High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Time

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podbaydoor
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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby podbaydoor » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:49 pm UTC

Even if the article was badly written and confusing, I think we can glean these two things:

1) the girl alleged rape.
2) the principal did not take the actions that he should have been trained to do in the event of rape allegations (and was probably required by law to do).

How is this in question?
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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby mythago » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:06 am UTC

JoeKhol wrote:The key phrase is the last three words of the first paragraph (but applies equally to the school district); "her attorneys claim".


Actually, the key phrase is the school district's response, which is also included in the article. It's quite telling.
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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby JoeKhol » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:10 am UTC

podbaydoor wrote:Even if the article was badly written and confusing, I think we can glean these two things:

1) the girl alleged rape.
2) the principal did not take the actions that he should have been trained to do in the event of rape allegations (and was probably required by law to do).

How is this in question?
Pretty much everything seems to be in question - that's my point.

We don't know the exact situation and information the principal was presented with at the time but only knowing that can we fairly judge his response. The rape allegation is very clear in hindsight now but we don't know how clear it was at the time. It's fairly obvious what he did was wrong but it is not clear that it was incompetence or wilful arrogance rather than an honest, tragic mistake.

There is also no mention of the other teacher response beyond offering to walk the girls to the bus and no reference to anyone suggesting contacting the police. Maybe that's in the parts of the submissions not reported, maybe it never happened but it strikes me as just one of the key questions we don't have any answer to.

All this is why this kind of thing is judged by professionals who have read and carefully considered *all* of the information available and not by random strangers reading a seriously limited (and potentially biased) newspaper article.
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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby Levelheaded » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:27 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:Even if the article was badly written and confusing, I think we can glean these two things:

1) the girl alleged rape.
2) the principal did not take the actions that he should have been trained to do in the event of rape allegations (and was probably required by law to do).

How is this in question?


I have to agree with JoeKohl on this one, everything is in question.

Key to this whole case is the following:

According to the brief by the student's attorney, on Feb. 4, 2008, the girl went to one of her teachers, Esther von Waldow, and told her that a boy, with whom she'd had previous problems, had forced her to have sex with him after school. The Post-Gazette does not identify victims of sexual assault and has not identified the accused rapist, who pleaded guilty in juvenile court to sexual assault.

The girl told Ms. von Waldow that he forced another student to have sex, as well.

Ms. von Waldow, according to the brief, immediately went to school administrators with concerns and offered several options to make sure the girls in question got home safely. They included offering herself to walk the girls to their school bus.


This article says nothing about the testimony made by Ms. von Waldow, so we can not take this as objective fact.

Also according to the brief, Ms. von Waldow only went to school administrators "with concerns". It doesn't say that she went to school administrators and reported a rape. Ms. von Waldow may have went to administrators "with concerns" (her personal concerns) that students were having consensual sex, and offered to walk the girl to the bus.

There is not enough information provided in the article to determine otherwise. Even if this portion of the article is true, it does not objectively tell us that the principal or school acted outside of standard procedures.

They claim that several school administrators knew by mid-January that the boy was sexually harassing several girls and had sexually assaulted more than one.


Again, this is the claims of the girl's lawyers. There is not enough information to determine if this alleged activity actually happened, if said administrators were aware of this alleged activity, or if they were aware they acted in accordance of school policy / state law.

"Security personnel followed the students. Whether the sexual activity was alleged to be consensual or nonconsensual would not have altered the plan," Upper St. Clair said in its brief. "The plan to was to monitor the students and stop the students before any sexual activity occurred."


This seems stupid of the school. So stupid to put in writing that it almost seems out of context. I wasn't able to find a copy of the brief, so I think this should be ignored without correct context.

I must agree that if the sexual activity was alleged to be nonconsensual, the only thing that should have been done was calling the girl's parents and the police.

Of course, regardless of what the school may have done IF the sexual activity was nonconsensual, it is meaningless unless we can determine the school administrators were aware of the sexual activity and aware of allegations that it was nonconsensual.

School officials also claim that they knew nothing of any sexual assaults by the boy until the morning of Feb. 5, 2008 -- the day after the alleged "sting."


