May 14th, 2004


In local sexual abuse news:

From a purely Machiavellain standpoint, it is dumb to photograph or videotape yourself during the commission of a crime, no matter what your moral feelings are about the rectitude of said crime. Someone else videotapes a crime (Zapruder's JFK asassination film, Rodney King beating video); that's a freak accident of chance and a tough break; tape yourself willingly, well, that's just dumb.

I'm not talking about the Iraqi prison thing, though it certainly applies. I'm talking about being 17 years old, gang raping a drugged/unconscious girl with two of your buddies, then assaulting her with a pool cue and a snapple bottle and then trying the 'she was askin' for it' defense. Now, there are probably parts of the country where the "she was askin' for it" defense might fly if the 16 year old victim "bragged about liking group sex and once drank a beer in a car", as well as liking drugs and commiting the mortal sin of being a teenager with a "completely shaved" vagina and anus, but even in those parts of the county, it's a risky defense if you make a 21 MINUTE VIDEO OF THE ASSAULT, COMPLETE WITH AUDIO.

After Rob Lowe, Chuck Berry, Jayne Kennedy, Pamela and Tommy Lee, and Paris Hilton, you'd think people would learn that videotapes have a way of escaping your private screening rooms and would stop videotaping anything compromising (if you're a celebrity) or illegal (for the rest of us). These asshats should serve an additional year under a karmic but uncodified "failed to learn history, doomed to repeat it" clause.

Aside: If you are reading this and happen to live in Orange County and ever have an opportunity to vote for or against Deputy District Attorney Dan Hess or Superior Court Judge Francisco Briseno, please renew their terms of office. The defense apparently offered guilty pleas in exchange for maximum nine-month sentences, and the Judge refused to entertain such a low-ball offer, or make a counteroffer. DDA Hess suggested 27-year sentences, which the defense didn't go for, electing instead to go to trial with the "she wanted to be a porn star and was askin' for it" defense. So kudos to these guys for not knuckling under, even though one of the defendants is the son of a local Sherriff.

While the crime itself is pretty awful, the defense team's "she wanted them to do those things to her" tactic is so vile I don't know where to begin. I can't help but think a "my client is young, stupid and sorry for all this" plea would work better on the jury than this one, which, if, I was on the jury, would make me want to assign the maximum punishment, first for the crime itself, and then an extra 5 years for attempting a "blame the victim" defense. In my mind, the best scenario is that before being remanded to 10+ years in jail, the defendants slip their attorney some GHB and assault him with a pool cue because he's a tease and a slut, and through their courtroom defense experience, he's taught them that its justifiable to assault slutty teases.

Alternately, perhaps those about to be court-martialled in the Iraq scandal can try this defense. Those slutty Iraqis with their provocative hoods and unelectrified genitals were Askin' For It! If they didn't wanna be sexually humilated, what the hell were they doing hanging around a military prison?

thanks to herbaliser for the heads up.

special indignant bonus link from lemur68 : Pundit blames abuses at Abu Ghraib on America's love of Farrelly Brothers.