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You Shouldn’t Get Away with Rape Because You Have a Nice Family

Victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse and their supporters protest during a #MeToo march in Hollywood, California on November 12, 2017. Several hundred women gathered in front of the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood before marching to the CNN building to hold a rally. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

I’m sick and tired of men getting away with full-on crimes because of “their family.” Pretty sure that a kid filming himself raping a girl and posting it online calling it rape should count against him, right? Well, not according to the Supreme Court of New Jersey. The accused and his future are more important, apparently, than the girl he raped and laughed about. While justice may finally be back on track in this case, what initially happened in and out of the courtroom was mind-bogglingly horrific.

In a text to his friends that said “When your first time having sex was rape,” the teen sent the video of him raping the 16-year-old girl. What’s beyond infuriating and outrageous is that this teenage boy called it rape, the girl he was raping was unconscious—and then a family court judge said that it didn’t count as rape because it wasn’t at gunpoint.

I wish I was joking or that I was reading something that was overblown or a lie but that’s not the case, that’s just the reality of the world we live in. When someone “comes from a good family,” this is, apparently, enough to offset a heinous sexual assault. At least in one New Jersey courtroom. Won’t you consider that he might go to a good college? (And assault some more people there?)

According to Vocabulary.com, Rape is defined as the following:

“The crime of forcusing someone to have sex against their will.”

So, I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that having sex with someone who is unconscious and therefore cannot consent to the sexual activity means that it is rape.

As The New York Times reports, the judge’s concern wasn’t for the girl who was assaulted. If anything, he made it very clear that he cared the most about the boy who did the crime and what it could mean for him and his future.

“He also said the young man came from a good family, attended an excellent school, had terrific grades and was an Eagle scout. Prosecutors, the judge said, should have explained to the girl and her family that pressing charges would destroy the boy’s life.”

The end of this is what makes me want to burn everything to the ground. It would destroy his life? What about this 16-year-old girl who had a video shared of her getting raped? What about her life and what it meant for her? This sounds like a story ripped from the nightmare headlines of a much earlier era, but the nightmare remains our own.

I don’t care if his dad plays golf at the country club or if he got a 1600 on the SATs. I care that he raped a girl at a party, shared it on the internet, and called it rape. The judge denied the prosecutor’s request to try the boy as an adult and it isn’t because he’s 16. It’s because of his possibility of going to a good college.

“He is clearly a candidate for not just college but probably for a good college.”

Thankfully, there have been some steps to correcting this sickening miscarriage of justice. An appeals court rebuked what the judge proclaimed and thus changed the status from a family court case to a grand jury case. So, the teen will be tried as an adult and face whatever the grand jury deems necessary, but the idea that a high-ranking judge felt bad for a rapist is a terrifying situation. The judge was subject to “a scathing 14-page ruling that warned [him] against showing bias toward privileged teenagers.” But do we believe this will be corrected in the future? And what about all the cases that are never corrected?

I don’t care where your family is from. I don’t care that you can be the next Steve Jobs. If you rape someone, you should be tried for your crimes and go to jail.

(via The New York Times, image: Getty Images)

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Rachel is an I, Tonya stan who used to have a poster of Frank Sinatra on her wall as a kid. She loves superheroes, weird musicals, and wants Jeremy Renner and Robert Downey Jr. to collaborate on music together. She is Leslie Knope and she's okay with that. At least she gets to live in New York City though!