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One of the Steubenville rapists has been freed

And his lawyer has released a statement on his behalf. Got your puke bucket handy?

Ma’Lik Richmond recently completed his designated time at the Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Detention Facility. The past sixteen months have been extremely challenging for Ma’Lik and his extended family. At sixteen years old, Ma’Lik and his family endured hardness beyond imagination for any adult yet alone child. He has persevered the hardness and made the most of yet another unfortunate set of circumstances in his life. As with each other obstacle, Ma’Lik has met it squarely, lifted his chin, and set his shoulders; he is braced for the balance of his life.  While away, Ma’Lik has reflected, learned, matured, and grown in many ways.  He is a better, stronger person and looks forward to school, life, and spending time with family.  At this point, Ma’Lik wants most to be a high school teenager. In conjunction with his release, Ma’Lik, his family, and guardians ask that the media respect their privacy in this matter, as we all need to heal and move on with our lives. We will have you know that Ma’Lik will be taking all the time necessary to focus on his academic and personal goals. We ask for your support and prayers as we move forward, Thank you.

He endured, he persevered, he grew, and become more mature and learned — why, raping an unconscious young girl has made Mr Richmond a better fucking person. What a great thing for his character, and the character of any teenager who wants to improve himself.

There’s also a statement from the lawyer for the victim.

Although everyone hopes convicted criminals are rehabilitated, it is disheartening that this convicted rapist’s press release does not make a single reference to the victim and her family – whom he and his co-defendant scarred for life. One would expect to see the defendant publicly apologize for all the pain he caused rather than make statements about himself. Rape is about victims, not defendants. Obviously, the people writing his press release have yet to learn this important lesson.

What he said.

Comments

  1. carlie says

    Makes me kind of wish that there was the technology such, that every time the victim has a flashback or fear or pain or any type of repercussion, a text message gets sent to him alerting him that he just hurt somebody again. Forever. “Persevered the hardness”, my ass.

  2. Trebuchet says

    Damned slut feminists putting such a fine young man through such a terrible time! (/snark)

  3. jamessweet says

    Blah. Well, I don’t have a problem with him being done serving his time necessarily (to what extent would further incarceration really accomplish anything, especially with such a young offender? Maybe it would, I’m not sure, but I’m not inclined towards “lock ‘im up and throw away the key” even for the most disgusting crimes) but the press release is truly disappointing. Contrition? Yeah, right.

  4. stevem says

    Once again, more playing the ‘victim game’. HE is the victim, for suffering all the hardship of being punished for a little teenager funtime. He’s been suffering and is now doing so well at making his life better, after all that suffering we put him through. Wish him well, he deserves a better life after all the suffering he so manfully tolerated. He is the victim, he just got out; to live his life now. That girl that claims to be a victim is old news, long ago, best forgotten, she had her day, got him punished, he’s served his time and is now trying to recover from all that punishment inflicted upon him. </satire>

  5. unbound says

    I think lawyers are trained to make such statements in their law schools. The statement made by Ma’Lik’s lawyer has a lot of eerily similar comments made by the lawyer of a woman who slammed her car into my wife’s car. The opposing woman was completely at fault.

    My wife was 3 months pregnant with our daughter at that time, and if it wasn’t for the side impact beam in the car, the impact would have killed them. But the lawyer tried the whole guilt trip of “think about the poor woman who caused the accident through negligence”. An amazing group of people lawyers seem to be…

  6. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    That is so completely out of touch, I don’t even.

    It’s difficult to know exactly what the intent of such a press release is, but I’m willing to guess. It’s quite obvious, and it always has been, that the convicted in this case never accepted the responsibility or verdict for their crime and rather see themselves as victims and the community was largely, if I recall correctly, on their side.

    Considering that, I can only think that this press release is meant to be gloating. That’s unspeakably awful and condescending especially if, as the letter reads, everyone needs to ‘heal and move on with their lives.’

  7. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    The past sixteen months have been extremely challenging for Ma’Lik and his extended family. At sixteen years old, Ma’Lik and his family endured hardness beyond imagination for any adult yet alone child.

    Fucking diddums.

    As with each other obstacle, Ma’Lik has met it squarely, lifted his chin, and set his shoulders…

    Obstacle!? Like this is just some tough period of his life that he had the misfortune to fall into and that he’s bravely struggling through?

    Fuck that lawyer. I’m so angry I could shit.

  8. Onamission5 says

    Oh, I get it now. Raping someone isn’t a horrible crime and a violation of that person’s rights, being convicted of raping someone is an empowering obstacle one must heroically conquer, like climbing a mountain or learning to sky dive.

  9. woozy says

    I have to wonder if there is some internal private contest among lawyers to see just how putrefyingly nauseating a defense statement they can make. Of course, we assume a lawyer needs to stick by his client and make stupid noises like “let’s all move on” “time served” and “my client faced his charges responsibly” and so on. But “endured hardness beyond imagination” and “As with each other obstacle, Ma’Lik has met it squarely, lifted his chin, and set his shoulders; he is braced for the balance of his life” is just revolting.

  10. robinjohnson says

    it is disheartening that this convicted rapist’s press release does not make a single reference to the victim and her family

    That’s because being convicted of rape was a terrible thing that happened to him, not the consequence of something he actually did to someone.

  11. Bernard Bumner says

    At sixteen years old, Ma’Lik and his family endured hardness beyond imagination for any adult yet alone child.

    Then his fucking brain would explode if he was capable of empathy, because the sentence he was justly handed down was a fucking cakewalk compared to the consequences he inflicted upon his victim and her family.

