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Amid rape cases, Missoula questions its identity
Missoula, Montana's picturesque setting belies the drama of ongoing federal investigations.
November 8th, 2012
11:18 AM ET

Amid rape cases, Missoula questions its identity

By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @CNNEmma

Missoula, Montana (CNN) -- Geoffrey Donovan remembers when the news first broke that his university, the University of Montana, was under investigation by federal authorities:

[1:06] "It's a hot topic. I mean everyone was talking about it. I know in my class it wasn't just girls who had some stuff to say. It's what's on the front page, you know?"

The investigation was about how officials from local law enforcement, and at the university, handle rape cases on and off campus. Making the announcement in May, the Department of Education and the Department of Justice cited complaints that rape cases weren't getting proper attention.

Six months on, with still no resolution, residents worry about how they'll be perceived outside their community. But the U.S. Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, says his office has heard a myriad of similar problems across the country:

[2:07] "We find cases where the students aren't taken seriously because they use alcohol before or after the assault."

Even as the investigation continues, the university has made changes. But not everyone in town cooperated with federal investigators. Fred VanValkenburg is the long-serving county attorney. He's refused to turn over any documents and says he doesn't think investigators have the authority. And, he defends his record prosecuting rapes.

VanValkenburg says his office does a good job handling rape cases. But he says these cases can pose challenges for prosecutors. He also says alcohol can indeed be a factor:

[3:18] "If a woman get's drunk and consents to some intercourse or some sexual act that she really wishes she hadn't done, you know, it doesn't become a crime because she was drunk and maybe she should have used better judgment. And you know, that's where the big difference lies because people do tend to agree to do things when they are drunk that they wouldn't when they are sober."

No matter the outcome of these investigations, local law enforcement and university authorities around the country should pay attention.

Editor's Note: Listen to the complete story in the SoundCloud player above.

Posted by
Filed under: Justice • Stories • Voices
soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Your Panties and My Panties in Texas

    All I can say about this situation is that I Need Some and I Want Some. Is that okay with everyone?

    November 12, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BldrRepublican

    f *both* the male and female are drunk, why is it that the woman gets a "free pass" and not held accountable because she was drunk, but not the man? I mean if BOTH were drunk, then BOTH are not able to consent, and therefore the rape is mutual (i.e. they both raped each other).

    Be consistent with your argument. Don't quote to me "the overwhelming majority of rapes involve a drunk girl...etc". In those cases the boy is likely very drunk also. If she can be raped in that state, then so can he. That is sexism at it's finest....

    November 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thankful-not-to-be-a-Boulder-Replublican

      @BldrRepublican: Wow... I know there's no point arguing with someone who holds your views but I also know you're a dinosaur and by the time my own daughter is old enough to vote it basically won't be possible for people who espouse your viewpoint to get elected anymore. It's already not possible for someone with your views to occupy the White House. State and local seats will follow soon enough. I thank God that I am living at the end of the "social" Dark Ages and am witnessing something like a second Enlightenment era and the growth of true freedom. I know to you it just seems like double standards and the break down of order but what it really is is the loss of undue privilege. That's a good thing. I know that I myself will begin to lose privileges I have never earned or deserved, but simply acquired through the luck of my birth into our country's dominant demographic. Yeah, I might have to work a little harder, but it's the right thing to happen.

      November 11, 2012 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. samsart

    Missoula is my hometown, and I attended the U. The mindset that 'it's not really a crime if alcohol is involved' is baloney. It's a crime, and it has nothing to do with sex. It's control, power, domination and a whole lot more. It is under prosecuted, in the extreme, all across the country. Are there false claims? Sure. Yet, to turn a totally deaf ear when assaults are reported, which is rare enough; just add insult to the injury. Mind altering substances cloud decision making and judgement. But that does not make an assault any less real. Committing an act upon a person who is unable to make a lucid response is a crime. Plain and simple. All over this country this attitude of whether intercourse was the result of a poor decision upon the part of the female, just validates the male attitude of ...she never said 'no', or 'she said 'no', but I know she didn't really mean it'. Baloney. Add in the issue that the shocking lack of response when a woman does file a report, or in some cases the less than severe punishment for the attack and it's no wonder women don't report being raped. They know that no one will listen, take them seriously and put any effort into pursuing the attacker. I have to say , during my time at the U, there was a lot of 'never walk alone', 'don't go here at night' kind of thing- because my fellow classmates seemingly could not refrain from foisting themselves on female students. Why not address males behaving badly, rather than painting the female as the culprit? It is embarrassing , in a way , for me because this kind of publicity about my home town, and my university does tend to give the world a negative view of a beautiful town and a great college.

    November 10, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Thankful-not-to-be-a-Boulder-Replublican

      You're right to be embarrassed because if this is a typical attitude in your town then your town doesn't just "seem" pretty lame–it actually IS shameful, backward, and lame. You should run for office or do something else to change it. If it resists change, you should leave and not raise children there. It's a bad environment. I'd rather live somewhere–actually I DO live somewhere–with higher crime but moral judicial and law enforcement practices. You know what goes hand in hand with poo-pooing sexual assault? Poo-pooing assault and battery by men of their female partners. Bet BldrRepublican is ready to give us an earful about how women bring it on themselves, like it or they'd leave, or are "just as abusive" as men (all of which reasons are excuses that serial batterers use to deflect attention away from their horrendous moral compass).

      November 11, 2012 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Melissa Mitchell

      You are an excellent writer. Well said!

      November 11, 2012 at 4:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. MashaSobaka

    Rape is one of the most underpunished crimes in the country. This is not a "Missoula thing." This is a "United States thing."

    November 10, 2012 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
    • sameeker

      It is also the crime with the most innocent people in prison. All of these false accusations is why it is getting more difficult to prosecute actual cases of rape. This is a big disservice to the victims.

      November 10, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
      • Pandora

        I agree that the women who cry wolf are a big problem. I think that once they are caught and fully proven to be lying about being raped they should be prosecuted and given mandatory hefty prison sentences which may help as a detorant. However I'm not talking about lacking a whole lot of evidence which happens in a lot of cases when determining if its a lie. Also, all the demeaning talk about rape such as trying to redefine it, telling people that rape only happens to virgins, telling people to just enjoy it, etc. just because of the women who choose to lie really needs to stop because this also does not help.

        November 10, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
      • shilo

        False. Facts demonstrate that in fact rape is GROSSLY under reported not over reported. "Sixty-three percent of completed rapes,
        65% of attempted rapes, and 74% of
        completed and attempted sexual
        assaults against females were not
        reported to the police." (Bureau of Justice http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/rsarp00.pdf ) That is because there is shame involved for the victim, and the main reason there is shame involved for the victim is that people say things like what you are saying making victims feel that they will not be believed and so what is the point of reporting. This is especially acute for male victims coupled with the shame created by homophobia in our culture. Furthermore, since it is common knowledge that men AND women make poor decisions when they are impaired by alcohol it is perfectly reasonable.to also assume that getting someone drunk deliberately to erode their decision making is a form of psychological coercion, part of the definition of rape (again, bureau of Justice, look it up yourself). It is also well known by people that study rape (and not just form add hoc opinions based on so called common knowledge thus making the world an even more difficult place for rape victims) that a common tactic on college campuses, for instance, is the deliberate use of alcohol in order to make it easier to rape women, both working against their ability to give real consent, and also making it easier to "cover up" the rape because idiots like this guy at U of Montana think that drunk girls cant actually be raped because they asked for it when they got drunk. 1 in 5 women of college age experience rape. Stop acting like this isnt hapening, stop blaming the victims, and start teaching boys and men that consent matters, that consent cannot be given while drunk, and that men are not entitled to have sex with women that say no, even if they dont fight back.

        November 10, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
        • BldrRepublican

          If *both* the male and female are drunk, why is it that the woman gets a "free pass" and not held accountable because she was drunk, but not the man? I mean if BOTH were drunk, then BOTH are not able to consent, and therefore the rape is mutual (i.e. they both raped each other).

          Be consistent with your argument. Don't quote to me "the overwhelming majority of rapes involve a drunk girl...etc". In those cases the boy is likely very drunk also. If she can be raped in that state, then so can he. That is sexism at it's finest....

          November 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
        • Kunst

          @BldrRepublican – Your name and your comment demonstrate why your party got creamed in the election. Is the GOP now the rape party as well as the anti-science and anti-minorities party?

          November 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Thankful-not-to-be-a-Boulder-Replublican

        There's actually no evidence of that. If there is, cite it (you can't because there isn't). That's just a nice-sounding talking point that is used by many abusive men trying to skirt responsibility for their failure to behave as real men.

        November 11, 2012 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
      • UncleBenny

        What a load of bunk. The percentage of false rape accusations is in fact extremely low, probably in the 2-3% range. Get your facts straight before shooting off your mouth.

        November 11, 2012 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. blink

    Better implement a curfew policy at the University. Lockdown from 1100pm – 500am. Seems to work in Japan.

    November 10, 2012 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. MASTER INFORMER of all the LESS-INFORMED

    Amid rape cases, Missoula questions its identity
    By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN

    Follow on Twitter: @CNNEmma

    Missoula, Montana (CNN) - Geoffrey Donovan remembers when the news first broke that his university, the University of Montana, was under investigation by federal authorities:

    [1:06] "It's a hot topic. I mean everyone was talking about it. I know in my class it wasn't just girls who had some stuff to say. It's what's on the front page, you know?"

    The investigation was about how officials from local law enforcement, and at the university, handle rape cases on and off campus. Making the announcement in May, the Department of Education and the Department of Justice cited complaints that rape cases weren't getting proper attention.

