And, if they hadn't, probably elite graduate from St. Paul's School, Owen Labrie, wouldn't have his future in tatters. A female student had contended he took sexual advantage of her. The jury and judge believed her.
According to the sentencing material, they had good reason to do that: http://www.courts.state.nh.us/caseinfo/pdf/labrie/11062015labrie-memo.pdf. However, some of us of us had our doubts. In covering the second Rhode Island lead paint trial, I had my doubts about the convictions of three defendants. Years later those were overturned.
The way the law and society treated sex used to be very different, chronicles human rights lawyer, Eric Berkowitz, in the 2015 book "The Boundaries of Desire: A Century of Bad Laws, Good Sex and Changing Identities."
The FBI let Martin Luther King know they knew about his sexual dalliances and implicitly advised him to kill himself. They planned to crucify him. And as recently as 1979, a state senator in California, Bob Wilson, defended what was then called the Rape Your Wife Privilege. He mused, "If you can't rape your wife, who can you rape?"
But different doesn't mean a whole lot better. Common sense still seems lacking Otherwise, that wildly inaccurate Rolling Stone article about the alleged gang rape of student Jackie wouldn't have come to pass at the University of Virginia. Many professional reputations at that academic institution and among some former frat members have been tarnished. No surprise, lawsuits against the publication and the journalist have been filed. Years ago, because sexual attitudes were tilted against females, there would have been a lot more skepticism about Jackie's claims. Therefore, more investigation before even considering doing that kind of article.
In addition, in the general subject of alleged rape today, the reality is that many females don't have the physical strength to take on an attacker. As a result, why aren't they as wary as we Baby Boomers were in college when with males. That included not becoming intoxicated. If we returned to the dorm from a coed social event drunk it could be grounds for expulsion. The unspoken assumption was that we put ourselves and the college's brand at risk.
Perhaps everyone with authority should frame all matters involving sexual activity today as a possible over-reaction to what had been. That had-been had been awful. The lack of rights for married women was a primary reason I never married. Way back then I recognized I didn't have the emotional intelligence to navigate that kind of situation.