    I wonder whether he even realises and recognises that he is a rapist?

  12. says

    At this point, Ma’Lik wants most to be a high school teenager.

    Imagine that. How nice it would have been if Ma’Lik and his buddies figured out that there was a young woman who simply wanted to be a high school teenager and decided not to rape her, eh?
     
    There was talk by the trial judge and lawyers the day the trial ended about making sure they didn’t end up on the sex offender registry. I suppose that’s in the works now too. :spits:

  13. HappyNat says

    Raping someone isn’t a horrible crime and a violation of that person’s rights, being convicted of raping someone is an empowering obstacle one must heroically conquer

    You are correct. Just like being called a racist/homophobe/misogynist is hateful rhetoric, while saying racists/homphobic/misogynistic things is free speech. There was an NFL player caught in the off season saying N***** of video and when he had a big game there were a bunch of articles about what he had overcome. None of them mentioned all he overcame was being a racist shithead.

  14. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @Woozy

    Exactly. I understand that the lawyer has to appear to be supportive of their client, but they could at least have the decency to be embarrassed about it. Of course, there’s always the option that this particular slimeball actually believes all the shit he just spouted.

  15. robinjohnson says

    Note that the victim’s lawyer’s statement is remarkably compassionate: it acknowledges that rehabilitation is a goal of justice and that people really should be able to move on from being horrible human beings – but it’s impossible to do that without acknowledging it. They even call out “the people writing his press release” rather than the perpetrator himself.

  16. Doug Little says

    Jesus fucking christ. You would think that the shame of the whole thing would prevent you making it all about what you have endured.

  17. AsqJames says

    made the most of yet another unfortunate set of circumstances in his life

    unfortunate (adj.)
    1) having or marked by bad fortune; unlucky.
    2) regrettable or inappropriate.

    His conviction for rape, and the consequences of that conviction, was “unlucky”, “regrettable” and/or “inappropriate”?

  18. says

    AsqJames:

    His conviction for rape, and the consequences of that conviction, was “unlucky”, “regrettable” and/or “inappropriate”?

    Of course! Why that stupid slut went and got drunk, you know, and they would have got away with it if it weren’t for those meddlesome kids on the ‘net!

  19. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @Caine #15

    There was talk by the trial judge and lawyers the day the trial ended about making sure they didn’t end up on the sex offender registry. I suppose that’s in the works now too.

    What? Why the fuck not? They are sex offenders!

    Fuck!

  20. Louis says

    This is so horrific, this whole Steubenville episode is so horrific, that I don’t want to believe it’s true.

    But it is.

    I simply cannot fathom the excuses poured out for a rapist. Someone who raped an unconscious young woman.

    But there they are, bold as brass.

    Time for a stiff drink.

    Louis

  21. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    There was talk by the trial judge and lawyers the day the trial ended about making sure they didn’t end up on the sex offender registry. I suppose that’s in the works now too.

    The amount of impotent, frustrated, helpless rage I feel just can not be explained. How? How can this be the outcome of “justice”? And what is “justice” then worth?

  22. Freodin says

    I don’t expect the rapist to apologize… my expectations from such people is rather low.
    I don’t expect the lawyers to apologize… spouting these offensive trivialities is what they are paid for.

    But this whole “Oh, this poor young man, what has he been through!”… how can a living breathing feeling human being be so… completely lacking in empathy.

    I wish I would drink…

  23. opposablethumbs says

    No remorse, no compassion for the victim. No recognition of responsibility, or that what they did was a crime at all.

    Sounds like there is every need for these two pieces of shit to be on the sex offenders register – because if this statement bears even the faintest resemblance to their attitude (and I bet they’re surrounded by adults and friends telling them all the time that they’re the real victims here ::spits::) they won’t hesitate to do it again if they think they can get away with it. People who may encounter these scum in the future deserve to be forewarned that they are rapists.

  24. Rey Fox says

    There was talk by the trial judge and lawyers the day the trial ended about making sure they didn’t end up on the sex offender registry. I suppose that’s in the works now too.

    Oh, of course. That list is for public urinators who don’t have good lawyers.

  25. busterggi says

    “why, raping an unconscious young girl has made Mr Richmond a better fucking person. ”

    No wonder I’m such a loser, I never raped anyone.

  26. says

    Gen:

    The amount of impotent, frustrated, helpless rage I feel just can not be explained. How? How can this be the outcome of “justice”? And what is “justice” then worth?

    It’s not worth a fucking penny. And before someone comes along (and they will), with the whole, hey, they’re just kids, they did time, why ruin their lives, yada, yada, yada, I’ll tell you why there should be a serious consequence for raping someone: every person who is raped and survives gets a life sentence. I’m 40 years into mine. It hasn’t been fun.

    Rey:

    Oh, of course. That list is for public urinators who don’t have good lawyers.

    Apparently so. It’s all so utterly fucked up.

  27. NitricAcid says

    If you’re tempted to get a stiff drink after reading this, just make sure you’re not with any high school or college athletes.

  28. Pteryxx says

    And before someone comes along (and they will), with the whole, hey, they’re just kids, they did time, why ruin their lives, yada, yada, yada, I’ll tell you why there should be a serious consequence for raping someone: every person who is raped and survives gets a life sentence.

    ( TW for attempted suicide, revictimization ) ———–

    http://www.salon.com/2014/01/07/daisy_coleman_hospitalized_after_apparent_suicide_attempt/

    Daisy and Melinda, as well as several Missouri state officials and the state’s lieutenant governor, have called for a grand jury investigation into the sexual assault case, in which Matthew Barnett allegedly raped then 14-year-old Daisy, recorded the incident on his phone and abandoned her in a state of semi-consciousness on her frozen front lawn in January 2012. All charges against Barnett were dismissed.

