This is about the alleged gang-rape of an eleven-year old girl in Texas. Remember that an eleven-year-old cannot give legal consent to sex. Remember, also, that the New York Times chose to include these opinions in its article about the case:
Residents in the neighborhood where the abandoned trailer stands — known as the Quarters — said the victim had been visiting various friends there for months. They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said.*Remember that an eleven-year-old cannot give legal consent to sex.
The Houston Chronicle goes a step or two further in the victim-blaming. We can follow the victim through "earlier signs of trouble" but we are not allowed to learn much about the thought processes of the alleged rapists. Those we are to take for granted, I guess:
Local officials say the attack has devastated this close-knit community, leaving many to wonder who will be charged next. There's talk that a star athlete at Cleveland High School was seen sexually assaulting the girl on the video. The son of a local school board member is involved, too.The bolds are mine.
The editor of the Cleveland Advocate, Vanesa Brashier, who has kept her hand on the pulse of this community, said, “Feelings are raw as these things keep happening and then there’s no time to heal. Our town has been in the spotlight too much lately.”
Some Cleveland residents, like Kisha Williams, are critical of the 11-year-old’s parents.
“Where were they when this girl was seen wandering at all hours with no supervision and pretending to be much older?” she asked**.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, retiree Joe Harrison noticed an 11-year-old girl as he walked past an abandoned trailer to play dominoes with friends in what locals call "the Hood."
He thought the girl looked older than her years with her long hair and dark makeup.
They first went to the blue house, where she was ordered to disrobe. If she refused, the statement said, she was warned other girls would beat her up and she would never get a ride back home.
Soon she was having sex with multiple young men there, the statement said. Someone used a phone to invite four more men, who soon arrived.
Not long afterward, the group fled through a back window when they heard a relative of one of the teens arriving at the blue house. The 11-year-old left behind her bra and panties as the group moved to the nearby abandoned trailer, where the assaults continued. As the men had sex with the girl, others used their cell phones to take photographs and video, police said.
Sometimes she comes across like a little girl, such as when she talks of her special talent for making "weird sound effects" and "running in circles" to overcome nervousness.
But she also makes flamboyant statements about drinking, smoking and sex.
Earlier signs of trouble***
Shortly before the video recordings surfaced at school, there was a sign of trouble. Her daughter had borrowed her father's cell phone, and afterward Maria discovered a lurid photo of a young man that had been e-mailed to it.
"I asked about it, and she said she knew nothing. So I told her I was taking it to the police, and I did," Maria said. "They still have the phone. And I've not heard anything back."
Remember that an eleven-year-old cannot give legal consent to sex. That this article largely analyzes the various ways she must have contributed towards her own victimization is shocking. That it pays no attention to the motives or behavior of the alleged rapists vis-a-vis the eleven-year-old girl is even more shocking, and hence my asterisked comments to this post.
I understand that the multiple arrests of young men and boys in the community are upsetting, and I do feel sorry for the accused men and boys, too. But it almost sounds as if these articles side with the alleged rapists because there were so many of them and only one victim.
*Why did they hang out with her? How were they dressed? Did they ask her any questions, such as "How old are you?" or "Would you like me to see you safely home?"
**Where were the fathers and mothers of these boys and men? Did they teach their sons about the age of consent and what happens if you fail to obey it?
***What about earlier signs of trouble with the accused boys and men?