“They raped me”
I don’t care who you are. The above statement should have been enough to grab your attention. That’s exactly what happened in the Duke case. Unfortunately for all involved, ignorance and racism and politics were allowed to influence the case.
Step forward and you’ve got a ‘victim’ who can’t get her story straight and accusations that don’t hold up. Evidence was held over the accused, but somehow failed to ever exist.
Granted, if those players had been proven guilty, I can’t even begin the rage I would hold towards them. No amount of punishment could make up for what they had done. But, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
The act of rape is a very very serious crime. It’s not something for which accusations should be tossed around lightly. The players involved in the case will forever be known for involvement in the Duke Lacrosse Rape case. Even if they’re proven innocent, that’s a black eye they’ll never get rid of.
It’s already hard enough for actual victims of rape to come forward and make their horrific experience public. If it turns out that this accuser had lied, and that the rape never took place, it’s a huge blow. Keeping in mind the racial tension that this stirred up in the Duke community and its surrounding areas, this girl would certainly be the brunt of a lot of anger and criticism should her allegations prove false.
Of course, if her allegations prove false, you can imagine the reaction and response of the players involved. If she in fact wasn’t raped, that would mean that their cancelled season was for not. Their championship team was robbed of a priceless opportunity to go all the way to the top. With professional lacrosse leagues budding across the nation, it may have even cost them a chance to go pro. The reputations of these players has already been marred, what can make up for that?
Jumping back to the alternative, and assuming they are guilty, then this is exactly what they’ve earned for themselves. It’s very likely that a conviction for the rape charges is going to have fallout outside of the court system. Duke will likely expel them. Any chances they had of a career in lacrosse is likely gone. The chance that they will make it into a good company is also very unlikely should they be expelled.
Regardless of which way the case goes, the ripples are going to reach far beyond the walls of the courts.