    Six months on, with still no resolution, residents worry about how they'll be perceived outside their community. But the U.S. Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, says his office has heard a myriad of similar problems across the country:

    [2:07] "We find cases where the students aren't taken seriously because they use alcohol before or after the assault."

    Even as the investigation continues, the university has made changes. But not everyone in town cooperated with federal investigators. Fred VanValkenburg is the long-serving county attorney. He's refused to turn over any documents and says he doesn't think investigators have the authority. And, he defends his record prosecuting rapes.

    VanValkenburg says his office does a good job handling rape cases. But he says these cases can pose challenges for prosecutors. He also says alcohol can indeed be a factor:

    [3:18] "If a woman get's drunk and consents to some intercourse or some sexual act that she really wishes she hadn't done, you know, it doesn't become a crime because she was drunk and maybe she should have used better judgment. And you know, that's where the big difference lies because people do tend to agree to do things when they are drunk that they wouldn't when they are sober."

    No matter the outcome of these investigations, local law enforcement and university authorities around the country should pay attention.

    Editor's Note: Listen to the complete story in the SoundCloud player above.

    Posted by Emma Lacey-Bordeaux - CNN
    Filed under: Justice • Original • Voices
    95Comments »

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    soundoff (95 Responses)
    dakattack
    2 words, coyote ugly, see, guys can get drunk, and make mistakes also

    November 9, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    IanWoo
    Alcohol always has been the #1 "date rape drug" in all of human history, and probably always will be. So much so, that even in the extremely rare cases that one of the so-called "date rape drugs" are used, they are almost invariably used with alcohol.

    Alcohol also has to be the real "gateway drug", if there actually is one. Even if you think a drug needs to be illegal to qualify as a "gateway drug". The fact of the matter is, most of us consume alcohol before we are of legal age to do so. THUS making it the FIRST DRUG, legal or not (but usually illegal), that most people try.

    November 9, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    DR. Huh?
    Caffiene is the most common drug in the world.

    November 9, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Peggy
    I always go to where the drinks are flowing and guys are buying.
    If they pay to get me loaded I expect to have to put out, but some girls are players and need to loosen up and realize that it really isn't a lot to expect and can be fun. The Iron Horse Missoula rocks and the guys are fine.

    November 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    M Brokaw
    Sort of like MO's Senator-wannabe said (that cost him the recent election) ... "legitimate rape"? Is there ever such a thing? A drunk or otherwise incapacitated victim isn't a permission slip for a rapist – stop blaming victims – what century are we in?

    November 9, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    M@x
    Your case about being drunk works for black out/ passing out drunks.

    But what about cases where both parties are drunk and still functioning? Isn't it just as valid then to say since BOTH parties have alcohol in their systems either one could be considered a victim? Unless there is clear force involved by one party, it really is hard to tell if a drunk person really was taken advantage of or if they were willing to do something because of lowered inhibitions.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Rebecca
    Fred VanValkenburg is either A) a misohynist or B) involved.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    MT neighbor
    My daughter was a student at UM when all this was going on. We aren't talking about drunk girls, we're talking about football players attacking girls. The girls had to be careful where they went, not go alone after dark. They are trying to cover it up to protect the athletes.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Jen
    I can't believe we are still having this fight. Every time there is a story about rape it comes down to women who are "crying" rape. That is the minority of cases but most of the men on this forum make it sound like it's 50% of the time. That's not the case. No one is saying that false allegations aren't made but that is not the majority of rape allegations. I don't know why men become so defensive. The odds of you being falsely accused are miniscule. The odds that your mother, wife, sister, daughter will be raped in their life is close to 25%. The number of rapists who will spend time in prison is 7%. If those statistics don't offend the men on this forum who are framing this as a he said she said debate, then you obviously place little value on the lives of women and girls.

    November 9, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
    Nathan
    Where do you obtain this information? Women have up to a 25% rape chance? Where? You should try to understand what statistics are before you throw random numbers out.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    SRF
    She's right. The odds of a woman being sexual molested or assaulted is 1 in 4 (hence 25%) in her lifetime. For men the numbers aren't much better (1 in 6). You can check the stats with RAINN, FBI stats, and other organizations that deal with sexual assault. Sadly the numbers haven't changed despite all the education out there. Maybe some day, but for now, women are still much more likely to be victimized and the only one's who can change this are men.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    SafeSexMeansAlot
    Let's keep questioning the situation after the rape and forget about dealing with preventing it, right?

    Ladies and Gentlemen...perhaps both of your habits need to change. Remember, you can try to forget what happened the night before...but the STD you get will remember.

    November 9, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
    SarahH
    I completely agree, We should be teaching people about responsible choices. It's also unfortunate that we live in a society that makes it necessary to be on the defensive when we should be teaching respect and common sense. If someone is drunk you probably shouldn't have sex with him or her because its likely the alcohol talking. When both parties are drunk... I think that it becomes a different situation and therefore impossible to determine fault because neither was capable of resisting. However, if one party is intoxicated and the other sober- I would say it constitutes rape. Someone is taking advantage of the other while in a weakened state. It's just unfortunate that we live in a society where we have to be afraid of others taking advantage of us and must always be on the defensive.... I think that is the real underlying issue here.

    November 9, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
    WASP
    " We should be teaching people about responsible choices. It's also unfortunate that we live in a society that makes it necessary to be on the defensive when we should be teaching respect and common sense. If someone is drunk you probably shouldn't have sex with him or her because its likely the alcohol talking. When both parties are drunk... I think that it becomes a different situation and therefore impossible to determine fault because neither was capable of resisting. However, if one party is intoxicated and the other sober- I would say it constitutes rape. Someone is taking advantage of the other while in a weakened state. It's just unfortunate that we live in a society where we have to be afraid of others taking advantage of us and must always be on the defensive.... I think that is the real underlying issue here."

    1) have you observed teens and their practices recently? how about how the adult population behaives as a whole?
    saying teach kids responicbility and being capable of doing such are two completely different things. teens and adults are both irresponcible in both their mannerisms and their actions. you can't teach someone that doesn't wish to learn or thinks they know everything how to truly do anything. popular culture also plays into things as well.
    2) rape can be committed either sober or drunk regardless if it one or both are intoxicated. if either person male or female saids NO at any point in time during the se/xual encounter and the other doesn't stop.............IT'S RAPE.
    3)"humans taking advantage of other humans" is basically how most things in human culture work. you need milk for your child the owner of the cow wants something in return and charges what he wants because you have a need for the milk and will pay it.
    so it's not humans taking advantage of humans that's the problem, it's people not listening nor caring about what the other person feels or thinks.

    November 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Laura
    Why is everyone assuming the rapes being investigated involve alcohol? Because the guy under investigation by federal authorities, who is refusing to cooperate, is insinuating it?

    November 9, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    freshnewblog
    I live in Montpelier, Vermont. My female friend claims that she was gang taped by 3 police officers in their police station in Barre, Vermont around 2004 or 2005. Barre is the town right next to Montpelier. She refuses to report it. I wish that some one would help us like it seems like Missoula is being helped. It is so public.

    November 9, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse | Reply
    freshnewblog
    My post should read raped not taped.

    November 9, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
    Stuart
    If she refuses to report it there is very little chance that someone will help solve the problem.

    November 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Breal
    This issue with the University of Montana goes back decades. There were many cases at this University that were thrown out for lack of evidence, even when the guy confessed. No alcohol or drugs were involved in these cases. This is a real issue that many back in my day, never challanged.

    THANK YOU!!!!

    November 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    PolioLio
    And I suspect that your friend was: A) Drunk, B)excited about cops and authority figures, and C) came on to the arresting officer in order to not get charged. Just like my 14 yr old girlfriend many-many years ago who snuck out to go to a HS party, got whaling drunk, and was raped by two garbage-men from my town. She also never reported it, because of her actions and behavior contributing to the outcome. However, it affected her (and ME) for many years.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    twisby
    people who think like you are part of the problem. if i understand correctly, your (ex?)girlfriend was statutory raped by 2 men, was too scared to report it (MANY women are too ashamed or afraid to report rape and this doesn't make it less serious or legitimate), and you are sitting here now complaining about what a pain it was for you? i hope she dumped your ass.

    November 9, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Laura
    That's horrifying. Her actions and behavior are in NO WAY IMAGINABLE any excuse for what those men did to her. She is not responsible for their sick perversions. No one, of any age, or any mental state, should be raped. Period. People who do so are rapists, and are classified as violent criminals, and they should be jailed. Sadly, there are obviously many, many victims just like her who have never reported their assaults.

    November 9, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Chris
    Well, this just goes to show we need more government regulation in regard to sexual activity. All persons who plan to engage in sexual activity should have to take a class in sexual responsibility, after which they will have a license which will be required to engage in sex. When out at a bar, if you see a prospective partner, you will be required to document their license number and then both parties have to take a breathalyzer to document and show they are capable of making an informed decision – btw, all bars will be required to install, calibrate, and maintain breathalyzers. Both parties will then keep a copy of this documentation. In the event of a rape claim, if either party can produce their copy of the sexual consent form there is no case. If neither party can produce these documents then both are guilty of having unlicensed sexual activity.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
    Daremonai
    Ok.... when someone hears 'no' they just don't (or stop) have sex with the person. Just a thought....

    November 9, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
    FiveLiters
    I think that was the point of the last part of the article-if you're intimate with someone who isn't saying "no" at the time of the incident,but -later on- decides "oops,now I've sobered up and realized that...eww,that guy is gross!" or whatever and calls it rape... well,it really isn't,or it shouldn't be. It was a bad judgement call on that person's part and hopefully,they will learn from their mistake.

    November 9, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Jamie
    Or...people should remember that someone might be too drunk to even give consent. If they're passed out, or on the verge...just assume "no". Instead, rapists seem to assume that drunk equals consent.