From another article:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_692829.html

The district last month asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit, saying no "policy-making" official had "actual notice of a known danger" until Feb. 5.


Ok, so this information has as much weight as anythingin the article. Since it contradicts the student's suit, we can't make any determination.

If this is true, I can understand why the school would expect dismissal of this lawsuit. The school isn't liable if they had no way to prevent the actions.

Also, about the only fact I can find is that the alleged rapist has pled guilt to sexual assault, but it looksl ike he pled guilty for the rape of a third girl - not either of the students in this suit.

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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:03 pm UTC

JoeKhol wrote:We don't know the exact situation and information the principal was presented with at the time

That doesn't matter at all. The girl said she was sexually assaulted. Even if her teacher failed to inform the principal of this allegation, that is a failure of the school system.

I seriously doubt the teacher would forget to inform the principal of a rape allegation, but even if that were so, it doesn't change the extreme negligence of these education professionals which left this girl at the mercy of her rapist, in the school building.

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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby Levelheaded » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:30 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
JoeKhol wrote:We don't know the exact situation and information the principal was presented with at the time

That doesn't matter at all. The girl said she was sexually assaulted. Even if her teacher failed to inform the principal of this allegation, that is a failure of the school system.

I seriously doubt the teacher would forget to inform the principal of a rape allegation, but even if that were so, it doesn't change the extreme negligence of these education professionals which left this girl at the mercy of her rapist, in the school building.


One major flaw in your logic...the girl's lawyers allege that the girl said she was sexually assaulted. This is a failure of the school system if and only if those allegations are true.

We are fortunate that this isn't like many rape cases where the victim's word is the only evidence of wrongdoing. In this case, the teacher (or any witnesses to the conversation) can provide sworn testimony that this girl told the teacher she was sexually assaulted. Until that sworn testimony is presented, all we can do is make assumptions.

Also, employers (especially non-policy making employees) aren't always held liable for an employee's actions if the employee is in violation of company policy. If all rapes / sexual assaults (alleged or not) must be reported to administration immediately and the teacher didn't follow that policy, the school has a legitimate claim for having the case dropped or damages reduced.

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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby mythago » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:30 pm UTC

JoeKhol wrote:We don't know the exact situation and information the principal was presented with at the time but only knowing that can we fairly judge his response. The rape allegation is very clear in hindsight now but we don't know how clear it was at the time. It's fairly obvious what he did was wrong but it is not clear that it was incompetence or wilful arrogance rather than an honest, tragic mistake.


Actually, Joe, we know what the school district is claiming, as you'd see if you read the article:

"According to a court filing submitted by the school district, Dr. Ghilani didn't believe that the students were in danger or that any safety concerns were present. Instead, he thought students were having consensual sex in school after hours.

He devised a plan to have school police officers follow the students in question to determine who they were and where they were going.

"Security personnel followed the students. Whether the sexual activity was alleged to be consensual or nonconsensual would not have altered the plan," Upper St. Clair said in its brief. "The plan to was to monitor the students and stop the students before any sexual activity occurred."


In other words, according to the school district's lawyers, the principal decided to ignore the student's report that she had been raped, did not report a rape to the police, and used the student as bait. His justification is that he did not think there were any 'safety concerns'. That is their best-scenario argument.

The article also notes that even after the school knew - by its own admission - that there had actually been a rape, it lied and failed to report this on its annual report of crime on campus.

Why are you making excuses that aren't even based in fact?
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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby JoeKhol » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:26 pm UTC

mythago wrote:In other words, according to the school district's lawyers, the principal decided to ignore the student's report that she had been raped, did not report a rape to the police, and used the student as bait.
That is possible but it is also possible that what he was actually told by the teacher didn't come across as a rape allegation (be that due to misunderstanding, because she didn't believe it or because the girl hadn't actually made a clear rape allegation at that point).

mythago wrote:The article also notes that even after the school knew - by its own admission - that there had actually been a rape, it lied and failed to report this on its annual report of crime on campus.
The reasons for what was and wasn't on the report aren't established. Maybe it was a deliberate lie, maybe it was incompetence, maybe it was good intention (the report was apparently submitted in June, the sexual assault conviction was in October so maybe there were honest - if possibly misguided - legal concerns).

mythago wrote:Why are you making excuses that aren't even based in fact?
Most the facts available are disputed, inconsistent or open to interpretation and I'm not making any excuses for anyone.

