Tag: sexual assault

Campus Carry Bans Make Sexual Assault Easier

Tom DiGennaro | United States

The vast majority of college campuses do not allow campus carry. In fact, 16 states completely outlaw it. Pennsylvania and Virginia are two of the 23 states that allow campuses to set their own policies for firearms.

Continue reading “Campus Carry Bans Make Sexual Assault Easier”

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Sexual Assault Claims Are Turning into Witch Trials

By Jack Parkos | United States

The term “witch hunt” has been popular ever since the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. Through history, it often describes cases in which either the public or authorities ignore the principle of innocent until proven guilty. Most popularly, the allusion links the witch trials to the McCarthy-era politics of the American 1950s. When linking the two, most make a clear distinction that such mob mentality is severely detrimental and that society should never revert to such a thing again. However, it seems that it now is coming back into American politics.

The Modern American Witch Trials

What is the new witch hunt? Sexual assault allegations. Recently, Christine Ford, and now another woman, Deborah Ramirez, have accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Kavanaugh has denied both incidents and refuses to back down. Yet, many senators are still calling for him to withdraw before anyone finds him guilty. It seems very clear, thus, that those particular senators are not giving him a fair treatment. We simply do not know the facts of the case yet.

It is easy to observe that in specific crimes regarding sexual assault, different people hold drastically different standards for both the accuser and accused. A high-school civics course will teach the idea of innocent until proven guilty in the court of law. Yet, as the #MeToo movement continues, many are ignoring this critical principle. It is particularly interesting how many of his Democratic opponents are members of the party that overwhelmingly supports social justice, but at the same time, are now denying due process and equal treatment under the law.

Sexual assault, without a doubt, is a serious and deeply-running issue in American society today. Those who are guilty should not go without consequence. But, especially due to the gravity of the issue, they should first go through a fair and legal system.

All It Takes

Just a single accusation of sexual assault may cost someone his or her social life and reputation. Many employers will fire workers over as much. The claim could be completely false and without evidence, but this is inconsequential in an era of mob mentality. The similarities to Salem are horrifying. All it takes is one blasphemous claim to influence the life of an individual and the broader political realm.

Suppose that Ford had accused Kavanaugh of another crime, like theft. Most likely, the justice system would treat him more fairly than in the case of a sexual assault. In this case, innocent until proven guilty would maintain. Why is this not the case for sexual assault and misconduct cases?

Of course, sexual assault is considerably different from theft. It is more deeply personal and to many, more serious as well. However, this is not how the rule of law works. All individuals have the same due process rights, no matter the crime. Legally, the Bill of Rights guarantees this, and morally, it is simply wrong to assume guilt without evidence. Admittedly, the Kavanaugh case is beyond the statute of limitations, but the moral point still stands.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Society should apply this principle equally. If all people have this right in the legal system, why not in the court of public opinion? This essential idea should not falter based on a different setting.

The public does not know all of the facts of the case and has not seen all of the evidence yet. Thus, it is wrong to jump to conclusions in any way. We must not call “liar” to the accuser nor must we call “guilty” to the accused. Kavanaugh may be guilty, and Ford may be a liar. To assert either at this point in the game is incredibly unfair and illegitimate. Without the evidence, nobody can suggest so with any degree of certainty. Hence, both parties should receive the same treatment: innocent until proven guilty. Neither side should allow political, personal, or partisan goals to interfere with the virtue of American justice.


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Cody Wilson Charged with Sexual Assault of Child

On Wednesday, the man behind the five-year-long 3D-printed gun debate, Cody Wilson, was charged with sexual assault of a child. Recent reports, however, state that Wilson is not in the country.

Most recently, Wilson was in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, according to officials. Austin police are currently working on returning him to the United States, where he will go to trial.

Wilson, 30, is the owner of Defense Distributed. The company has run into legal blockades over the past several years regarding his action with the 3D-printed guns. Throughout this, Wilson refers to himself as a crypto-anarchist.

In an interview with 71 Republic’s Mason Mohon, he further explained this, outlining his anti-government sympathies. As part of this, he noted that he is quicker and stealthier than the inefficient government. However, he also voiced clear support for staying within the bounds of the law and acting nonviolently to achieve desirable political aims.

The Sexual Assault Allegations

Specifically, the charges relate to an allegation that Wilson paid a minor $500 to have sex with him.

