RAPE VICTIM IN COAST GUARD CASE
Let's switch things around for a moment. How about this? A female cadet at the Coast Guard Academy is accused of "raping" and "assaulting" a minority-member male at the New London, Conn service school? We know, highly unlikely. But stay with us for a few paragraphs. Please. We'll get to our point, soon enough.
The male "victim" can't remember much. He was admittedly drunk because he downed two bottles of wine and "blacked out." At least that's what he says. And the accuser admits under cross-examination that he did go out on a date with his attacker the very next night. In fact, he admits they had sex again, after the so-called rape. In addition, he acknowledges that he posed for nude pictures taken by another female "attacker." The poor, helpless cadet even testified he gave his "attacker" back rubs, and she him. Followed by mutual oral sex. [That's what the military likes to call, hold on to your hats, gang, "sodomy." Let's bring down the fire and brimstone, now! Amen, brother.]
Next, the (let's say) Caucasion male says his African-American "attacker" had "date raped," him, at least he "thinks" she did. Duh! Well, that's what his pals and military investigators told him, anyway. In light of all this, what would be the accuser's credibility? Right. Close to zero.
WHAT'S REAL REASON FOR COAST GUARD'S FIRST-EVER COURT-MARTIAL?
Now, let's switch the genders and races around and what do you have? The first court-martial in Coast Guard history. Could it be that certain brass hats have their noses out of joint that a big, black male cadet cut such a wide sexual swath with the white females at the Academy?
Did they reason that, hiding behind the cover of "political correctness," they could teach Webster Smith, and others like him, a lesson, and make themselves look like enlighted feminists in the process?
In the Smith case, it's important to pay attention to the testimony of his female accusers, one who admitted the following: that on the night of the "assault," she went to Webster's room (not the other way around) on three separate occasions. First, to take a naked photo with him. Then to give and receive a body massage. And third, to have sex. To wit, he performing oral sex on her and she reciprocating on him. Wow! That was a brutal crime! Sound the alarm bells! Call out the National Guard and the KKK!
The woman lamely claimed that she felt "pressured" to do all that because Smith was supposedly keeping a "secret" for her - something that could have "damaged" her Coast Guard career. She claimed he told her he needed "motivation" to keep the secret.
"I didn't know what he would do," moaned the female cadet. But during cross -examination, she didn't come off quite so innocent and naive. No "Rebecca from Sunnybrook Farm" is she. No way.
The woman acknowledged she never resisted, even verbally, when the nude pictures were taken, the backrubs given, and the mutual oral sex exchanged.
"He didn't force you to do anything, did he?" Navy Lt. Stuart Kirby, Webster's defense attorney, probed.
"No, sir, " she replied.
CREDIBILITY PROBLEMS WITH OTHER FEMALE ACCUSERS
The other accusers have similar, shaky recollections. One rape victim, the "on-again, off-again" girlfriend of Webster, says she can't recall any alleged sex with the cadet on a class field trip to Annapolis, Md. because she was "passed out" from drinking booze.
Ah, but the prosecution contends the female cadet was too drunk to "consent" to sex. However, other testimony indicates the amount of alcohol allegedly consumed was greatly exagerrated by the woman and that the sex was "consensual" between the then-girlfriend and boyfriend.
What a terrific, iron-clad case these brilliant Coast Guard lawyers have brought forward! In any civilian court in America they'd be tossed out on their ear. But we know that for uniformed service members, "innocent until proven guilty" is actually "guilty until proven innocent" in the Alice-in-Wonderland world of military injustice. Common sense and credibility count for little in the Webster case. It's the prosecutors who should be on trial. But we know that won't ever happen, don't we?
And this is why a court-martial has been convened, the first one in the Coast Guard's 130 year history? Whichever way these proceedings come out, the Coast Guard is going to get a black eye. Way to go, guys!
HURTING THE CASES OF GENUINE SEXUAL ASSAULT
It's cases like the above that seriously damage prosecution of genuine cases of rape and assault. The credibility of the accuser is always questioned in these types of trials. What does it do to help stop the very real problem of sexual assault against females in the military when those who would try and ignore such crimes can point to a farce like the Webster court-martial?
We know of a retired Navy petty officer first class in Maine who would like to get a little justice. She deserves it. But she never got it. Not from the Navy or the VA, who rate her at only 50% disabled from trauma (a form of PTSD) related to her Navy service.
This highly-competent sailor, a cinch for promotion to "chief" if the playing field had been level, left the Navy after more than twenty years with nothing but horrible memories of how her real attacker got away while she was retaliated on for blowing the whistle.
When JM was new to the Navy, she underwent a physical examination by a male doctor who decided he was going to do a pelvic exam that wasn't according to regulation. The frightened young woman knew one thing. Her word against an officer back then - the 1970's - wouldn't count for much. She just wanted to get away from him. He'd warned her when she complained that it wouldn't be a good idea to "accuse" him of anything.
Fast forward to years later. Her attacker is now a lieutenant commander and lo and behold this PO1's new "boss." She begged the Navy to transfer her, for obvious reasons, but they wouldn't. In fact, despite her many accomplishments and excellent performance evaluations prior to coming under control of her former Navy doctor, JM never got her deserved promotion to chief petty officer. Could it be because she dared complain about being thrown together with this creep again?
It's situations like the Webster case that undermine and erode the credibility of truthful complainants like the above-mentioned PO1. She has to live the rest of her life knowing the Navy denied her justice. Specious and flimsy cases like the Coast Guard one we have reported here do nothing to help people like JM, a genuine victim.
GUARD ROCKED BY SEX CHARGES