A 16-year-old boy has openly bragged about committing rape and yet has walked away free because of his “good family and good grades.”
The New York Times broke the infuriating story on Tuesday. According to documents obtained by The Times, the teenage boy filmed himself raping a highly intoxicated young girl (named ‘Mary’ for her protection) and then proceeded to send around the video to his friends with a text that said, “When your first time having sex was rape.”
The prosecutor described the incident and wrote,
“At the time he led ‘Mary’ into the basement gym, she was visibly intoxicated and unable to walk without stumbling. For the duration of the assault, the lights in the gym remained off and the door was barred by a foosball table. Filming a cellphone video while committing the assault was a deliberate act of debasement. This was neither a childish misinterpretation of the situation, nor was it a misunderstanding. [His] behavior was calculated and cruel.”
Judge James Troiano decided, however, that none of this added up to rape. He said that the text message sent by the rapist was “just a 16-year-old kid saying stupid crap to his friends.”
He then proceeded to say that the rapist did not deserve to be punished because:
“This young man comes from a good family who put him into an excellent school where he was doing extremely well. His scores for college entry were very high.”
He also said that he only considered rape to be between strangers at gunpoint.
In a society that supposedly values “proof” in a rape case, this should have been a no-brainer. The teenager admitted to the rape freely and willingly without coercion and video footage of the incident was readily available.
But once again, women have been told that they don’t matter. That our bodies don’t matter. That our lives don’t matter. At least, not as much as a man’s.
It doesn’t matter how “clear-cut” a rape case may seem. Judges always seem to find an excuse to let men walk. Whether it’s because she was “too intoxicated,” or she was wearing “slutty underwear,” or even that his life doesn’t deserve “to be ruined.”
The justice system acts like a woman coming forward is what ruins his life, not his decision to commit the rape in the first place.
If a man openly admitted to murder, would a judge let him walk because of good grades? Obviously not.
Rape is not a sex crime, but rather an act of violence. And yes, I just compared rape to murder because it is a serious crime and it needs to be taken seriously.
But no matter what we do, society will never agree to value a woman as much as they do a man. Even The New York Times‘ headline proved that. They titled their article, “Teenager Accused of Rape Deserves Leniency Because He’s From a ‘Good Family,’ Judge Says.”
No, the teenager was not “accused” of rape. He admitted to it. He bragged about it. There is no “allegedly” here.
There is little more I can say that you don’t already know. You know that this case is not an exception to the rule, but rather the norm. You know that privilege will always win the day, no matter the circumstances. You know that this certainly isn’t the first time a teenager has walked away from rape without consequence, and you damn well know for sure it won’t be the last.
Editor’s Note: The judge has since been rebuked by the appellate court and the case can now be retried.
Photo by Lum3n.com
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel and when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her obsessing over her tuxedo cat Tom or hoarding drugstore lipsticks.