June 18, 2011

Did Levi Johnston rape Bristol Palin?

The NY Post reports:
Bristol Palin was so drunk on wine coolers the night she first slept with boyfriend Levi Johnston that she couldn’t recall losing her virginity at the tender age of 15 — and he was nowhere to be found the hazy morning after to refresh her memory.

"Levi wasn’t even there to help me process — or even confirm my greatly feared suspicions," she writes in a new revenge tome disguised as a memoir. "Instead of waking up in his arms, I awakened in a cold tent alone."
I'm reading that as an accusation of rape. She was too drunk to consent or perhaps even passed out?

(The age of consent in Alaska, by the way, is 16, but I am not referring simply to statutory rape.)

73 comments:

The Crack Emcee said...

"Did Levi Johnston rape Bristol Palin?"

Just looking at your quote, it doesn't sound like it to me - it sounds like she made a mistake - and, if that's when she got pregnant, a mistake she'll have to live with for the rest of her life.

How old was Levi at the time?

rhhardin said...

It's Kleist's Marquis of O, except with a ne'er-do-well.

The Crack Emcee said...

rhhardin,

It's Kleist's Marquis of O, except with a ne'er-do-well.

Does the O stand for optimistic orations of Oprah or Obama - and which one was the ne'er-do-well?

Curious George said...

the C-E: "Just looking at your quote, it doesn't sound like it to me - it sounds like she made a mistake - and, if that's when she got pregnant, a mistake she'll have to live with for the rest of her life."

It wasn't.

Don said...

How drunk was Levi at the time?

Erik said...

It doesn't sound like a rape allegation to me, either, just two teenagers who screwed up. Bristol seems to have taken responsibility for it. Levi, not so much. In other words, it's a fairly standard example of how this sort of thing goes.

Fred4Pres said...

Levi is a pig for a number of reasons, but I am pretty sure the sex was consensual.

Not well thought out, but consensual.

sean said...

Being so drunk that you don't remember what you did (i.e., a "blackout") is not at all the same thing as being unconscious.

Erik said...

Also, I'm a big guy (just over 6'3"), but how the hell do you get blind drunk on wine coolers?

Fred4Pres said...

Erik--I am guessing the girls were drinking coolers and the guys were drinking beer. But those coolers are around 5 to 6% alcohol.

A young girl who does not drink a lot could get pretty drunk on about six I would guess.

Geoff Matthews said...

And she was punished with a baby.

(sorry, just had to throw it out there)

Christy said...

We sometimes insist upon doing incredibly stupid things when drunk. I don't know about you, but regrettably I remember them the next morning. So I agree it sounds consensual. The bad act was getting a 15 year old drunk. Who bought the wine coolers?

Marshal said...

Erik said...
Also, I'm a big guy (just over 6'3"), but how the hell do you get blind drunk on wine coolers?

6/18/11 9:33 AM


First, she was 15. It's unlikely she has decades of tolerance built up.

Second, it's actually quite easy. They have more alcohol than mass market beer. And the fruity taste covers the alcohol flavor allowing faster consumption.

EDH said...

Even coming home with hickeys on his neck from drunken, late-night encounters, she writes.

Oh, I hate that, don't you?

That's why I'm get full neck tattoos... to protect my modesty.

Geoff Matthews said...

As far as rape allegation, its a legal non-starter. If the statute of limitations hasn't passed, the fact that they were engaged would make any prosecution look ridiculous (not to mention people claiming that Sarah was using her influence to strike out at Levi).
I wonder how many girls out there will see a similar experience with Bristol and have similar regret.

The Drill SGT said...

I'd say that Bristol's contemporanous story to her mother didn't go that way, else I'd suspect that Todd would not have left the kid alive :)

Bender said...

Anyone who has ever tried cases in juvenile court would agree that there is plenty here to convict Johnston of rape, both nonconsensual and statutory.

People have been put on sex offender registries for less.

Fred4Pres said...

Talking about getting drunk on beer...

edutcher said...

I love the line, "she writes in a new revenge tome disguised as a memoir".

Johnston has done everything he could to come off looking like the worst kind of cad, so the idea the Post would describe a book about what happened that way is a little surprising.

Psota said...

Don't want to sound like a jerk, but...it's hard to imaging Bush or Nixon's daughters discussing the loss of their virginity.

Methadras said...