    November 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    frontgate
    Not a bad idea.

    November 9, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    StoneCold
    The Government is in our business enough. That is just another thing to let control our lives even more.

    November 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    BadDog91748
    For a criminal deft. charged with rape, there are only two possible defenses: she consented; or, some other dude did it. Absent compelling scientific evidence, the testimony of the victim is the only evidence that the prosecutor has to convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt as to the deft's guilt. Any problems with her testimony, including voluntary intoxication, diminish that testimony and make it more difficult to obatin a conviction. Alcohol, as we all know, affects the ability to perceive events and to recall them at a later time. All the wailing from the estrogen mafia does not change these undeniable facts.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
    TeamChaos
    Rape is rape no matter what, plenty of girls are out there getting drunk regretting whet they did with some guy and now it is rape. Look at facebook half the girls post almost nude pics. Put out the party girl images and even if it is in fun, some lawyer will use it against you.

    There are the guys that will rape a girl and there are the girls that regret sleeping with a guy and get revenge.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
    George Hayes
    Who the hell wants sex with a drunk person? Where is the passion?

    November 8, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    frontgate
    huh?

    November 9, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Laura
    There is only one reason VanValkenburg would refuse to cooperate with a federal investigation and his statement confirms it. He does not take rape allegations seriously. He is a misogynist who blames the victim. It shouldn't matter who has been drinking, it should be investigated. For those of you not familiar with rape statistics, take a look at them.

    The percentage of rapes that college students think are false claims = 50%
    Percentage of rapes that studies find are false claims = 2-8%.
    A woman's chances of being raped in college is 1 out of 4 or 5.
    Rank of U.S. in the world for rape = 13th
    Percentage of rapists who are never incarcerated = 97%
    Percentage of rapes not reported = 54%
    Estimated number of rapes every year – 300,000 to 1.3 million

    November 8, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Bibliotecha
    Question: how can you calculate the number of "false" rapes? You do realize that in the majority of rape cases, it all boils down to his word against hers, right?

    November 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Laura
    Well, the FBI calculates them, and their number hovers around 8%. But it's important to note they got that statistic using the definition of "forcible rape" at the time, which was "the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will." As you can imagine, it excluded a great many types of rape, including rape of men, rape with objects, etc. The claims are noted as "unfounded" but that does not mean they were false. Here is a quote from the Attorney General of Oregon's Sexual Assault Task Force (2008):

    "As defined earlier, unfounding is a method of investigative case closure (or clearance) intended to
    denote a specific outcome of an investigation. While both the DHS definition and the FBI definition
    can encompass false reports within the category of unfounded, it is critical to bear in mind that a
    report determined to be unfounded is not synonymous with a false allegation or report. This
    distinction is important enough that it is worth repeating – a report that has been unfounded is not
    the same as a false report (or false allegation).
    The FBI definition of unfounded specifically refers to cases that are found to be false or baseless.
    As defined earlier in this paper, a false report (or allegation) is a sexual assault that is factually
    proven to have never occurred or been attempted. A baseless report, on the other hand, is a reported
    sexual assault that does not meet the elements of a crime – meaning that the incident that occurred
    did not involve criminal activity as defined by state statute (Oregon Revised Statutes). Typically a
    baseless report is the result of a mistake of law – the reporter believed that they were the victim of a
    crime when based on the state criminal code they were not."

    November 9, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Kerrr Mudgin
    While I agree with you regarding the county attorney, I have to ask: Why did you leave out probability of being raped while drunk vs. probability of being raped while sober?
    For all the party goers, remember: "Nothing you do while drunk will make you proud the next day".

    November 8, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Laura
    This article does not disclose anything about whether the rapes they are investigating involved alcohol or not. Everyone is assuming so because that is what VanValkenburg is quoted as saying about them. His statement insinuates that these rape cases are baseless. But he is the one under investigation and refusing to cooperate with federal authorities. This is a person whose only response to rape allegations so severe that they have brought down the feds on him is that the woman were all lying because they regretted sleeping around? Really? Then why is he withholding his files?

    November 9, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Lovely
    Remember: "No" means no– and yeas means yes, unless tomorrow morning she feels ashamed then "yes" means no too.

    November 8, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Marvelite
    You are sadly correct.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:02 am | Report abuse | Reply
    I know you will hate me
    okay, here is something I don't get. If a woman is held to not be able to willingly consent to sex when she is drunk and if the guy sleeps with her, it can be considered rape as she was not able to make an informed decision and not responsible for what she agrees to or does.

    But if the guy is drunk too, how is it then he can be held responsible. If he is drunk he is still held responsible for what he does and says, but a woman is not. It is kind of a double standard here. Certainly there are cases where men do knowingly take advantage of women who have drank too much, but if both are drunk how can one be 'forgiven' and not held responsible but the other is?

    November 9, 2012 at 7:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
    Jamie
    I think the difference is that women can be raped when they're passed out, but men cannot rape while they are passed out. Usually if someone is physically capable of raping someone, they're sober enough for it to be a conscious decision.

    November 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    TeamChaos
    I agree, im just glad I had braces, glasses and wasn't that great looking compared to the other guys, Even drunk girls didn't want me. But times change I went to a 20 year reunion and all the good looking jocks are fat and look old. me on the other hand I am having the best time of my life.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse | Reply
    karolgold
    And if VanValkenburg gets drunk and is sodomized by an aquantance, he can't very well claim he had been assaulted. After all, he had been drinking and must have agreed to it.

    November 8, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Asitwas
    Talk about taking things out of context... Karolgold, did you even read the article?

    "If a woman get's drunk AND -consents- to some intercourse or some sexual act that she really WISHES she hadn't DONE..." which suggest she regrets a -decision- she made and an -action- she engaged in. Which suggest she wasn't forced but rather made a bad choice that she can't take back... like the dress she bought on a whim.

    November 8, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    TeamChaos
    And her facebook party pics prove it was regret..lol

    November 9, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse | Reply
    MarkinFL
    The only evidence of consent is from the perp. SO if he initially consents to sodomy and then changes his mind?
    Who is to say he did not consent? Him? He was drunk and simply regrets giving into his long repressed impulses.

    November 9, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
    The Pope
    If that ever happened, he'd probably get a headache, considering where his brains are.

    November 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    James
    This argument has been going on since the invention of alcohol. If a woman gets drunk voluntarily and decides to have relations with a man, she made that choice herself in whatever state of mind she was in at the time. It is not rape.

    She is responsible for the choices she makes, starting with the first beer/drink.

    November 8, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Morgan
    What about men who hand girls drink after drink after drink and then once they are drunk, take them home? That's not a crime because she was drunk? What about a girl who passes out, so she can't say no, and a guy has sex with her anyway (as much as you can call it sex...)? Not his fault she was passed out? What if a guy is passed out drunk, and another guy has sex with him? Is that wrong? I mean he was drunk after all. This whole "buyers remorse" crap is B.S. and men know it, but it's a great way to get a girl to sleep with you.

    November 8, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Howie76
    well put!

    November 8, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Asitwas
    Morgan – "What about men who hand girls drink after drink after drink and then once they are drunk, take them home?"

    I don't know if you realize this but what you have said seems to really show a low opinion of a woman's intelligence. Is a woman incapable of using good judgement? Having friends around to protect her? How about simply saying... "I've had enough to drink... it's time for me to go home. Nice meeting you. Good night"? There are women who get drunk just so they can be more willing to be "taken advantage of" and just like men... use the fact that they've chosen to get drunk as -an excuse- to not "feel" accountable for their actions. Plain and simple... rape is a -Very- serious crime but accusing someone of rape whom you have verbally consented to having sex with should be equally just as criminal...

    November 8, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Missoulian
    "There are women who get drunk just so they can be more willing to be "taken advantage of" and just like men... use the fact that they've chosen to get drunk as -an excuse- to not "feel" accountable for their actions. Plain and simple... "

    True. There are some people like that. ***But they don't go to authorities and report a rape.***

    VanValkenburg presumes most rape reports involve "consent and regret" but there isn't evidence of that, either in these particular cases or rape allegations in general. His statement reflects his bias, not the investigative facts of these cases.

    The university was required to email staff and students additional info on these cases. Want to know what we were told? There were multiple instances of date rape drugs and gang rape, another where a university official sent emails trying to figure out how to kick a girl out of school for reporting and going public about her rape by an athlete. In another case a girl notified the campus rape center of a forced encounter; when the info went up the chain of command the university aided and abetted the wealthy Middle Eastern student so he could flee the country before his arrest by tipping him off before notifying the police. They did notify the police after he was safely out of the country.

    VanValkenburg;s statement makes you think these were cases of girls getting too drunk, consenting to sex, then feeling regret and reporting rapes. Then you guys feel sorry for the presumed poor schmuck who thought he was getting lucky and got a rape charge. That's not what is happening here. That is just what VanValkenburg and his investigators chose to believe rather than the facts. The federal investigation and the university's own internal investigations demonstrated that law enforcement was systematically disregarding instances of rape, failing to fully investigate allegations, treating victim's like trash, and the university was complicit in coverups to protect their athletes and reputation by hiding a university-wide problem making this an unsafe environment for women to pursue their educations.

    VanValkenburg's statement reflects his disdainful bias against rape victims, not what actually occurred based on the facts revealed through these investigations. These young women didn't consent. If he'd done proper investigations in the first place, he would have realized these were justified reports of rape.

    November 9, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
    Asitwas
    Missoulian- Thank you for sharing this information. It is very insightful. There is -no excuse- for that type of behavior by people entrusted with positions of authority. That is a willful disregard for the safety of all students. Based on what you have said it seems they are more interested in $$$....

    November 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    X
    Perhaps if male on male rape was more prevalent men wouldn't blame the victim all the time ....