    The cited source article is even worse.

  29. says

    Reading that in the absence of context, I’d be thinking: What happened to this guy? Serious car crash and he’s now graduating from rehab? Aggressive cancer, and he’s now been declared clear after multiple horrible rounds of surgery and chemo? Successfully kicked a life-destroying addiction? Graduated high school cum laude after being rescued from a poverty-stricken and horrendously abusive background?

    Because that’s the kind of “unfortunate set of circumstances” for which those words are appropriate. Also, what @3 said: life imitating (dark) satire.

  30. DrewN says

    Would that lawyer also say that people who murder their parents have to bravely persevere the hardness of being an orphan?

  31. says

    I share the rage.

    The “obstacle” bit is particularly infuriating. This isn’t some man versus nature or man versus society story where he just toughens up to deal with something inherently arbitrary and outside of his control. Rape isn’t something that “just happens” like so many character-building tragedies do. He made it happen. He made a choice that lead to a known, horrible outcome for someone else. He’s supposed to be dealing with what he voluntarily did and the horrible truths it tells him about himself.

    But nope, society largely excuses rape. Let’s all praise him for enduring a half-assed punishment so he won’t learn anything or be made to feel ashamed that he voluntarily harmed another. Because his self-esteem is more important than the rule of law.

  32. says

    One can hope that Mr. Richmond himself has learned the lesson he needed, and that we can blame this press release on the lawyers and PR flacks. One hopes. Without a great deal of confidence that such is the case.

  33. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @Caine #25 (an pteryxx, who gave the original quote)

    In Ohio, youth are given a minimum sentence but can also be kept in facilities for longer if officials feel they have not been rehabilitated. Lipps recommended that both attend sex offender treatment and said he would decide at the time they are released what their sex offender registration requirements should be.

    Any word on whether or not they did attend said “treatment”? And I still don’t understand the logic. They’re still sex offenders. No other sex offender gets to have some councelling and then not be put on the list. This is a group of young men who think it’s fine to abuse an unconcious girl. They are sociopaths and are fucking dangerous.

  34. stevem says

    But mustn’t we acknowledge that because of his “indiscretion” he has been punished and tore himself up from the guilt of doing something so wrong? He’s suffered months of agony over his petty indiscretion. He was just coerced [by his own self] into taking advantage of a prime opportunity. It was the girl’s fault for getting so drunk she let him do it. She is the one to be shamed. He’s been in agony ever since, WE made him feel guilty for that little prank he participated in. Slap US in the face for treating him so excessively badly. /snark {I hope my satire is explicit}

  35. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Sadly, I’m not surprised. Outraged, pissed and not getting any sleep tonight but not surprised or shocked.

    As someone who’s been in a situation similar to Daisy, I can’t be. I’ve had the small town circle the wagons and toss me out into the wild in order to preserve their community values and unity.

    When he got out where do you think he was going to go? Back into the fold. Of course, they keep up the narrative.

    If you think the American ideal of macho rugged individual is bad, it’s so much worse when a band of them get together to, in their minds, stand fast against the world that wants to puts an end to their ideals. Their ideals*, often passed down from The Greatest Generation and preserved without any outside intervention, are their very identity.

    And now I’ll be hiding from my existence for the next few days, excuse me.

    *I’m sure you can guess – Sundown towns, football, bootstraps, xenophobia, ridged gender roles and don’t forget the homemade apple pie from recipe handed down the female line

  36. knowknot says

    Can’t help but wonder if this approach is a direct effect of religious thinking.

    I’ll be thinking about this for days (again), but off the top and undeveloped:
    – Religion, and specifically christianity in this case given US locus, focuses largely on redemption/salvation. (A distinction between the two being more clearly delineated in Catholic theology, in which redemption is the universal offer while salvation is redemption’s effect in the individual.)
    – “Healing” tends to be presented solely in terms of the effect of salvation. This makes it an evangelical tool, a bonus that comes with acceptance of the offer.
    – Suffering, which can be extended to injury, is the result of willfulness/sin.
    – Jesus took the full weight of the suffering that was imposed on humanity BY humanity. The need for suffering was therefore eliminated, and the continuance of suffering became a willful choice. (Except for the elevated sort of suffering experienced in persecution of the saved.)

    The above needs to be carried out further to make a case, but I’m trying not to be brief here…
    All this seems to make the continued suffering of the “victim” in a case like this, especially one who does not soon appear to be dramatically lifted from suffering (ie, saved) a LOT less interesting to a believer than a perpetrator whose actions were the result of common and ever present sinfulness of humanity, and who emerges triumphant in the face of sinfulness (which is promptly disregarded, because it’s been cleansed).

    Also, it’s just a lot less pleasant to dwell on the circumstances of the victim. There’s often something considerably more visible and more difficult to fix.

    (I’m going to leave off the question of why men’s salvation stories tend to market more effectively, and whether it’s because they tend to perpetrate more, and in a more dramatic and masculine manner, showcasing the power of salvation. Or whether it’s just because they aren’t girls.)

  37. says

    I wonder whether he even realises and recognises that he is a rapist?

    Considering how parents, teachers, reporters, lawyers and politicians are all busy telling him he did nothing wrong; I doubt it.

    Poor baby. I hope he at least has a book deal lined up.

    You know, it wouldn’t even surprise me.

  38. says

    KnowKnot:

    Can’t help but wonder if this approach is a direct effect of religious thinking.

