The Stanford 'Rape' Trial

We live in a culture that has become so heavily sexualized that we are no longer able to see clearly or think rationally. Just about everything, it seems, now comes down to sex, which is, on any reasonable scale of values, merely one of many human preoccupations—central, of course, but still only one of many human interests, desires and activities. The all-consuming importance sex has acquired in contemporary thought, discourse and legislation, amounting almost to a demonic possession, is an infallible sign of both intellectual frivolity and cultural degeneracy.

We are lectured that women are always innocent in cases of sexual assault and that men are invariably guilty, when instances like the Ghomeshi trial, the Duke lacrosse fraud, the “mattress girl” hoax and many others prove the opposite. The result of our morbidly sex-obsessed culture is that we have become increasingly prone to waves of national hysteria, vigilante pursuits of ostensible felons, and the social valorization of mob justice. Less and less in cases of a sexual nature are we concerned with the impartial assessment of evidence that constitutes the basis of a viable justice system; the time-honored principles of presumption of innocence and burden of proof are gradually yielding to the “preponderance of evidence” model—which means the accused is found guilty if judge or jury determine that it is more likely than not that he (almost never she) committed the crime. Nothing here about “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Our modern Furies will pin their prey to the corkboard of their prurient passion with lepidopteran precision. That a process of this nature is a gross travesty of the administration of justice appears to have escaped the attention of the new warrior rabble among us.

The latest example of such deliberate obscurantism involves the highly publicized Stanford incident in which student and competitive swimmer Brock Allen Turner was originally arraigned on two counts of rape and three counts of assault on a young woman he’d met at a frat party—the prosecution’s plan seemed to be to throw everything at the defendant and hope something would stick. He was eventually sentenced to six months in prison on three counts of assault. The mounting frenzy of hatred soon reached epic proportions, with millions sympathizing with the woman—henceforth Jane Doe—and lobbying for both a harsher sentence and the recall of the white male judge—who was also the recipient of death threats. And yet the case is far from being as open-and-shut as an indignant population of vigilantes claim; indeed, it is shrouded in layers of ambiguity.

This did not stop a posse of angry and sanctimonious avengers, journalists, talking heads and feminists from denouncing Turner as some kind of monster. Even the more censorious brand of respectable conservatives got into the act, many of whom have plainly not researched the minutiae of the case and, sad to say, really don’t know what they are talking about. Steve Green, Scott Ott and Bill Whittle, all good men and true, did not cover themselves in glory in their Right Angle video discussion of the Stanford trial. They bought the accepted narrative.