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States with the worst rape kit backlogs

rape-kit-backlog

The U.S. government estimates that hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits languish in police and crime lab storage facilities. The EndTheBacklog project illustrates that there's "more we do NOT know about the backlog than we do know."

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Have you seen Judd Apatow channel noted serial rapist Bill Cosby? Watch this video.

“Trainwreck” director Judd Apatow as Bill Cosby on The Tonight Show.

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Runaways band member was raped by her manager in front of other band members

Lena says, "HuffPost Highline just posted an article about Jackie Fuchs (aka Jackie Fox), who was a member of 70s band The Runaways. Her story is a harrowing one: she was raped by her manager, Kim Fowley, in front of everyone in the band -- including Joan Jett. She has not spoken about all this, until now."

Fowley had a phrase to describe his work—“doing the hustle”—and he applied it to all aspects of his life. He was sex-obsessed; it was a subject never far from his mind, a constant part of his patter. “In the ’70s, on a combination of beer and Quaaludes, you could take on a roomful of lesbians and tear them apart,” he was quoted as saying in the biography Queens of Noise: The Real Story of the Runaways. “The favorite sport then was squatting on a table and fucking as hard as you could when the beer and ’ludes hit, and then you would fall to the floor and roll around and come that way. That was the orgasm of choice in the ’70s for me.”

As he would admit to anyone, Fowley was mostly after teenage girls, or, in his words, “young cunt” or “dirty pussy.” In the June 1975 issue of Back Door Man, an influential L.A. ’zine, he spelled out his desires in a personal ad that included a cheesy photo of him in a white sport coat and white pants. It began, “If you are eighteen and like it or if you are under 18 and legally emancipated (with paper work) then you may have just stumbled upon the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Rapist Bill Cosby admitted under oath ten years ago to getting drugs to give women for sex

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The Associated Press won a long battle to unseal court documents that Bill Cosby's lawyers said would be "embarassing" for the accused serial rapist. A judge unsealed those documents today, and now we know why Cosby's protectors said their release "would generate a firestorm of publicity."

The AP reports on their contents: in 2005, Cosby testified that he acquired Quaaludes “with the intent of giving them to young women he wanted to have sex with, and he admitted giving the sedative to at least one woman and 'other people.”

He was under questioning by a lawyer for former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, who accused Cosby, “in a case that was settled before trial, of drugging and sexually assaulting her at his suburban Philadelphia mansion.”

The AP had gone to court over the documents, in which Cosby, 77, testifies under oath in a lawsuit filed by a former Temple University employee. He testified that he gave her three doses of Benadryl.

That sexual abuse case settled for undisclosed terms in 2006. AP says Cosby's lawyers didn't return calls from them today. Duh.

Cosby has been accused by more than two dozen women of sexual misconduct, including allegations by many that he drugged and raped them in incidents dating back more than four decades. Cosby, 77, has never been criminally charged, and most of the accusations are barred by statutes of limitations.

Cosby resigned in December from the board of trustees at Temple, where he was the popular face of the Philadelphia school in advertisements, fundraising campaigns and commencement speeches.

APNewsBreak: Cosby said he got drugs to give women for sex” [AP]

The Latest: Accuser's lawyers say Cosby words support claims” [AP]

Excerpts of Bill Cosby's statements in a 2005 deposition” [AP]


EXCERPTS FROM THE DOCUMENTS

The documents unsealed by a federal judge today involve the case of Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee who said Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her. The Associated Press reports that in these court transcripts, Cosby admits obtaining seven prescriptions for quaaludes and says he gave them to other people. That was followed up by this questioning by Constand's lawyer:

Question: Who are the people that you gave the quaaludes to?

Cosby's lawyer interrupts and asks to limit the questioning to a certain group of accusers referred to in the documents as the Jane Does.

Q. When you got the quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?

Answer: Yes.

Q. Did you ever give any of those young women the quaaludes without their knowledge?

Cosby's lawyer objects, again demanding that Constand's lawyer restrict the scope of the question to the Jane Does. They go back and forth over that point, then Cosby continues.

