Tag Archives: rape

McAllister guilty on only one count of “prohibited acts.”

The verdict is in.

We all heard the same evidence that the jury did. We heard the tape recorded conversation in which Norm McAllister discussed his sexual interactions with the alleged victim in the grossest terms.

We heard her tearful and painfully detailed account of those same interactions in direct testimony from the stand.

We heard the Defense’s one scheduled witness, McAllister’s son Heath, noticeably hesitate as he responded in his father’s defense.

Then we heard Norm McAllister unexpectedly take the stand and essentially tell a tale completely opposite to that of the alleged victim, but with none of the visceral emotion betrayed in the woman’s voice.

Apparently, when the chips were down, the jury chose McAllister’s testimony as more credible, which begs the question: why?

Was it because the jury was predominantly male and societal attitudes remain in a place of denial about the legitimacy of rape complaints?

Was it because the alleged perpetrator was a “pillar of society,” a state senator, landowner and patriarch of a prominent Franklin County farm family; whereas the alleged victim was poor, powerless, and a prior victim of domestic abuse?

I have no idea; but the verdict makes no sense to me…especially since the jury did apparently believe McAllister was guilty of procurement for prostitution.

No doubt the fact that evidence of other sexual assault complaints against McAllister was excluded from the proceedings, and the fact that jury selection carefully screens for prior knowledge made a significant difference.

No one can fault the principle behind those exclusions, but justice is as often a victim of these discretions as it is a beneficiary.

In this case, justice was left crying in the dust.

I can venture that opinion because I was there at the first McAllister trial as well. I remember the emotionally scarred young woman, barely more than a girl, who had been persuaded to brave the courtroom to confront her accused assailant. It was clearly torture for her to relive her degradation in front of a courtroom full of curious listeners. Her participation was an act of greater bravery than most of us have ever been called upon to do, but, under relentless pressure and embarrassment, she told a desperate fib to preserve her current relationship…an insignificant fib about never having kissed a co-worker, and, when she confessed to her attorney her case was abandoned by the prosecutor and all that pain was for nought.

I still wonder how she is doing, having prostrated herself before the law only to be cast out into the judgmental world, never knowing the balm of justice.

The woman involved in the current case is older and more experienced in life’s cavalcade of never-ending disappointments, but still she shed real tears in her testimony, her cheeks burning with shame and degradation.

Her future is far more uncertain than that of her exploiter, even with his one conviction.

There is no true justice tonight.

McAllister to stand trial (again) for sexual assault

Good news for those of us who felt Mr. McAllister’s plea deal cheated his constituents of the opportunity to hear all the details of the case, including Mr. McAllister’s defense, in open court.

He had a good thing in that plea deal, which spared him exposure to a life sentence; but now that he has chosen to withdraw from the deal, all bets are off.

It appears from news reports that McAllister’s second thoughts on the plea deal were largely due to a concern to preserve his farm from vulnerability in an upcoming civil case, filed by one of his victims. He claims that he was unaware, at the time of accepting the plea deal, that it would represent a tacit admission of guilt and could jeopardize his defense in that pending civil suit.

The need to prepare a second time for trial and to screen a second jury is a burden on the county; the county for which he served as an unyielding fiscal and social conservative voice for a number of years. Not so concerned with the people’s purse now, are we Mr. McAllister?

This of course does not address the repeated pretrial stress on the victim; still awaiting her day in court.

A trial date has not yet been announced; but once again, I sincerely hope that the women of Franklin County turn out to support the victim.

Trump: Pedophile and Rapist?

The morning news dump brought with it a story from the Guardian in which Jill Harth breaks her long silence about a sexual assault by Donald Trump back in 1992.

The account given by Ms. Harth is extremely compelling and prompted me to research other allegations of sexual assault that have been seriously lodged against the Republican nominee over the course of his public life.

Perhaps the most disturbing example is his implication in the rape of a thirteen year old girl at a sex party hosted by his friend Jeffrey Epstein in 1994.

“Epstein has been named in multiple similar lawsuits over the last several years, served 13 months in jail, and is registered as a sex offender for life.”

Trump famously said the following about Mr. Epstein in  a New York Magazine profile some years ago:

“I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump booms from a speakerphone. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

Rather than going into all the offensive details contained in a variety of reports concerning the alleged pedophile rape, I thought I’d cut straight to the chase by citing an analysis of the available evidence by Snopes which provides about as much objective perspective on the story as might be hoped for.

Once again, the available record suggests that the story is true, but one of these claims is the subject of current legal actions, and the other was only made public after the Trump campaign preemptively called the alleged victim a “liar;” so we cannot legally draw a line under his guilt. Of course, Trump uses that ‘l’ word as liberally as he does the other ‘l’ word: ‘loser.’

This verbal tic always reminds me of the old retort, “It takes one to know one.”

Then there is Ivana Trump’s charge, made during their divorce proceedings, that Donald indulged in angry rape against her when procedure to address baldness, performed by someone she had recommended, went horribly wrong. She later withdrew the word ‘rape’ from her testimony but the account remained pretty much the same. He aggressively forced her to have sex after subduing her by pulling her by the hair of her head…hair that was in roughly the same position on her scalp as had been affected by his own botched baldness procedure.

To me that sounds pretty much like angry rape. That his accuser later modified her allegation is not particularly surprising, considering that the two shared three children, a business relationship, a divorce settlement, and the clear understanding that nobody…absolutely nobody… crosses Donald Trump.

Why does the major news media seem to be avoiding discussion of these and other allegations of Trump’s predatory sexual appetites? Apart from very occasional sly jokes about his inappropriate remarks concerning his female offspring, virtually no mention has been made of this unsavory aspect of the candidate.

He has been free to call Hillary Clinton a liar, and to traffic in her guilt by association with Bill Clinton and his infamous indiscretions, but it almost seems as if there has been some agreement that his own accusers will receive network and cable silence.

Everyone knows of the smoke = fire scenario that eventually played out in the case of Bill Cosby; so, why isn’t more attention being given to an alarming pattern that appears to be emerging in credible stories about a man who is now just inches away from the Oval Office?

Norm McAllister assaults the system…and gets away with it…again.

So, accused rapist/sex trafficker Norm McAllister will remain on the Republican primary ballot for senator even though his petition has been found to be deficient.  I hear fellow Republican candidate Carolyn Branagan’s cry of indignation and I share it!

Mr McAllister must be some sort of human detector for weaknesses in Vermont’s judiciary and legislative systems.

So far, he has succeeded in exploiting no less than five significant failures, and he hasn’t even come to trial yet to face accusations made by two more women.

1) The lack of meaningful protections for the vulnerable in the private workplace.

2) An apparent culture of “don’t ask; don’t tell” in the statehouse, where the extreme youth
of Mr. McAllister’s omnipresent ‘intern’ should have raised concerns and led to timely interventions.

3) The lack of a meaningful ethics policy governing legislators.

4) The lack of adequate provision in court for the PTSD disability common to victims of sexual abuse.

5) The lack of effective vetting practices to validate candidate petitions.

I’m sure there are more, but these spring most quickly to mind. Do not look for a grasp of reality anytime soon from this man because both Franklin County and the state of Vermont have yet to demonstrate any ability to bring his arrogance and his appetites to heel.