    If you followed the wealth of Steubenville threads here, you’d know what it was – entitlement. That’s it, that’s all of it. The rapists were favoured sons, privileged to the core, always told how damn special they were, athletic saviours, and so on. From the very start, there was talk of just how great and wonderful those poor boys were, having their great potential lives derailed by a stupid, drunken slut.

  39. unclefrogy says

    I wonder if that lawyer ever worked for a tobaco company?
    lawyer = whore?
    while standing in line to get in a club some people passed us and went in. One man had a button on his shirt that said “I smell shit must be a lawyer near”. I chuckled the woman behind him said he was a lawyer, that sounded even weirder to me then.
    not so much now.
    uncle frogy

  40. dickspringer says

    A while back a writer located and interviewed various former dictators, Idi Amin among them. Everyone of these mass-murderers was deep into self-pity with no sign of concern for the consequences for victims of their actions.

    Self-centered sociopaths are like that.

  41. tsig says

    We are witnessing “The Passion of the Ma’Lik”.

    Kinda gets you right there, doesn’t it? (clutches heart)

  42. says

    unclefrogy:

    lawyer = whore?

    No. I see no need whatsoever to denigrate sex workers, nor lawyers at large. Yes, there are slimy asshole lawyers, however, there are a whole lot of good, ethical ones, too.

  43. says

    Could have been written by Goebbels himself:

    Adolph Hilter recently completed his designated time at the Nuremberg Detention Facility. The past sixteen months have been extremely challenging for Adolph and his extended family. At sixty years old, Adolph and his family endured hardness beyond imagination for any adult yet alone an exalted leader. He has persevered the hardness and made the most of yet another unfortunate set of circumstances in his life. As with each other obstacle, Adolph has met it squarely, lifted his chin, and set his shoulders; he is braced for the balance of his life. While away, Adolph has reflected, learned, matured, and grown in many ways. He is a better, stronger person and looks forward to painting, life, and spending time with family. At this point, Adolph wants most to be an accomplished painter. In conjunction with his release, Adolph, his family, and supporters ask that the media respect their privacy in this matter, as we all need to heal and move on with our lives. We will have you know that Adolph will be taking all the time necessary to focus on his artistic and personal goals. We ask for your support and prayers as we move forward, Thank you.

  44. says

    Looks like when it comes to rape, it’s all about the victims when it comes to blaming and all about the rapists when it comes to feeling sorry.

    At sixteen years old, Ma’Lik and his family endured hardness beyond imagination for any adult yet alone child.

    Beyond imagination? No, it’s pretty easy to imagine worse than what happened to him, starting with what happened to his victim.

  45. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Thumper @ 40

    This is a group of young men who think it’s fine to abuse an unconcious girl. They are sociopaths and are fucking dangerous.

    dickspringer @ 49

    Self-centered sociopaths are like that.

    I understand the impulse here and please don’t think I’m attacking either of you, but people do terrible things. Self-centered people are like that. People are fucking dangerous. I’m wary enough of the label of sociopath even when it’s been applied by a qualified professional and unless either of you are privy to an official diagnosis, this is just a case of No True Human.

    It doesn’t take a sociopath to do horrible things to people. Othering rapists (or, yes, even dictators) lets the rest of us off the hook. It says that we have no responsibility to dismantle the culture that allows these things to happen, because normal people don’t do those things. And that’s not true. We know it’s not true because violent crimes and political oppression and all the rest of it are not constants, based on the statistical likelihood of sociopaths popping up on a given society. They change based on the culture itself. What is acceptable, what we turn a blind eye to, what pressures are present, etc.

    I doubt that Ma’Lik Richmond is a sociopath, but even if he is that doesn’t matter. The thought process shown here is one of entitlement and one that is all too common. As Caine @ 47 said:

    That’s it, that’s all of it. The rapists were favoured sons, privileged to the core, always told how damn special they were, athletic saviours, and so on.

    Don’t other the rapists. Recognize what they did is part of a greater whole–a whole we all play a part in–and by taking cultural responsibility we might actually be able to change things for the better. By saying “oh, they’re just sociopaths” we’re allowing ourselves to brush off the real causes.

  46. says

    MM:

    By saying “oh, they’re just sociopaths” we’re allowing ourselves to brush off the real causes.

    Absolutely, and thanks for the lifting on this one. I am so fucking tired of explaining just how wrong and harmful othering is, often to the same people in one thread after another. Been going on for years. Be nice if people would get a bloody clue. And no, sticking people in the sociopath box is no different from sticking them in the monster box.

    Most people here are really good at grokking fallacies. I’d dearly like to see people fully understand the No True Human fallacy.

  47. says

    Including some lawyers who post and read here. People don’t become slime because they’re lawyers; some slimebags become slimebag lawyers, and some good people become good lawyers, just like any other group.

    Also, fuck the whole misogynist bullshit of saying “=whores therefore bad”. Society fucking sets some women up to have little option but to take up sex work*, to meet the needs that society creates by stupid artificial restrictions of adult sexuality, and then denigrates those same women as the worst people in the world for doing the one job that always shows up in every society ever. Funny how that works: “Women: you’re just pretty much screwed from the word ‘Go!'”

    * Though not all; some sex workers choose their job, like anyone else. Lesson of the day: no group of humans is monolithic, not even the West Quarrytown Professional Association of Monolith Carvers.

  48. says

    changerofbits @ 53:

    Could have been written by Goebbels himself:

    Pardon me, but just what the fuck is wrong with you? Did you somehow think this was in any way enlightening or helpful? It wasn’t. Highly stupid and unnecessary. Next time, try thinking first.