—I misunderstood. Woman, meaning (another accuser), and not women.

Q. OK. So, you're saying you never gave the quaaludes to anyone other than (a specific person)?

Cosby's lawyer: Don't answer the question. You can ask all the questions you want about the Jane Does.

In the questioning, Cosby also answered questions about a sexual relationship with a different woman in 1978, who has accused the comedian of having drugged and assaulted her when she was 19.

Cosby: I meet (the accuser) in Las Vegas. She meets me backstage. I give her quaaludes. We then have sex. I do not. I can't judge at this time what she knows about herself for 19 years, a passive personality ...

(The accuser) was sweet in her personality. As far as I was concerned was well-mannered, didn't demand or give a feeling that she was above anyone. If anything, I think she may very well have been very happy to be around the show business surroundings.

Constand's lawyer: Star struck?

Cosby: You'll have to ask her.

Excerpts of Bill Cosby's statements in a 2005 deposition” [AP]

Police admit falsely arresting teen rape victim: "this is what happens when you lie."

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A 17-year-old rape victim, treated with callous indifference and arrested by UK police who accused her of lying, has been awarded £20,000 in a settlement.

Hampshire Constabulary apologized for refusing to properly investigate the victim's complaint, and admitted liability for false imprisonment and assault.

The girl was attacked in April 2012, reported it immediately, and provided her clothing for forensic analysis. But police decided within two days that she was lying and threatened her, The Guardian reports, with charges of her own should she pursue the matter.

When she did so, she was arrested on suspicion of "perverting the course of justice," and was told by one detective that "this is what happens when you lie."

The police failed to test the evidence and, reportedly, were told by a supervisor to "fucking nick her."

"I was horrified," her mother told the BBC. "A woman comes forward and tells the police authority she has been raped: You expect them to do everything they can to put the rapist away."

The case only proceeded months later after an official complaint was made, prompting prosecutors to ask for thorough tests on the garments.

The attacker, Liam Foard, was subsequently identified. After denying any sexual contact at all with his victim, he was convicted and jailed for five years in 2013. But it's taken another two years—and a lawsuit filed under human rights legislation—for Hampshire Constabulary to say sorry.

In the meantime, one of the officers responsible for the girls treatment was given a written warning, and three others allowed to resign or retire before the investigation into their conduct could be completed. Ten other officers received "management action."

"Given that she had been raped, reported the matter to the police and now found herself under arrest and being accused of lying, this must have been a particularly traumatic experience," an internal review concluded. "Clearly, had the rape investigation been completed to the required standard, she would never have been arrested and interviewed."

Local police have issued statements promising it will not happen again.

"I would like to reassure all victims of sexual assault that we do take you seriously," Chief Superintendent David Powell told reporters. "We do believe you, we appreciate how hard it is to come forward to report these offences, we do not judge you and we are committed to ensuring a professional and supportive response. We are doing everything to ensure we never have an initial response like this again."

"I am appalled by the way the victim and her family have been treated in this case and would like to express my heartfelt sympathy to them," wrote Simon Hayes, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire. "It is entirely unacceptable for victims of crime not to be listened to and taken seriously. I would like to reassure the public that since I have been in post there have been significant changes to the way sexual assault cases are handled by the Constabulary. These changes in procedure should mean that the series of events that led to this particular victim being re-victimised by the police and not receiving appropriate justice, would not be permitted to happen again in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight."

But the family's lawyer, Debaleena Dasgupta, says that without the Human Rights act, it would have been far more difficult to get justice.

"Many people wrongly assume the police have a legal obligation to investigate crimes," wrote Dasgupta in a press release. "However, the only way victims of crime can seek justice for these sorts of issues is using the Human Rights Act, which imposes a duty on the police to properly investigate very serious offences."

San Francisco Sheriff's Deputy ring accused of pit-fighting inmates

San Francisco sheriff's deputy Scott Neu is accused of leading a ring of corrupt jail guards who coerced prisoners into gladiatorial combat with threats of rape and violence.

