Mark Judge exposed the University of Virginia rape fraud days before anyone else but found himself dealing with timid editors at top flight publications.
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— Mark Judge (@markgjudge) December 5, 2014
By Mark Judge
Rolling Stone has just published an explosive story about an alleged rape that occurred at the University of Virginia. It is a heartbreaking and horrifying story. It also represents what has become evident in recent years: there is a serious problem with sexual assault on America’s college campuses.
However, in dealing with the issue it’s important to get the facts right. This is crucial to protect the rights of everyone involved in such cases, but especially for the victim, who should be able to make the strongest case possible. It’s awful to witness someone who was traumatized not be able to get justice because of technicalities.
There is a key part of the Rolling Stone piece that I have questions about. The story recounts the rape of Jackie, a freshman at the University of Virginia. Jackie was a new student when she went to a fraternity party at Phi Kappa Psi. Her date, Drew, gave her spiked punch to drink and then brought he upstairs. He led her into a darkened room. Jackie “began to scream,” but it was too late. A violent assault took place:
“Shut up,” she heard a man’s voice say as a body barreled into her, tripping her backward and sending them both crashing through a low glass table. There was a heavy person on top of her, spreading open her thighs, and another person kneeling on her hair, hands pinning down her arms, sharp shards digging into her back, and excited male voices rising all around her. When yet another hand clamped over her mouth, Jackie bit it, and the hand became a fist that punched her in the face. The men surrounding her began to laugh. For a hopeful moment Jackie wondered if this wasn’t some collegiate prank. Perhaps at any second someone would flick on the lights and they’d return to the party.
“Grab its [expletive] leg,” she heard a voice say. And that’s when Jackie knew she was going to be raped.Jackie says she was raped for three hours by seven men. When she finally escaped at 3 a.m., she emerged from the Phi Psi house beaten and bloody. She called three friends, who picked her up but discouraged her from going to the police.
There is a scene that sometimes occurs in law-themed movies and TV shows. A crime has allegedly occurred, usually a sex-related crime that elicits a lot of strong feelings. A lawyer who sympathizes with the victim nonetheless begins to ask her (or him) a series of tough, seemingly heartless questions about her story. Everyone freaks out, until the lawyer explains that he’s doing her a favor – the story, he explains, has to be absolutely airtight. There can be no reasonable doubt. Because the last thing the lawyer wants is for the victim to be humiliated on the witness stand.
As I said, I believe that there is a problem of rape occurring on college campuses. Furthermore, I have never liked fraternities, which to me are not much more than ape houses. But to shut these places down and transform the culture of rape, we have to be sure that the victims’ accounts make total sense.
According to Jackie’s story in Rolling Stone, she was led into a dark room, screamed, was tackled by man who sent them both crashing through a glass table, and was sexually assaulted by seven men for three hours while the glass cut into her back – all while a party was going on downstairs. At the end of the ordeal, bloody and traumatized, she called for help, only to be convinced by three friends not to go to the hospital.
Like the sympathetic attorney in the movie, we can feel for Jackie and try and help her, but to do so requires a careful examination of her story. Because a good lawyer would have several serious doubts about what she describes.
When Jackie was led into the room, she screamed and no one heard her. At frat parties the music is loud, that’s plausible. She was then tackled though a glass table. Again, no one in the house heard this. Her rapists did not remove the glass from the floor. What kind of table was it? What did it look like? Does she have scars in her back?
Jackie was then raped for three hours. Three. In the dark.
Three hours is a very, very long time to be assaulted. In fact it constitutes torture more than assault. To believe this, you have to imagine a scene. A party is going on at Phi Kappa Psi. At such parties there is usually a lot of fluid movement, people dancing, going from room to room, etc. This isn’t the case at the party Jackie attended. Or it is, and the men who raped her had that part of the house blocked off. Or they had someone guarding the door. How did they prevent Jackie from screaming for three hours? Rolling Stone describes Jackie as sipping spiked punch – but not drugged. Did she attempt to scream?
Again, I come back to the three hours – which, I reiterate, constitutes torture and not just assault. Conduct an experiment: sit still for five straight minutes. It’s longer than you think. Now add darkness, and six other people, and you’re all violently attacking a woman. No one is allowed to leave, no one comes in, screams can’t be heard, and the victim is cutting up her back on the remains of a glass table that smashed to the ground when she was tackled. At the end of this nightmare the victim staggers out into the street. This even as the party inside is still going on – a party where there are no witnesses that saw Jackie leave, no one in the party that Jackie sought out for help. Outside Jackie is then convinced by three friends not to go to the hospital. The police are not called.
To this day, all of the seven rapists have remained quiet. Not a single one has had an attack of conscience.
Like everyone else, I want to stop the culture of rape on college campuses. That’s why it pains me to say that Jackie’s story is not entirely believable.