A state Court of Appeals judge has ordered a new trial for a man convicted of raping a woman with Down syndrome. He overturned a jury’s guilty verdicts against William Jeffrey Dumas, who was convicted of repeatedly raping the 24-year-old woman in October 2010. The reason for the new trial? The judge didn’t think the 24-year-old woman with Down’s Syndrome acted like a victim.
In his ruling, Judge Christopher McFadden said when the woman first complained about being attacked the day after the alleged rape occurred, she did not behave like a victim. “Nor did Mr. Dumas behave like someone who had recently perpetrated a series of violent crimes,” McFadden wrote.
McFadden also cited discrepancies in other witnesses’ testimony. The convictions, the judge added, “do not have the approval of the court’s mind and conscience.”
This happened. In reality. Since it’s so easy to get a rape conviction, I’m sure we can all understand why the Judge felt apprehensive. That’s clearly sarcasm. I’m so disgusted I can’t even see straight. I’d like to know what “victims” and “perpetrators of violent crimes” act like. If anyone wonders what rape culture is – this story is a pretty good illustration.
While we’re on the subject of ridiculously infuriating rape stories, I’ll remind you that last week an elderly woman was raped in a nursing home by a caregiver. She is 89-years-old. Her attacker is 30. Even after the attacker admitted to raping the woman, a supervisor at the nursing home branded her a “flirt” who teased her 30-year-old attacker “mercilessly.”
Instead of, oh I don’t know, reporting the attack to police, administrators decided the woman should be held for nearly three days in a locked psychiatric ward of a nearby hospital. “Attorneys for the woman have alleged that administrators at the seniors home withheld information from medical professionals and even suggested that the sex was consensual.The supervisor defended the rapist, even after he admitted to sex with the elderly woman and was arrested, according to court papers.”
Merzwski admitted to entering the woman’s bedroom and giving her medications that would impair her ability to think before having sex with her. A nurse who examined the woman days later said the vaginal laceration resulting from the rape was the largest she had ever seen in her six years in the field.
The rape of an 89-year-old woman is practically dismissed by caregivers because she is a “flirt.” A victim with Down syndrome didn’t act enough like a “victim” to allow a judge to let a guilty verdict stick. If anyone ever has a problem understanding why rape jokes aren’t funny, or why we demand that the effects of our rampant rape culture be taken seriously – they should just read these reports.
It’s always the victim’s fault – one way or another. We’re always asking for it. It’s getting to the point where the powers that be may as well just print up a list of who it’s a-ok to rape.
I’ll never stop fiercely defending victims because this is where we have arrived.