Police are stating that Wilson and the girl met at a coffee shop on August 15th. They then left in a Black Ford edge. Though not insurmountable evidence, it is also true that Wilson’s company possesses a 2015 car matching this description. The license plates of the two vehicles also match.

Wilson is currently not in custody abroad. He was scheduled to return to the United States but missed his flight.

Before Wilson left the country, officials are saying that the accuser’s friend notified him that she was going to the police about the accused sexual assault. Despite this, it does not appear that Wilson was fleeing the country. A multinational businessman, he has regular visits to the small Asian nation.

This story will update as more information is available. Wilson’s video interview with Mohon is available here.

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Actor and Comedian Aziz Ansari Represents Everyone Falsely Accused of Sexual Assult

By Benjamin Lemley | USA

Netflix star and stand-up comedian Aziz Ansari has recently come under fire for sexual assault allegations. The allegations come from an anonymous source who published her story on the website ‘Babe’. She recalls an encounter with Ansari where they went on a date then returned to his apartment. She said she felt pressured into sex, eventually performing oral sex. She said she went home and began to think of whether this was sexual assault or simply a bad date and sexual experience. She settled on the former.

Ansari responded in a statement by saying that he remembers the date, and saw nothing wrong with what happened. He said he was ‘surprised and concerned’ to hear that this woman felt otherwise.

Public reaction to these allegations has been mostly criticism of Babe and their source. People feel that the story, which is basically consistent from both accounts, doesn’t represent to them what sexual assault is. Ansari seemed to have no hints that what was happening was uncomfortable for his partner and it seems people have decided that it’s not his job to find those clues.

In a culture where sexual assault allegations are rampant, as is sexual assault itself, we as a society and as a country need to have very clear standards. When someone who has seemingly consented to sex or any sort, decides the next day that the encounter was uncomfortable, and as suck deems it assault, we must ask how that might feel for every actual rape victim out there.

Stories continue to pop up regarding Hollywood and sexual assault. Aziz Ansari is not the first and not the last to be accused. And in my opinion, the path towards reform consists of 2 main things. First, we need to make sure we have the right people. And second, when we know we do, let’s take legal action. Do those things and Hollywood, plus American, will be well on the way to effectively shaming and punishing sexual abusers.

Netflix Accused of Glamourising Child Sex Trafficking

By Emily Merrell | USA

Survivors of sex trafficking urged Netflix to can a new show called “Baby” – influenced by an Italian teen sex scandal, which is causing Netflix to be accused of normalizing child abuse. In a letter to the executives, they pointed out the double standards of Netflix normalizing sexual exploitation after Kevin Spacey starred show “House of Cards” was dropped after his sexual misconduct charges.

“Netflix recently fired Kevin Spacey … To turn around and produce a show that glorifies the sex trafficking of minors and dub it ‘edgy entertainment’ is the height of hypocrisy …” said Lisa Thompson, vice president of the U.S.-based National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE).

“Baby” goes into production this year. It is inspired by a scandal in Rome where teenage students from the city’s wealthy Parioli district were said to have sold sex to buy designer clothes and mobile phones. It involves the exploitation of 14-15 year-olds for underage prostitution. “The Baby Squillo Scandal” – The letter said eight traffickers were arrested and the leader was in jail for ten years.

Netflix did not respond to the comments, but admitted that the show was inspired off of the Baby Squillo Scandal describing it as a “Coming of age story for teenagers”. This letter was sent to Netflix executives on Thursday – National Human Trafficking Awareness Day – and was signed by 56 campaigners, social-service providers and survivors of sex trafficking, including some who were exploited as teenagers. They stated that there are no teenage prostitutes, only sexually abused and exploited children.

The NCOSE also launched an online petition for the show to be eliminated, stating any minor engaging in commercial sex is a victim of sex trafficking. “If Netflix executives care more about ending sexual exploitation in this #MeToo moment than about profiting from sexually exploitive themes, they will cancel production of this show immediately,”

Teens have always had heavy sexuality and only in recent times has it been extremely publicized. Sex trafficking, pedophilia, and prostitution are hugely debated topics, especially within this post-Lolita and Hollywood sexual harassment times. Will Netflix ax this show? If they don’t want even more extreme backlash, yes.