Claiming you can have a full and clear understanding of the whole sequence of events including what everyone did, said and thought at the time and so can make such definitive statements about what the consequences should be is simply wrong.

It is undeniable that something went wrong but exactly what, how and who (if anyone, beyond the already convicted criminal) may be responsible and to what extent is not clear. If it were, there wouldn't be a court case about this in the first place.
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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby Levelheaded » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:37 pm UTC

mythago wrote:"According to a court filing submitted by the school district, Dr. Ghilani didn't believe that the students were in danger or that any safety concerns were present. Instead, he thought students were having consensual sex in school after hours.

He devised a plan to have school police officers follow the students in question to determine who they were and where they were going.

"Security personnel followed the students. Whether the sexual activity was alleged to be consensual or nonconsensual would not have altered the plan," Upper St. Clair said in its brief. "The plan to was to monitor the students and stop the students before any sexual activity occurred."


This information does not support your following statements.

mythago wrote:In other words, according to the school district's lawyers, the principal decided to ignore the student's report that she had been raped, did not report a rape to the police, and used the student as bait. His justification is that he did not think there were any 'safety concerns'. That is their best-scenario argument.


This is inconsistent with the brief submitted. The brief does not state that the principal ignored the report of a rape - it doesn't even state if there was or wasn't a report. It only says he didn't believe students were in danger and he thought students were having consensual sex.

That's plain English.

mythago wrote:The article also notes that even after the school knew - by its own admission - that there had actually been a rape, it lied and failed to report this on its annual report of crime on campus.


This is irrelevant to the court case.

However, as JoeKohl noted, the information was submitted in June, and the sexual assault conviction was in October - it's also not clear from the article that the sexual assault this boy was convicted of happened on school grounds.


I also wanted to note the use of the term "school police officers". My initial impression was that the principal had rent-a-cops following the girl, but it appears that these were actual police. If that is the case, and he was working in concert with a law enforcement investigation, I'm not so sure he did anything wrong.

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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby mythago » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:59 pm UTC

JoeKhol wrote:That is possible but it is also possible that what he was actually told by the teacher didn't come across as a rape allegation (be that due to misunderstanding, because she didn't believe it or because the girl hadn't actually made a clear rape allegation at that point).


I'm not going by what is "possible". I'm going by what the school district's own lawyers said, meaning the best possible spin on the scenario. They did not say any of the things you are alleging as "possible".

JoeKhol wrote:The reasons for what was and wasn't on the report aren't established. Maybe it was a deliberate lie, maybe it was incompetence, maybe it was good intention (the report was apparently submitted in June, the sexual assault conviction was in October so maybe there were honest - if possibly misguided - legal concerns).


You seem really eager to find good intention, but no. The school district's own lawyers said they learned it was a rape in February. The report was in June.

Of course there would be a court case about this in the first place, even if it were "clear". The school district does not want to pay money, therefore it is defending itself in the lawsuit. Are you really, truly arguing that nobody ever defends themselves in a lawsuit where what happened is "clear"? And really, why are you inventing "possible" scenarios based on no facts while ignoring the actual facts?
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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby mythago » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:06 pm UTC

Levelheaded wrote:This is inconsistent with the brief submitted. The brief does not state that the principal ignored the report of a rape - it doesn't even state if there was or wasn't a report. It only says he didn't believe students were in danger and he thought students were having consensual sex.


The brief (at least as reported in this article) does not say that the principal was unaware of a report, or that the student did not make a credible report. The justification offered by the attorneys is that he thought it was consensual and that using the complaining student as bait was appropriate. That, too, is plain English.

Levelheaded wrote:This is irrelevant to the court case.


