Letters to the Editor

From the week of August 25, 2005

I well remember picking up the newspaper and reading about Mr. Ginnane being sentenced to prison after years of "treatment." and falling to the floor in sheer terror -- the woman who "evaluated" him and recommended prison was at that very moment "evaluating" my son. I read about his mother's agonized cries for an end to this torment. How many times I thought about putting a gun to my head -- or to my son's -- just to see an end to this never-ending nightmare.

I hope Mr. Ginnane, like my son, has the strength and fortitude to rise above these circumstances. To live well. To forgive, and not allow himself to become bitter or defeated. It's the only way "out."

Name withheld on request

True lies:I, too, was accused of a sex crime that never happened. I was a physician in my residency at the time. I was attending a conference out of town and met a young woman who claimed she was a local college student. I later learned that she was not. This woman stole money from my belongings and, with the help of an accomplice, made claims of rape. It nearly ruined my life. The charges against me were later dismissed, but after a two-year battle, and although the prosecutor knew the stories were fabricated, neither this girl nor her accomplice were ever charged.

My heart goes out to this young man. I wish him well.

Name withheld on request

Just ask:The Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA) is deeply disappointed in the lack of facts in "Screwed for Life," specifically in regard to false allegations. We understand that everyone has a perspective and a point of view, but we wanted to present real statistics when it comes to false reporting. Only 2 percent of rape claims are false allegations, which is no different from any other violent crime. The myth of women lying about being raped when the sex was consensual has exploded since the development of DNA evidence. Before DNA evidence was on the scene, the common argument was that the sex never happened. Now that DNA can link the criminal to the crime, the excuse is that the sex was consensual. The sad truth behind rape in our country is that only 6 percent of rapists -- one out of sixteen -- will ever spend a day in jail. Therefore, fifteen out of sixteen rapists, reported and unreported, will walk free.

CCASA definitely believes that the link between race and rape is an all-too-often-overlooked issue. We as a society do not focus on the intersections of oppression until it is too late, and we are actively involved in a current case. We should not wait to examine how race and oppression factor in, because that then produces an environment where inevitably one party will feel discounted. The sad American fact is that when it comes to race and racism, black men convicted of rape receive stiffer sentences then their white-male counterparts. In addition, a study conducted in 1990 showed that a man convicted of raping a black woman received one-fifth of the sentence that a man convicted of raping a white woman received. This sentence underwent an even further reduction if the person convicted of raping the black woman was a white man

After decades of our society representing a rapist as a young black man lurking in the bushes, we have failed to protect women in our society from rape -- because you are most likely to be raped by someone you know and who is of your same race. Even though we have inherent injustices in our system, it does not negate the need for consent. Nor does it allow us to discount the charge of rape because the parties involved were of different races. Rape is color-blind. No one is free from its demoralization, its shameful grasp.

The Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault believes that communication and conversation between partners who may engage in sexual activities needs to be promoted so there is no question about consent. We need to teach our young people to have personal accountability and to ask for consent. It couldn't hurt -- so why not ask?

Tamika D. Payne, executive director
CCASA


Flack to the Future

California scheming:Regarding Michael Roberts's "Failure to Communicate," in the August 18 issue:

Kudos to Hank Brown for seeing the obvious uselessness of highly paid PR flacks running the show at CU. Who are these jokers? I read Mr. Gomez's "strategic plan" for improving CU's public image four times, and I never did discern a concrete proposal or goal. Seems that the best image these guys were selling was the mirage of their own usefulness. But what can you expect of a "trade" born and raised in good old California? Good riddance to Mr. Gomez. Go back to the Golden State where your PR "doublespeak" is more welcome. Strategic vision, indeed.

S. Kreider
Lakewood

Beating a dead horse:Since when did printing summaries of stories from months, nay, years ago qualify as a feature? Westword, that last bastion of in-depth reporting, of all that can be good about journalism, has succumbed to the inevitable: dredging, muckraking and tediousness. Not to mention beating the thrice-dead horse that is the CU "scandal."

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