Thursday, April 15, 2010

Male Sports Star Accused of Rape Again, Will Not Be Prosecuted

[Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault]

Since March of this year, star NFL quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been investigated for sexual assault for the second time in two years.

If you don't remember the first incident, back in July of 2009, a hotel employee accused Roethlisberger of rape. Through the narratives that dominated that case, we learned that many things- sports, championships, and male sexual access to "lucky" fuckable/unrape-able "girls"- were more important than a woman's claim that a man had violated her boundaries.

Regarding the latest round of accusations lodged at Roethlisberger, the DA has decided not to prosecute. What does not seem to be at issue in this case was that after interacting with Roethlisberger, the woman presented at an emergency room with "a cut, bruises and vaginal bleeding." Despite this, a doctor could apparently not determine whether she "was raped."

Question. Is cutting, bruising, and vaginal bleeding a typical outcome of consensual heterosexual coitus?

Petty details aside, the woman apparently then contacted the DA and indicated that she did not want a trial because it would be "a very intrusive personal experience."

But watch how the media frames these facts:

"Ocmulgee Circuit District Attorney Fred Bright said Monday that after exhaustive interviews and inconclusive medical exams, the 20-year-old student's accusations could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Bright also revealed the accuser no longer wanted him to prosecute."

If someone didn't feel like reading the rest of the story, they could very well walk away thinking that Poor Ben keeps getting accused of sexual assault For No Reason At All, as evidenced by the fact that the accuser doesn't even want him prosecuted.

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