  49. says

    CaitieCat:

    Also, fuck the whole misogynist bullshit of saying “=whores therefore bad”. Society fucking sets some women up to have little option but to take up sex work*,

    I want to point out that not all sex workers are women. They should not be denigrated in any case.

  50. says

    Apologies, Caine, you’re right, of course; I think it is still accurate to say that anti-sex-worker sentiment is often based in misogyny, whatever the gender of the worker, as sex work is always positioned as a submissive/receptive and thus “feminine” role, and denigrated as such.

  51. Nathair says

    And no, sticking people in the sociopath box is no different from sticking them in the monster box.

    Except for the fact that “sociopathy” is real. Some people really do have ASPD, they really do play by different internal rules than you or I. Such people are, through no “fault” of their own, very much “others”, even “monsters” in the most frightening sense of the word.

    I do very much doubt that such applies to this particular asshole and I agree that we should not be casually throwing such armchair diagnoses around every time some aggressive asshole reverts to full “demonic male” behaviour.

  52. says

    Nathair:

    I do very much doubt that such applies to this particular asshole and I agree that we should not be casually throwing such armchair diagnoses around every time some aggressive asshole reverts to full “demonic male” behaviour.

    I hope you realize you’re indulging in the No True Human fallacy with that “demonic male” shit. It’s not helpful to write that, scare quotes or no. Rape is extremely common behaviour, no demons required.

  53. unclefrogy says

    I hope the “?” was noticed it was intentional. Are there similarities between someone who engages in sex for money and someone who argues legal issues in a court of law for money?
    The highly skilled can appear to be deeply involved and are actually enjoying themselves. They can sound like they even believe what they are saying. They can put it the best possible light and are deeply personally invested in the outcome .
    It is a skill they have and use to make their money. When it involves talking in a court it involves a kind of theater no less then in a hotel bedroom.
    or press releases
    uncle frogy.

  54. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    WTF am I in the twilight zone?

    B-but sociopaths are a real thing! So is schizophrenia but we don’t just let people call others “schizos” when they act in an unexpected “crazy” manner. We also don’t throw out phrases like demonic males either. Try privileged, entitled asshole who society raised to act like such. They weren’t born a rapist or a hell spawn.

    And, uncle froggy by your line of thinking everyone from Customer Service (keep polite and smiling!) to scientists are whores. You never had to fake it with a boss or co-workers? If so, lucky goddamn you.

    Arrrgh, goddamn curiosity. I may have to unplug the damn computer, clearly I’m too tempted while playing games to check in.

  55. Don'tWantNo (ShortShortMan) says

    unclefrogy @ 66:

    see: holes, digging of.

    I cannot seriously believe you are unaware of this, but in the vernacular characteristic of commenters on the site, “whore” remains very much an epithet (despite some efforts toward reclamation by some small segments of the sex-worker population).

    If you meant it neutrally, you failed with the language of English which is used here.

    If, as seems much more plausible ), you felt entitled to use insinuations that sex workers are inferior as people, then you fail as a decent person until you manage to fix that.

    The barista at my local coffee shop and the optometrist I consult for my eyeglass prescription use similar skills of making me feel welcome and valued as part of their livelihoods, whether or not they really value my coffee or my vision more than anything else in the world at that moment. Probably much of the time they really do want me to enjoy their service, but their professional conduct would be essentially the same either way.

  56. Muz says

    It’s kind of one of the annoying aspects of the adversarial system. His lawyer’s job is to diminish the guy’s crimes and boost his character with every word. It’s virtually PR at this point.
    He probably wouldn’t be so eager if the judge said “cut that shit out”, but I guess it depends on the judicial climate in the neighbourhood.

    Thinking about this makes me wonder if sex crimes are suitable for regular court at all. So much has had to be done to make it suitable; changes in rules of evidence, testimony etc. It’s been hard won and only recent too. And yet there could be quite a lot more. Some sort of sex crime tribunal custom built to deal with such things perhaps.

  57. says

    Big hugs and loads of empathy to those of you who must be triggered and hurt by reading this. My heart goes out to you, my heart goes out to the young woman Ma’lik raped.
    I hope she is with people she loves and trusts right now.

    Eamon

    Reading that in the absence of context, I’d be thinking: What happened to this guy? Serious car crash and he’s now graduating from rehab?

    Exactly my thoughts. Like, he broke his spine and now he can walk again, or something like that.

    +++
    Now, I’m all for treating and sentencing teenagers as teenagers, and for rehabilitation and what have you got. BUT I can’t stand this “but they were just X years old”. I want to violently attack the person who says it (I wouldn’t, but I want to).
    Because their victims are usually X-y years old. Are they somehow supposed to react better than adults who go through such things? Because they are kids, too?
    FFS, I had to have the first talk about sexual harassment with my daughter when she was 6. SIX. Employees who said something like that in a situation like that to a co-worker could get fired. The harm and damage don’t become any smaller because the perps were smaller, too.

  58. says

    unclefrogy, please shut the fuck up. You are wrong. Full stop. You are not helping. Remove your fingers from keyboard. Thank you.

    JAL:

    Arrrgh, goddamn curiosity. I may have to unplug the damn computer, clearly I’m too tempted while playing games to check in.

    I hear ya. I put my ‘puter on my drawing table while I’m working, to keep tabs on this thread. All it’s managing to do at the moment is unpleasant things to my blood pressure. Why in all hells do normally intelligent people turn into utter idiots when it comes to rape?