Why do you believe this is irrelevant to the court case, given that it displays an absolute indifference to the safety of the students and a pattern of covering up unpleasant information? And it's certainly relevant to the arguments some are making here that we ought to assume the school district acted in good faith. Even AFTER the time they themselves admitted they knew about a rape (February), they violated their legal obligation to disclose that rape. The school disputes when in February they got that information, but not that they knew about it before June.

Levelheaded wrote:I also wanted to note the use of the term "school police officers". My initial impression was that the principal had rent-a-cops following the girl, but it appears that these were actual police. If that is the case, and he was working in concert with a law enforcement investigation, I'm not so sure he did anything wrong.


"The principal sent a rape victim out as bait and told the school campus cops to follow her" is not exactly the same as "working in concert with a law enforcement investigation". This is not a situation where the police directed the principal to send a student off as bait. If these were actual police, and they ignored a report of rape from the principal, then at the least they're also bad actors.
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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby deerie » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:26 pm UTC

This article and situation are being grossly misinterpreted.

1.) At no point does the school admit to any sort of sting operation or using the girl as bait, which many of you are alleging. These words are used exclusively by the paper and the girls' attorneys. The school says, "The plan to was to monitor the students and stop the students before any sexual activity occurred." (Bolding mine.) There is no implication that the students were being monitored to catch them doing anything.

2.) Nowhere does the article say the girls wanted to go home. Many people at this school remain in the building after hours. Dr. Ghilani may have thought the girls were safer at school under the supervision of the school police officers (yes, they are 'real' police officers) instead of at home, where some of the rapes were alleged to have occurred. The police officers didn't lose track of the students, but rather thought that they safely left the building: "The officers followed the students and believed that they had gone home for the day." The girls appeared to go home, but they later returned to the building. There was an article from another news site that said a security guard actually saw them on the security camera after they returned and tried to locate them but was unable to.

3.) There are plenty of cameras. As mentioned above, someone did notice the girls had returned to the building. For the record, motion detectors have since been placed in the stairwell where the rape occurred and in another similar stairwell. (The section of the stairwell where the rape occurred is used only as an emergency exit, so there's no reason for anyone to be down there during normal school hours.) Suggesting that security cameras could have stopped this from happening is ludicrous in any case. The previous rapes (those that the girl talk with her teacher about) occurred in other places not on school property, so there was no way security camera footage could have confirmed the girl's claims.

4.) Because the previous rapes had not occurred on school property, the administrators probably thought that school would be a safe place for the girls. I don't see how that is being unreasonable or irresponsible.

5.) Yes, doubting the girl's allegations was very inconsiderate. That's being a real jerk. But, "innocent until proven guilty." It's difficult to maintain a balance between the fundamentals of our justice system and not doubting rape victims.

6.) There's a very good chance the school district was limited in its reporting of the rape because of legal concerns. The school asked students to not discuss the matter because of legal concerns.

7.) In case anyone was wondering, this boy was not popular. He creeped people out and should have been kicked out in middle school for bringing weapon paraphernalia to school.

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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby mythago » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:51 pm UTC

deerie - no, I'm going by the arguments made by the school district as well.

- Sending somebody into a situation 'but we'll stop it before anything actually happens' is using them as bait.
- If we're trying to avoid inventing facts, why are we speculating on whether 'maybe' the principal was acting out of unsupported reasons?
- "Innocent until proven guilty" - FFS. I wish people would learn what this means, which is that in the US, it's a legal standard: someone accused of a crime is, in the eyes of the law, presumed innocent of that crime until the state (i.e. the prosecution) has proven them guilty of every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. It doesn't mean "If a student reports a crime to a school official, he should probably ignore it or assume she's lying." It also doesn't mean "don't bother calling the police ever."
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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby Texas_Ben » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:24 pm UTC

deerie wrote:5.) Yes, doubting the girl's allegations was very inconsiderate. That's being a real jerk. But, "innocent until proven guilty." It's difficult to maintain a balance between the fundamentals of our justice system and not doubting rape victims.