    November 8, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    geeeeeeeeeeewizzzzzzzzzzz
    If they can say no to sex they should say no to more drinks. I agree if a person is too drunk to to be coherent having sex with them is crime. I just want too know how someone decides which one was too drunk to know better. If she is too drunk to consent he he not too drunk to consent as well? Sounds like too people who raped each other. They should both be charged.

    November 8, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    TeamChaos
    It is hand drinks not force drinks.

    November 9, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse | Reply
    LivinginVA
    Or handing the woman a drink that has far more alcohol in that she ordered or spiking it with something. Part of what every girl should learn before she goes to college is only drink things YOU have opened or poured and don't set your drink down and pick it up later.

    November 9, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
    StoneCold
    Maybe you should make sure the ppl around you are your friends or ppl you trust b4 you decide to get drunk? If nobody put a gun to your head and made you drink then I would say you should probably make better decisions in your life.

    November 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    geeeeeeeeeeewizzzzzzzzzzz
    It's not a legitimate rape unless your sober. Also why can't the man use the drunk excuse as to why he had sex with her if she is going ti use the excuse she was raped because she was drunk. Two drunk people who have sex cannot rape one another. If one is passed out or incoherent then that's another story.

    Come on ladies if your mature enough to go out and get sloshed your mature enough to live with the consequences of bad decisions.

    November 8, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    pooh bear
    Hmm...legitimate rape...where have I heard that term before?

    November 8, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Missoulian
    I live in Missoula and many of the allegations here have to do with girls who were slipped roofies and then gang raped. Then their reports were not taken seriously and offender-athletes were protected. These are not cases of a few too many drinks, consent, and then morning after regret. Besides, the university now instructs all students that an impaired person can not legally give consent in Montana and should be off limits.

    Women who get drunk and consent to sex, then later regret their choices don't consider themselves raped and go file reports. They just feel regret. Research shows that if a woman reports a rape, 92%-98% of the time it was truly non-consensual sex. Missoula's law enforcement unfortunately presumes that most reports of rape are "consent and regret". They fundamentally don't understand that women don't go to authorities after "consent and regret" sexual encounters.

    November 9, 2012 at 1:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
    Jo Ann
    Thank you for the additional information. This is the most rational post on here.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
    Geoscba
    It's actually a sad testament that a government has to make it illegal to engage in an activity with an impaired person because there are that many people who take advantage of others. If your account is truly the case, and I'm sure it is, it's no wonder the prosecutor refuses to turn his files over. I'd be nervous, too.

    November 9, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
    SarahH
    It might just be California but I am pretty sure you cannot consent to sex while intoxicated. Additionally, there are men out there who prey on women who have been drinking because intoxicated women make easy targets. This is rape/sexual assault, regardless of how you cut it.

    November 8, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    geeeeeeeeeeewizzzzzzzzzzz
    If I am drunk and a girl has sex with me can I have her arrested for rape??

    November 8, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Asitwas
    LOL! GeeWiz – If that were to happen I think you would see how sexist/unsympathetic women are on this matter... We see it in how society treats female teachers who take advantage of under aged boys as compared to men to take advantage of under aged girls. In this case if a woman were to engage a man, I don't believe being aroused implies consent, who raped who? Such a question may set a new precedent in the courts!

    November 8, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Asitwas
    SarahH – "I am pretty sure you cannot consent to sex while intoxicated... This is rape/sexual assault, regardless of how you cut it."

    Yes you can... you just simply say "Yes" or something more colorful... We're not talking date rape pills. We're talking various levels of intoxication.

    So SarahH, in your world the woman is never wrong correct? She can rely on being drunk as an excuse for her behavior (i.e. "even though she has consented") but a man can not excuse his behavior if he is drunk... but rather should spend half of his life in prison... because the woman is now sober and feels ashamed. So in California you're saying that a husband can "rape" his wife if she "consents" to sex while she is drunk and changes her mind or even a boyfriend can "rape" his girlfriend if she "consents" while drunk but decides he's going to pay after he dumps her... sounds like good policy to me... (pause) (pause) (pause) (wait for it...) (pause) Not.

    November 8, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Caitlin
    Asitwas. Uhm, You are wrong. The law says intoxicated persons cannot give consent. So, don't hAve sex with drunk people. Drunk persons cannot give consent. Without consent, the sexual act becomes rape. Whether a man or a woman, the defendant, must have knowledge that the person is intoxicated. Basically, you may want to cut down on going to the bar and taking people home to have drunk sex. It's never a good idea.

    November 9, 2012 at 6:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
    SarahH
    Yes, in a common sense you can consent. But law, I don't think that saying yes while drunk stands up in court. And hey, if guys want to say that a girl raped him while drunk, I would support this logic as well. I'm not saying only women can be victims of rape. If the reverse happens and a man is drunk and forced into having sex with a woman, I would support the same scenario. Anyone who takes advantage of a drunk person is in the wrong, regardless of gender.

    November 9, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
    StoneCold
    If you cant make rational decisions while drinking then you probably shouldn't drink. Everyone I know makes bad decisions while they were drinking. People should hang around people they know well or trust and then it becomes a mute point.

    November 9, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    SarahH
    Asitwas- yes, a husband can rape his wife, marriage status does not remove the possibility of rape. And YES in California, such a law exists. If someone (regardless of gender) is too intoxicated to resist it is considered rape. So if a husband has sex with his passed out wife it could be considered rape. I think that the stigma for saying women are the only victims of rape is unfair but in most cases of rape, women are the victim. BUT either gender can be the victim and rape by either gender is always possible. And the law protects all sides. Part of the stigma around rape victims only being female is that it is more difficult for a woman to rape a man based solely on physiology. Men are generally larger and stronger than women making it more difficult for most women to take advantage of men. Though I'm not saying it never happens- I'm sure it does. However, BOTTOM LINE if you are a sober person and trying to have sex with an obviously drunk person, there is something wrong with you and you deserve to be charged with rape. REGARDLESS OF GENDER.

    November 9, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse | Reply
    mike
    If they both drink, and they both consent to sex, and they both actively participate, then why isn`t it the most sexist action in the world to later say that HE raped her, instead of her raping him? In that case, only the gender is different. Why is he suddenly the perpetrator, and she, the victim? That, ladies, is pure privilege. Equality means no privileges on either side.

    November 8, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    JonVon
    Mike, you are arguing that 2 drunk consenting adults falls under the definition of rape, or that women who report rape did so after consenting while intoxicated. Statistically, it is highly unlikely that the majority of reported rapes were made after drunken consent by both parties. And it does not appear that anyone is making the argument that two drunken consenters equals reported rape, or meets the definition of legal rape.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse | Reply
    Lovely
    Uh, sorry Sarah, no such law. Are you drunk right now?

    November 8, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    SarahR
    Comm. v. Blache, 450 Mass. 583 (2008). In a rape case in which lack of consent due to intoxication is an issue, the prosecution must prove not only intoxication, but 1) that the intoxication rendered the complainant incapable of consent and 2) that the defendant knew or should have known that the condition rendered the complainant incapable of consenting.

    November 8, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    D.
    You go, Sarah – I believe we have (or had while I lived there) a similar law in NY. Someone who is intoxicated cannot reasonably give consent. Thus, if you see a drunk chick saying "take me home and bang me", steer clear b/c no good will come of it – with several bad outcomes possible.

    November 8, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    Frank
    This case does NOT mean that mere intoxication renders a woman incapable of consent.It clearly states that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the woman was so intoxicated she was incapable of consent. (i.e. passed out or so drunk she was incoherent.) Drunk people can and do have consentual sex all the time.

    BTW, I've actually prosecuted sex crimes and have sent rapists to prison for long sentences. I've also seen cases of buyers remorse, revenge, and diversion of responsibility where innocent men were accused. Not all women are saints, and not all men are rapists.

    November 9, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    woodie
    If you rape a drunk women, you aren't going to get any empathy from me. It's a perverted and violent crime.

    November 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    geeeeeeeeeeewizzzzzzzzzzz
    Most times it is two drunk people having sex.

    November 8, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Mikey
    It's a slippery slope. As a father, my daughter's safety is paramount. Anyone who assualts her will feel my rath as the rath of God. As a man in his 60s and been around, I can say morning after guilt or remorse should not put an innocent man behind bars for most of his life. I believe that's what this D.A. is not so elequently saying.

    November 8, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Laura
    You might want to talk to your daughter about rape. These are some statistics on it. You can llook them up for yourself and confirm them if you like. They aren't pretty. The sad fact is most rapes aren't reported and even when they are, almost 100% of perpetrators receive no punishment. If your daughter has been raped or sexually assaulted in some manner, there is a very, very good chance you don't know, and will never know, about it.

    The percentage of rapes that college students think are false claims = 50%
    Percentage of rapes that studies find are false claims = 2-8%.
    A woman's chances of being raped in college is 1 out of 4 or 5.
    Rank of U.S. in the world for rape = 13th
    Percentage of rapists who are never incarcerated = 97%
    Percentage of rapes not reported = 54%
    Estimated number of rapes every year – 300,000 to 1.3 million

    November 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    guest
    I bet the DA doesn't punish DUI offenders either. Take a look at the paper, not uncommon to see people with numerous dui's.

    November 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Marlin
    I think what he is saying is that he believes they were willing at the time due to the influence of alchol but when the alchol wore off they realized their mistake and decided to press rape charges.

    November 8, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Asitwas
    Exactly Marlin!

    Unfortunately, and I'm not simply referring to the comments below, some people seem to believe that if a woman yells "rape" the police should convict some poor innocent man when in fact both parties are arguably guilty of making bad choices. Rape is a -very- serious crime... it is sad to see people accused and convicted as a result of capricious girls/women.

