This is one of the most shocking instances of victim-blaming across which I've come in more than five years of blogging, which is really saying something: A 12-year-old girl was raped in the stairwell of her middle school by a 14-year-old classmate. It was so obviously a rape that when two classmates passed the scene, one ran for help and the other physically intervened.
But site supervisors (who are responsible for school safety and thus are totally objective commentators, ahem) are disputing the victim's, the witnesses' the police's, and prosecutors' contention that it was a sexual assault:
"We monitor the hallways, the stairways, we're up and down all day long," says Marquita Dones.Just off the top of my head, here's one reason why a 12-year-old child being raped might not scream or try to defend herself: Because the person raping her, who has already shown himself to be capable of rape, has threatened to kill her if she does either.
Dones is one of four paid site supervisors at El Cerrito's Portola Middle School. She and a co-worker are disputing whether a 12-year-old 7th-grade girl was actually raped by a 14-year-old 8th-grade boy last Thursday.
"If she was being raped, why didn't she scream?" Dones asks. "Why did these students have to come up and tell us that somebody's down there?"
Mustapha Cannon says, "It was hormones going wild."
Cannon is another full-time site supervisor at Portola and says, "I know the girl and I know the guy. I know... and I know the girl's family. I know for a fact that that girl could've knocked that guy out with one hand tied behind her back."
You'll no doubt be unsurprised to hear that these two rape apologists who are totally ignorant about the act of rape are also ignorant of rape laws:
Despite claims that the sex between the two students was consensual, under California law, a child cannot consent to a sexual act.So their argument that she wasn't raped isn't even a legal possibility. Which is something people working in a middle school should probably know.
Juvenile prosecutor Dan Cabral says, "A child under the age of 14 cannot be touched."
Although he would not specify the exact charge until the boy is arraigned, Cabral says it is a serious felony.
"Regardless of consent or not, no person in the State of California is allowed to touch a child under the age of 14 for purposes of sexual gratification," he says.
Anna N.'s got more, and notes that the middle school is near Richmond High School, site of the much-discussed October gang rape.
[H/T to Shaker BethanyJo.]