Protect and Defend

Welcome to my blog, Protect and Defend. You don’t have to understand me. You only have to agree with me. I can live with losing the good fight, but I can not live with not fighting that good fight at all. - Publius

Friday, July 21, 2006

Is it OK to rape a woman if you play sports?

No Penalty for MidshipmanOwens Found Guilty of Two Non-Rape Charges

By Nelson Hernandez (Washington Post, Saturday, July 22, 2006; B01)

The U.S. Naval Academy quarterback acquitted of a rape charge will face no punishment for having sex with a fellow midshipman in her dorm room or violating an order to steer clear of the woman, a jury decided yesterday.
After a high-profile, 10-day court-martial, the jury of five naval officers rejected prosecutors' arguments that Midshipman Lamar S. Owens Jr. should be dismissed from the Navy for misconduct, a step that would have required him to repay the $136,000 cost of his four-year education.
The jury also declined to reprimand Owens for his actions Jan. 29 despite finding him guilty Thursday of conduct unbecoming an officer and of violating a military protective order.
Owens, 22, still could face administrative discipline -- and a possible discharge -- for breaking rules prohibiting sexual contact on campus and fraternization between members of the same company…
"The Academy will review his situation to determine the best course of action," a spokeswoman wrote in response to an e-mail.
After the jury's president pronounced the words "no punishment," Owens, standing at attention, silently looked up at the ceiling of the wood-paneled courtroom with tear-filled eyes. Family members and friends sitting behind him exhaled with relief and held one another's hands. When the judge closed the court a few moments later, they began hugging one another and Owens finally cracked a smile in relief.
"I had tears in my eyes because this young man needed and received justice today," Owens's attorney, Reid H. Weingarten Weingarten said that Owens "feels vindicated, as he should."
The outcome was a turnaround for Owens, who went from leading the Navy football team in its Poinsettia Bowl victory to facing a maximum life sentence on the charge of raping a 20-year-old female midshipman. Despite a secretly taped phone conversation in which Owens repeatedly apologized to the woman, the jury decided there was enough reasonable doubt in her account -- she had been drinking that night and could not recall parts of what had happened -- to acquit Owens on the most serious charge…
For the remaining charges, Owens faced a maximum penalty of a year and a half in prison, but the prosecution did not ask for jail time, arguing instead for his dismissal from the Navy in dishonor.
The debate in the courtroom centered on whether the jury should forgive a young, aspiring officer who had made a mistake or whether they should throw him out of the Navy…
"He has to live with a very public allegation that he raped a woman," Weingarten said. "This is a heavy burden to bear."

I wonder how the female cadet feels knowing she has to live with being raped while her accuser goes free. THAT is a heavy burden to bear.

And why is it that those on the Left seem so unable to speak up when it is an athlete who rapes a woman, even with overwhelming evidence to support the allegation? Or do they only speak out when it is lacrosse players?


Blogger Publius said...

This goes along with at least one previous post I have made within the past week:

Sat Jul 22, 12:17:00 AM  
Blogger Wadical said...

He could still get the "Big Chicken Dinner" or BCD as we called it in the military. (Bad Conduct Discharge) Fraternization is a big no no in the military. "Conduct Unbecoming" is a conviction that almost always spells the end of one's military career....usually with a discharge that is unflattering to say the least. Though the Court Martial cut him slack...the Academy may not follow suit. We shall see.

Sat Jul 22, 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Wadical, I think they have decided against charging this guy with anything. Even the “slap-on-the-wrist” decisions they made have been more or less revoked because he is not going to be punished for them. At worst, this guy rapes another cadet, in her dorm room, while she was drunk and passed out, he calls her later and apologies (which they have on tape), and yet he gets nothing. This is not justice, this is reprehensible.
And maybe it means something to those in the military to be discharged, but for me it would mean a lot more if he were actually punished for raping a woman.

Sat Jul 22, 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger quakerdave said...

Some of us on the Left have posted to condemn athletes who commit rape, and not just lacrosse players. As a former lacrosse player, the Duke allegations stung close to home for me.

However, athletes of all varieties have been getting away with crap like this for way too long, due to their privileged status in society. This clown should be charged with something: the "sex gone wrong" defense was inexcusable and disgusting. But there's still too much of a boys-will-be-bad-boys attitude that needs to be ended, or this will keep happening.

Sat Jul 22, 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

QD, part of me does believe “boys will be boys.” Boys will fight and argue, be crude, leave the toilet seat up, burp, belch, and fart. But, my “boys will be boys” attitude does not cover rape. Although I understand your pacifist nature, I agree with those who go after rapists. They are vile people and deserve to be punished. To me, “boys will be boys” also means being chivalrous and defending those who could not, or were not able to defend themselves.
But, still why doesn’t this case cause as much outrage when there is DNA evidence and the accused actually apologized for it later?

Or is race the issue here?

Sat Jul 22, 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Brooke said...

"Sorry about raping you."

There, now everything's ALL better!

This is disgusting. It seems that athletes get away with almost anything, whether in the military or in civilian sports. Just this week, another one of the Bengals was arrested for resisting arrest.

As far as rape, Kobe Bryant being hailed as a hero and getting off, and the LaCross players come to mind. Even more serious stuff gets no punishment; think OJ.

This is a practice that must be stopped.

Tue Jul 25, 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

I have been saying for awhile that I am becoming more and more jaded against professional sports and at this point only watch the NFL and NASCAR. You don’t hear about NASCAR stars raping women or getting arrested at least for anything other than speeding and the very occasional DUI/DWI which still involves cars. As far as the NFL goes at least with those players, teams can cut them and none of the money is guaranteed. Screw-up and you are gone and the teams don’t have to pay them a dime. This is sort of similar to college sports where if a player violates team rules and they don’t play football for Va Tech or FSU, they lose their scholarship and get kicked off the team.

Tue Jul 25, 11:32:00 PM  

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