    November 8, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    geeeeeeeeeeewizzzzzzzzzzz
    I agree

    November 8, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Asitwas
    VanValkenburg: If a woman get's drunk and consents to some intercourse or some sexual act that she really wishes she hadn't done, you know, it doesn't become a crime because she was drunk and maybe she should have used better judgment.

    So let me get this straight. You all are suggesting that if a drunk woman tells a man "yes" and there are no signs whatsoever of struggle... you believe that when she sobers up and has a change of heart that some poor man, who may have also been drunk, should spend time in jail for her stupidity? Have you ever heard of a thing called "Mens rea?" Who's really the fool?

    November 8, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    SarahR
    You are frighteningly invested in this discussion, even if there is no legal case, please consider your ethical position of having sex with drunk girls, I would guess you make a habit of it.

    November 8, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Asitwas
    Actually SarahR, since you would rather personally attack a person you don't know rather than discuss the issues... Let me explain myself. I don't drink and the times I have... I've never allowed myself to get drunk. Personally, and this is just my opinion, I don't like to put myself in situations where my judgement is impaired, allowing myself to engage in risky behavior or compromise my friendships... but SarahR... that is just my take on life. To each her/his own. I have never... and would never... have sex with someone who was intoxicated because to me that is a turnoff, not intimate and their breath at that point stinks. But again that is just me. My investment in this discussion is simply peoples lack of accountability and quickness to judge and put people behind bars. As I've stated rape is a -Very- serious crime but if a person has consented to and engaged in sexual activity and is remorseful later of his/her choice to do so... it pains me to know that some other unfortunate soul, who did the same, (usually the male) has to go to prison as a result of a sequence of bad choices.

    November 8, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Squirrelyone
    It seems from what I've read here that the issue isn't whether or not there are any signs of a struggle, but that no investigation is made to see if there are or not. I'm sure there are plenty of girls who cry rape when it's not the case, but I'm equally or more so sure that there are girls who cry rape because they did, in fact, get raped. It shouldn't be a matter of testimony vs. testimony. That's part of the problem here. Investigations aren't being made, or if they are, they're being made too late to be conclusive because victims tend to feel shame, men and women both, possibly men more so (making them even less likely to go to the authorities). If women (and men, although I must say I don't have much confidence that the stigma for them will lift enough for them to come forward willingly and quickly any time soon) were given confidence in legal authority, they could make their case ASAP after the event and a proper investigation could be made to determine if there were signs of a struggle or any evidence of intimidation, instead of true victims being too afraid to speak until the case is cold. Then we could all be happy, because the liars could be more easily weeded out and innocents wouldn't be incarcerated, but victims could be compensated and their predators addressed. More action, not less, is needed to make this fair.

    November 9, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse | Reply
    LDRP
    This is why a woman's choice should be hers and hers alone. Otherwise, someone else gets to decide what she should do. And that someone else would be someone like this county attorney.

    November 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    logicalgirl
    And here I thought it was my area of the country that had all of the idiot rednecks. Apparently one escaped and is practicing law in Montana.

    November 8, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    vschnepp
    And that fool is an attorney. Thats scary...

    November 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    DebbieKat
    Oh, goodie. Another legitimate rape guy. smh

    November 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Anthony
    This "legitimate rape" thing is ridiculous. How have we gotten to the point that no one wants to accept responsibility for their actions and would rather blame, blame, blame. The term was used to differentiate between forced rape, and "I had a couple beers and I regret it now so it must be rape....right?" rape. It is not rape if you have had a few, agree to a romp in the sac, then sober up and regret it. I have had a few situations in my college years where alcohol played a role, and I woke up hoping no one knew who I had gone to bed with! Should these girls be charged with rape because I had some beer goggles on? Hell no, I made the decision the night before, consented, and the rest is history. I think forced rape, or rape where there is no consent (passed out), are horrible crimes and should be fully pursued to the maximum extent of the law, but I think that it does no one any favors to call "wow, I wished I hadn't done that" rape. It makes it harder for women in "legitimate" (there it is again) rape cases to be taken seriously and it also takes up law enforcement/campus staff/court personnel time and money that could be put to better use then chasing down stories because someone made some piss poor decisions after some drinks.

    November 8, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Reddog
    It is interesting that the was not one mention of rape when smoking weed, only when alcohol was involved. Not sure what that porves, but it is interesting.

    November 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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    November 9, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • geeeeeeeeeeewizzzzzzzzzzz

      Off your meds or what??????? Get a hooby.

      November 9, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dakattack

    2 words, coyote ugly, see, guys can get drunk, and make mistakes also

    November 9, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. IanWoo

    Alcohol always has been the #1 "date rape drug" in all of human history, and probably always will be. So much so, that even in the extremely rare cases that one of the so-called "date rape drugs" are used, they are almost invariably used with alcohol.

    Alcohol also has to be the real "gateway drug", if there actually is one. Even if you think a drug needs to be illegal to qualify as a "gateway drug". The fact of the matter is, most of us consume alcohol before we are of legal age to do so. THUS making it the FIRST DRUG, legal or not (but usually illegal), that most people try.

    November 9, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • DR. Huh?

      Caffiene is the most common drug in the world.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Peggy

    I always go to where the drinks are flowing and guys are buying.
    If they pay to get me loaded I expect to have to put out, but some girls are players and need to loosen up and realize that it really isn't a lot to expect and can be fun. The Iron Horse Missoula rocks and the guys are fine.

    November 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. M Brokaw

    Sort of like MO's Senator-wannabe said (that cost him the recent election) ... "legitimate rape"? Is there ever such a thing? A drunk or otherwise incapacitated victim isn't a permission slip for a rapist - stop blaming victims - what century are we in?

    November 9, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • M@x

      Your case about being drunk works for black out/ passing out drunks.

      But what about cases where both parties are drunk and still functioning? Isn't it just as valid then to say since BOTH parties have alcohol in their systems either one could be considered a victim? Unless there is clear force involved by one party, it really is hard to tell if a drunk person really was taken advantage of or if they were willing to do something because of lowered inhibitions.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rebecca

    Fred VanValkenburg is either A) a misohynist or B) involved.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MT neighbor

    My daughter was a student at UM when all this was going on. We aren't talking about drunk girls, we're talking about football players attacking girls. The girls had to be careful where they went, not go alone after dark. They are trying to cover it up to protect the athletes.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cuervo Jones

      my first thought. it's definitely a cover-up. the feds will get a warrant for the files. if he destroys them he;s going to jail for sure.

      November 10, 2012 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • bordeauxe

      Thanks for reading/listening and responding. Did your daughter graduate? I'd love to speak with her about her experiences on campus. This story isn't over.

      November 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jen

    I can't believe we are still having this fight. Every time there is a story about rape it comes down to women who are "crying" rape. That is the minority of cases but most of the men on this forum make it sound like it's 50% of the time. That's not the case. No one is saying that false allegations aren't made but that is not the majority of rape allegations. I don't know why men become so defensive. The odds of you being falsely accused are miniscule. The odds that your mother, wife, sister, daughter will be raped in their life is close to 25%. The number of rapists who will spend time in prison is 7%. If those statistics don't offend the men on this forum who are framing this as a he said she said debate, then you obviously place little value on the lives of women and girls.

    November 9, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Nathan

      Where do you obtain this information? Women have up to a 25% rape chance? Where? You should try to understand what statistics are before you throw random numbers out.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • SRF

        She's right. The odds of a woman being sexual molested or assaulted is 1 in 4 (hence 25%) in her lifetime. For men the numbers aren't much better (1 in 6). You can check the stats with RAINN, FBI stats, and other organizations that deal with sexual assault. Sadly the numbers haven't changed despite all the education out there. Maybe some day, but for now, women are still much more likely to be victimized and the only one's who can change this are men.

        November 9, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Cuervo Jones

        FBI stats. you should really look up the numbers before you flap your jaw

        November 10, 2012 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  14. SafeSexMeansAlot

    Let's keep questioning the situation after the rape and forget about dealing with preventing it, right?

    Ladies and Gentlemen...perhaps both of your habits need to change. Remember, you can try to forget what happened the night before...but the STD you get will remember.

    November 9, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
    • SarahH

      I completely agree, We should be teaching people about responsible choices. It's also unfortunate that we live in a society that makes it necessary to be on the defensive when we should be teaching respect and common sense. If someone is drunk you probably shouldn't have sex with him or her because its likely the alcohol talking. When both parties are drunk... I think that it becomes a different situation and therefore impossible to determine fault because neither was capable of resisting. However, if one party is intoxicated and the other sober- I would say it constitutes rape. Someone is taking advantage of the other while in a weakened state. It's just unfortunate that we live in a society where we have to be afraid of others taking advantage of us and must always be on the defensive.... I think that is the real underlying issue here.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
      • WASP

        " We should be teaching people about responsible choices. It's also unfortunate that we live in a society that makes it necessary to be on the defensive when we should be teaching respect and common sense. If someone is drunk you probably shouldn't have sex with him or her because its likely the alcohol talking. When both parties are drunk... I think that it becomes a different situation and therefore impossible to determine fault because neither was capable of resisting. However, if one party is intoxicated and the other sober- I would say it constitutes rape. Someone is taking advantage of the other while in a weakened state. It's just unfortunate that we live in a society where we have to be afraid of others taking advantage of us and must always be on the defensive.... I think that is the real underlying issue here."

