The NY Times features a long and horrific story on a gang rape at a college campus. Hang on, I shouldn’t call it a gang rape: a campus committee acquitted the football players who participated, despite all the evidence of what had been going on. Remember, there is no such thing as rape culture.
This is a terrible story — details below the fold, and you might not want to click on the link if it’s too raw for you.
In the early-morning hours on the campus of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in central New York, the friend said, he found her — bent over a pool table as a football player appeared to be sexually assaulting her from behind in a darkened dance hall with six or seven people watching and laughing. Some had their cellphones out, apparently taking pictures, he said.
Later, records show, a sexual-assault nurse offered this preliminary assessment: blunt force trauma within the last 24 hours indicating “intercourse with either multiple partners, multiple times or that the intercourse was very forceful.” The student said she could not recall the pool table encounter, but did remember being raped earlier in a fraternity-house bedroom.
The football player at the pool table had also been at the fraternity house — in both places with his pants down — but denied raping her, saying he was too tired after a football game to get an erection. Two other players, also accused of sexually assaulting the woman, denied the charge as well. Even so, tests later found sperm or semen in her vagina, in her rectum and on her underwear.
It took the college just 12 days to investigate the rape report, hold a hearing and clear the football players. The football team went on to finish undefeated in its conference, while the woman was left, she said, to face the consequences — threats and harassment for accusing members of the most popular sports team on campus.
Shockingly, the school’s response to this crime was to keep it entirely in-house — this was a matter that should have been handed off to the police, but instead the campus safety office passed it on to an internal committee of faculty and staff, who had no training or experience in these matters, which then interviewed the participants — the victim was not given a legal advocate — and passed judgment, completely clearing the football players.
At least the football team had an undefeated record. The message is clear: Hobart and William Smith Colleges need to recruit more rapists for the football team. Winning ball games is what college is all about, you know.
I’ve got to admit, though, I’m wondering why any decent human being would want to attend Hobart and William Smith Colleges.