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Jenn Taylor

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February 20, 2012 - 11:22 am

In October, reports surfaced of a sexual assault in a tent at the Occupy Dallas camp. The victim was a 14-year-old runaway and the alleged assailant, a 23-year-old man.

This case is one of 17 on a list of Occupy-related sexual crimes compiled by Lee Stranahan at Andrew Breitbart’s Big Journalism — a list that Current TV’s Keith Olbermann gleefully “debunked” last week in his ongoing crusade to promote a fictitious “No Occupy Rapes, No Cover-Up” narrative.

Stranahan swiftly countered with a point-by-point refutation of Olbermann’s attempt to deny, mock, and minimize the well-documented occurrence of sexual assaults at Occupy protests. But Olbermann’s denial of the Occupy Dallas assault is so vile and morally bankrupt it merits an even closer look (video here).

Despite the Breitbart headline: “Police Investigating Possible Sexual Assault Of Teen At Occupy Dallas,” the alleged assault victim told police the sex in question was consensual. She would not press charges nor cooperate with authorities. The claim that there was an assault originates with one local tv station’s anonymous source in the Dallas police department.

Olbermann reiterates this rape denial later in his Daily Kos post:

One story turns out to have been about consensual sex.

Good thing he told us twice, ’cause now I get it. This was just another gentle Occupier with a heart of gold enjoying some hot, consensual man-on-teen action. He totally tapped that 14-year-old ass. High fives all around! Age is just a number, amirite Keith?

Not quite. As Stranahan pointed out, the legal age of consent in Texas is 17, a pesky law the Occupy-hating meanies in the Dallas Police Department saw fit to enforce when they arrested Richard Armstrong. And contrary to Olbermann’s debunking, the 14-year-old child — yes, child, Keith — cooperated with authorities:

The Child Exploitation Squad initiated an investigation based on the child victim’s statements.  After a thorough investigation, a suspect was identified.  The suspect was located and questioned.  It was determined the suspect is a non-compliant registered sex offender and engaged in sexual conduct with the runaway who is a minor.  The suspect was arrested on October 27, 2011, for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender (Felony 2) and Sexual Assault of a Child (Felony 2).

Authorities required Armstrong to register as a sex offender after a 2009 conviction for … wait for it … sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl. According to the arrest warrant (PDF):

The victim stated that she told him to stop and said “NO” several times, but he continued to have intercourse with her. The victim stated that she told Richard she was 14 prior to them having sexual intercourse.

Armstrong waived his rights and admitted to having sexual intercourse with the victim. He further stated that the victim told him she was 14 YOA, and that she told him to stop but he could not stop himself because he “had no power over my body.” Armstrong admitted to not wearing a condom.

Just two weeks before his October 27th arrest for the Occupy Dallas assault, Armstrong signed a plea agreement (PDF) admitting to multiple probation violations, including contact with children 17 years of age or younger, failing a clinical polygraph exam, and unsuccessful discharge from sex offender treatment.

He remains jailed at the Lew Sterrett Justice Center with a bond set at $200,000.

This is the man Keith Olbermann refuses to condemn.

If Armstrong’s only mistake was ending up on Andrew Breitbart’s radar for engaging in sweet, wholesome Occupy lovin’, perhaps Olbermann should put his money where his mouth is by bailing the poor, misunderstood Occupier out of jail. I hear offering to spring accused rapists is all the rage since Countdown contributor Michael Moore did it for Julian Assange. Or maybe a letter-writing campaign is the way to go — the elite Hollywood signatories of the Free Roman Polanski petition might have a few pointers.

While Breitbart, Stranahan, and Dana Loesch dedicate themselves to promoting the truth about sexual violence at Occupy protests, Keith Olbermann spins and lies on behalf of assailants. As conservatives work to inform vulnerable women about Occupy predators who feel as entitled to women’s bodies as they do to your property and wealth, Keith Olbermann re-victimizes survivors by denying the assaults took place. He emboldens and empowers criminals by denying the lawless behavior, culture of silence, and thriving sense of entitlement that attracts them to Occupy camps in the first place. And then has the gall to write:

What Mr. Breitbart and his fellow propagandists have done, in fact, is to take at least eight women, eight members of Occupy, who were raped or otherwise assaulted, and blamed them.

Did Breitbart blame a 14-year-old girl for consenting to sex with a 23-year-old sex offender? Did he defend the indefensible by spewing propaganda about “some imaginary wave of rapes at Occupy“? Does he consider a teenage runaway an acceptable casualty in the Occupiers’ fight against social injustice and American imperialism? Or was that you, Keith?

Unlike the team at Big Journalism, I’m not going to demand an apology or retraction from Olbermann. That’s too much to expect from a grown man who believes a 14-year-old girl can consent to sex with an adult. And it’s far too much to expect from a person who gives unapologetic cover to a child rapist at the expense of a young girl.

Follow Jenn Taylor on Twitter at @JennQPublic and catch That's What She Said Thursday nights at 9 p.m. EST on FTR Radio.
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