        1) have you observed teens and their practices recently? how about how the adult population behaives as a whole?
        saying teach kids responicbility and being capable of doing such are two completely different things. teens and adults are both irresponcible in both their mannerisms and their actions. you can't teach someone that doesn't wish to learn or thinks they know everything how to truly do anything. popular culture also plays into things as well.
        2) rape can be committed either sober or drunk regardless if it one or both are intoxicated. if either person male or female saids NO at any point in time during the se/xual encounter and the other doesn't stop.............IT'S RAPE.
        3)"humans taking advantage of other humans" is basically how most things in human culture work. you need milk for your child the owner of the cow wants something in return and charges what he wants because you have a need for the milk and will pay it.
        so it's not humans taking advantage of humans that's the problem, it's people not listening nor caring about what the other person feels or thinks.

        November 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      Why is everyone assuming the rapes being investigated involve alcohol? Because the guy under investigation by federal authorities, who is refusing to cooperate, is insinuating it?

      November 9, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. freshnewblog

    I live in Montpelier, Vermont. My female friend claims that she was gang taped by 3 police officers in their police station in Barre, Vermont around 2004 or 2005. Barre is the town right next to Montpelier. She refuses to report it. I wish that some one would help us like it seems like Missoula is being helped. It is so public.

    November 9, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • freshnewblog

      My post should read raped not taped.

      November 9, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Stuart

      If she refuses to report it there is very little chance that someone will help solve the problem.

      November 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Breal

        This issue with the University of Montana goes back decades. There were many cases at this University that were thrown out for lack of evidence, even when the guy confessed. No alcohol or drugs were involved in these cases. This is a real issue that many back in my day, never challanged.

        THANK YOU!!!!

        November 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • PolioLio

      And I suspect that your friend was: A) Drunk, B)excited about cops and authority figures, and C) came on to the arresting officer in order to not get charged. Just like my 14 yr old girlfriend many-many years ago who snuck out to go to a HS party, got whaling drunk, and was raped by two garbage-men from my town. She also never reported it, because of her actions and behavior contributing to the outcome. However, it affected her (and ME) for many years.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • twisby

        people who think like you are part of the problem. if i understand correctly, your (ex?)girlfriend was statutory raped by 2 men, was too scared to report it (MANY women are too ashamed or afraid to report rape and this doesn't make it less serious or legitimate), and you are sitting here now complaining about what a pain it was for you? i hope she dumped your ass.

        November 9, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Laura

        That's horrifying. Her actions and behavior are in NO WAY IMAGINABLE any excuse for what those men did to her. She is not responsible for their sick perversions. No one, of any age, or any mental state, should be raped. Period. People who do so are rapists, and are classified as violent criminals, and they should be jailed. Sadly, there are obviously many, many victims just like her who have never reported their assaults.

        November 9, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Chris

    Well, this just goes to show we need more government regulation in regard to sexual activity. All persons who plan to engage in sexual activity should have to take a class in sexual responsibility, after which they will have a license which will be required to engage in sex. When out at a bar, if you see a prospective partner, you will be required to document their license number and then both parties have to take a breathalyzer to document and show they are capable of making an informed decision – btw, all bars will be required to install, calibrate, and maintain breathalyzers. Both parties will then keep a copy of this documentation. In the event of a rape claim, if either party can produce their copy of the sexual consent form there is no case. If neither party can produce these documents then both are guilty of having unlicensed sexual activity.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Daremonai

      Ok.... when someone hears 'no' they just don't (or stop) have sex with the person. Just a thought....

      November 9, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
      • FiveLiters

        I think that was the point of the last part of the article-if you're intimate with someone who isn't saying "no" at the time of the incident,but -later on- decides "oops,now I've sobered up and realized that...eww,that guy is gross!" or whatever and calls it rape... well,it really isn't,or it shouldn't be. It was a bad judgement call on that person's part and hopefully,they will learn from their mistake.

        November 9, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
        • Jamie

          Or...people should remember that someone might be too drunk to even give consent. If they're passed out, or on the verge...just assume "no". Instead, rapists seem to assume that drunk equals consent.

          November 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • frontgate

      Not a bad idea.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • StoneCold

      The Government is in our business enough. That is just another thing to let control our lives even more.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  17. BadDog91748

    For a criminal deft. charged with rape, there are only two possible defenses: she consented; or, some other dude did it. Absent compelling scientific evidence, the testimony of the victim is the only evidence that the prosecutor has to convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt as to the deft's guilt. Any problems with her testimony, including voluntary intoxication, diminish that testimony and make it more difficult to obatin a conviction. Alcohol, as we all know, affects the ability to perceive events and to recall them at a later time. All the wailing from the estrogen mafia does not change these undeniable facts.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
    • TeamChaos

      Rape is rape no matter what, plenty of girls are out there getting drunk regretting whet they did with some guy and now it is rape. Look at facebook half the girls post almost nude pics. Put out the party girl images and even if it is in fun, some lawyer will use it against you.

      There are the guys that will rape a girl and there are the girls that regret sleeping with a guy and get revenge.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  18. George Hayes

    Who the hell wants sex with a drunk person? Where is the passion?

    November 8, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • frontgate

      huh?

      November 9, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Laura

    There is only one reason VanValkenburg would refuse to cooperate with a federal investigation and his statement confirms it. He does not take rape allegations seriously. He is a misogynist who blames the victim. It shouldn't matter who has been drinking, it should be investigated. For those of you not familiar with rape statistics, take a look at them.

    The percentage of rapes that college students think are false claims = 50%
    Percentage of rapes that studies find are false claims = 2-8%.
    A woman's chances of being raped in college is 1 out of 4 or 5.
    Rank of U.S. in the world for rape = 13th
    Percentage of rapists who are never incarcerated = 97%
    Percentage of rapes not reported = 54%
    Estimated number of rapes every year – 300,000 to 1.3 million

    November 8, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bibliotecha

      Question: how can you calculate the number of "false" rapes? You do realize that in the majority of rape cases, it all boils down to his word against hers, right?

      November 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Laura

        Well, the FBI calculates them, and their number hovers around 8%. But it's important to note they got that statistic using the definition of "forcible rape" at the time, which was "the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will." As you can imagine, it excluded a great many types of rape, including rape of men, rape with objects, etc. The claims are noted as "unfounded" but that does not mean they were false. Here is a quote from the Attorney General of Oregon's Sexual Assault Task Force (2008):

        "As defined earlier, unfounding is a method of investigative case closure (or clearance) intended to
        denote a specific outcome of an investigation. While both the DHS definition and the FBI definition
        can encompass false reports within the category of unfounded, it is critical to bear in mind that a
        report determined to be unfounded is not synonymous with a false allegation or report. This
        distinction is important enough that it is worth repeating – a report that has been unfounded is not
        the same as a false report (or false allegation).
        The FBI definition of unfounded specifically refers to cases that are found to be false or baseless.
        As defined earlier in this paper, a false report (or allegation) is a sexual assault that is factually
        proven to have never occurred or been attempted. A baseless report, on the other hand, is a reported
        sexual assault that does not meet the elements of a crime – meaning that the incident that occurred
        did not involve criminal activity as defined by state statute (Oregon Revised Statutes). Typically a
        baseless report is the result of a mistake of law – the reporter believed that they were the victim of a
        crime when based on the state criminal code they were not."

        November 9, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kerrr Mudgin

      While I agree with you regarding the county attorney, I have to ask: Why did you leave out probability of being raped while drunk vs. probability of being raped while sober?
      For all the party goers, remember: "Nothing you do while drunk will make you proud the next day".

      November 8, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Laura

        This article does not disclose anything about whether the rapes they are investigating involved alcohol or not. Everyone is assuming so because that is what VanValkenburg is quoted as saying about them. His statement insinuates that these rape cases are baseless. But he is the one under investigation and refusing to cooperate with federal authorities. This is a person whose only response to rape allegations so severe that they have brought down the feds on him is that the woman were all lying because they regretted sleeping around? Really? Then why is he withholding his files?

        November 9, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Lovely

    Remember: "No" means no– and yeas means yes, unless tomorrow morning she feels ashamed then "yes" means no too.

    November 8, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marvelite

      You are sadly correct.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
    • I know you will hate me

      okay, here is something I don't get. If a woman is held to not be able to willingly consent to sex when she is drunk and if the guy sleeps with her, it can be considered rape as she was not able to make an informed decision and not responsible for what she agrees to or does.

      But if the guy is drunk too, how is it then he can be held responsible. If he is drunk he is still held responsible for what he does and says, but a woman is not. It is kind of a double standard here. Certainly there are cases where men do knowingly take advantage of women who have drank too much, but if both are drunk how can one be 'forgiven' and not held responsible but the other is?

      November 9, 2012 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
      • Jamie

        I think the difference is that women can be raped when they're passed out, but men cannot rape while they are passed out. Usually if someone is physically capable of raping someone, they're sober enough for it to be a conscious decision.

        November 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • TeamChaos

      I agree, im just glad I had braces, glasses and wasn't that great looking compared to the other guys, Even drunk girls didn't want me. But times change I went to a 20 year reunion and all the good looking jocks are fat and look old. me on the other hand I am having the best time of my life.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  21. karolgold

    And if VanValkenburg gets drunk and is sodomized by an aquantance, he can't very well claim he had been assaulted. After all, he had been drinking and must have agreed to it.

    November 8, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Asitwas

      Talk about taking things out of context... Karolgold, did you even read the article?

      "If a woman get's drunk AND -consents- to some intercourse or some sexual act that she really WISHES she hadn't DONE..." which suggest she regrets a -decision- she made and an -action- she engaged in. Which suggest she wasn't forced but rather made a bad choice that she can't take back... like the dress she bought on a whim.

      November 8, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • TeamChaos

        And her facebook party pics prove it was regret..lol

        November 9, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
      • MarkinFL

        The only evidence of consent is from the perp. SO if he initially consents to sodomy and then changes his mind?
        Who is to say he did not consent? Him? He was drunk and simply regrets giving into his long repressed impulses.

