September 22, 2009

EMILY BAZELON: The lesson we’re not learning from the Hofstra date rape that wasn’t. “The weird lesson for men who have group sex in bathrooms: Film it on your cell phone.” And a question: why doesn’t she publish the accuser’s name, now that the rape is admittedly fake? You’re not protecting a victim now, Emily, you’re protecting a perpetrator. Her name is Danmell Ndonye.

How many innocent men are in jail because of similar false accusations? We’re told that such situations are rare, but nobody really knows. And in your piece, Emily, you’re still making excuses for her. I’ll note that — as in this case — many of those innocent men in jail are probably black, and they’re there in part because white feminists have made even the notion of skepticism unacceptable in the discussion of rape allegations.

Ann Althouse adds: “I think, on the whole, women would be better off if they stepped up to the adult work of taking responsibility for themselves. The men in this incident were awful too, but ladies, say no to awful men. Don’t let men define what good sex is. And certainly don’t let them act out their idea of good sex and then decide that you wanted something nicer.” Though apparently what triggered this false charge wasn’t so much regret for an insufficiently nice sexual experience as a desire to keep people from thinking she was a “slut.”

“As I was about to leave, she comes up and she has no shoes on, she is holding them in her hands. She looked like she just finished hot sex,” he said. “I said, ‘Where were you? What were you doing?’ She told me, ‘Nothing.’ I said, ‘What do you mean, nothing?’ ”

Ndonye then dropped a bombshell.

“I said, ‘Don’t lie to me, what’s going on?’ And she said, ‘Oh, I just got raped,’ ” he said.

“It didn’t seem real to me. She was calm,” he continued. “Then she started crying and saying, ‘I was raped.’ She lied to me. I think she was embarrassed. I said to her, ‘You have to call public safety.’ She hesitated. It seemed like she didn’t want to.”

She then tried to backpedal.

“Oh, you know, no, it’s OK,” she told him, but he was incredulous.

“How could it be OK that you just got raped?” the boyfriend said.

So she relented — and a four-day nightmare began for four innocent men. . . . “She probably felt like, ‘They’ll think I’m a slut,’ ” her boyfriend, who asked not to be identified, told The Post.

Nothing wrong with being a slut — it’s one of those personal sexual choices we’re supposed to celebrate, right? — but there’s a lot wrong with making false rape charges.

And shouldn’t Hofstra apologize for suspending these guys and banning them from campus on the strength of an unsubstantiated allegation? It seems to me that there are a lot of lessons to be learned here.

UPDATE: A reader says that false rape allegations are not rare.

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