No it wasn't rape, it was what typically happens when the guy you are going after is an asshole and that's how assholes get women, fuck them, and then leave them only to have you come back for more. Asshole always win.

Trooper York said...

Psota said...
Don't want to sound like a jerk, but...it's hard to imaging Bush or Nixon's daughters discussing the loss of their virginity.

Oooohhhhhhhh!!!!1

That might call for an installment of Laura Bush's diary.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Trooper York said...

We could have Laura and Barbara and Jenna and Granny Barb all still around talking about their first time.

twirlinggirl said...

Um, that sure sounds like rape to me. The whole idea of "if the girl is drunk then she was just stupid" is a terrible excuse. If someone is too drunk to consent (and it sure sounds like Bristol Palin was), then it is rape if someone has sex with her. Whatever you feel about these incredibly stupid teenagers, that particular situation sounds like rape to me.

William said...

I'm with Psota. He's the father of their child. She should keep all her second thoughts and regrets to herself--as should he. Still, people like to put out their side of the story and especially when, by so doing, they can pick up a few bucks.....The story is unedifying and except for Palin lovers and haters (90% of humanity apparently) essentially banal. I wait expectantly for Huma's memoirs. Now, there's a story you don't hear every day.

madAsHell said...

I never read columns that start with a headline as a question. It's grade school gossip at best.

Anga2010 said...

Well, that's not "rape rape" rape.

Fred4Pres said...

Trooper York said...
We could have Laura and Barbara and Jenna and Granny Barb all still around talking about their first time.


I thought you did that already. Do you have the link?

We could have Meghan McCain talk, but that would be too anoying. My guess her first time (and her myriad of times since then) involved a combination of wine coolers and a few "sex on the beaches."

Titus said...

I wouldn't mind being raped by Levi.

Mickey said...

Here's one for you, Ann. Suicide is self-murder, what about self-rape? Self-molestation?

clint said...

twirlinggirl-

If Levi was also so drunk he can't remember that night...

... did Bristol also rape Levi?

Can they both be guilty of rape? Or is there something about Bristol that makes her less capable of moral agency than Levi?

Shouting Thomas said...

God help us, Althouse, can we stay away from the loony Susan Brownmiller rape fanaticism?

Fred4Pres said...

Titus, you don't drink wine coolers do you? Because that is just wrong.

Cedarford said...

The Drill SGT said...
I'd say that Bristol's contemporanous story to her mother didn't go that way, else I'd suspect that Todd would not have left the kid alive :)

========================
Or, he and Goddess Palin could have concluded Bristol just acted like just one more drunk little slut. Told her to lay off the sauce and find someone better to fuck.

Clearly, in the aftermath - "what happened!" - apparantly had no effect on Bristol Palin's teen libido for Dear Levi.

Will we be likely to read similar confessionals of a trashy kind from the Nixon, Bush, Ford, Clinton, and err...Obama children? Highly unlikely as they all appear to be non-trashy sorts.
The Reagan kids did - but along the lines of "while Reagan was a warm public persona, he was a cold and aloof Dad, and I rebelled and had to go into therapy. (Only his daughter Maureen seemed well-adjusted and she died early).

Progressively Defensive said...

I'm first to defend a lady.

But you go camping overnight drinking wine coolers with your romantic partner and I don't think you get to claim "too drunk to consent" even if it is so. There are too many women lying these days and that is as much a fact as the frequency of date rape. A woman scorned (a man, too) is capable of anything as I've lived long enough to witness over and over. Women do lie about being raped.

Progressively Defensive said...

Maybe she raped him.

I want to clarify; if she was raped, then she was and it is a heinous crime. I just think we had a time there that may be on-going where a woman had some kind of presumption of veracity in criminal cases where they accused a man of rape. Look at the Duke lacrosse case for example. And it seems the slew of wrongly convicted men in jail getting released are based on DNA evidence proving they did not rape their accuser.

windbag said...

She didn't accuse him of rape, but of being a cad.

Darleen said...

@Cedar

What's with the "drunken slut" and "trash" stuff?

Bristol was a 15 y/o girl in love with her first boyfriend who she believed she would marry and spend the rest of her life with ... Naive, yes, but she was - say it with me - fifteen years old.

And yes, what Levi did could easily fall under "rape" statutes in many places. She doesn't accuse him of that - just being a thoughtless loser.

Darleen said...