        November 9, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • The Pope

      If that ever happened, he'd probably get a headache, considering where his brains are.

      November 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • MashaSobaka

      He was probably dressed provocatively too. Plus, he's had sex before. He must be willing to have it with everyone. That "no" was just a tease. He really meant "yes."

      November 10, 2012 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
  22. James

    This argument has been going on since the invention of alcohol. If a woman gets drunk voluntarily and decides to have relations with a man, she made that choice herself in whatever state of mind she was in at the time. It is not rape.

    She is responsible for the choices she makes, starting with the first beer/drink.

    November 8, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • MashaSobaka

      When you get drunk you cannot legally give consent to anything, including sex. If men need to get women drunk before they will sleep with them then they might want to think about why that is and change their ways. Oh wait...they don't care. They think that women are there to be objectified.

      November 10, 2012 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
  23. Morgan

    What about men who hand girls drink after drink after drink and then once they are drunk, take them home? That's not a crime because she was drunk? What about a girl who passes out, so she can't say no, and a guy has sex with her anyway (as much as you can call it sex...)? Not his fault she was passed out? What if a guy is passed out drunk, and another guy has sex with him? Is that wrong? I mean he was drunk after all. This whole "buyers remorse" crap is B.S. and men know it, but it's a great way to get a girl to sleep with you.

    November 8, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Howie76

      well put!

      November 8, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Asitwas

      Morgan – "What about men who hand girls drink after drink after drink and then once they are drunk, take them home?"

      I don't know if you realize this but what you have said seems to really show a low opinion of a woman's intelligence. Is a woman incapable of using good judgement? Having friends around to protect her? How about simply saying... "I've had enough to drink... it's time for me to go home. Nice meeting you. Good night"? There are women who get drunk just so they can be more willing to be "taken advantage of" and just like men... use the fact that they've chosen to get drunk as -an excuse- to not "feel" accountable for their actions. Plain and simple... rape is a -Very- serious crime but accusing someone of rape whom you have verbally consented to having sex with should be equally just as criminal...

      November 8, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Missoulian

        "There are women who get drunk just so they can be more willing to be "taken advantage of" and just like men... use the fact that they've chosen to get drunk as -an excuse- to not "feel" accountable for their actions. Plain and simple... "

        True. There are some people like that. ***But they don't go to authorities and report a rape.***

        VanValkenburg presumes most rape reports involve "consent and regret" but there isn't evidence of that, either in these particular cases or rape allegations in general. His statement reflects his bias, not the investigative facts of these cases.

        The university was required to email staff and students additional info on these cases. Want to know what we were told? There were multiple instances of date rape drugs and gang rape, another where a university official sent emails trying to figure out how to kick a girl out of school for reporting and going public about her rape by an athlete. In another case a girl notified the campus rape center of a forced encounter; when the info went up the chain of command the university aided and abetted the wealthy Middle Eastern student so he could flee the country before his arrest by tipping him off before notifying the police. They did notify the police after he was safely out of the country.

        VanValkenburg;s statement makes you think these were cases of girls getting too drunk, consenting to sex, then feeling regret and reporting rapes. Then you guys feel sorry for the presumed poor schmuck who thought he was getting lucky and got a rape charge. That's not what is happening here. That is just what VanValkenburg and his investigators chose to believe rather than the facts. The federal investigation and the university's own internal investigations demonstrated that law enforcement was systematically disregarding instances of rape, failing to fully investigate allegations, treating victim's like trash, and the university was complicit in coverups to protect their athletes and reputation by hiding a university-wide problem making this an unsafe environment for women to pursue their educations.

        VanValkenburg's statement reflects his disdainful bias against rape victims, not what actually occurred based on the facts revealed through these investigations. These young women didn't consent. If he'd done proper investigations in the first place, he would have realized these were justified reports of rape.

        November 9, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
        • Asitwas

          Missoulian- Thank you for sharing this information. It is very insightful. There is -no excuse- for that type of behavior by people entrusted with positions of authority. That is a willful disregard for the safety of all students. Based on what you have said it seems they are more interested in $$$....

          November 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • X

      Perhaps if male on male rape was more prevalent men wouldn't blame the victim all the time ....

      November 8, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • geeeeeeeeeeewizzzzzzzzzzz

      If they can say no to sex they should say no to more drinks. I agree if a person is too drunk to to be coherent having sex with them is crime. I just want too know how someone decides which one was too drunk to know better. If she is too drunk to consent he he not too drunk to consent as well? Sounds like too people who raped each other. They should both be charged.

      November 8, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • TeamChaos

      It is hand drinks not force drinks.

      November 9, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • LivinginVA

      Or handing the woman a drink that has far more alcohol in that she ordered or spiking it with something. Part of what every girl should learn before she goes to college is only drink things YOU have opened or poured and don't set your drink down and pick it up later.

      November 9, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • StoneCold

      Maybe you should make sure the ppl around you are your friends or ppl you trust b4 you decide to get drunk? If nobody put a gun to your head and made you drink then I would say you should probably make better decisions in your life.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • MashaSobaka

      Bravo. If there were more male rape victims I guarantee you that more men would actually start taking rape seriously.

      November 10, 2012 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |
  24. geeeeeeeeeeewizzzzzzzzzzz

    It's not a legitimate rape unless your sober. Also why can't the man use the drunk excuse as to why he had sex with her if she is going ti use the excuse she was raped because she was drunk. Two drunk people who have sex cannot rape one another. If one is passed out or incoherent then that's another story.

    Come on ladies if your mature enough to go out and get sloshed your mature enough to live with the consequences of bad decisions.

    November 8, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • pooh bear

      Hmm...legitimate rape...where have I heard that term before?

      November 8, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Missoulian

      I live in Missoula and many of the allegations here have to do with girls who were slipped roofies and then gang raped. Then their reports were not taken seriously and offender-athletes were protected. These are not cases of a few too many drinks, consent, and then morning after regret. Besides, the university now instructs all students that an impaired person can not legally give consent in Montana and should be off limits.

      Women who get drunk and consent to sex, then later regret their choices don't consider themselves raped and go file reports. They just feel regret. Research shows that if a woman reports a rape, 92%-98% of the time it was truly non-consensual sex. Missoula's law enforcement unfortunately presumes that most reports of rape are "consent and regret". They fundamentally don't understand that women don't go to authorities after "consent and regret" sexual encounters.

      November 9, 2012 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
      • Jo Ann

        Thank you for the additional information. This is the most rational post on here.

        November 9, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
      • Geoscba

        It's actually a sad testament that a government has to make it illegal to engage in an activity with an impaired person because there are that many people who take advantage of others. If your account is truly the case, and I'm sure it is, it's no wonder the prosecutor refuses to turn his files over. I'd be nervous, too.

        November 9, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  25. SarahH

    It might just be California but I am pretty sure you cannot consent to sex while intoxicated. Additionally, there are men out there who prey on women who have been drinking because intoxicated women make easy targets. This is rape/sexual assault, regardless of how you cut it.

    November 8, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • geeeeeeeeeeewizzzzzzzzzzz

      If I am drunk and a girl has sex with me can I have her arrested for rape??

      November 8, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Asitwas

        LOL! GeeWiz – If that were to happen I think you would see how sexist/unsympathetic women are on this matter... We see it in how society treats female teachers who take advantage of under aged boys as compared to men to take advantage of under aged girls. In this case if a woman were to engage a man, I don't believe being aroused implies consent, who raped who? Such a question may set a new precedent in the courts!

        November 8, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Asitwas

      SarahH – "I am pretty sure you cannot consent to sex while intoxicated... This is rape/sexual assault, regardless of how you cut it."

      Yes you can... you just simply say "Yes" or something more colorful... We're not talking date rape pills. We're talking various levels of intoxication.

      So SarahH, in your world the woman is never wrong correct? She can rely on being drunk as an excuse for her behavior (i.e. "even though she has consented") but a man can not excuse his behavior if he is drunk... but rather should spend half of his life in prison... because the woman is now sober and feels ashamed. So in California you're saying that a husband can "rape" his wife if she "consents" to sex while she is drunk and changes her mind or even a boyfriend can "rape" his girlfriend if she "consents" while drunk but decides he's going to pay after he dumps her... sounds like good policy to me... (pause) (pause) (pause) (wait for it...) (pause) Not.

      November 8, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Caitlin

        Asitwas. Uhm, You are wrong. The law says intoxicated persons cannot give consent. So, don't hAve sex with drunk people. Drunk persons cannot give consent. Without consent, the sexual act becomes rape. Whether a man or a woman, the defendant, must have knowledge that the person is intoxicated. Basically, you may want to cut down on going to the bar and taking people home to have drunk sex. It's never a good idea.

        November 9, 2012 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
      • SarahH

        Yes, in a common sense you can consent. But law, I don't think that saying yes while drunk stands up in court. And hey, if guys want to say that a girl raped him while drunk, I would support this logic as well. I'm not saying only women can be victims of rape. If the reverse happens and a man is drunk and forced into having sex with a woman, I would support the same scenario. Anyone who takes advantage of a drunk person is in the wrong, regardless of gender.

        November 9, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
        • StoneCold

          If you cant make rational decisions while drinking then you probably shouldn't drink. Everyone I know makes bad decisions while they were drinking. People should hang around people they know well or trust and then it becomes a mute point.

