The New York Times and NPR have a story about an 18-year-old girl who took nude pictures of her 17-year-old friend, then met some guy at a mall, who happened to be 29, and decided to get together with him. The man allegedly plied the girls with a bottle of vodka, getting them drunk, then took them to a house and raped the 17-year-old.
A few minutes into the rape, the 18-year-old started live recording on Periscope. A friend saw the live feed and called the police. Now, the man and the older girl are facing a multitude of charges.
But this story smells like rape apology. While there is plenty from the grand jury indictment to show that bad decisions were made, the language from the prosecutor feels very much like the classic mantra, “Why didn’t she scream?”
The problem is, a rapist can be both dangerous and unpredictable. The 18-year-old claimed she began to tape the encounter on Periscope, hoping someone would contact authorities and make it stop, as well as to collect evidence. Both of these came true. This is a silver lining in an otherwise horrible story.
But the prosecutor wasn’t having it.
“[The 18-year-old] did not call 911”.
Regardless of all the other evidence that the prosecutor says points to the older friend consenting to the rape of her younger friend, that sentence right there is enormous in its gravity. Here is a man, 12 years older than the girl he is raping, having overpowered her while she was drunk, 11 years older than the girl doing the recording – and the prosecutor is questioning why nobody called the police?
The girls are still physically alive today, potentially because they precisely did not call the police. Nobody knows, really, what would have happened if the 18-year-old had decided to call the authorities. Death, maybe? As sick as it sounds, playing along with a rapist and working the system to smartly broadcast an S.O.S call, was arguably a very good move on the older girl’s part.
Again, I don’t know. Apparently the prosecutor seems to think the video shows that the older girl was very much into the experience. But the way he nonchalantly suggests she should have called 911 is hogwash.
But that isn’t the worst part.
[T]he prosecutor, said [the older girl] had apparently hoped that live-streaming the attack would help to stop it, but that she became enthralled by positive feedback online.
“She got caught up in the likes,” he said.
And that should make you sick. There were actual humans, ‘liking’ the live rape.