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‘X-Men’ director Bryan Singer accused of raping teen boy in 1999; case mentions sex offender Marc Collins-Rector of DEN


'X-Men' director Bryan Singer. Photo: Reuters


A 2007 mugshot of sex offender Marc Collins-Rector, former chairman of DEN. He is mentioned in the 2014 lawsuit against Singer.

Bryan Singer, the director of the forthcoming film “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is accused in a lawsuit filed today in Hawaii federal court of drugging and raping a teenage boy in 1999. The case is a civil case, not a criminal case, and Singer's attorney says the charges are "without merit." AP reports that the lawsuit was filed in Hawaii "because of a state law that temporarily suspends the statute of limitations in sex abuse cases."

Also mentioned in the lawsuit is Marc Collins-Rector, a sexual predator and founder and chairman of Digital Entertainment Network (aka DEN or <EN), an early internet video startup that made headlines for high capitalization and sex parties involving founders and teen boys. Collins-Rector is a registered sex offender who fled to Spain, and was arrested there in 2002. In 2004, Collins-Rector pled guilty to charges he lured minors across state lines for sexual acts. The allegations of sexual abuse involving Collins-Rector and other DEN executives shocked the web startup world in 1999, and led to the collapse of DEN's IPO.

Variety reports on the charges against Brian Singer filed today:

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How to not get raped (video)

Trigger warning.

A satirical film in which a woman tries to follow all of the completely serious tips offered to women by the likes of Cosmopolitan, WikiHow and University of Colorado on how to avoid being raped. One of them is "fight like a psychotic cat." Another, "don't give a guy blue balls."

Directed by Cat Del Buono. Video Link.

(HT: Syd Garon)

DoJ report on Montana justice: Don't get raped in Missoula, even if you're only five years old

[Trigger warning]

A letter from the Department of Justice to the Missoula County Attorney's Office in Montana concludes that the state's police and prosecutors ignore and downplay rape complaints, intimidate and blame rape victims, and, most damning, that prosecutors decline to bring cases against accused rapists even when there is an abundance of evidence against them -- including confessions.

Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg says they're lying. The DoJ says that Van Valkenburg's stalled and ignored their investigation, and failed to reply to more than half a dozen requests for meetings and details. The DoJ reports says that one of the rape victims they investigated was only five years old, and the adolescent boy who assaulted her was sentenced to two years of community service; the prosecutor allegedly told the victim that "boys will be boys."

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NV court marshal sexually assaults woman, then arrests her for complaining while judge looks on

In this video, Nevada Court Marshal Ron Fox is shown arresting a woman who attended a routine family court proceeding, who claimed that he had sexually assaulted her on the way out of the courtroom, taking her into a private room on the pretense of a drug search and fondling her and making her lift her shirt. The woman cries and begs the hearing master Patricia Doninger to intervene, but Doninger ignored her, playing with the victim's three-year-old daughter, who eventually toddled to the Marshal and told him to leave her mother alone.

Fox was eventually fired for his misconduct, years later, but no one told his victim(s). There is no explanation forthcoming as to why the hearing master did not intervene in a case of gross corruption in her courtroom. Fox's arrest is part of a wider investigation involving a string on incidents involving Nevada Court Marshals, including choking a citizen in a courtroom.

Fox is suing for wrongful termination. Doninger was also fired for misconduct.

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How Anonymous got involved in fighting for justice for rape victims


Mother Jones's Josh Harkinson has an excellent piece on the history of KnightSec, an Anonymous offshoot that publicized the Steubenville and Halifax rape cases, galvanizing both the public and police responses to both. The piece includes an interview with Michelle McKee, who is credited with swaying a critical mass of Anons to participation in KnightSec. The whole story is pretty incredible, especially where it spills over into the real world:

The video went viral, and the next Occupy Steubenville rally drew 2,000 people to the courthouse steps. Because MC brought the sound system, he ended up serving as the de facto master of ceremonies (which is how he ended up with his Twitter handle). As he played excerpts of the Nodianos video over the loudspeakers, he told me, people in the crowd grew so angry that he started to worry that they would riot.