          November 9, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • SarahH

        Asitwas- yes, a husband can rape his wife, marriage status does not remove the possibility of rape. And YES in California, such a law exists. If someone (regardless of gender) is too intoxicated to resist it is considered rape. So if a husband has sex with his passed out wife it could be considered rape. I think that the stigma for saying women are the only victims of rape is unfair but in most cases of rape, women are the victim. BUT either gender can be the victim and rape by either gender is always possible. And the law protects all sides. Part of the stigma around rape victims only being female is that it is more difficult for a woman to rape a man based solely on physiology. Men are generally larger and stronger than women making it more difficult for most women to take advantage of men. Though I'm not saying it never happens- I'm sure it does. However, BOTTOM LINE if you are a sober person and trying to have sex with an obviously drunk person, there is something wrong with you and you deserve to be charged with rape. REGARDLESS OF GENDER.

        November 9, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • mike

      If they both drink, and they both consent to sex, and they both actively participate, then why isn`t it the most sexist action in the world to later say that HE raped her, instead of her raping him? In that case, only the gender is different. Why is he suddenly the perpetrator, and she, the victim? That, ladies, is pure privilege. Equality means no privileges on either side.

      November 8, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • JonVon

        Mike, you are arguing that 2 drunk consenting adults falls under the definition of rape, or that women who report rape did so after consenting while intoxicated. Statistically, it is highly unlikely that the majority of reported rapes were made after drunken consent by both parties. And it does not appear that anyone is making the argument that two drunken consenters equals reported rape, or meets the definition of legal rape.

        November 9, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
      • Not telling

        To all those who have commented about the 'entitlement' of drunk women who cry rape:

        This is NOT a gender issue. The law states that a person who is intoxicated is incapable of consenting. That is true whether or not the victim is a man or a woman, and it is true regardless of whether the assailant is a man or a woman. The 'entitlement' does not apply to women alone. Men are just as 'entitled' to 'cry rape'.

        NO ONE quoted or mentioned in the investigation has stated that the failure to prosecute applies to female victims. It is possible–in fact given statistics, quite likely–that at least some of the failure to prosecute applies to male rape.

        The only thing this story has revealed is that there still remain far too many misconceptions and assumptions about rape.

        November 10, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lovely

      Uh, sorry Sarah, no such law. Are you drunk right now?

      November 8, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • SarahR

        Comm. v. Blache, 450 Mass. 583 (2008). In a rape case in which lack of consent due to intoxication is an issue, the prosecution must prove not only intoxication, but 1) that the intoxication rendered the complainant incapable of consent and 2) that the defendant knew or should have known that the condition rendered the complainant incapable of consenting.

        November 8, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
        • D.

          You go, Sarah – I believe we have (or had while I lived there) a similar law in NY. Someone who is intoxicated cannot reasonably give consent. Thus, if you see a drunk chick saying "take me home and bang me", steer clear b/c no good will come of it – with several bad outcomes possible.

          November 8, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
        • Frank

          This case does NOT mean that mere intoxication renders a woman incapable of consent.It clearly states that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the woman was so intoxicated she was incapable of consent. (i.e. passed out or so drunk she was incoherent.) Drunk people can and do have consentual sex all the time.

          BTW, I've actually prosecuted sex crimes and have sent rapists to prison for long sentences. I've also seen cases of buyers remorse, revenge, and diversion of responsibility where innocent men were accused. Not all women are saints, and not all men are rapists.

          November 9, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
      • Angie

        Yes... That awkward feeling you have right now Lovely is what happens after you've been made to look a fool...

        November 11, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  26. woodie

    If you rape a drunk women, you aren't going to get any empathy from me. It's a perverted and violent crime.

    November 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • geeeeeeeeeeewizzzzzzzzzzz

      Most times it is two drunk people having sex.

      November 8, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Mikey

    It's a slippery slope. As a father, my daughter's safety is paramount. Anyone who assualts her will feel my rath as the rath of God. As a man in his 60s and been around, I can say morning after guilt or remorse should not put an innocent man behind bars for most of his life. I believe that's what this D.A. is not so elequently saying.

    November 8, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      You might want to talk to your daughter about rape. These are some statistics on it. You can llook them up for yourself and confirm them if you like. They aren't pretty. The sad fact is most rapes aren't reported and even when they are, almost 100% of perpetrators receive no punishment. If your daughter has been raped or sexually assaulted in some manner, there is a very, very good chance you don't know, and will never know, about it.

      The percentage of rapes that college students think are false claims = 50%
      Percentage of rapes that studies find are false claims = 2-8%.
      A woman's chances of being raped in college is 1 out of 4 or 5.
      Rank of U.S. in the world for rape = 13th
      Percentage of rapists who are never incarcerated = 97%
      Percentage of rapes not reported = 54%
      Estimated number of rapes every year – 300,000 to 1.3 million

      November 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  28. guest

    I bet the DA doesn't punish DUI offenders either. Take a look at the paper, not uncommon to see people with numerous dui's.

    November 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Marlin

    I think what he is saying is that he believes they were willing at the time due to the influence of alchol but when the alchol wore off they realized their mistake and decided to press rape charges.

    November 8, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Asitwas

      Exactly Marlin!

      Unfortunately, and I'm not simply referring to the comments below, some people seem to believe that if a woman yells "rape" the police should convict some poor innocent man when in fact both parties are arguably guilty of making bad choices. Rape is a -very- serious crime... it is sad to see people accused and convicted as a result of capricious girls/women.

      November 8, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • geeeeeeeeeeewizzzzzzzzzzz

      I agree

      November 8, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • bordeauxe

        Whenever I report on sexual violence as a topic I see comments like this about false reporting. Just curious, have any of you had any experience with this as an issue?

        False reporting of any crime, including rape, is illegal and in many jurisdictions is routinely punished. However when talking about sex crimes experts say that promoting an idea of "crying rape" discourages women from coming forward. Rape is as much a psychological crime as it is a physical one.

        November 12, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Asitwas

    VanValkenburg: If a woman get's drunk and consents to some intercourse or some sexual act that she really wishes she hadn't done, you know, it doesn't become a crime because she was drunk and maybe she should have used better judgment.

    So let me get this straight. You all are suggesting that if a drunk woman tells a man "yes" and there are no signs whatsoever of struggle... you believe that when she sobers up and has a change of heart that some poor man, who may have also been drunk, should spend time in jail for her stupidity? Have you ever heard of a thing called "Mens rea?" Who's really the fool?

    November 8, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • SarahR

      You are frighteningly invested in this discussion, even if there is no legal case, please consider your ethical position of having sex with drunk girls, I would guess you make a habit of it.

      November 8, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Asitwas

        Actually SarahR, since you would rather personally attack a person you don't know rather than discuss the issues... Let me explain myself. I don't drink and the times I have... I've never allowed myself to get drunk. Personally, and this is just my opinion, I don't like to put myself in situations where my judgement is impaired, allowing myself to engage in risky behavior or compromise my friendships... but SarahR... that is just my take on life. To each her/his own. I have never... and would never... have sex with someone who was intoxicated because to me that is a turnoff, not intimate and their breath at that point stinks. But again that is just me. My investment in this discussion is simply peoples lack of accountability and quickness to judge and put people behind bars. As I've stated rape is a -Very- serious crime but if a person has consented to and engaged in sexual activity and is remorseful later of his/her choice to do so... it pains me to know that some other unfortunate soul, who did the same, (usually the male) has to go to prison as a result of a sequence of bad choices.

        November 8, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Squirrelyone

      It seems from what I've read here that the issue isn't whether or not there are any signs of a struggle, but that no investigation is made to see if there are or not. I'm sure there are plenty of girls who cry rape when it's not the case, but I'm equally or more so sure that there are girls who cry rape because they did, in fact, get raped. It shouldn't be a matter of testimony vs. testimony. That's part of the problem here. Investigations aren't being made, or if they are, they're being made too late to be conclusive because victims tend to feel shame, men and women both, possibly men more so (making them even less likely to go to the authorities). If women (and men, although I must say I don't have much confidence that the stigma for them will lift enough for them to come forward willingly and quickly any time soon) were given confidence in legal authority, they could make their case ASAP after the event and a proper investigation could be made to determine if there were signs of a struggle or any evidence of intimidation, instead of true victims being too afraid to speak until the case is cold. Then we could all be happy, because the liars could be more easily weeded out and innocents wouldn't be incarcerated, but victims could be compensated and their predators addressed. More action, not less, is needed to make this fair.

      November 9, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  31. LDRP

    This is why a woman's choice should be hers and hers alone. Otherwise, someone else gets to decide what she should do. And that someone else would be someone like this county attorney.

    November 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  32. logicalgirl

    And here I thought it was my area of the country that had all of the idiot rednecks. Apparently one escaped and is practicing law in Montana.

    November 8, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  33. vschnepp

    And that fool is an attorney. Thats scary...

    November 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  34. DebbieKat

    Oh, goodie. Another legitimate rape guy. smh

    November 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      This "legitimate rape" thing is ridiculous. How have we gotten to the point that no one wants to accept responsibility for their actions and would rather blame, blame, blame. The term was used to differentiate between forced rape, and "I had a couple beers and I regret it now so it must be rape....right?" rape. It is not rape if you have had a few, agree to a romp in the sac, then sober up and regret it. I have had a few situations in my college years where alcohol played a role, and I woke up hoping no one knew who I had gone to bed with! Should these girls be charged with rape because I had some beer goggles on? Hell no, I made the decision the night before, consented, and the rest is history. I think forced rape, or rape where there is no consent (passed out), are horrible crimes and should be fully pursued to the maximum extent of the law, but I think that it does no one any favors to call "wow, I wished I hadn't done that" rape. It makes it harder for women in "legitimate" (there it is again) rape cases to be taken seriously and it also takes up law enforcement/campus staff/court personnel time and money that could be put to better use then chasing down stories because someone made some piss poor decisions after some drinks.

      November 8, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Reddog

        It is interesting that the was not one mention of rape when smoking weed, only when alcohol was involved. Not sure what that porves, but it is interesting.

        November 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
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