"Innocent until proven guilty" applies to... you know... fucking TRIALs, where the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove that you did it. It does not mean that you perform the "inconsiderate act" of deliberately throwing someone claiming they were raped back into harms way instead of reporting it to the police (or anyone) where they can actually bring the matter to trial where "innocent until proven guilty" actually means fuck all.

Next time, step back and take a break from the internet before you post. Swearing at people in large font does not improve your chances of continuing to be able to discuss this. -Hawk

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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby JoeKhol » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:22 am UTC

mythago wrote:I'm not going by what is "possible". I'm going by what the school district's own lawyers said, meaning the best possible spin on the scenario. They did not say any of the things you are alleging as "possible".
You're not going by what the school districts lawyers said. Nothing in the article states that the principal had the actual rape allegation reported to him but ignored it (not even the quotes girls lawyers' submission). You are coming to that conclusion based on what has been reported but the accuracy of you conclusion isn't certain (And that's presuming everything stated in both of the submissions is actually true).

mythago wrote:You seem really eager to find good intention
No, I'm just eager for it to be recognised as possible. Why are you so eager to find wilful negligence on the part of the principal?

mythago wrote:The school district's own lawyers said they learned it was a rape in February. The report was in June.
The second attack happened in February and the school was apparently aware shortly afterwards but until the point of a conviction, it would have remained an allegation (and since the conviction was for sexual assault, legally it wasn't a rape).

I honestly don't know if it would have been procedurally, morally or legally right to put in the report an allegation which was going through the legal process at the time of writing (and there is a suggestion that it was a poorly manage system in general). That brings enough doubt in my mind to be able to definitively say the someone deliberately lied in the report.

mythago wrote:Are you really, truly arguing that nobody ever defends themselves in a lawsuit where what happened is "clear"?
If it's truly clear, generally I am. Organisations (especially public ones) settle out of court, cases get thrown out, lawyers advise that there is no chance of winning. Of course, in cases like this, the facts are hardly ever clear anyway - that's my point.

mythago wrote:And really, why are you inventing "possible" scenarios based on no facts while ignoring the actual facts?
Which facts have I ignored? Which of the possibilities I've offered run counter to the few actual facts available?

I am presenting several possibilities because you have presented just one. My possibilities are just like yours in that they take the information we do have and fill in the gaps where we don't. The difference is that I'm not stating any one possibility must be true. I'm trying to convince you to recognise that the specific conclusion of this whole horrible situation you've come to having read the report could be mistaken.
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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby Diadem » Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:04 pm UTC

mythago wrote:- "Innocent until proven guilty" - FFS. I wish people would learn what this means, which is that in the US, it's a legal standard: someone accused of a crime is, in the eyes of the law, presumed innocent of that crime until the state (i.e. the prosecution) has proven them guilty of every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. It doesn't mean "If a student reports a crime to a school official, he should probably ignore it or assume she's lying." It also doesn't mean "don't bother calling the police ever."

It's pretty obvious that deerie meant "We should not judge the principle guilty of not believing her until we've seen some actual evidence about what was said".

My main problem is that the original article is just too poorly written to make much out of it. It leaves out a lot of important information, and is very vague and ambiguous on several occasions. I don't trust it as a reliable source on anything, really. And I really see no point passing jugdement on a case that is not personally relevant for me and for which my only source is a vague and badly written news report. That's not apathy. I'm certainly not apathetic about rape culture. But if I get up in arms over something, I'd like it to be something more tangible.
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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby mythago » Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:16 pm UTC

JoeKhol wrote: Nothing in the article states that the principal had the actual rape allegation reported to him but ignored it (not even the quotes girls lawyers' submission). You are coming to that conclusion based on what has been reported but the accuracy of you conclusion isn't certain (And that's presuming everything stated in both of the submissions is actually true).


I bolded the above because, frankly, you just baffled me. "Both of the submissions" includes the allegations of the school district's lawyers, who are trying to put on the most positive case for their client. Assuming those statements are true is giving the school district the absolute benefit of the doubt. Why do you want me to assume the school district is lying?

The girl's lawyers say she reported a rape. In response, the school district's lawyers do not disagree (at least, based on what's in the article), they simply state that the principal thought there was 'consensual sex' going on and didn't think the students were in danger.