  59. Portia, semi-bait says

    unclefrogy:

    I’m thinking very impolite things about you, for a variety of reasons.

    Not least because some of us are both survivors and lawyers.

    I was warned, and I still came and read the last several comments. Gonna go try to lower my heartrate somewhere now. I expected better from you.

    Jesus fuck on a cracker.

  60. Nathair says

    I hope you realize you’re indulging in the No True Human fallacy with that “demonic male” shit. It’s not helpful to write that, scare quotes or no. Rape is extremely common behaviour, no demons required.

    No, I was not. I was referring to Richard Wrangham and Dale Peterson’s work on the evolutionary underpinnings of male violence. The quotes were not scare quotes but garden variety quotes, the term is theirs from the book by the same name.

  61. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Oh and before I jet, or try to at least, there’s one last thing.

    Now, if anyone wants to pull the whole “I’m sorry your upset but I have a point!” or some such bullshit, please remember this:

    The reason,(or a big reason at least) you don’t get to declare yourself an ally but the disadvantaged group you are trying to help does is because allies can wound far deeper and fatally then known enemies. Having your support system turn on you is one hell of a boot to the head when you’re already on the ground.

  62. Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff says

    The press release perpetrates the ultimate “othering” — the complete abnegation of the existence of the victim.

    Every vile statement in that press release would have been a teeny bit less vile if only the victim and her pain had been acknowledged, if she had been apologized to, however inadequately, and if the rapist had admitted wrongdoing.

    No admission of guilt, no admission of harm, no admission of the existence of the other half of the crime — that adds up to a full and complete denial of the crime — which seems only appropriate, as he pled “not guilty”.

    *reaches for puke bucket*

  63. nick260682 says

    “As with each other obstacle, Ma’Lik has met it squarely, lifted his chin, and set his shoulders”

    Just like the obstacle of the victim’s underwear and lack of consent.

    Pure wallowing, not a fucking word of contrition.

  64. Rey Fox says

    The word “whore” when used as an insult usually describes people who sell their integrity. It only works as an insult if you equate the sex worker’s virginity or “purity” with integrity.

  65. says

    The word “whore” when used as an insult usually describes people who sell their integrity. It only works as an insult if you equate the sex worker’s virginity or “purity” with integrity.

    Yesterday, on another thread, I mentioned my lack of understanding of this very concept. It seems to be deeply ingrained in a lot of people and a way of thinking that is difficult to break. The purity concept gets used often, and it is so common, and I get the feeling many people have never questioned why they think that way.

  66. says

    Monitor Note
    Please take your discussion and hang-up about purity and sex-workers and comparisons as insults to Thunderdome.
    Because at the moment you’re making this about yourselves at the expense of the many rape victims here on Pharyngula.

  67. Gregory Greenwood says

    Ma’Lik Richmond recently completed his designated time at the Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Detention Facility. The past sixteen months have been extremely challenging for Ma’Lik and his extended family.

    And what about the victim? Her trauma will not be over in sixteen months, nor sixteen years. Not that I imagine Ma’Lik or his legal team care about little things like the suffering of the actual victim of the crime.

    At sixteen years old, Ma’Lik and his family endured hardness beyond imagination for any adult yet alone child.

    Beyond imagination? I find it casually easy to imagine far worse. What he did to his victim, for instance.

    He has persevered the hardness and made the most of yet another unfortunate set of circumstances in his life.

    Or maybe, just maybe, this isn’t all about him. And as for his ‘unfortunate circumstances’ – I just don’t care. Nothing excuses rape; no personal circumstances, no hardships endured, no prior trauma – nothing. In exactly the same way as the victim is never to blame for rape, so the rapist can never avoid blame.

    As with each other obstacle, Ma’Lik has met it squarely, lifted his chin, and set his shoulders; he is braced for the balance of his life. While away, Ma’Lik has reflected, learned, matured, and grown in many ways. He is a better, stronger person and looks forward to school, life, and spending time with family.

    They are seriously casting this vile little rapist arsehat as the suffering, noble hero of the piece now? Not a word or a thought spared for the actual victim, but ample lionising of the rapist-as-pseudo-victim. There are no words that can express the depth of my disgust.

    Ma’Lik wants most to be a high school teenager.

    Ma’Lik just wants to brush the whole episode under the carpet; to escape any meaningful responsibility for what he has done, and never to be forced to actually acknowledge the humanity of his victim and the full scope of the horror of what he did to her.

    In conjunction with his release, Ma’Lik, his family, and guardians ask that the media respect their privacy in this matter, as we all need to heal and move on with our lives.

    (Emphasis added)

    Stated as if there is fault on both sides, or that his notional ‘injury’ is somehow equivalent to that endured by his victim. He is entirely incapable of recognising that the rape he committed was a crime, and that it was a criime that he bears responsibility for. This was not some ‘knock for knock’ case where all sides are to some degree in the wrong. It was a gross bodily violation that he forced upon another defenceless person of his own free will

    We will have you know that Ma’Lik will be taking all the time necessary to focus on his academic and personal goals. We ask for your support and prayers as we move forward, Thank you.

    hge knows full well that the toxically patriarchal Steubenville community has always been and will always be on his side; this is no more that open gloating.

    It seems the rape itself was not enough, even this statement is calculated to perpetuate and aggavate the harm. So much for having ‘reflected, learned, matured, and grown in many ways’. It semes to me that getting off so lightly with this heinous crime can only send the message to Ma’Lik and those like him that, evejn in the unlikely event that a rape is reported, and the even more unlikely event that the police action the report, and the still imporbable event that any case results in a conviction, you will still get out after a fewq months, and will then be able to play the wronged martyr to an adoring crowd.

