Raped by the Law

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Your tax dollars at work—a judge in Philadelphia sent the word that crime, especially violent crime, against working girls is OK.

After a 20 year old prostitute and single mom met a man for sex at an agreed upon price; he was joined by three of his friends who proceeded to gang rape her, unprotected, at gunpoint. Thankfully, the fourth friend thought her tears might signal a tad bit of unwillingness and helped her escape. Imagine the bravery of that young girl filing charges. Too bad it was for nothing. According to Philly.com reporter Jill Porter, the judge “dropped all sex and assault charges. . .[and] instead held the defendant on the bizarre charge of armed robbery for—get this—”theft of services.”

At that point, I reread the introductory paragraphs sure to find what I’d glossed over before—the judge had to be a woman. One of the first things you learn in Law School Crim is how much you, as a prosecutor, don’t want women on your rape jury. “It could never happen to me, they seem to think: only stupid or immoral women get raped. Only those who asked for it, drinking, dressing slutty, sleeping around. Being all flirtatious and prettier than me.” There’s some deep, dark psychology there and this judge was filthy with it.

“Did she tell you she had another client before she went to report it?” Deni asked me yesterday when we met at a coffee shop. “I thought rape was a terrible trauma.”

A case like this, she said—to my astonishment—”minimizes true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped.”

Silly Pennsylvania legislature, defining “sex by force as rape.”

Porter goes on to note that, “The defendant was charged in an identical incident involving a 23-year-old woman four days later.” Refusing to let another victim face such robed contempt and stupidity, prosecutors refused to present the second case and Deni dismissed it for failure to prosecute, with Church Lady gusto, no doubt.

Since he’s only 19, and I watch Law and Order SVU, I’m betting that Judge Deni will be seeing lots more of this defendant as his rage against women escalates.

Must be read to be believed.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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