Monday, May 4, 2009

It's Not Sex When It's Rape

Feministing often posts about how rape is called sex instead of rape in newspaper stories, and it's definitely heightened my awareness to the subject. So this headline in the KC Star the other day caught my eye:

Jury convicts KC man of sex with girl, 13

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but in our society, that's statutory rape. Not sex, bitches. The article, however, doesn't avoid the word "rape" all together, which makes me look at it with a slightly more forgiving eye:

A Jackson County jury convicted a Kansas City man Tuesday of statutory rape in the assault of a 13-year-old girl.

According to testimony from the girl, she met Marlone J. Carasco, 26, at Worlds of Fun in May of 2006. The girl said she clearly told Carasco that she was 13. She said he gave his age as 20 and complemented her.

“He said I was pretty,” she said. [note: the website had two versions of this story, in the other one, this sentence wasn't included - and it wasn't in the print version either. What's up with that?]

A couple of weeks later the girl spent three days at his home and became pregnant, she testified.

According to court records, Carasco met the girl about seven months after a Jackson County judge gave him a suspended sentence for kidnapping a woman and assaulting her with a stun gun.

Police reported that the woman had accepted a ride from Carasco, who then threatened to kill her. The two struggled in the car and Carasco shocked her. The woman jumped from the car onto Interstate 70.

Several hours later, another woman told police she accepted a ride from a man driving a similar car in Kansas City, Kan. She said the man drove her to the West Bottoms and raped her in the back seat. She escaped when he stopped in a parking lot.

Police were not able to find the victim later because she did not give officers a current address. No charges were filed in that case.

Circuit Judge Joel May set Carasco’s sentencing in the statutory rape case for May 28. (Source)
Okay, let's deconstruct this sentence, because it's where I have the biggest problem: "A couple of weeks later the girl spent three days at his home and became pregnant, she testified."

What.the.fuck?

Why isn't the pervert who has been charged TWICE with criminal charges for assaulting women portrayed as anything except some sort of "host" in this?

It's disgusting how often news stories completely erase the rapist from their words, and just leave the victim there - just begging for you to blame her for whatever she did to "cause" this.

Fuck.that.

Let's re-write the sentence, shall we?

I think it should read: "A couple of weeks later, the rapist (or convicted criminal or even his last name would suffice!) kept the girl at his home for three days, raping her at least once and causing pregnancy, she testified."

That sounds much more like reality to me.

Related posts:
Rape Is NOT An Occupational Hazard
The Unapologetic Mexican
You Want Me to Put that WHERE?!?

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5 comments:

Laura said...

And there's other things that bother me about this story, women accepting rides from strange men, and where the hell was a 13 year old's parents?
Yeah, isn't it something how they avoid labeling him as a predator because of his "rights."

Laura said...

Oh and good luck in the giveaway!

Nick D said...

May, I agree entirely! The media services need to better and more accurately describe the dynamics of these situations. Unfortunately, our socialization around this issue always provides for that 'shadow of doubt' that somehow 'she' asked for it. While there may be a 'thin line between law and rape' (thanks PE), there is nothing fuzzy about the imbalanced relations of power that exist between a 26 year old male and a 13 year old girl.

Araceli said...

May, It hurts me to read all this about Marlone, I lived with him for years and I got to see the other side of him, he had some good to. There is no excuse for what he did and he will pay for his actions. I really Loved that man but I had no idea of how much pain he would cause. There is alot of things that were not said about the minor,but i guess it doesn't matter anymore. He is being sentenced today.

Araceli said...

Sorry was for May 28