    It makes me sick to the pit of stomach.

  68. says

    Giliell, thanks for mentioning that, I should have thought about that before posting.

    It’s kind of one of the annoying aspects of the adversarial system. His lawyer’s job is to diminish the guy’s crimes and boost his character with every word. It’s virtually PR at this point.

    Is there a reason they need a lawyer drafting their PR statements after they have been released? I guess leaving out any mention of the victim looks like bad PR here, where people notice its absense, and are angry about it, but I wonder how this plays outside of places like this. I imagine many will read it and not even consider that aspect. I definitely hope a few larger media outlets pick up on this.

  69. knowknot says

    47.

    Caine –
    I see that, and thanks for the correction. My original comment looks (even to me) not only sophomoric and stretchy, but like a “bad ad hoc” in retrospect.

  70. Ichthyic says

    Could have been written by Goebbels himself:

    uh, it actually WAS written, by Hitler.

    it was called “Mein Kampf”

    seriously, that is what Mein Kampf was!

  71. Ichthyic says

    It’s kind of one of the annoying aspects of the adversarial system. His lawyer’s job is to diminish the guy’s crimes and boost his character with every word. It’s virtually PR at this point.

    half the population will be extremely offended by the way the lawyer approached this.

    how is that good PR?

    my guess is that this bend-over-backwards attempt at whitewashing will backfire.

  72. says

    While away, Ma’Lik has reflected, learned, matured, and grown in many ways. He is a better, stronger person and looks forward to school, life, and spending time with family.

    If he’s grown so much, where is his empathy for the young woman he raped?
    Where’s his public apology to her?

  73. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Shit.

    Unbefuckinglievable. Scary. HIs sixteen months in prison were trying for him and his family. Meanwhile, the girl he raped will remember what happened. ANd live with it.

  74. says

    This exploded while I was away…

    JAL, Caine, Portia, MM et al
    Nthed, and offers of *hugs* or other desired gestures of support.
    Muz

    It’s kind of one of the annoying aspects of the adversarial system.

    One reason I’m quite certain that there has to be a better way to do things. Far too many abuses seem to be more or less built into the system.
    Giliell

    Now, I’m all for treating and sentencing teenagers as teenagers, and for rehabilitation and what have you got.

    Yeah, but I’d like to see some kind of actual indication of rehabilitation before letting them out from under close supervision of some kind. I mean, the point at which someone has actively demonstrated that they’re that self-centered and entitled that they’re willing and even eager to use force/coercion to get their way is the point at which they are actively hazardous to those around them, and need to be separated from same as a matter of public safety until they won’t anymore. Certainly the prison system needs massive, massive reform, but that’s rather a separate topic.

  75. mildlymagnificent says

    In addition to the breathtaking assholery in the statement, how does someone get out of law school with such shitty writing abilities?

    I know who to blame. That manager of library facilities at the lawyer’s offices needs to go and check all the dictionaries. The rest of us can see that someone’s been through and ripped out every mention of those unpalatable words.

    Shame. Shaming. Shameful. Shameless.

    Anyone who knew of the existence and the meaning of these words could not have written that brazen, graceless, shameless statement.

  76. ck says

    Wow. That’s quite the statement. I can understand the lawyer not wanting to have his client admit wrongdoing, but this statement goes well beyond that. Why, it reads like he’s being presented an award for being convicted of rape. Clearly this sports star (and his family) has learned exactly nothing about proper ethical behaviour from his conviction and subsequent punishment.

  77. tbrucegodfrey says

    “hardness beyond imagination” – no, millions of adults in the US alone can imagine jail, since they are in it.

  78. Chaos Engineer says

    Are we sure that the lawyer actually wrote this? It reads like an essay that a 16-year-old would write if he wanted to sound educated and also needed to pad it to meet the required word count.

    He has persevered the hardness and made the most of yet another unfortunate set of circumstances in his life: “‘Persevered’ is a fancy word and I’m pretty sure I’m using it correctly so I won’t waste time looking it up… Let’s see, if I stick in ‘yet another’ and ‘in his life’, that’s five more words towards the total…”

    I can picture the lawyer getting this from the family, tossing it to a secretary and saying, “Run this through spellcheck, release it to the papers, and make sure it gets added into the bill.” I could respect that. (Well, not really.)

    The one good thing is that it’s on the Internet now, so he can’t re-use it as his college application essay.

  79. Muz says

    Travis @ 81
    I don’t know exactly. He’s probably representing the kid throughout the various appeals and efforts to get the sex offender status cut down or removed. That and/or thinking about his next job, so he’s going to advocate as best he can (or as he thinks he should), I suppose.

    Icthyic @85.
    With any luck. But I doubt it’s half. If I remember right the community there was generally on the side of the rapists, male and female. There’s a bit of a ‘sporting’ tone to the language that’s probably not an accident.

  80. says

    Dalillama
    Absolutely!Especially with a crime like rape.
    There’s huge difference between risking 2 stolen cars if you release these 50 car thiefs now, because the 48 who will not steal another car deserve rehabilitation, and to risk 2 more rape victims
    But I have the nasty feeling that the car thiefs are in for longer…

  81. Nick Gotts says

    While away, Ma’Lik has reflected, learned, matured, and grown in many ways.

    Yes, when he rapes in future, he’ll make sure no-one’s videoing it.

    I haven’t said anything before on this thread, or on the “Corrective rape” one, because I haven’t felt I had anything useful to say, that many others haven’t said. But I can and will say “thank you” to those who’ve been in the forefront of commenting on both, and particularly in dealing with the various crass and offensive comments by people who no doubt consider themselves well-meaning.

