Now, the charges are all being dropped, WaPo reports:
The woman and her father had provided inconsistent and unreliable stories, said Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson. Snippets of cellphone videos suggested the sex was consensual, prosecutors said. Worst of all, the father himself had been “engaging in sexual conduct” with his own daughter when the incident began, Thompson said....In the comments to the January 11th blog post, MisterBuddwing had said:
To some critics, the bizarre, lurid case and rush to judgment recalled in some respects another controversial New York City rape case. In 1989, a woman was brutally raped while jogging through Central Park.... The five teens were convicted of a slew of charges [and later] exonerated....
I wouldn't be the least surprised if things happened exactly the way the police said they did. In which case, let the perps rot. But perhaps we should remember the case of the Central Park jogger. Five youths - four black, one Hispanic - were arrested in that rape-assault, and leading the charge, screaming for their blood, was a real estate mogul named Donald Trump. Years later, their convictions were vacated...Oh! Donald Trump! Fancy meeting him here. The Washington Post drags him into this too:
Donald Trump took out a full-page ad in four New York newspapers with the title: “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE!”There's an image of the ad, but it's not enlargeable, so I can't read past the quoted headline. Here's an image big enough to read the text. Let's be clear: Somebody attacked the Central Park jogger. People were terrorized by violence in the city back then and could not walk in Central Park after dark. Women in particular were limited in our movement through the city. Trump wrote: "How can our great society tolerate the continued brutalization of its citizens by crazed misfits? Criminals must be told that their CIVIL LIBERTIES END WHEN AN ATTACK ON OUR SAFETY BEGINS... Let our politicians give back our police department's power to keep us safe. Unshackle them from the constant chant of 'police brutality'.... We must cease our continuous pandering to the criminal population of this city."
There's a lot of resonance with themes in the current election, but there's no focus on the problem of catching the wrong people. There definitely was and is violence from which we expect our leaders to protect us. That involves finding the real perpetrators of genuine acts of violence.
In this new case, it's not a question of finding the right people but of ascertaining whether the actions in question are really a crime. Much of our focus lately — with Season 1 of "Serial" and "The Making a Murderer" and much of The Innocence Project — has been on absolutely real and serious crimes and the problem of pinning those crimes on the wrong man. It's quite another matter when you have the person you know did something, but the question is whether it's a crime, as in this Brooklyn playground rape/nonrape (and also the new season of "Serial," looking into the case of Bowe Bergdahl).
By the way, if the Brooklyn playground sex was consensual and the woman was 18 and one of the boys was 14, hasn't the woman committed second degree rape under New York criminal law? Back to the WaPo article:
[T]he teens told police they had encountered the father and daughter having sex in the park that night. The teenagers then joined in the act. “She said yeah,” a man’s voice can be heard saying on the video, according to the Times. “If you said yeah, it’s lit, like, you know what I mean,” a man then says on the video. “I could tell you a freak.” Confronted by police, the father and daughter reversed course, admitting that there was no gun. The woman admitted that she had consented to the group sex. The father and daughter also both eventually admitted to drinking alcohol and having sex with one another, according to the Times....Incredibly sad and debased. I don't know where I would start dealing with a situation that has reached such a low place. It's easy to say the government should back off and do nothing. Maybe Trump has some ideas.
“I think [there] is a way, from a policy and social standpoint, to say, ‘Young men should exercise a little bit better judgment in dealing with certain things,’ but what they did didn’t rise to criminality,” attorney Ken Montgomery told the Times. “I would agree, in a sense, that we live in a country and a world where we have a lot of unhealthy ideas of what appropriate sexual relationships are.”
With the focus off the five boys, it shifted to the father and his daughter, who prosecutors have stressed is still a victim, even if she consented to the sex.Why, exactly, does she get to be the victim?
How she came to have sex with her own father, unleashing a torrid and tragic series of events, is, in part, a story of the failings of the American foster-care system.....