This is my “not shocked” face.

A woman holds up a sign in a crowd. The sign reads: "I love consent"

[TW for sexual assault]

From The Daily Texan:

No sexual assault charges will be filed against junior linebackerJordan Hicks or junior quarterback Case McCoy, according to a statement released Wednesday by Hicks’ attorney, Perry Minton. Furthermore, both players have been reinstated to the football team, head coach Mack Brown announced Sunday evening.

A reminder: One of out 5 women will be sexually assaulted during her college years.

I think about all of the students I have had contact with over the decade that I have been in the classroom at the University of Texas, all the women, and how many will be or have been sexually assaulted while at UT. And that I know many will see this story and be reminded, once again, of how unimportant society views the crime against them. How much of our society is built to protect rapists and tear down those they victimize. How almost no one believes women who come forward. How so few men who commit sexual assault ever pay for their crimes because of underreporting (which is a direct result of the scrutiny and victim blaming that happens repeatedly in these cases) and because so few are ever arrested, less prosecuted, and only a tiny handful of perpetrators ever punished.

And my students, the women I’ve known, will see this incident and shrug at the banality of high-profile football players at the school they attend or attended walking away from a sexual assault unscathed, something some of my students, those who fall into that 1 in 5 category, will not have had the luxury of doing.

Most of all, I think about the woman who reported the sexual assault to police. The courage it would have taken knowing who they were, knowing that it took place in her hotel room, that she had been drinking, knowing what people would say, knowing that the odds were small that anything would come of it. I have chosen to do the radical thing in this case, which is to believe her. And so I grieve for her tonight. And I wish her the best moving forward.

Comments are closed.

2 Responses

  1. Ben Koch says:

    I agree with all you’ve said. However, in this particular case, there is allegedly a cell phone video of everything that occurred in the hotel room. So whatever consent there was or was not is recorded, as was the woman’s knowledge of the fact that it was recorded. The whole thing is reprehensible, but there’s plenty of evidence if the DA decides to go forward.

  2. But there are so many sexual assault cases that don’t go forward even with good evidence. And whether or not that video does exists (I also heard that she is allegedly a prostitute, for example — not that you can’t assault a prostitute but rather that lots of things have been alleged already to destroy her credibility), she could retract the charges or not want to move forward because she doesn’t want the scrutiny or to deal with them tearing her down.

    The way it works, there are always endless reasons why they can’t prosecute, why the evidence isn’t good enough, etc. etc. etc. Most of that stems from the fact that so few ever actually believe the victim and people want very badly to see that she is lying.

    I mean, people are blaming that woman who was gang raped in India who later died from her extensive injuries. Everything in these cases has to be filtered through the reality of how rape culture colors the lens through which we view all of this.