Debra J. Saunders

Easier said than done. Jane Doe's attorney, Barbara Spector, released a statement that noted, "We remain convinced that how these men acted is wrong, morally and legally. Our client is committed to pursuing her civil remedies, in large part to send a needed message that behavior such as these young men displayed is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

"I'm looking forward to the civil suit," soccer player April Grolle told me, after she recounted seeing Jane Doe stripped from the waist down, with "vomit all over her face -- turns out it wasn't her own vomit."

Said Grolle, "No girl would ever have consented to that." I have to wonder if it is in Jane Doe's interest to go to trial in a civil case. This is unquestionable: It doesn't matter how much a 17-year-old drinks, she does not deserve to be raped -- and it is rape if the teenager is comatose.

But it is questionable whether Jane Doe will get the vindication she seeks by taking this case to court -- especially when prosecutors say they have none of the incriminating video evidence mentioned in Doe's civil suit.

"The issue isn't whether it's acceptable conduct, the issue is whether it's a crime," argued attorney John Cahners, who represents Steve Rebagliati, whose parents own the home where the party took place.

And if it is a crime, is it the same as premeditated rape? It may well be that civil courts are better suited to redress what happened at that March 2007 party.

According to Grolle and another source, the vomit on Jane Doe was not hers. Is it in society's interest to prosecute kids who are months older than Jane Doe for doing things in an alcohol-fueled atmosphere that they never would have done sober or alone? I think there's reasonable doubt.


Debra J. Saunders


 
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