Raped by the Law

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Your tax dollars at work—a judge in Philadelphia sent the word that crime, especially violent crime, against working girls is OK.

After a 20 year old prostitute and single mom met a man for sex at an agreed upon price; he was joined by three of his friends who proceeded to gang rape her, unprotected, at gunpoint. Thankfully, the fourth friend thought her tears might signal a tad bit of unwillingness and helped her escape. Imagine the bravery of that young girl filing charges. Too bad it was for nothing. According to Philly.com reporter Jill Porter, the judge “dropped all sex and assault charges. . .[and] instead held the defendant on the bizarre charge of armed robbery for—get this—”theft of services.”

At that point, I reread the introductory paragraphs sure to find what I’d glossed over before—the judge had to be a woman. One of the first things you learn in Law School Crim is how much you, as a prosecutor, don’t want women on your rape jury. “It could never happen to me, they seem to think: only stupid or immoral women get raped. Only those who asked for it, drinking, dressing slutty, sleeping around. Being all flirtatious and prettier than me.” There’s some deep, dark psychology there and this judge was filthy with it.

“Did she tell you she had another client before she went to report it?” Deni asked me yesterday when we met at a coffee shop. “I thought rape was a terrible trauma.”

A case like this, she said—to my astonishment—”minimizes true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped.”

Silly Pennsylvania legislature, defining “sex by force as rape.”

Porter goes on to note that, “The defendant was charged in an identical incident involving a 23-year-old woman four days later.” Refusing to let another victim face such robed contempt and stupidity, prosecutors refused to present the second case and Deni dismissed it for failure to prosecute, with Church Lady gusto, no doubt.

Since he’s only 19, and I watch Law and Order SVU, I’m betting that Judge Deni will be seeing lots more of this defendant as his rage against women escalates.

Must be read to be believed.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate