Saturday, September 15, 2018

Judge Brett Kavanaugh: Attempted Rapist???

Do you remember what you were doing in high school? You probably do if like the fictional Al Bundy, from the sitcom Married with Children, high school turned out to be the high point of your life. Many of us however may start to forget some details of our high school career, especially once we get beyond our thirties or forties and/or move away from where we went to high school. 

So it goes. But if in high school you were a victim of attempted rape or assault or you committed a rape or sexual assault, I think you would probably remember that. Unfortunately, for those of us who weren't there, it is difficult if not impossible to discover the truth when one person accuses another person or persons of sexual assault thirty some odd years after high school. 

That is what happened to Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Kennedy. An anonymous constituent of Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein apparently sent Feinstein and her Congresswoman a letter in July accusing Kavanaugh of attempted rape in the early eighties. Feinstein didn't share this letter with her colleagues until a few days ago.  On Thursday she referred the matter to the FBI. 

On Thursday, Senate Democrats disclosed that they had referred a complaint regarding President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the F.B.I. for investigation. The complaint came from a woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when they were both in high school, more than thirty years ago.

The woman, who has asked not to be identified, first approached Democratic lawmakers in July, shortly after Trump nominated Kavanaugh. The allegation dates back to the early nineteen-eighties, when Kavanaugh was a high-school student at Georgetown Preparatory School, in Bethesda, Maryland, and the woman attended a nearby high school. In the letter, the woman alleged that, during an encounter at a party, Kavanaugh held her down, and that he attempted to force himself on her.

She claimed in the letter that Kavanaugh and a classmate of his, both of whom had been drinking, turned up music that was playing in the room to conceal the sound of her protests, and that Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand. She was able to free herself. Although the alleged incident took place decades ago and the three individuals involved were minors, the woman said that the memory had been a source of ongoing distress for her, and that she had sought psychological treatment as a result.

In a statement, Kavanaugh said, “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.” Kavanaugh’s classmate said of the woman’s allegation, “I have no recollection of that.” The woman declined a request for an interview. LINK

I don't know what the statute of limitations was in 80s era Maryland, the state in which the alleged incident occurred. I know that currently Maryland doesn't have a statute of limitations for rape or sexual assault. However, since it's not Bill Cosby, it's very unlikely in my opinion that anyone would want to take this to trial. 

As Feinstein's staff reportedly indicated, thirty plus years is a lot of time elapsed. Things like this always come down to he said, she said. That is why I do not like the idea of anonymous victims making accusations so long after the alleged incident. If you supported Kavanaugh before this news you will almost certainly see this as a horrible smear campaign coordinated by whiny Democrats who know that they can't stop Kavanaugh's confirmation. If you were opposed to Kavanaugh before this news, you may see this as proof of the evil white cisheteronormative homophobic misogynist racist patriarchal rape culture showing its true nature protecting its own. 

Neither group cares one bit about evidence or lack thereof. Everyone's mind is made up and closed to any evidence that contradicts the preferred narrative. This mulish resistance to facts, evidence, and the possibility that you might be wrong is found among increasing numbers of Americans across the political spectrum. It doesn't mean anything good for American politics or justice.

I hope that in the future we work to ensure that anyone who is assaulted comes forth as soon as possible so that the relevant people can try the case and either clear the accused's name or put away a filthy rapist where he or she can no longer harm anyone else.
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