Do you know what I did this morning?
I spent an hour or so reading about the 1991 Mike Tyson rape case.
Why would some jackass waste a Saturday morning reading about a violently heinous crime almost 20 years old?
Because of Kobe Bryant and that starlet snow bunny in Colorado. Because of the two strippers and the Duke Lacrosse team. Because of Ben Roethlisberger and Andrea McNulty.
And because Tyson's volatile life was derailed by the conviction for his crime and subsequent prison sentence.
What if, as Alan Dershowitz later claimed, Iron Mike was innocent?
What if he went to prison for being a savage, unsympathetic character in a less sexually honest moment in history? One where nobody wanted to admit an 18-year-old girl might be sexually savvy, especially a good Christian one?
What if the trainwrecked boxer was simply guilty of the wrong reputation at the wrong time?
This is what it's come to for me and I wonder how long it takes, how many more of these wayward amorous encounters before the rest of the American public follows suit.
I like to be conservative when I'm discussing hot-button topics and rape certainly qualifies as that. In spades as it should.
I have two sisters so any disrespectful urges I may have had towards the fairer gender have been kicked and slapped out of me long ago. Furthermore, I've known several females who have been raped so I have no illusions about the violative act.
I'd break every bone in both hands against the face and skull of an admitted rapist, and I'd do it with a smile on my face, a song in my heart, and a skip in my step.
It's no trivial thing and it shouldn't be treated as such.
Additionally, there are no truly innocent parties here.
The defendants, particularly Bryant and Roethlisberger, deserve a healthy amount of criticism as well as blame for putting themselves in such a stupid and predictably vulnerable situation. There is no more quarter found in naivete or simply wanting to "have a good time."
Not in the sexually predatory world they inhabit.
If they could've sent a little blood to their brains instead of directing it farther south, we could be spared these nasty little episodes.
Even so, it is Kobe's 19-year-old chippie, the Durham dynamic duo, and Ms. McNulty who need to take the longest, hardest look in the mirror.
They seem to be using the severity and atrocity of sexual assault as leverage to extort money from deep and/or famous pockets.
Rape is one of those crimes that is so intimately disgusting and inhumanly unforgivable, the very accusation carries a somewhat sacred consequence—almost anyone who doubts the allegation risks the appearance of a malignant heart.
Nobody—NOBODY—would ever lie about being raped, so the mere suggestion of skepticism is dangerous.
And the law treats rape in similar fashion—all sorts of rules of evidence and procedure go flying out the window in deference to the possible malice.
Again, this is entirely appropriate.
Not only is the crime singularly evil, but it's extremely difficult to prove in the absence of physical injury. The prosecution and accuser should be afforded a good degree of latitude to explore the charge as well as a layman's presumption of honesty.
The reason these exist in the first place is because, at one point in our country's history, they didn't.
Until the latter part of the 20th Century and culminating with the inception of rape shield laws, the charge was basically unprovable in all but the most obvious cases. The unspoken belief that "she must have asked for it" had even crawled up the skirts of Justice.
Seriously, read some of the old cases. There is some scary and wholly abandoned precedent in them.
I highly doubt it, but it might still be a legal impossibility in some States for a husband to rape his betrothed. This because the crime's definition once included the qualifier "other than a man's wife."
Any effort—intentional or not—to devolve back into those troglodytic days should be denounced. Loudly.
Yet that's what these women are doing, maybe even have done as far as the layman's presumption of honesty is concerned.
That's not as hideous as the actual act, but it's getting close because it throws genuine transgressions into doubt. Sooner or later, a rightly traumatized victim will watch her attacker walk clean.
Shoot, it may have already happened or be happening right now.
Maybe Kobe really did force himself on that girl. Maybe Big Ben assaulted McNulty and the affidavit is another lie to bolster his defense. Maybe, maybe, maybe...
I have NO idea what really happened.
That's the point—rape cases are almost always about "he said, she said," reputation, and credibility. Heretofore, the gravity of the charge and the reverence given the victim tipped the scale for all accounts in the accuser's favor.
It made moral and legal sense.
There seemed to be negligible risk of throwing innocent men in jail because nobody believed an innocent man would be charged with such a terrible crime.
Slowly, with each false accusation, these women are adding weight to the other side.
And woe to us all once the delicate balance is lost.