Thursday, July 20, 2006

Must Be Nice

Ah the advantages and lessons young men learn as elite athletes. Take the case of Lamar Owens Jr., for example. Today, he was acquitted of rape charges, but, "...the jury of five Naval officers found that Owens "wrongfully entered the room without permission and wrongfully engaged in consensual sex." Does that seem odd to anyone else? I don't even think I understand that.

Two main facts were presented in the case.

The first, a tape of a phone conversation between Owens and his accuser. The man can be heard apologizing to the woman and while, "...speaking in a soft voice and apparently weeping at times, says he considered killing himself. He tells the woman he "didn't do it for long" and that "you weren't awake."

How thoughtful. And really, not incriminating at all.

The second piece of evidence? Well it wasn't actually presented at the trial, but I'm sure the fellow Navy jury had it fresh in their minds:

A highlight reel from the Navy quarterback's successful season in which he led the team to an 8-4 record with victories over Army and Air Force, and a win over Colorado State in the Poinsettia Bowl and was voted the team MVP. That's quite a resume there.

All of the above is well and good, but what's really irritating about this entire case is the behavior of the judge, who would not allow an expert witness to testify and severely limited the testimony of another:

The judge said the jurors didn't need an expert to tell them that wounds from sexual trauma can heal quickly. Then he said that "the most fascinating creature developed by the Lord God Almighty is the human woman." Maksym sustained a defense objection to the witness and did not allow the prosecution's expert witness - Navy Lt. Cmdr. Cynthia Ferguson, a nurse, midwife and forensic rape examiner at Bethesda - to testify. "She's not even a physician," he said. He added that Ferguson - who had been brought into court to testify before the judge and lawyers but not yet to the jury - showed prejudice because she assumed all the women she examines in rape cases are victims.

Maksym's insulting behavior didn't end there. Regarding another of the prosecution's witnesses, "...He allowed the testimony of Lopez-Roca, a military psychiatrist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, but limited what prosecutors could ask him. We're not talking about the son of Freud here," Maksym said of Lopez-Roca"

So in summation, we have a guy who admits to having sex with a passed out woman, a judge who won't allow a forensic rape examiner to testify and who openly equates women with "creatures" and a defense that states a woman who is so drunk she can't remember what happened isn't also so drunk that she could not feasibly have consented to sex.

What does all this equate? An acquittal.

Must be nice. Go team.


At 7:09 AM, July 22, 2006, Blogger Counter-Revolutionary said...

You ARE SO WRONG about the witness and the Judge. LCDR Ferguson was to testify on generalities related to rape. No specific, relevant info related to the case. And, in voire dire when she started quoting percentages, he asked her what her universe was, she said all her examinations were for rape victims. If she had said alleged, maybe she would have been in. She was not allowed to testify because of relevance to the specific case. What is missing in your comments is that he was a VERY experienced Judge, currently Deputy Chief Judge, etc.

Furthermore, I see nothing of LamarOwens' story here. For instance: he was invited to her room (testimony and some evidence to support it), she pulled on my sweater to get me to climb into bed with her (no evidence just his word), during the act after she stopped responding (passed out) he stopped (no DNA evidence, and his testimony.)

Contrast that with her story: didn't know how she got to her room (blacked out boyfriend's testimony); what happened next (ditto W/last note) and evidence she was on computer IMing and on cell phone; next remembers LO trying to kiss me (her testimony, no evidence then blacked out (BOed) again); next remember him on top of me tried to scooch up from him (her testimony, no evidence then BOed again); next remember him in me scooched up again (her testimony, no evidence then BOed again); remember calling boyfriend to come help her. Here testimony was very suspect because of her memory loss and possible corruption (defense expert witness testimony.)

Almost every minute of the time after she returned to room is filled in with evidence of using computer and phone. Seh remembers none of it?

Oh, BTW, the two elements to make a rape charge in military law are force AND non-consent. NEVER, EVER in the trial did the prosecution ever use the word force, show any evidence, nor have any testimony. Going in they knew they never had a rape. And, the jury would have to concocted evidence to get to beyond a reasonable doubt because of her memory problems.

Yes, I was at the CM, and I am not a member of LO's family or a friend. This case was horribly weak, and should never have been brought. She got horrible advice from the Victim's advocate office and USNA SJA.

At 12:18 PM, July 22, 2006, Blogger Cantankerous said...

Hey, absolutely. I totally see your point dude. If a chick is so drunk that she's blacking out it's a complete and total sign of consent. Absolutely. You have a completely honorable and logical line of thinking.

As far as your "proof" on the computer side, every article I read on this case pointed to the contrary. Both computers were taken and searched, but nothing came up.

Regardless, that point is moot given that to support your argument you cite how many times the girl blacked out.



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