Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Media Support for a Rapist

A New Years party two years ago has landed Genarlow Wilson in jail for 10 years, though it could and should have been more. While ABC's news story clearly attempts to paint a picture of "normal teen sexual behavior" it still manages to show the assaults for what they were. Please visit for the full story:

As noted from the article "a portion of a tape ...[shows] Wilson, then 17 and an honor student and star athlete who was homecoming king...having intercourse with a 17-year-old girl, who was seen earlier on the bathroom floor. During the sex act, she appears to be sleepy or intoxicated but never asks Wilson to stop. Later on in the tape, she is seen being pulled off the bed."

As stated in the definitions provided on this site, consent cannot be obtained from unconscious or severely impaired individuals, therefore making any sexual activity with them illegal. Even in the construction of this paragraph the writer is doing everything in their power to "soften" the rape. They mention he's an athlete, I'm sorry, a "star" athlete, an honor student, homecoming king...but what about this girl? Was she homecoming queen, top of her class, a star athlete? No, she is "sleepy/intoxicate" and apparently consenting to sex without awareness (sarcasm!). The fact that she was previously passed out in the bathroom and then seen pulled off the bed after her rape clearly demonstrates her inability to have consented or prevented her assault.

It turns out, as you read the article, that he was not convicted or raping this 17-year-old girl, but does receive charges for corruption of a minor since the tape shows a 15-year-old girl giving oral sex to a "train" of men including Wilson. The article says people are outraged that this is called an assault and that the child molestation law was "never meant to police teen sex." Call me crazy, but when I was a teen having sex with a nearly unconscious or unconscious individual was not put into "teen sex" but into the rape category. Am I the only one shocked not only by the case but by the media's response?

The article contains a site to Wilson's appeal for his supporters: www.wilsonappeal.com, but I encourage individuals to write to ABC Primetime: abc.news.magazines@abc.com about their coverage, to New York's Coalition Against Sexual Assault: info@nyscasa.org to encourage efforts to affect local media, and to Georga's Network to End Sexual Assault: gnesa@mindspring.com to encourage their awareness and actions against moves to diminish sexual assault legislation around such "teen sex".

1 comment:

  1. This article clearly shows much confusion exists in society about what consent entails, and therefore what rape is. I cannot imagine how the unnamed 17-year-old girl feels having her rape on video with her clearly unconscious and people still saying "well, you didn't say no". This girl had no control, and yet the offender with control was never asked why he didn't get consent or make sure she was even conscious! Holding the defendant to a standard is a start when determining if they committed sexual assault....