All Articles Tagged "rape"

After This Woman Was Killed For Rejecting A Man’s Advances, Is Street Harassment Officially Out Of Control?

February 3rd, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
Share to Twitter Email This

Heard of “Las Hijas de Violencia”?

I hadn’t heard of “the daughters of violence” until I ran across a story from Al Jazeera Plus about the group. They reside in Mexico City, a place that the Huffington Post reports was No. 1 for sexual violence against women in 2010. Things have gotten so bad that there are even women-only modes of transportation to combat the reports of groping going on during rides in Mexico City.

The “Hijas” face the men they see harassing women on the street and hit them with another form of harassment. That includes shooting confetti guns in the face of the men and blasting a song called “Sexista Punk” that they take a microphone and sing along to in front of everyone.

The point of all this? To get disrespectful men to stop it and women to speak up and make their voices heard when they have to deal with, well, a “sexista punk.”

I enjoyed watching the men be mortified by the spectacle being made of them. As one “Hija” screamed in a mic, “You talk to me as if you were going to rape me,” I could only cheer them on as the men tried to run away. But once it was over, reality hit: I could never do some sh-t like that here. I don’t think I’m brave enough at this point.

Not when women are being yelled at for not accepting compliments from hostile men.

Not when women are followed and asked “Did you hear me?” when they fail to respond to compliments about their legs.

And not when women like Janese Talton Jackson are being shot and killed by men just for opting against giving them the time of day.

Janese Talton Jackson

Janese Talton Jackson

I was talking to a friend about the video and why such instances like Jackson’s, where a man approached her multiple times outside of a bar making sexual advances, only to shoot her in the chest when she didn’t comply, have left us in a place where we don’t know how to deal with street harassment.

So we just smile and take it.

“This dude was hella suspicious talking to me on the train platform,” she said to me. “But I was like, in an effort not to get slashed or killed, I’m going to smile ’til my mouth gets tired.”

I relayed my own encounters with men with her. Times where I would try and find the most prim, proper, and polite way to say, “Get the f–k away from me” and still stay safe.

“Girl, I’ve been like that since I moved here,” I said. “If I were driving it would be one thing, but as someone always walking and vulnerable, I’m out here like, ‘No thank you, but I appreciate the compliment, good sir.'”

All that fluff because simply ignoring people doesn’t seem to be the safest option anymore.

Have you ever truly feared for your safety or your life in general when dealing with street harassment? I have. Twice. Once on the street after being followed and turning around to scream at the guy over it. The second time wasn’t on the street, though.

On my way to see my then-boyfriend about two summers ago, I had on a blue dress with a little cleavage out and some sandals on. Clearly, this was summertime in the city.

I was minding my business and just needed to go three stops on the train. But during that time, a young guy and his three friends approached me as I sat in the corner of a sparse train car. I can’t really remember too much of what he had to say, aside from him making mention of my toes and my beauty. My focus was more so on his friends standing and sitting around me, staring at me as the guy tried to kick game. I didn’t know if I was going to get pulled off the train or groped, so I just tried to stay calm and pleasant, waiting for either my stop or someone to enter the car and rescue me.

He asked me if I had a boyfriend and when I said yes, he didn’t believe me. Hoping to set myself free, I said, “I’m actually on my way to see him right now!” as if to ask, “Would you like to try me and catch an a– whoopin’?”

Thankfully, as I approached my stop, the guy allowed me to pass. It was one of the most uncomfortable experiences I had during my early years here in the city. It was also yet another example of how people think they’re being cute, funny and harmless when they’re with their boys, but actually making the woman they set their sights on feel not only uncomfortable, but at times, frightened.

So confetti guns are cute, but that’s about it. And with some men, that could backfire and turn into a story on the 10 o’ clock news ’round these parts. But I will say Las Hijas de Violencia have the right idea about trying to take back our power and speak up. Still, when such tactics are ending more and more dangerously, it sometimes feels impossible to do anything other than put your head down and walk faster.

