The Spaghetti-on-Wall School of Victim-Blaming

Shepard Smith of Fox News had a guest on his show, a criminal defense attorney named Joseph DiBenedetto, to do some song-and-dance about the Maryville rape case. And this is what Mr. DiBenedetto had to say about Daisy Coleman:

“There’s no denying that from the surface it appears to be some sort of cover-up,” the defense attorney said. “But when you look at the finer details, there are telltale signs of this girl actually lying. She is leaving her home at 1 a.m. in the morning and nobody forced her to drink. And what happens? She gets caught by her mom, she’s embarrassed and the easy way out here is, ‘Mom, someone took advantage of me.’”

“But what did she expect to happen at 1 a.m. in the morning after sneaking out?” he asked. “I’m not saying — assuming that these facts are accurate and this did happen — I’m not saying she deserved to be raped, but knowing the facts as we do here including what the prosecutor has set forth, this case is going nowhere and it’s going nowhere quick.”

You might notice that he’s going with two different stories here. The first is that the girl’s a liar, because she should be ashamed of sneaking out and drinking, so she tells her mother it was a rape, because in The Land Under Siege by Pubescent Sluts, reporting a star football player as a rapist is so much LESS attention-getting than admitting to your mother that you behaved like a teenager. It’s not like she got a raft of slut-shaming, victim-punishing cyber-bullying when the story came out, or anything. Yeah, she was totally covering her own ass by telling her mother she’d been raped. And we’re going to skip over the details of how her mother found her freezing outside, and found the physical evidence of sexual assault without her daughter’s explanation.

Then, in case that angle doesn’t work out, he says that even if she wasn’t lying, well, she was totally asking for it. If she’s telling the truth, then, you know, she should be ashamed of herself. Because, she snuck out and she got drunk, so the rape was inevitable.

If a creature from another dimension were listening to this guy’s account through a Babel-fish, that alien might get the impression that rape is an accident that happens to girls who aren’t sufficiently rule-abiding and cautious. DiBenedetto said all that without even once acknowledging that there were guys involved. There was an older teenage boy who was indispensably involved in Daisy’s sneaking out, her getting blackout drunk, and her appearing in a rape video on someone’s iPhone. Let’s say nothing about the actions of Matthew Barnett bringing much younger and smaller girls to his house, pressuring a 14-year-old to drink more than she could handle, and putting his cock in her while his friend got them on video, finally, leaving her inadequately dressed and semi-conscious outdoors in freezing weather. Clearly the kid has no control whatsoever over his own actions when a girl sends him a text, so he might as well not have even been there.

Let’s remember that as far as he’s concerned, his explanation doesn’t need to be coherent. He doesn’t need to worry about how it looks that he’s straddling the fence between She’s Lying and She Asked For It. He knows that plenty of people, many of whom could end up on a jury, will see Daisy Coleman as the guilty one if he just evokes the right images. Talk about the girl being less than a perfect angel, and the rapist disappears.

2 thoughts on “The Spaghetti-on-Wall School of Victim-Blaming

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  2. From what I have read this 17 year old was arrested for drunk driving a week before the rape. He got a $10.00 fine for the drunk driving.

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