Thursday, September 30, 2010

Two Michigan State University basketball players accused of sexual assault....

...and nobody cares.

We all know many of the details already. According to the police report, on the night of August 29 and early hours of August 30 after an orientation meeting, two unnamed MSU basketball players brought a young woman up to their room. After turning a miniature basketball hoop into a vehicle for "strip poker," the players intentionally missed shots as an excuse to remove all of their clothes.

The victim said they then blocked her from leaving and, according to the Michigan Messenger, "penetrated her in various positions." To make a long story short, when she finally began to protest, one player stopped and one continued. The player who stopped later corraborated her story to the police.

So, in this day and age, when sexual assault is now taken very seriously, and "boys will be boys" is no longer a valid defense, one would think that the combination of the victim's statement and the corraborating statement from one of the players would be a "slam dunk" to prosecute. Inexplicibly, the prosecutor decided not to file charges. Here was his excuse, according to a phone interview with the Michigan Messenger:

"After reviewing everything with the young lady, this was a mutual decision," Dunnings said in a phone interview Monday. "She [the victim] fully understood and agreed, is what Ms. Bouck [Ingham County Prosecutor assigned to review sex crimes] related to me."

Since then, the victim has come forward and told Michigan Messenger the following"

"I worry about what would happen if it didn’t go through and having to deal with all the publicity and everything that goes with pursuing charges," she said. "But also I am angry. It’s just that everybody looks at them as heroes and they’re so excited for basketball season that [the players] get off without anybody caring. They haven’t even been punished."

This raises myraid questions. Among them:

1. What did the prosecutor mean by "mutual decision?"

2. Is the prosecutor a basketball fan?

3. Is there a different standard of "justice" for MSU basketball players than there is for other citizens of East Lansing?

4. Why have the major media outlets been so slow to pick up on this story, especially and

5. If the players involved were from the University of Michigan football team, would the coverage be different, especially in and

I will give my opinions on these questions in my next post.

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