  82. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @TheMM #55

    Just to explain my logic, if sociopathy is defined as a personality disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of disregard for or violation of the rights of others, then it would seem to me that these young men fit the bill, hence my use of the term. I certainly didn’t mean to suggest that they were in some way not human, or to imply that “real humans” wouldn’t do this. Sociopaths are human. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m sorry for othering them, but it wasn’t deliberate and I didn’t realise I was.

  83. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    Ugh, that reads like a not-pology. Sorry, it’s early here.

    I realise now that what I said brushed aside all of the privilege and poisonous cultural doctrines which resulted in their lack of regard for others, and I am sorry for ignoring those factors.

  84. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @LykeX

    “to have discussions about how you talk to your friends; how you record things on the social media so prevalent today; and how you conduct yourself when drinking is put upon you by your friends.”

    Jesus fucking Christ! Even the fucking judge is essentially telling them that the only thing they did wrong was to get caught! And as an added bonus, they’ve thrown in a little lead there for the rapists to pull the “But I was drunk!” excuse.

    I swear, this thread is going to give me a fucking aneurysm.

  85. Nathair says

    if sociopathy is defined as a personality disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of disregard for or violation of the rights of others, then it would seem to me that these young men fit the bill

    That is exactly what I meant by “we should not be casually throwing such armchair diagnoses around”. The disorders and conditions commonly called “Sociopathy” are not merely an umbrella for people who disregard or violate the rights of others, that’s just being an asshole. This behaviour, a clique of young men “on patrol” together targetting and engaging in prolonged abuse of a relatively isolated and helpless victim is not some sort of weird anomaly indicative of mental dysfunction, it is a characteristic human behaviour.

  86. bassmike says

    Even an simple admission of guilt or remorse would have been something – not much, but something. It’s disgusting.

  87. Pteryxx says

    Following up the news of Daisy’s suicide attempt. It’s bad.

    Thinkprogress: Cyberbullying drove the Maryville rape victim to attempt suicide this weekend

    But in an interview with the Daily Mail published on Monday, Melinda Coleman explained that it hasn’t been easy for Daisy after going public. “She had been pretty good, when we were doing interviews and she felt like people were supporting her, and honestly being in bigger cities where people were more open-minded it was helping her a lot,” Coleman said. “When we got back here where we had to be quiet, it became really, really hard.”

    According to her mother, Daisy briefly attended a party with friends on Friday night. When she returned home, she discovered she was being attacked on Facebook. Several high schoolers accused her of being a “hypocrite” and a “fake” for going to the party. Some told her she was a “slut and “wanted it.” That reportedly drove Daisy to attempt to overdose on pills on Sunday night. The teen is now in stable condition at a psychiatric hospital in Kansas City.

    Daisy’s mother quoted in the Daily Mail:

    ‘She has been through so much and she has done so little. All the other kids are out partying and doing all this stuff and she isn’t, she’s at home with me all the time. The second they see her at a party for five minutes drinking a Redbull it’s all over Facebook and they’re tearing her to smithereens…

    ‘They just won’t leave her alone, Literally, I have a large grocery bag full of the messages that I’ve printed off Facebook. Full of them. F*** you comments, get out of town, all of it.’

    But this time, the victimization got too much.

    She just wanted to be a high school teenager.

  88. Onamission5 says

    Goddammit, goddammit. Her harassment and abuse hits way, way too close to home.

    Daisy, I know. I know what you are going through and I am so, so sorry.

  89. says

    Giliell

    Absolutely!Especially with a crime like rape.
    There’s huge difference between risking 2 stolen cars if you release these 50 car thiefs now, because the 48 who will not steal another car deserve rehabilitation, and to risk 2 more rape victims
    But I have the nasty feeling that the car thiefs are in for longer…

    Meanwhile, dealing with car theft is dead easy: jobs programs/guaranteed minimum income solves those who steal ‘em to sell, and education and something worthwhile to do mostly deals with the joyriders. Getting rapists to stop requires basically rewriting/getting them to reqrite their entire worldview, while the worldview in question is being persistently reinforced by the surrounding culture. Hence things like the “Don’t be that guy campaign” and the constant suggestions around here that sex ed needs to include discussion of consent, healthy relationships, etc. which are needed to start shifting culture away from blatantly encouraging this shit.

    Further *safehugs*/ nonintrusive gestures of support for those triggered by the thread/topic.

  90. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    That’s just heart breaking. So on top of the life sentence that comes from being raped, you also get a side of continued abuse ad infinitum.

    While the convicted rapist gets a year of “rehab” and then is welcomed back into the fold.

  91. says

    Dalillama:

    Hence things like the “Don’t be that guy campaign” and the constant suggestions around here that sex ed needs to include discussion of consent, healthy relationships, etc. which are needed to start shifting culture away from blatantly encouraging this shit.

    Yes. The shift required is massive, however, it can be done if people become aware and stop enabling on all levels, even the unconscious one. It may seem to be too much for any one person to do, but all it really takes is to keep one thing in mind: people are not things. It’s not okay to treat another person as a thing, and in order to rape, that’s what you’re doing.

  92. says

    Giliell:

    And it goes right back to the billions spent on “abstinence only” programs instead on “safe consensual sex education”

    Yes. This idiotic insistence on keeping a religious-Victorian mindset and lifestyle is not only absurd, but untenable. In that scenario, the status quo of viewing women as things is not only considered proper, but celebrated. It needs to be fought, tooth and nail.