Posted by: patwogan | August 17, 2012

Our Injustice System

I just finished reading Alice Sebold’s book, Lucky.  It made me want to read more, so I also read “Lovely Bones”.  These books jogged my memory of an “incident” when I was in high school.  

  The sister of one of my friends brought rape charges against one of the popular jocks in the senior class.  He came from money and she did not.  He was popular and she was average.  He was good-looking and she was, too.  He was a star football player who had his own car…something a little bit unusual at that time. 

  I don’t remember all the particulars of the when and where although I think it had something to do with a dark make-out area in Riverside Park.  My imagination put the rape at the Lone Chief Cabin, an area far from the more public area of the park.  

  The main thing I remember of the story is that my friend was ostracized because of his sister’s supposed guilt of lying about Mr. Popular Jock.  Of course, the strategy at the time was to shred the reputation of the so-called victim.  The gossip mills soon made the jock the victim.  He got his friends to testify for him at the trial.  They testified that she was an easy mark and undoubtedly asked for it.  I know now that even if it were true that she was easy and even if she had had sexual intercourse with the whole football team, she was allowed to say “No” to Mr. Jock.  I don’t believe she was “easy”.  I believe the cards were stacked against her.  

  Probably you have already guessed that he was found not guilty.  He continued going to school at the Community College and his distinctive car was in evidence around town.  He later went to a prestigious college.  She and her family moved away.  

I have no idea what happened to either of them as I also moved away from my home town after graduation.  I have often wondered what happened to both of them and having read Mrs. Sebold’s book, Lucky.  I wonder if the girl had any after effects of the incident.

  In Mrs. Sebold’s book, the rapist is finally brought to justice, but only after a very traumatic trial and an almost total destruction of the victim.  The mention of PTSD in the book reminds the reader that combat is not the only traumatic event. 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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