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Posts Tagged ‘Rape’

When “Kids” Rape

Article by Gene Lalor

In the interests of what’s left of a woman’s dignity, news accounts of rape stories customarily omit the identity of the victim, which is altogether reasonable and proper. There’s no crying public need to reveal that information.

At the same time, those accounts also avoid identifying the alleged attacker, not because until he is tried and convicted the charge is still technically an allegation but because he is a minor. If it happens that he is at least 18, his name is publicized loudly and clearly in both print and broadcast media but different rules apply with minors.


Why is it that a 15, 16, or 17 year old accused assailant in such a crime is protected and coddled by the media while an 18 year old is not? Likewise, why is it that one piece of critical information about an accused assailant, his race, is usually omitted from news reports?

A Cincinnatti, Ohio “woman, in her 60s, reported that she was awakened around 3 a.m. Monday by a knock on her door at the Countryside Village mobile-home community. When she answered, a young male demanded money from her. The suspect then pulled out a long gun, came into her home, hit the woman with the weapon and sexually assaulted her. The suspect again demanded money from her, and ordered her to drive him to a money machine:”

The story was headlined on the Cincinnati Enquirer website as, “Boy, 14, Accused of Rape, Beating.”

Pardon my insensitivity but when a “boy” engages in an armed home invasion, physical and sexual assault, and attempted robbery he has clearly graduated from boyhood into adulthood and should be identified and prosecuted as such.

Another contemporary media quirk is a reluctance to identify the race of alleged criminals.

When a crime is committed and reported in the media, a logical expectation is that the media is interested in the apprehension of any suspects as a social responsibility of those media. Otherwise, the reportage should be classified as sensationalism devoid of any interest in how the alleged crime affects the town or neighborhood in which the crime occurred.

Put more simply, by newspapers, television, and radio outlets detailing all that is known of the alleged criminals, their estimated age, their clothing, their speech and mannerisms, and their race, they could very well prevent repetitions of the crimes and facilitate the apprehension of the criminals. By failing to report those details they are aiding and supporting the criminals.

Enter PC: We must not infringe on the rights of the accused or of the obviously guilty. We must respect their privacy. We must not presume the guilt of a minor by identifying him. We must not stigmatize an entire race based on the actions of a few.

Meanwhile, that 60 year old Cincinnati assault and rape victim and the thousands of victims like her should just hang tough, hope for the best, hope the “boy” won’t drop by before his trial to persuade her to change her story and admit she really seduced him, and maybe slip that “boy” a few bucks.

Anyone else think our “criminal justice” system and the media that covers it are antiquated and in dire need of revamping?

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