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Thursday, April 20, 2006

This piece by Ann Coulter got me thinking a little harder about the situation with those two lacrosse players at Duke University.

Ann makes some really important common sense points, such as avoiding questionable behavior being the best way to avoid questionable consequences for said questionable behavior.

Another important point she makes is that just because you may not think something is wrong doesn't make it the right thing to do, or just because you have done something doesn't mean you have to speak out in defense of others who have done it.

That being said, I will disclose that I have experienced an exotic dancer or two (or more) in my time. It's actually quite a bit of fun, and if the dancer has a good personality, it can be an interesting way to get to know someone.

On the other hand, I've also gotten to know a few college jocks in my time. Most of them don't give a shit about anyone but themselves.

So what do I think about the case itself? Well for starters, not all dancers are sweethearts and not all college jocks are assholes, so my prior comments must be considered simple statements of my obvious bias.

It's been well-established that there was no DNA from anyone on the Duke lacrosse team on the person of the dancer in question. She said she scratched one of them, and a fingernail or two was scraped for traces of DNA. No matches were found. One of the two men in custody has a credible alibi, so what does this make you think?

First of all, Duke is a school generally comprised of well-to-do, high-achieving students. Many of these students aspire to careers in medicine, engineering, and law. Athletes often attend college on scholarships, which would lessen the financial burden on their families. It is clearly possible that any false accusation could be motivated by financial gain, since it is obvious that these guys have money. After all, a dancer doesn't make a house call on the cheap, and these guys had no trouble affording two of them. Add to that the publicity of the Nicholson case this past winter (regardless of its outcome), and it's obvious where someone could get such an idea as falsely accusing someone of rape.

There is apparently some evidence that the dancer may actually have been raped. But what benefit would there be in prosecuting someone of lesser financial background, possibly even a friend, than the rich college jocks she had just taken her clothes off for?

Let me make myself perfectly clear. If these guys raped this young lady, I have NO sympathy for them whatsoever. But given the evidence that's been discussed in the media (which we should always take with a grain of salt), it doesn't look like these guys did anything of the sort. This is what I will believe until I see something to persuade me otherwise.