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LA Parish: 14 Year Old Rape Victim Wanted It

It’s the same story you’ve heard a hundred times. 40-year old guard at a juvenile detention center in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana rapes a 14-year old girl. Girl sues the detention center and the parish that runs it. Parish says, “Sure, it happened. But she was asking for it.”

The age of consent in Louisiana is 17, but court documents allege that “Vickers could not have engaged in sexual relations within the walls of the detention center with [the victim] without cooperation from her. Vickers did not use force, violence or intimidation when engaging in sexual relations.”

In a comment on the case to the Tri-Parish Times, an anonymous official also remarked that the 14-year-old should share the blame for her assault, saying: “These girls in the detention center are not Little Miss Muffin.”…

Carolyn McNabb, an area attorney and child advocate, is one among many local voices harshly criticizing the parish’s victim-blaming: “To say that a 14-year-old mentally and emotionally distressed girl with a history of having been abused and neglected as a child should be found at fault for consenting to be raped by a male guard while in confinement at the hands of my local government, which is charged with the responsibility of keeping her safe, not only sets the cause of children’s advocacy back a hundred years, but I believe the parish government commits ‘documentary’ sexual assault against the child by taking this position in a public record,” she remarked in a letter to parish attorneys.

Not surprising, unfortunately, but absolutely appalling. But no, rape culture is just a myth, right?

Comments

  1. alanb says

    “Vickers could not have engaged in sexual relations within the walls of the detention center with [the victim] without cooperation from her. Vickers did not use force, violence or intimidation when engaging in sexual relations.”

    Of course not. There is never a hint of intimidation or coercion in the relationship between a corrections officer and an inmate.

  2. says

    I haven’t been able to find any photos of the Teen-.O-Perpslut (understandable, since she’s listed as “Jane Doe”) or the courageous corrections officer whose good name is being dragged through the mud. I wish I had pikchoors, then I’d know if one or both of them are Non-decent, TRUE KKKristians* (C). My strong suspicion is that the young temptress is in the unprotected, “black” class.

    Any chance that such blatant fuckheadedness is merely a ploy to smoke out the opportunistic rapee’s name, so that she can be more appropriately shamed and threatened?

    * Not the same color as their “Go to cross burnin'” sheets.

  3. shouldbeworking says

    …my local government, which is charged with the responsibility of keeping her safe, not only sets the cause of children’s advocacy back a hundred years,…

    If this crime sets the cause back only 100 years, LA must have been in the Dark Ages 200 years ago. A “tough on crime” True Republican Governor ™ will have the girl charged with misdemeanour sexual harassment, misdemeanour contributing to the delinquency of a minor, felony obstruction of a peace officer in the performance of his duties, and felony poverty.

    New Year, same as the old year. Unfortunately.

  4. DaveL says

    “Vickers could not have engaged in sexual relations within the walls of the detention center with [the victim] without cooperation from her.

    I’m sorry, but are they essentially arguing that since this took place at a detention facility between an inmate and a guard, it must have been consensual, the legal age of consent notwithstanding?

    At least their other line of argumentation is more honest, if no less reprehensible. “She’s not one of the good girls, the ones who get protection. She’s one of the bad ones, the disposable ones, not really a person at all.”

  5. says

    Consent is irrelevant: the girl was 14, which makes it “felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile” as defined by state law. The parish admits that this “carnal knowledge” took place. If they refuse to prosecute, I would think they could be sued for aiding and abetting.

  6. colnago80 says

    Re Gregory in Seattle @ #5

    Louisiana is unique among American state because it is governed by Napoleonic law. There may be no statutory rape law there.

  7. matty1 says

    @6 This link says there is such a law and uses the same phrase as Gregory in Seattle “Felony carnal knowledge” so unless contradictory evidence comes up I’m going to assume he is broadly correct on this.

  8. alanb says

    Felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile in Louisiana is sexual intercourse with consent between (1) someone age 19 or older and someone between age 12 and 17 or (2) someone age 17 or older and someone between age 12 and 15. Penalty:up to 10 years in prison (with or without hard labor). Link.

  9. says

    Hold on, I’m dry heaving.

    How in the blazing infernos of hell did she “consent”?

    * She is 14. Underage. Legally unable to give consent.
    * Alleged rapist is an adult. There’s already a power differential there, and it’s exacerbated by…
    * …the fact that the victim is in custody, with the rapist in a position of direct power over her. (He’s a guard.)

    All that? Adds up to fucking RAPE. Even if she had said “yes”, that “yes” was not, and could not be, freely-given consent.

  10. Mr Ed says

    So how does this argument play out with other laws involving age? Can a 14 year old drink as long as they cooperate getting the liquor. Can a 16 year old vote as long as they actively try to vote.