BTW just where was all the wall-to-wall slams of Chelsea as "drunken slut" when this happened?

http://www.zpub.com/un/Chelsea.html

John said...

"What's with the "drunken slut" and "trash" stuff?"

Haven't you noticed? Cederford is an anti-Semitic loon. Anyone who thinks the Jooos run the world can't be trusted to understand much about human nature. To someone like Cederford you are either a human being or part of "the other". And the other are decidedly something less than human.

Firehand said...

I've seen a couple of adult females flat wasted on nothing but wine coolers; so a 15yoa girl? Oh yeah, those would do it.

As to whether she SHOULD have written about it, argue that out. But it doesn't sound like a rape accusation, sounds like regret and upset to me.

Revenant said...

I don't buy the "if she was drunk it is rape" thing. Especially if the guy was drunk too.

Bender said...

Alaska Statutes:

§ 11.41.420(a)(3) Sexual Assault -- Second Degree -- Victim Mentally Incapable, Incapacitated, or Unaware

(a) An offender commits the crime of sexual assault in the second degree if
(3) the offender engages in sexual penetration with a person who the offender knows is
(A) mentally incapable;
(B) incapacitated; or
(C) unaware that a sexual act is being committed
(b) Sexual assault in the second degree is a class B felony
______________________

Sofa King said...

Um, that sure sounds like rape to me. The whole idea of "if the girl is drunk then she was just stupid" is a terrible excuse. If someone is too drunk to consent (and it sure sounds like Bristol Palin was), then it is rape if someone has sex with her.

We don't know if she was too drunk to consent, or just too drunk to remember.

Oligonicella said...

"I'm reading that as an accusation of rape."

Me too, they were both drunk and she took advantage of him. Oh, you meant the male, of course.

Cedarford said...

@Cedar

What's with the "drunken slut" and "trash" stuff?

Bristol was a 15 y/o girl in love with her first boyfriend who she believed she would marry and spend the rest of her life with ... Naive, yes, but she was - say it with me - fifteen years old.
====================
There is a difference between acting like another drunk slut and being a bona fide no doubt as agreed to by 100% of your peers - "career drunk slut". Didn't say Bristol was a drubk slut, just one incident where it could be construed she was a slutty little drunk gal in...
I said she could have been considered by her parents acting drunk and slutty and they might not have blamed Levi for it, had they known. And both Palin parents were fully aware that Bristol was very sexually active as a 16, then 17 year old.

Are you saying there is no such thing as a 15 year old female capable of acting slutty? Or getting drunk? Just young females FORCED to drink, FORCED into sex, sometimes 3 times a day (from her trashy BF Levi's kiss and tell)???

As for "trashy" labelling - well, who honestly doubts that Levi fellow was lowbrow and trashy?? Is there a person anywhere following the Palin saga that doubts what sort of guy Levi is?
Then why the rage when the possiblity that his willing teen contemporary partner "might" have been a little lowbrow and trashy herself?
Because it somehow reflects on Saran Palin?
What if the mom had a last name "Kardashian?"

(For the record, I don't think of Bristol, Paris, Bittney, any Kardashian as a trashy slut or noble daughter filled with goodness. They are just reality show celebrities that cross my radar screen with no real import to me and my own, either way.)

Synova said...

"People have been put on sex offender registries for less."

Which says something important about what counts as "sex offender" and our society's outrageous reaction to youthful indiscretion.

It doesn't sound like rape to me, (the statutory element aside,) it sounds like getting drunk and doing what you wouldn't do sober. As a couple of people said... maybe she raped him, he was drunk, too. If she doesn't remember what happened we can't know if she was mumbling "No, I don't want to, Levi," or if she was mumbling, "Yes, yes, take me."

Statutory rape is based on an inability to consent because of age. Being drunk may make you unable to consent as well, but you do consent to drink and thus consent to what you have done while drunk (such as kill someone with your car.) If it's rape, it's that she wasn't old enough to consent to drink, (assuming that she wasn't unconscious, didn't say "no", and wasn't forced.)

kcom said...

Well, that's not "rape rape" rape.

I love it.

Hagar said...

I think Bristol Palin has had a srong demonstration of the truth in the old saws : "Mom knows best" and "All is not gold that glitters."

Clark said...

Not too drunk to consent. Too drunk to remember consenting.

Trooper York said...

Well Doro Bush was the first one to to talk about her first time.

