A Louisiana parish is trying to get out of paying a 14-year-old rape victim by saying she wanted to be raped.
Think Progress reported that the 14-year-old, now 20, sued the Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government as well as her attacker, Angelo Vickers, alleging the parish officials should have protected her from Vickers.
Angelo Vickers is currently serving a 7-year sentence after pleading guilty to molestation of a juvenile.
The report continued on to say that instead of assuming liability and or shifting the blame solely on the guard, the parish’s defense strategy is to blame the victim.
In the state of Louisiana, a child cannot consent to sex if they are under the age of 17.
So even if the girl did agree, and we are not saying she did or didn’t, then she was still legally unable to consent.
“These girls in the detention center are not Little Miss Muffin,” one official told the Tri-Parish Times.
This statement leads readers to think that these girls could have the ability to coheres their guards into acts such as physical relationships.
Katie J.M. Baker wrote the following for the online blog Jezebel:
“It’s absolutely ridiculous to argue that a 14-year-old who was raped by a guard who was supposed to keep her safe — and had the power to make her life even more miserable than it already was — was complicit in her own abuse.”
Yes, this girl had had a rough life. Jezebel reported that the girl was sexually molested multiple times as a child and raped by an uncle who fed her tons of hard drugs.
But does that automatically mean that she asked to be raped while in custody?
Katie Schwartzmann, director of the nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center’s New Orleans office, had the following to say:
“The parish’s argument that a 14-year-old child could consent to sex with an adult in any context is disturbing.
“In the jail or prison context, power dynamics between children and adults are even more skewed.
“When a child is in custody, guards have complete coercive control over every aspect of that child’s life.
“The argument that a child could consent to sex with an adult prison guard is, frankly, shocking.”
Yes, this news is shocking, but it is not uncommon.
What do you think of the Terrebonne Parish trying to claim that the then 14-year-old rape victim actually wanted to be raped?
[Image via Shutterstock/ChameleonsEye]