JoeKhol wrote:No, I'm just eager for it to be recognised as possible. Why are you so eager to find wilful negligence on the part of the principal?


I'm just eager to base opinions on the facts that we have, instead of making up "possible" scenarios based on speculation and misunderstanding. Anything is possible.

JoeKhol wrote:I honestly don't know if it would have been procedurally, morally or legally right to put in the report an allegation which was going through the legal process at the time of writing (and there is a suggestion that it was a poorly manage system in general). That brings enough doubt in my mind to be able to definitively say the someone deliberately lied in the report.


If they knew a crime had been committed in February, they are obligated by law to report that in June. I'm not sure what's ambiguous about this.

JoeKhol wrote:If it's truly clear, generally I am.


Then, and I apologize if this sounds snarky, you don't understand how civil lawsuits work.
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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby mythago » Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:17 pm UTC

Diadem wrote: And I really see no point passing jugdement on a case that is not personally relevant for me and for which my only source is a vague and badly written news report.


Then why are you posting on this thread at all?
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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby GoC » Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:38 pm UTC

mythago wrote:Then, and I apologize if this sounds snarky, you don't understand how civil lawsuits work.

A link would doubtless be more helpful than this statement (even if it's just a link to wikipedia!).
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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby mythago » Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:49 pm UTC

GoC wrote:
mythago wrote:Then, and I apologize if this sounds snarky, you don't understand how civil lawsuits work.

A link would doubtless be more helpful than this statement (even if it's just a link to wikipedia!).


I'm genuinely not sure what kind of link would be helpful. Joe is arguing that the facts must not be "clear" in this lawsuit because the school district is actually putting on a defense; in other words, that if the facts are clear in a lawsuit, the defendant always says "okay, you got us" and settles.
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Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby JoeKhol » Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:11 am UTC

mythago wrote:I bolded the above because, frankly, you just baffled me. "Both of the submissions" includes the allegations of the school district's lawyers, who are trying to put on the most positive case for their client. Assuming those statements are true is giving the school district the absolute benefit of the doubt. Why do you want me to assume the school district is lying?
It's worth remembering that the school district lawyers' client is the school district, not the principal.

I don't want you to assume the school district is lying though. I want you to stop assuming anything at all.

mythago wrote:The girl's lawyers say she reported a rape. In response, the school district's lawyers do not disagree (at least, based on what's in the article), they simply state that the principal thought there was 'consensual sex' going on and didn't think the students were in danger.
The sections quoted in the article only say the girl reported the rape to the female teacher. The article fails (though it could be a failure of the lawyers submissions) to establish exactly what the principal was told prior to him coming to that conclusion.

You are assuming he was clearly told (and ignored or dismissed it) but that is not an established fact.

mythago wrote:I'm just eager to base opinions on the facts that we have, instead of making up "possible" scenarios based on speculation and misunderstanding. Anything is possible.
As I've already said, you are making up a possible scenario. I'm trying to point out that it is only one possibility, relying on a large chunk of assumption and inference.

JoeKhol wrote:If they knew a crime had been committed in February, they are obligated by law to report that in June. I'm not sure what's ambiguous about this.
They didn't *know* a crime had been committed. The knew a crime had been alledged and that it was proceeding through the legal system to establish if it had been committed.

I don't see anything suggesting they're obliged by law to include rape allegations subject of an ongoing criminal case at the time of writing in their report. The article does quote the Department of Education saying there is no discipline on incorrect reporting and that districts are left to define offences themselves. If there is such a legal obligation, the Department of Education is failing to implement it and ignorance rather than dishonesty on the part of the school and/or district appear equally likely.

JoeKhol wrote:Then, and I apologize if this sounds snarky, you don't understand how civil lawsuits work.
I think I do (as much as a layman can). I'm suggesting that situations where all the facts are entirely clear generally don't get to court. Of course, such situations are extremely rare anyway and this most certainly isn't one of them.
Therefore, I think I am.

