Even as the alleged Duke lacrosse rape case garners huge nationwide attention, another case involving a college athlete accused of rape has gotten minimal attention in the mainstream media - and almost no attention in the blogosphere, which of course has gotten its collective panties in a twist over the Duke case.
Lamar Owens, the black quarterback of the U.S. Naval Academy's football team, is facing a court martial after being charged with raping a female midshipman in her dorm room last January (AFAIK, the alleged victim's race has not been disclosed). The weaknesses in the prosecution's case in the Duke lacrosse affair have gotten widespread attention, for example the victim's criminal record, a possibly exculpatory ATM receipts, inconsistencies in witness statements, and so on. Yet there are certain claimed defenses in the Owens case which, if true, seem far more significant:
- the alleged victim's roommate was sleeping in the same room and didn't wake up;
- the alleged victim didn't scream or otherwise call for help, even though (a) there were many people nearby including her roommate and (b) she said she didn't feel physically threatended into keeping quiet; and
- the alleged victim now says that maybe she actually did invite Owens to her room and consent to sex, but she was so trashed at the time that she can't remember for sure.
Could race really be the factor in the enormous difference in media and blogosphere attention these cases are getting?
Here are a couple of links:
http://www.hometownannapolis.com/cgi-bin/read/2006/04_05-33/NAV - some background information
http://othellos.org/index.php?itemid=244" - weaknesses in the case