Last month the story of Landen Gambill and the injustices she suffered at the hands of a rapist and then her university was all over the Web. The truth is very different.
We've been here before, but in view of the ongoing disinformation campaign and the release of some new information, it is worth taking a second look. A previous, objective article, can be found here. The vast majority of other news articles that can be found on the web simply parrot the facile claims of Gambill and her amen corner. We have seen this sort of thing and indeed far worse many times before. A particularly sick example is the case of double murderer Terry Williams. Facing imminent execution after more than two decades on death row, a campaigning organisation came out with a cock and bull story of how this poor man had suffered a lifetime of sexual abuse, snapped and then killed his abusers.
They omitted the fact that these claims were not raised at his previous trial for a home invasion robbery in which he was painted as a clean living all-American kid and a victim of mistaken identity. And they clean forgot the bit where he sought out a closet homosexual - his second victim - sold him his sexual favours for ten dollars, then lured the man to a deserted area, tied him up, robbed him, and roped in his friend Marc Draper to help him beat Amos Norwood to death.
There was no mention either of his stealing Norwood's car, nor returning later alone to burn the body.
Stories about murder and rape may not be to everyone's taste but they are important because they raise profound issues about the kind of society in which we live, the kind in which we want to live, and the way crimes are investigated and both victims and perpetrators are treated. It is bad enough that both individuals and campaigning organisations spread outrageous lies without their being rubber stamped by either self-styled citizen journalists or law graduates who should know better.
Let us turn now to the facts of the Landen Gambill case. This is a case about one young woman, not about the prevalence or otherwise of rape on university campuses, or about the number of rapes and lesser sexual assaults that are allegedly not reported, for whatever reason.
Landen Gambill was not threatened with expulsion for "admitting" she was raped nor for "intimidating" her rapist. These claims are totally vacuous. So what did happen, and what if anything did the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill do wrong?
Miss Gambill was in a relationship with another student. This ended in November 2011. Three months later, she accused this student of raping her. She has now gone on film claiming he raped her repeatedly.
Rather than report these alleged rapes to the police, she went to the university authorities. It may seem strange, but this appears to be the correct procedure. Or is it so strange? Clearly if someone had been murdered or severely beaten, the university would have called in the police. If Miss Gambill had been found battered, bruised and obviously raped, they would have surely called in the police then too, indeed it would have been negligent for them not to do so, because forensic evidence could have been collected, photographs taken, etc. What forensic or other evidence could there have been of an alleged rape or alleged series of rapes that happened two or three months previously? Unless one or more of them were witnessed, or caught on CCTV, or the alleged victim reported a serious physical injury, none.
So the university was faced with a she said/he said situation.
They investigated this apparently in some depth, and concluded that Miss Gambill's claims were at best not tenable, and at worse that she was unworthy of belief. If she had then gone to the police, and it came out that she was telling a pack of lies, she could have been charged with filing a false rape allegation, so the university may well have done her a favour.
Miss Gambill was most unhappy with the questions that were put to her by the University Hearings Board (not by the honor court), but does she have a right to be?
Anyone who reports an alleged crime, be it a burglary, an assault or whatever, will be expected to give the police some details. Is this so unreasonable? Imagine a bodybuilder or martial arts exponent reports an assault. A police officer might ask reasonably did you defend yourself, did you hit back, and if not why not?
If a householder comes home late and finds he has been burgled, he might not report it until the next day, but if he waits two or three months, what are the police likely to say? Why didn't you tell us at once? We might have found fingerprints or other forensic evidence.
Could this be the reason Landen Gambill did not report these alleged rapes? Check her out including the video, and ask yourself if she is the sort of woman who would not report a rape, rather would go back to the same rapist or invite him into her apartment where he could rape her again and again and again. And then, after not reporting any of these rapes at the time when there could well have been clear evidence, like bruising, three months later make these allegations. Try to exercise a little critical faculty; if you can't think like a detective, you can at least think with your head and not your stomach. You can also resist the unsubtle appeals to emotion or misguided feminine solidarity. The simple fact is that Landen Gambill adduced no evidence whatsoever that she had been raped, and still has not. Proof by assertion is no proof at all, however loudly she may scream, and however many uninformed people may sign her petition.
Here is some uncomfortable reading for those gullible people - mostly women - who insist all allegations of rape should be treated uncritically:
One study concluded that "41% of all of the forcible rape complaints were found to be false." And "The next most common reason for lying about being a victim of rape was revenge, rage, or retribution".
And here is something else the hearings board had to consider:
"Although it may not be politically correct to question the veracity of a...complaint of rape, failing to consider the accuser may be intentionally lying effectively eradicates the presumption of innocence. This Constitutional right is especially significant when dealing with allegations of rape as in most jurisdictions, sex offenses are the only crimes that do not require corroborating evidence for conviction. Because there are often no witnesses and no physical evidence (especially if the victim delays in filing a report), the case may come down to the credibility of the accused versus the credibility of the accuser."
Let us look at this from another angle, if you were the mother of a student, and a police officer told you he had been charged with rape because he had been accused of repeatedly raping a young woman three months ago, with no corroborating evidence, what would you say?
