenge, teammates Gooden, Daryl Boston and Vince Coleman had sex with Cone’s gal at Gooden’s house. At the same time.
Afterward, the lady made the bed. A year went by. Cone was gone. She never heard from the gang-banging trio again. Then it hit her.
“I’ve been raped!”
She should have hit the gym or drowned her sorrows in whiskey. Because after a monthlong investigation humiliating to all, prosecutors determined that while the players got freaky, the sex was consensual. No charges were filed.
I spoke with the lady, now 51, this week. She’s glad she reported a rape.
“I’ve made peace with it. I did what I had to do,” she said.
As for Kelly’s accuser, she said, “I hope she finds some justice.”
But at what cost — to women?
In 2003, a 19-year-old Colorado hotel concierge stalked Kobe Bryant to his hotel room, where he flipped her on her stomach and had sex with her. The lack of flowers and candlelight upset the lady, who cried, “Rape!”
But prosecutors didn’t see it that way. Charges were dismissed.
Now, the case against Kelly, 43, has a problem. Sources told The Post the single “Good Day New York” anchor and former Marine Corps Reserve pilot was approached on the street in October by a 29-year-old fan with the star- struck line, “You’re cute!” She sent him sext messages for two days. Their tryst occurred, after drinks, in the building in which the woman works as a paralegal, right in her boss’ office. This might not violate company policy, but it surely goes against everyday rules of hygiene.
Afterward, the pair continued to text and planned another rendezvous. It’s unclear when it all went wrong. Was it weeks later? Or when the lady’s boyfriend found out? Three months after the office party, the woman called her encounter with Kelly “rape.”
A law-enforcement source tells me that, contrary to some reports, the woman has given consistent accounts of the night in question. And consistently, the stories don’t add up to sexual assault.
“There are only two ways to allege rape, forcible compulsion’’ — force was never alleged here — “and physical helplessness,” said the source, who defined the latter as near-unconsciousness.
“She did not seem to be physically helpless.”
Women who work long and hard to be taken seriously are furious.
“I think we’re so much stronger and better than this,” said Tish Ferguson, a global recruiter. “The whole trend of the last 20 years is victimization. I don’t think it’s doing the next generation any favors.”
Laura Osenni, of Brooklyn, fears repercussions: “This could present a huge problem for future rape victims.”
For the sake of women, the justice system must take its course.
Let the truth win.