  11. erichoug says

    There is no issue here with what the girl did or did not do. A) She is under the age of consent so she cannot legally consent. B) She is incarcerated.

    Both of those things should lead any rational human being to immediately fire the guard with cause and to forward any and all information on this incident to the local law enforcement officials for prosecution.

    Oh, I said rational, now I see the problem.

  12. chrisdevries says

    Well at least the law is pretty clear on this; one of the best things about statutory rape laws (incidentally, I am of the opinion that while an age of consent is probably necessary in modern society, 15 is probably the best place to set it at, with close-in-age exceptions for ages of 13-14) is that there is no ambiguity when someone who is legally unable to give consent ACTUALLY did not consent. It doesn’t matter what the victim did or did not do, said or did not say, wore or did not wear; if sex happened, rape happened. And if the parish failed in its duty to care for this girl, the lawsuit should be successful.

    Incidentally, I am still appalled at the pervasiveness of the “she asked for it” myth. Most people do not make false accusations, especially of something sensitive like rape, where the opprobrium spatters on all parties involved including the accuser more often than not. You don’t willingly invite that kind of attention upon yourself unless you actually have been assaulted, and even then, many people have an understandably hard time coming forward and committing themselves to years of anguish as the case weaves its way through the legal system of a misogynistic society. And it’s not like this is an isolated case; you hear this blame-the-victim bullshit everywhere, to some degree. Fuck.

  13. mikee says

    Another objection to the “she was asking for it” argument is that it is demeaning to men.

    The very idea that even if a young women showed interest (which I think is highly unlikely) a grown man could not recognise that it would be wrong to respond/is incapable of controling himself is just offensive.

    Or perhaps that is exactly the circumstances a rape culture creates – if there is an opportunity for sex it is taken.
    This has got to change.

  14. M'thew says

    Another objection to the “she was asking for it” argument is that it is demeaning to men.

    The very idea that even if a young women showed interest (which I think is highly unlikely) a grown man could not recognise that it would be wrong to respond/is incapable of controling himself is just offensive.

    This notion is the same as in other religions, ub which men are viewed as “higher”, more rational beings and simultaneously helpless in the face of even the smallest exposed bit of the female body (hair? ankle?).

    I really do not understand how they (because it’s men who come up with these notions) can have this highly contradictory view of themselves. Can’t they see how silly it makes them look?

  15. cswella says

    @chrisdevries 13

    Well at least the law is pretty clear on this; one of the best things about statutory rape laws (incidentally, I am of the opinion that while an age of consent is probably necessary in modern society, 15 is probably the best place to set it at, with close-in-age exceptions for ages of 13-14)….

    I would only agree with you in cases where both sexual partners are close in age. If we set the legal age of sexual consent at 15, it should only apply in cases where the other partner is under 2 years difference. Consent for sex with anyone over 18 should be set at 18.

  16. says

    @ M’thew 13

    This notion is the same as in other religions, ub which men are viewed as “higher”, more rational beings and simultaneously helpless in the face of even the smallest exposed bit of the female body (hair? ankle?).

    I don’t get this comment. I read the OP several times. It says nothing about religion, so what religion are you talking about vis-à-vis “other religions?”

    This is about rape. Are you trying to make it about religion? Or is there more to the story than I read here?

  17. Michael Heath says

    heddle writes:

    This is about rape. Are you trying to make it about religion? Or is there more to the story than I read here?

    Jeez, did you even read Phil Robertson’s interview answers first? Phil Robertson’s non-apology and the rhetoric of his supporters, are claiming that Robertson’s views are justified because they come from his Christian beliefs. As if that is a credible justification. Hint: it’s not in our secular society where we strive to value women equal to men, contra the Bible and Christians who believe in an inerrant Bible.

    Those beliefs on how females are to be treated are not unusual but instead rooted in bible-derived dogma that’s been practiced among Christians for two thousand years. That includes the Bible’s assertion that women are more flawed then men, a Bible that values women as less than men – including the price to be paid by men when they rape females, and the edict that wives are to be submissive to their husbands.

    All of these factors are rooted in a long historical tradition that it’s OK for men to marry girls as if they’re more property than humans; all these factors are known enablers for promoting the rape culture that still unfortunately exists in some pockets of our society like the one Robertson operates within.

    Are you really this ignorant when it comes to the role Christianity has played in creating a rape culture and in some pockets like the deep south, justifying it? Or is this just one of many areas where you avoid or deny reality? (I’m still waiting for you to confront the fact you’re a congregant at a church that practices institutionalized hatred and bigotry towards gay people and their families, and your celebrating a god who supposedly promises to condemn many humans to an eternity of unimaginable agony – the most evil act I can imagine.)