Although everyone reacts differently, and maybe the same person will react differently at different times, let us look at the behaviour of Desiree Washington after she was raped by Mike Tyson in July 1991.
Tyson invited her to his hotel room after 1am, and she went. That was dumb unless she intended to have sex with him, but gullibility is not a crime, rather it is something of which we are all guilty from time to time. After Tyson had had his way with her, she fled the room in shock. She didn't report it at once, this may have been due to rape trauma syndrome, a phenomenon similar to disaster shock, but when she did report it, there was clear evidence that she had suffered trauma. She didn't return for an encore, and she certainly didn't subject herself to his brutish desires time and time and time again as Landan Gambill would have the world believe she did on campus.
With evidence of sexual activity, Washington v Tyson was another she said/he said situation, but the other, corroborating evidence, pushed the jury to bring in the correct verdict, which was...the lady wins by a knock out - go to gaol, go directly to gaol, do not pass go, do not $25 million for your next fight. What corroborating evidence is there or could there be in the Landen Gambill case? Clearly her story lacks credibility.
When her complaint brought her no satisfaction, Miss Gambill decided to sound off in public, and this left her in breach of the university's honor code. This could lead to her expulsion from the university, but the important word here is could. In the UK, a shoplifter could get seven years, but who does? We see this sort of irresponsible sensationalism all the time: the maximum permissible sanction is not necessarily the one that will be imposed, but it makes good reading for those who are easily outraged. Miss Gambill's former lover has already himself faced sanction by the authorities.
He has now spoken to the University's student newspaper, and like the lady herself he is doing his level best to portray himself as a victim of both his former lover and the honor court system. It remains to be seen if he is really suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, but being branded a rapist on a campus where he rubs shoulders with young women on a daily basis can't be too comfortable for him.
Miss Gambill is now insisting that this case is not about her but about the system. Yes, it is about her, very much so, but it is also about promoting what has been rightly called the campus rape industry. For those interested in the background to this, and how this epidemic of rape on American campuses has been manufactured, check out this quite lengthy and incisive article (which was written by a woman). And for an insight into the full extent of false rape allegations made by women and girls for all manner of reasons and none, here is a list of some of the more prominent cases dating back thirteen years.
Miss Gambill has now been joined by other rape survivors, including Andrea Pino, and they are making a lot of noise including forming their own nutty pressure group with the acronym SAFER = Survivors and Allies for Empowerment and Reform.
Why is it that any woman who has been raped, indecently assaulted or had some creep put his hand on her knee is now said to be a survivor? This entire protest is totally misguided; there are practical things that can be done about rape on and off-campus. On campus it seems that any male is fair game for vilification, so guys, don't go out without an escort, come to think of it, don't go out. And if you do have sex with a fellow student, make sure that neither of you has consumed alcohol, because if she wakes up in the morning and either can't remember or feels remorseful at jumping into bed with a creep like you, you too could be branded a rapist. If you do have sex with another student, make sure she signs a disclaimer first, better still, video the entire process from beginning to end, but don't forget to ask her to give you permission on video before you start, otherwise you could be branded a voyeur or accused of sexual harassment and/or perversion.
A far more practical suggestion is that especially young women should not put themselves into the sort of positions where they can be raped, like getting drunk at a party and copping off with a total stranger. Like getting drunk, period. If a young woman is attacked by a potential rapist, she has several options, which may be difficult to prioritise under pressure: should she fight back, run, submit to him, or do something else, like tell him she is pregnant or has AID?
If she is attacked by the man in the park wearing a ski mask, flight or failing that fighting back may be the best option, certainly if she believes she may be murdered.
Even though most rapists are not so stupid as to attack female bodybuilders, many women can hold their own against a male assailant, especially if they can strike at his gonads. Whatever course of action she chooses, a woman who has been either raped or attacked should lose no time in reporting it because his semen on her underclothes or his DNA underneath her fingernails is powerful evidence that she is telling the truth, and at the very least reduces his options when he is brought to book.
The best thing we call all do though is take the stigma out of rape. This may not be easy in some countries, especially those that have Islamic governments, but there is absolutely no reason for this sort of nonsense in the United States where women have had the vote since the 1920s and before, and where they aspire to and have even held high office (though thankfully Hillary Clinton lost out to Barack Obama).
Rape should be viewed simply as a serious assault. It is an act that can be carried out on anyone, female or male. If the heavyweight champion of the world were set on by a gang of armed thugs, what could be do to prevent them doing what they wanted with him or to him?
If you were robbed in the street, and in the process were battered about the head and face, and were given a couple of busted ribs for good measure, the very first thing you would do is get yourself to hospital, and the next would be to report it to the police. Very likely you were report the attack in situ while waiting for an ambulance.
If you would report an assault at once, why would you not report a rape at once? Might not the police treat a claim of assault with equal suspicion?
Ultimately, we would like to bring about a world in which men never raped women and in which women never cried wolf.
It remains to be seen if we will ever be able to accomplish that, but in the meantime we should not allow ourselves to be misled by hysteria and nonsense, on or off campus.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com