If you get raped, make sure your rapist isn’t powerful and you’ve never lied or gotten drunk

At first I thought it couldn’t be a coincidence that Lisa Friel, head of the Manhattan DA sex crimes unit, resigned a day before the case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn was reported  “on the verge of collapse,” according to the New York Times.

First there were those two NY police officers acquitted of rape because their victim was drunk at the time, and now, it seems, the hotel maid has lied about all kinds of other things. Blame the female victim, protect the powerful men.

But, if you can believe the (Murdoch-owned) New York Post, Friel actually was fired because she screwed up in the police officer case (it’s complicated, involving the HBO “Sex Crimes Unit” documentary – you have to read the link).

So what do we have here? Three innocent men?

Give me a break. We have three guilty men defended by good lawyers, and a colossally incompetent District Attorney’s office. Here are just a few of the facts in the police officer case:

Security cameras showed Moreno and Mata returning three unnecessary times to the apartment and entering with a key they took from the woman after they answered a cab driver’s complaint to 911 that she was too drunk to get out of his taxi.

Moreno testified he made a phony 911 call to cover one of the visits and had cuddled with the nearly naked young fashion executive in her bed, although he denied sexual intercourse took place.

The Daily News goes on to say:

He was a cop. He faked a 911 call. He left patrol, abandoning his duty to protect the city. He wrongfully entered a citizen’s residence. He took advantage of a woman who needed his help. He lied about his actions. Mata went along for the ride.

Melinda Hernandez, one of the jurors who acquitted them on the sexual assault, told the Daily News she believes “in my heart” that Moreno and Mata were guilty of rape. It just wasn’t proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

And then there’s DSK. No, I wasn’t even there, he said first. I was having lunch with my daughter. And then, when it turned out there was some DNA stuff in the room and on the maid, all of a sudden it was consensual.

What do I believe? The maid was raped, just like the drunk woman. The maid, unfortunately,  has a bad boyfriend, a guy using her bank account for drug money laundering and her address for multiple drug-dealer cell phones.

The case won’t go to trial; the charges will be dropped. Maybe, if the case hadn’t been so sensationalized by the DA’s office, if they’d handled it more deliberately, they might have been able to build a stronger case. But probably not. Powerful men usually win.

And Lisa Friel? She, like the juror, knows in her heart that two women were raped and three men went free. And she’s probably glad to be out of that office, where they can’t seem to get it right.


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