One step forward, two steps back: What a relief that the judge in the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case found two star high school football players guilty of sexually assaulting an incapacitated teenage girl without placing any onus on the victim.
But how appalling that two of CNN’s most high-profile female journalists, Candy Crowley and Poppy Harlow, chose to focus on the tragedy… that had befallen the young men, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond.
“What’s the lasting effect though on two young men being found guilty in juvenile court of rape, essentially?” an emotional Crowley asked a legal expert on Sunday, shortly after Juvenile Court Judge Thomas Lipps made his ruling.
Harlow added that Richmond’s father, reportedly an absentee parent and alcoholic who had spent time in prison, had leaned over in the courtroom to tell his son he loved him-- something, according to Richmond’s lawyer, the father had never done.
“An incredibly emotional day,” said Harlow.
Yes, ladies, it was.
But not for the reasons you focused on.
It was incredibly emotional because justice has been denied for so long and so often to young female rape victims who have been told explicitly or otherwise that they are to blame for being raped: You shouldn’t have worn that, shouldn’t have drunk that, shouldn’t have been out so late.
Bless Judge Lipps for his description of the evidence as “profane” and “ugly,” for his warning about alcohol as “a particular danger” and for his clear-eyed verdict.
And bless social media for proving the guilt of these young narcissists, who probably would never have been charged, let alone convicted had they not memorialized their bad behavior on Instagram and YouTube. An unconscious victim is so often a perfect victim.