And it was multicultural at that!

Rockport Conservative said...

In the excerpt I read she does not accuse him of rape, just puts those facts out there. But she does go on to say that even thosugh they talked and said it would be the one and only time before marriage the sexual part of the relationship continued and even though she was on birth control pills for cramps (oh, yeah)she became pregnant.

Ann Althouse said...

I didn't say she accused him of rape. I'm saying she is giving a version of the facts that, if true, amount to rape. It doesn't matter whether she knows the definition of rape and how she applies the facts to the law. Taking her as the source of the facts, we can do the application of law to the facts ourselves. Now, there's still a question of credibility as we decide whether to accept her version of the facts.

Roy Lofquist said...

Look, the filthy son of a bitch lied on national media about the Palin family.

She shouldn't take a shot at him? Have you people no shame?

Ralph L said...

I don't know about Alaska (I'll aska), but in some states, statuatory rape only applies if the alleged rapist is more than a couple years older, depending on the age of the minor.

Bristol's biggest mistake was going back for more. Perhaps she wanted to find out what she'd missed.

Synova said...

"Look, the filthy son of a bitch lied on national media about the Palin family.

She shouldn't take a shot at him? Have you people no shame?
"

Excuse me?

It's true enough that I have a measure of sympathy for Levi that extends just about far enough to think that if the media and Palin haters hadn't acted the way they did including making a national issue of his family and dragging his mother's reputation through the mud, that maybe he'd have been okay and gotten through the adjustments between high school and adult responsibility... or not. But few adults could have brushed off what was thrown at him.

But he did what he did. I'm not making an excuse, only naming others who are complicit.

But none of that, none at all, justifies "taking a shot at him" just because emotions are high. There is disagreement about the appropriateness of saying rude things about your baby's daddy, and people can disagree on that. But piling on for the sake of piling on and who cares about the truth?

I have more self respect, and I imagine others do too.

Synova said...

I'm not saying that Bristol Palin wasn't telling the truth. We were discussing if what she said was an accusation of rape or if she thought of it that way.

The "shame" would be on anyone who decided to call it what they knew it was not in order to hurt someone back. As if all is excused for a good cause.

Fen said...

Um, that sure sounds like rape to me. The whole idea of "if the girl is drunk then she was just stupid" is a terrible excuse. If someone is too drunk to consent (and it sure sounds like Bristol Palin was), then it is rape if someone has sex with her.

I'm so sick of this line of thought. When are women going to be accountable for their own actions? Two people, one too drunk to consent, the other too drunk to ask for consent. And you make the man the villian.

Fen said...

I didn't say she accused him of rape. I'm saying she is giving a version of the facts that, if true, amount to rape.

Who was raped? Levi or Bristol?

You.... a feminist. ;)

Carol_Herman said...

Don't drink the Kool Aid. Bristol isn't the only 15 year old who got an early start. So did Monica Lewinsky.

Bristol just landed better, on her feet.

Levi Johnson is what is called (in high school terminology), a hunk.

She's got a gorgeous kid out of the deal. And, enough experience to know she didn't need a shotgun wedding.

Levi tries to make bucks off of knowing Bristol's mom.

And, all of this reminds me of a Belle Barth joke.

Do you know what's the hardest thing for a woman to do? To cry on the wedding night of her second marriage "it hurts! It hurts!" While her groom has to tie his ankles to the bedpost, so that he doesn't fall in.

True then. Still true.

Didn't know there were cows like that in Alaska that you can just keep on milking.

Carol_Herman said...

Nixon had two daughters. Trish was known as an easy lay ... back before her marriage. When she hung out in the Hampton's. None too bright, either.

This is not a contest between the daughters of republicans and the daughters of democraps. Sorry.

While Meghan McCain is a perfect stand in for stupid blonde jokes.

Synova said...

When I worked as an RA at a private high school dormitory one of the girls who was there for her senior year had passed out (she claimed it was passed out) and several guys from her old high school had sex with her. I'd say, yes, pretty clearly raped her. I don't know that it was ever treated that way. She didn't know who, even, which may have been the problem. She went to boarding school rather than have to face people she knew.

About the same time I worked at the high school I went to a party back in my home town and the next day a high school girl who was there showed up at my friend's house and asked her if she'd seen who she was with, because now she had a necklace she didn't remember getting and she'd had sex.

