Tarpon Springs Rape Case Victim Blaming



As a writer on the Internet I get a lot of e-mails. A lot. Back in the day when I used to write for print I rarely got letters, but writing on the Internet is a totally different medium, and all our readers have to do is fire off an e-mail giving me their opinion on something I’ve written. I really love this part of my job, and even when someone disagrees with me I appreciate someone taking the time to do so in a polite, articulate manner. Plus, sometimes people send me placenta drawings.

This weekend I received an e-mail from one of our readers, a 19-year-old named Dylan Fanelli who took issue with an article I wrote about an alleged rape that has occurred in Tarpon Springs Florida and the rape culture social media aspect surrounding the case. I have included Dylan’s e-mail in bold, and my response on what he has written below:

I recently looked at an article in the tampa bay times concerning jared and noticed a very rude article title on mommyish.com that caught my interest so I decided to read it,

Hey Dylan ! Thanks for reading. I always appreciate when people read my work, especially concerning rape and rape culture and how alarmed I am at how teens are discussing rapes and alleged rape cases on social media.

being a 2012 graduate from tarpon high and being the man accused of rape last year when I did not commit that crime nor was i punished due to me telling the police the true story and them using evidence to find out i told the truth, while the girl who accused me lied to them.

Wait.. whaaaaaaat? So Dylan, you were also accused of rape but all you had to do was tell the police your side of the story and they decided all was cool and you didn’t really rape the girl who said you raped her because the girl was a “liar?” Mmmm – kay. I’m not 100 percent sure that a guy previously accused of rape is someone who fully understands rape culture — but if you say you didn’t really rape that girl and the police fully investigated this then I will take your word for it. But just so you know, I turned on my Google machine and Internet creeped you anyway.

Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 1.41.34 PMI am extremely offended by the title and you stating tarpon has “a culture problem” I never raped anyone last year and it was proven and everyone who knew me knew i would never do that.

I’m sorry you were offended by the title of my article. I’m greatly offended when a girl accuses someone of rape and she is met with being called a “whore” and a “slut” by her classmates on the Internet. I’m glad you’re not a rapist, Dylan. I really like men who aren’t rapists. I’m not sure you’re the kind of guy who a lot of girls would enjoy having intercourse with, but as long as you are saying you aren’t a rapist and you fully understand the concept of consent then that’s a good thing.

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Tarpon is a close community and the kids at that school know eachother well so when they say something it is because they already know what happened. You being a woman it makes sense you would side with the girl, but making the sexist remark that girls normally tell the truth is absolute bullshit.

Me “siding with the girl” has nothing to do with me being a woman. I “side” with the girl because statistically, the majority of rapes that occur are unreported. Under 10 percent of all rape cases that are reported are false allegations. Considering that every year there are over 200,000 sexual assault cases reported, the fact that a tiny amount turn out to be false allegations is a better indicator of me “siding with the girl” than the fact that I am a woman. Most people who are raped don’t report it or go to the police. Those that do report their assaults — both male and female — often face the sort of victim-blaming behavior demonstrated by the “close community” of Tarpon Springs. 

That all depends on what kind of person you are. I know Jared, I know both of his older brothers and i know what kind of people they are.

Are you familiar with a serial killer and rapist Ted Bundy? One of the most common quotes about Bundy is that he was “wonderful, handsome, a really great guy.” I’m not saying the boy accused of rape in this case, Jared  Alissandratos, is like Ted Bundy or even a rapist. What I am saying is that even “good” people can be rapists. 

I also know the girl and know personally her history of lying as she lived three streets from me.

Well, I don’t live by either of you, but judging from the type of comments you post on the Internet, you are a racist and a bigot.

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You calling this girl a “liar” doesn’t prove anything. It’s more likely that I just proved you “hate fags” and “black girls” by reading your own Twitter updates.

Your article also shows how ignorant you are by posting how tarpon students use drugs and drink and do this and that. I was popular, I went to house parties, most kids from any school in the area whether it is eastlake, clearwater, palm harbor…anywhere, teenagers drink underage and some do drugs yes. You were young once and im sure you experimented as well and if you didn’t then good for you because the majority of teens did and still do.

I drank when I was underage. Most teens do. Having said that, I never engaged in the type of alcoholic behavior you do.

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All this nonsense aside you obviously do not know the people involved, you obviously don’t know the area, but you feel the need to single tarpon out from the rest of pinellas, and you obviously need to shut your ignorant mouth because the diarrea coming out of it is ridiculous.

I do not know the people involved. I only know the types of things they are posting on social media due to the fact a young girl has accused some of them of rape, and this is what I wrote about. What is ignorant is calling a classmate a “whore” and a “slut” and suggesting she be “assassinated” because she has accused some boys of rape. That’s ignorant. 

If you have teenagers in high school or young children who will eventually attend high school heres some truth for you, I had great parents, they still didn’t know everything I did and I still made mistakes, your kids will too.

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Obviously. But I will tell you one thing, if my kids ever behaved in the way these kids from Tarpon Springs are behaving, I wouldn’t let them continue to have Internet access and I would take them to a family therapist post haste.

If they take what they learn from those mistakes though then they will grow and continue to be a better person. I’m enrolled at the University of West Florida with a 3.2 gpa doing just fine. Maybe you should think next time you want to post some dumb shit on the internet you know nothing about.

And Dylan, you may want to take some of this advice and apply it to yourself.


And even though I’m not some brilliant Internet detective, Googling your name and your area I also came across this, which was recently reported on March 3rd. Is this you Bro?


Sorry about the $4,000 bail and the charges of battery, property damage and burglary. But hey, maybe you can talk to the cops about this crime too!



(Photos: Twitter/Facebook/Florida arrests.org)