Screwed for Life

For a convicted rapist, the truth may not set you free.

Initially, he'd been able to have a beer or two, then those were forbidden. He had to report every sexual encounter. His new girlfriend had to report on their encounters. He could not be around children -- even his own nephew. Finally, after eight years, he realized that he would never be free -- that his probation was just another long guilty plea. "The way the sex-offender statutes are set up, if you are in denial, then you're a sex offender," Lane explains. "It's one size fits all. You can't be around kids, even if you've been convicted of touching an adult female. They were on his ass like a cheap suit. I must have gone to court a dozen times with Kumbe for bullshit violations of his probation.

"I got to the point," he remembers, "where I was leaving Boulder after a hearing, and I was going by the campus, and I was screaming, 'Don't have sex with anyone! You'll go to prison!'"

After yet another violation, Ginnane stood before a judge -- again. "I swear to God I've done my best," he said. "I've spent thousands of dollars. I've met with seven people a week. I've given it my best shot."

Kumbe Ginnane learned his lesson in the school of 
hard knocks.
Jim J. Narcy
Kumbe Ginnane learned his lesson in the school of hard knocks.

In 2001, at the age of thirty, Ginnane was sentenced to another four years in prison for that night back in October 1990.

"It's the biggest injustice I've seen in 25 years as a criminal defense attorney," says Lane -- and that includes ten years working as a public defender in New York City. "Once the beast gets awakened, it just runs its course. It's brainless political correctness gone amok."

Ginnane did his time and was finally released in March 2004. Now he's trying to get his life back on track. "He'd always been a very good student," his brother says. "He's done so many things in his life -- being a musician, racing motorcycles, modeling. He had such a promising future, and this has completely changed his life." He's still having trouble finding work, and is doing a driving gig right now. But Ginnane published the book he'd started during therapy, then picked up again during his second stretch in Cañon City (the mixed-up chronology makes it a convoluted read, but Ginnane never said he was Shakespeare -- just wronged). He founded a nonprofit, the Genesis:39 Foundation (, named after the first recorded instance of a false rape allegation -- in the Bible, and made against Joseph, when he spurned a married woman's advances -- with the goal of educating the public and minimizing false rape allegations. Date rape is a myth, he says. If it's rape, it's rape.

This past spring, he took his message and his books to the CU campus. "I did a brief reading," he says. "The Black Students Alliance received me with open arms. But some people wanted to spit on me. I was right next to a feminist student table. We got involved in a really intriguing debate."

To keep the debate going, he speaks everywhere he can -- before community groups, youth groups, athletic groups. Later this month he'll address the California college team now coached by former CU Buff Eric Bienemy. "I'll tell them that you need to be very careful about women coming on to you and wanting to have sex with you because you're popular and handsome, and there might be alcohol involved, and you have to be careful.... If you are going to have sex with women, don't be rude to them. Be aware of what can happen. What happened to me."

Although Ginnane is eager to talk about what happened to him, what could happen to anyone, he has yet to make an official appearance at CU -- where the talk has been all about sex, and student athletes, and racism, for the past several years. When he started out in Boulder, he remembers, the freshman class got a lecture on how to put a condom on a banana. Nothing about the dangers of mixing alcohol with sex. Nothing about how regret can turn to accusations of rape. "Guys need to practice safe sex," he says. "Use a condom and a camcorder." Record consent before engaging in a one-night stand.

His mother, who'd wanted her sons to go to all-black Howard University, offers more pointed advice. "I was raped," she says. "I know what it's like to have someone force you down and stick themselves in you. Some of us know what rape is. I would tell a young black man never to be in a room alone with a white girl.... I'd tell them to make sure there's someone in there who's white. I would tell them to keep their minds on their books, to study hard, to get all the knowledge, to ignore the racism. I would tell them not to give up who they are politically and culturally, but to be aware that they're in a hostile environment."

His own mother isn't the only one affected by his story. "I'm that guy you don't want to be like," Ginnane says. "Mothers all across the state tell me, 'My son needs to read this before he goes to college.'" Otherwise, he may get an unexpected education.

Kumbe Ginnane will always be labeled a sex offender. Under a new state law, he'll be included in Colorado's online sex-offender registry. He will never know what would have happened if he'd told the truth. Whatever it may be.

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My Voice Nation Help

All I know is that Kumbe saved my life at the East Denver YMCA when I was a teen. I was thrown in the pool and he was the life guard didnt hesitate to help. He was always a gentleman, intelligent and sweet -and yes girls fell at his feet. I don't believe he forced her. I'm thinking she felt embarrassed that she was easy. I didn't know this happened to him and his family. I'll always respect you Kumbe. Much love SW