    And I get the fact many Christians now reject this framework and are better about treating women more closely to the privilege white men enjoy, but that doesn’t include conservative Christians like Phil Robertson; whose allies are also legion as we observed when it came to Cracker Barrel retracting its condemnation of Mr. Robertson.

  18. dingojack says

    Heddle – I would have though a smart guy like you would have grasped it easily.
    As I understand it (and I could be way off base here) it’s a kind of analogy.
    1. Power differentials within the prison, and within a church, between children (and by extension women generally) and those (men generally), in positions of power negate any reasonable concept of consent.
    2. The excuse that ‘the devil made me do it’ or ‘she was asking for it” are equally pathetic and demeaning in either setting.
    3. Furthermore, religions (by and large) are not only authoritarian and patriarchal in their power structures (somewhat like a prison) they tend to regard the men, who are at ‘the top of the heap’, as delicate flowers needing to be protected from those overpowering temptresses who will pull them down into the mud. This tends to heighten men’s fear of women, increasing their desire to punish women for their sexuality (and ‘dirtiness’) before transferring shame and responsibility to the victim. (thereafter silencing them into an acceptable mute second-class status)*.
    Thus religions, by analogy, feed off, and in turn nourish, the pervasive rape culture such as the one being discussed.
    (As I said though, I could be wrong. Let M’thew fill in his own working).
    Dingo
    ——–
    * the psychology of authoritarians in this respect doesn’t seem to be much of a surprise to anyone else here. It has been discussed several times before, both tangentially and directly.

  19. says

    MH writes,

    Jeez, did you even read Phil Robertson’s interview answers first?

    Why would I? Unless I am really missing the boat. What does this story have to do with Phil Robertson? It is about some scumbag who raped a child. Is there something that links this to the rapist’s religion? I mean something concrete, not your armchair sociology, which is rooted in your presuppositional bigotry.

  20. says

    DJ,

    Heddle – I would have though a smart guy like you would have grasped it easily.

    (You’ve used that gambit before.)

    I do grasp the approach:

    It is bad, therefore somehow Christianity is at fault.

    It is, after all, a corollary of this law:

    16. The Ipso Facto No Atheist Is That Bad Law: Stalin and Mao were not atheists. They were demigods of the religions Stalinism and Maoism. We know this because mass murder on such a scale can only be committed by religionists.

    Usually, however, there is a thread–no matter how tenuous. If someone discovered that this man attended Sunday School once, or even walked by a church, or better yet if 35 years ago he uttered Jesus is mypersonallordandsavior then I would know: OK, we’re gonna get blamed for this. But in this case neither the OP nor the link mentions religion–but somehow this must be linked to Christianity? (And Phil Robertson, who has been revealed as our extreme pontiff.)

  21. colnago80 says

    Re Heddle @ #22

    Well, Stalin did attend an Eastern Orthodox seminary. And Mao stated to Edgar Snow in the last interview he gave to a western reporter that he was soon going to meet god.

  22. Abby Normal says

    Vickers of the Parish offered the she was asking for it defense. See, it’s all religion’s fault.

  23. dingojack says

    Heddle – the ship’s sailed on that objection. A ‘pattern of bad behaviour’ has already been well established.

    For example: In my comer of world. I’m sure you’re aware of other jurisdictions having held similar inquiries, Royal Commissions and Parliamentary Inquests etc.
    Dingo
    ——–
    BTW, It wasn’t a gambit, I was genuinely surprised.

  24. elpayaso says

    this is beyond fucked up. in many jurisdictions, one of the factors that can make consent to sex legally ineffective is just such a jailer-inmate relationship, age notwithstanding.

  25. amyjane says

    Statutory rape laws are supposed to protect youngsters from predators. Because a normal man will know better than to have sex with a child no matter how flirtatious..

  26. freehand says

    I didn’t realize that incarceration in Louisiana was voluntary, I mean, it has to be, otherwise any guard-prisoner sex would be coerced, yes?

    As for the whole child-adult thing, is the lawyer (and judge and jury if they agree with him) going to claim that children in Louisiana can screw soldiers, cuss out their parents, and sleep in on Sunday mornings? Is there a standard of choice for children that is different from adults, or not?

    I suppose that some of them would just rather declare themselves to be stupid and out of control rather than surrender their rape privileges.

  27. Michael Heath says

    Heddle,

    My apologies, I thought this thread about another Louisianian, Phil Robertson, and his advocacy men marry girls to keep them submissive and because single women over 20 are all about money.

  28. M'thew says

    @Heddle #18:

    My bad, as a foreigner I am more familiar with the idea of a “parish” as a church community. Although I could have been warned by the notion that a church would run a detention centre.

    Saying that, it would not surprise me either.

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