When the Steubenville sheriff showed up, MC invited him up and grilled him about the case. In the end, he diffused the tension by giving the cop a hug. "I'm going to take this negative energy and turn it into a positive thing," he remembers thinking. "You've got to let the crowd vent."

And vent they did. For four hours, there was a catharsis of personal pain and grief that nobody in the small town could have imagined. Women who had been raped stood in front of the crowd, clad in Guy Fawkes masks, to share their stories. Some of them unmasked at the end of their testimonies as they burst into tears. Rapes at parties, date rapes, rapes by friends and relatives—their pent-up secrets came pouring out. "It turned into this women's liberation movement, in a way," MC recalls. "And it just changed everything. There was nothing anybody could do against us at that point because it was so real and so true."

Exclusive: Meet the Woman Who Kicked off Anonymous' Anti-Rape Operations

For Anonymous: an ode to the Delhi rape victim, by Nilanjana Roy

"Let there be an end to this epidemic of violence, this culture where if we can’t kill off our girls before they are born, we ensure that they live these lives of constant fear. Like many women in India, I rely on a layer of privilege, a network of friends, paranoid security measures and a huge dose of amnesia just to get around the city, just to travel in this country. So many more women have neither the privilege, nor the luxury of amnesia, and this week, perhaps we all stood up to say, 'Enough,' no matter how incoherently or angrily we said it." For Anonymous, by Nilanjana Roy.

Court sets accused rapist free, arguing severely disabled woman who can't talk could still refuse sex

Your daily dose of rage: the state Supreme Court in Connecticut has decided to let a rapist go free in a case involving a severely disabled woman with limited mobility who cannot talk. Why? Because there was no evidence she could not communicate her refusal to have sex with the defendant." She cerebral palsy, cannot verbally communicate, and "is so physically restricted that she is able to make motions only with her right index finger."

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Native American women twice as likely to be raped

"One in three American Indian women have been raped or have experienced an attempted rape," according to a Justice Department statistic cited in the NYT. The rate of sexual assault among indigenous American women "is more than twice the national average," and it's particular grim in "Alaska’s isolated villages, where there are no roads in or out, and where people are further cut off by undependable telephone, electrical and Internet service."

For Mr. Akin, from a woman who conceived her child through rape

Writes Maureen Herman, at "A is For..." blog—"Rep. Akin, I’d like you to meet my daughter. I’d like to show you how dead wrong you are when you say that women rarely get pregnant from rape. I’m writing this letter to let you know that you definitely can, because it happened to me, and I have a 9 year old to prove it."

Todd Akin apologizes for "legitimate rape" remark

From The Onion:

You see, what I said was, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” But what I meant to say was, “I am a worthless, moronic sack of shit and an utterly irredeemable human being who needs to shut up and go away forever.”

It is clear to me now that I did not choose my words with care and did not get across the point I was trying to convey. In hindsight, I guess instead of using the words “legitimate rape,” I should have used the words “I am an unforgivable, unrepentant, and unconscionable subhuman dickhead.” Or better yet, “I am an evil, fucked-up man who should never have been elected to the United States Congress, and anyone who would vote for me is probably a pretty big fucking dumbshit, too.” See how much more sense that makes? It’s amazing how a few key word changes can totally alter the meaning of a statement.

There's a lot more.

I Misspoke—What I Meant To Say Is 'I Am Dumb As Dog Shit And I Am A Terrible Human Being'

Going medieval on the female reproductive system

Speaking of Todd Akin, Cory posted yesterday about the history of the bogus idea that women who were raped (excuse me, "legitimately" raped) can't get pregnant from it, citing a medical/legal text from 1785. In a story at The Week, we learn that this particular bit of misinformation is, in fact, even older than that, dating back to 1290. So Akin is propagating a belief that has been spread—despite a complete lack of evidence to support it—since the 13th century. Good times.