Dear Victim/Survivor of this violent crime

Guest post by Leah Parsons

I have been following this case and was very interested in what the outcome would be considering sexualized violence/rape is most always a He Said/She said case even when the victim goes directly to authorities to report. Usually “He Said” is heard louder than “She Said”. I read that the victim was subjected to 5days on the stand being cross examined. I felt for her deeply knowing that must have been so very difficult. Of course, the opposing argument stated that for the female victim, it was a night of regret. Isnt that what is always said about someone coming forward? If it truly were a night of regret, wouldn’t she quietly slither away because of the shame of her regret? Seems to me that coming forward and being interrogated isn’t something you do after a night of regret. The fact that the jury needed clarification on the definition of consent gives me hope.

The fact that he was found guilty gives hope for other victims who dont feel they would be believed if they came forward. Who cares if she went for drinks with him? Who cares that he went back to her apartment? So what if she kissed him? Consent was defined by the judge as being an “willing and aware throughout sexual encounters”. She woke up on the floor without much memory of what happened and saw condoms all over the floor. Just because she may have been interested in him to some degree (ie she kissed him) does not mean anything more than the kiss is also a yes. Anything other than YES is a NO!

To the young woman who has endured so much in coming forward. Your strength is something to be proud of and please remember because you came forward and a guilty verdict found, this gives hope to others. I cheered for you today, I applaud you and I believe you.