These two things are different to me. Statutory rape, in both cases. That's a given. But if we're not counting statutory... Firstly, the first girl would not have consented even while drunk to having sex with multiple guys. Maybe some girls would, but that wasn't her.

The second girl would have consented to sex, assumed that she *had* consented to sex, and simply wanted to know who it had been, because people like to know those things. I might think it was all rather sad and she was messed up, but I wouldn't call that rape.

Maybe Bristol would have said no while sober, but there isn't any real reason to think that she wouldn't have said yes while drunk, she doesn't seem to be claiming she wouldn't have said yes while drunk, and she knew who she was with.

Laura said...

So the fine line between a "revenge tome" and a "tell all" is?

wv: scerrus

Don't tell. The truth is likely to scerrus.

Dead Dog Bounce said...

I didn't say she accused him of rape. I'm saying she is giving a version of the facts that, if true, amount to rape. It doesn't matter whether she knows the definition of rape and how she applies the facts to the law. Taking her as the source of the facts, we can do the application of law to the facts ourselves. Now, there's still a question of credibility as we decide whether to accept her version of the facts.

On the facts presented, there is certainly a suspicion of rape, but surely it's possible that she was compos mentis to consent prior to the act, but had forgotten in the morning?

He's obviously guilty as charged on a statutory rape charge.

Shanna said...

We don't know if she was too drunk to consent, or just too drunk to remember.
Exactly. She doesn’t remember if she consented or not, so absent any evidence otherwise I would say she did.

Passed out is different from a blackout. I would say sex with someone who is passed out is definately rape because there is no choice of consent.

Class factotum said...

I am assuming that Sarah and Todd did not know that Levi was going to be on this camping trip. I don't have any kids, but I would hope that most parents would not let their teenage daughter go camping with her boyfriend.

caradoc said...

"OpenID twirlinggirl said...

Um, that sure sounds like rape to me. The whole idea of "if the girl is drunk then she was just stupid" is a terrible excuse. If someone is too drunk to consent (and it sure sounds like Bristol Palin was), then it is rape if someone has sex with her. Whatever you feel about these incredibly stupid teenagers, that particular situation sounds like rape to me.


So if someone gets drunk and then drives they're considered to be fully responsible, but if they get drunk and have sex then you feel they have no responsibility at all for their actions?

When did teenage boys become experts in degrees of incapacition and decision-making? And why would a boy think that a girl saying "yes" is the result of intoxication when "no" is arguably the more unusual and questionable response these days?

Why is it always the girl that was "taken advantage of"? I suppose girls never hit on a drunk guy they had their eye on?

And I guess no girls ever use getting drunk as an excuse to do things they want to do but would be too afraid to do sober?

achmafooma said...

Not remembering that you said 'yes' IS NOT THE SAME as saying 'no.'

I am very tired of society saying that alcohol reduces responsibility. What you do when you got drunk is still YOUR choice; and it was YOUR decision to ingest a drug that reduces your ability to make good choices.

Of course I'm not talking about real date rape (drugging somebody without their consent), but seriously...if you get drunk and drive, you're responsible for it. If you get drunk and have sex, you're responsible for it.

I would think that using the word 'rape' to describe drunken consensual sex should be terribly insulting and offensive to people who have ACTUALLY been raped.

And, sorry folks, but 15-year-olds aren't children who just do what they're told. They're old enough to take responsibility for their actions (whether they WANT to is a different matter).

Bristol and Levi both made their decisions, and have to live with the consequences. Yeah, sure, Levi is scummy (and maybe took unfair advantage of the situation), but unless he force-fed her alcohol or drugs against her will, or forced himself on her when she said 'no,' there was no rape here.

Tony said...

She learned from her mother. Nothing is her fault, it's always someone else's fault. Sorry, Bristol. You BOTH made a bad choice. It's far too late to write your history now.

Archivist said...

Sigh. I quote a wise woman:

"Over the years, college women have learned to call it rape, but why haven't they learned to report it, if it is rape or some other crime? You can chose to think of something bad that happened as a crime but are you willing to hold your opinion up to the judgment of officials who have the obligation to treat the accused man fairly? Almost all of those incidents go unreported. Exactly why?"

And I wonder, why would you attach the "rape" label here?

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Adele said...

These replies make me sick. I'm a sexual addault advocate. If she was drunk, SHE CANNOT LEGALLY CONSENT.

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