Levelheaded
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 3:42 pm UTC

Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby Levelheaded » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:09 pm UTC

mythago wrote:
JoeKhol wrote:I honestly don't know if it would have been procedurally, morally or legally right to put in the report an allegation which was going through the legal process at the time of writing (and there is a suggestion that it was a poorly manage system in general). That brings enough doubt in my mind to be able to definitively say the someone deliberately lied in the report.


If they knew a crime had been committed in February, they are obligated by law to report that in June. I'm not sure what's ambiguous about this.


Has it even been established as fact that any rapes happened in the school? This article is so poorly written that it's hard to determine what is established fact and what is an allegation.

The first alleged rape, the one reported to the teacher, reportedly happened off school grounds. I haven't been able to determine if this was prosecuted. Regardless, this wouldn't be reported to the Safe Schools report.

I'm not finding information that either of the two rapes that allegedly happened in the unmonitored stairwell were prosecuted or even reported prior to the filing of this lawsuit.

I'm only finding that the boy was convicted of sexual assualt, not rape, of a third girl unrelated to this lawsuit. The location of this sexual assault was not given but it seems to have been at the school. This conviction was four months after the Safe Schools report was filed. It's also of note that "an Allegheny County judge issued a gag order".

Could the school legally report a sexual assault as a rape when there hasn't been a conviction and a gag order has been issued?

deerie
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:20 am UTC

Re: High School Rape Victim Used as Bait, Raped a Second Tim

Postby deerie » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:11 pm UTC

Levelheaded wrote:I'm only finding that the boy was convicted of sexual assualt, not rape, of a third girl unrelated to this lawsuit. The location of this sexual assault was not given but it seems to have been at the school. This conviction was four months after the Safe Schools report was filed. It's also of note that "an Allegheny County judge issued a gag order".

Could the school legally report a sexual assault as a rape when there hasn't been a conviction and a gag order has been issued?

Agreed. I'm not sure exactly what a gag order entails. I do know that everyone involved in the rape lawsuit was a minor, further complicating the situation. They definitely couldn't report anything before the lawsuit about the rapes had been settled. I am pretty sure that he was never convicted of rape, but don't quote me on that.
mythago wrote:deerie - no, I'm going by the arguments made by the school district as well.

- Sending somebody into a situation 'but we'll stop it before anything actually happens' is using them as bait.
- If we're trying to avoid inventing facts, why are we speculating on whether 'maybe' the principal was acting out of unsupported reasons?
- "Innocent until proven guilty" - FFS. I wish people would learn what this means, which is that in the US, it's a legal standard: someone accused of a crime is, in the eyes of the law, presumed innocent of that crime until the state (i.e. the prosecution) has proven them guilty of every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. It doesn't mean "If a student reports a crime to a school official, he should probably ignore it or assume she's lying." It also doesn't mean "don't bother calling the police ever."

-To me, "stop it before anything actually happens" meant "we're going to watch them and make sure nothing bad happens," not "we're going to form an elaborate plan to catch these immoral teenagers".
-Because given my knowledge of the school district and the situation, that seems a lot more likely than aforementioned elaborate scheme.
-I agree. That's why I said he being a jerk in that instance. At that time, he might not have had enough information to make a police report, as others have pointed out. The girls might not have even provided a name. The girls might not have wanted a police report filed at that time. (Then again, there could be laws requiring a potential rape of minors be reported anyway.)
Texas_Ben wrote:"Innocent until proven guilty" applies to... you know... fucking TRIALs, where the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove that you did it. It does not mean that you perform the "inconsiderate act" of deliberately throwing someone claiming they were raped back into harms way instead of reporting it to the police (or anyone) where they can actually bring the matter to trial where "innocent until proven guilty" actually means fuck all.

I think you missed my point about the original rapes being off school property, the security guards being police officers, and the supervision by security guards quite possibly being in the girls' best interests. Also everything everyone else has said about who actually knew what. I used the phrase "fundamentals of our justice system" because I think laypeople could benefit from not automatically siding against people accused of crime. Granted, given this particular guy's history...I was surprised that I was one of the few people who actually believed the girls. But that's a message about society's opinions of rape victims in general.


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