“Every Time I See The Police, I Don’t Even Know What To Do”: Daniel Holtzclaw’s Victims Speak Out After 263 Year Sentencing

January 23rd, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
Share to Twitter Email This
Source: AP Images

Source: AP Images

Just six weeks after being convicted of four counts of first-degree rape and other heinous offenses (forcible oral sodomy, sexual battery, procuring lewd exhibition and second-degree rape) while on duty, ex-Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw has been sentenced to 263 years in prison, CNN reports.

The staggering yet well deserved sentence resulting from the 18 of 36 counts he had been facing was announced on Thursday (Jan. 21), with the jury expressing that it would be best if Holtzclaw served his terms consecutively, essentially meaning he’d never be free again. And according to the Associated Press, District Judge Timothy Henderson fully agreed.

However, now that Holtzclaw has been sentenced and will spend his entire life behind bars, the many black women he attacked and preyed are still suffering from the traumatizing and horrific experience.

“Every time I see the police, I don’t even know what to do,” one of the teenagers who was raped by the officer on the front porch of her mother’s home told the AP. “I don’t ever go outside, and when I do I’m terrified.”

Another victim also spoke out after Holtzclaw’s sentencing, opting to reveal her identity. “The stress of the case and fear of being sexually assaulted again has caused an increase in my blood pressure,” said Jannie Ligons, a grandmother of 12, who was pulled over by Holtzclaw for swerving, “which was untrue,” and then made to perform oral sex. “I so desperately want my life back.”

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater also shared his thoughts on Holtzclaw, expressing that he wasn’t a law officer who committed crimes, but instead “a rapist who masqueraded as a law enforcement officer.”

Victim Blaming From The Victim: R Kelly Waited Decades To Discuss His Sexual Assault But Finds Cosby Accusers’ Silence Strange

January 21st, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This
R Kelly Waited Decades To Discuss His Sexual Assault

Source: Sebastian Kim for GQ

I’ve never denied R Kelly’s musical genius. Though I can no longer listen to his music in peace, I can’t deny the fact that the man had jams, many of which characterized my childhood and adolescence. But as the saying goes, or as my father would like to say, “Genius ain’t free.”

It often comes with quirks, eccentricities and in the case of R Kelly, [alleged] perverse sexual desires. In his recent, three day interview with GQ‘s Chris Heath, titled “The Confessions of R Kelly,” we see both sides. We learned of the boy who looked at the Sears (now Willis) Tower and vowed to become great and formidable like the structure itself. The child turned man who couldn’t and still struggles to read, spell and solve math problems. And a man who, despite these deficiencies, is quite clever with analogies.

In describing his own mind, R Kelly said:

“If you look around, you see cars rolling down the street all the time, but if you ever see a floating car, you gonna be like, ‘Whoa! Whoa! Wait a minute, what is that? I’ve never seen that before.’ You can’t figure it out because you don’t know who built it, you don’t know who created it, you don’t know who came up with the concept, you don’t know the blueprint of it, you don’t even know how it works, but you love it because it looks so sweet, floating down the street. And that one car, if it has any type of feeling in it, is gonna feel alone, because it’s not understood.”

It makes sense. He is different.

And for all of his strengths, including his musical giftedness, unique mind and ability to overcome growing up without a father, illiteracy, being repeatedly molested; the interview also showed Kelly’s often warped, disturbing, cringe-worthy thought processes. There are moments when he seems to speak about the affection and connection to his family members in strange terms. Like being “in love” with his grandfather and “in a son/mother way having a serious, serious crush” on his mom.

There was his discussion of his relationship with Aaliyah (the very little he would say about it) where he, a 27-year-old, when they met, talked about being her “best, best, best, best friend.”

Most notably, he went into detail about the sexual abuse he experienced at the hands of an older female relative from the time he was 7-8 until he was 14 or 15. Until his 2012 autobiography Soulacoaster, Kelly had never told anyone about it. Not his wife, not his mother. No one. He told Heath it started as oral sex and then became forced intercourse. When he tried to confront this woman, as an adult, eight or nine years ago, he said she:

“Didn’t want to talk about it. Didn’t own up to it. Told me, ‘Sometime when you’re kids, you think you’ve been through something, or did something, that you didn’t do, probably was a dream.’ Things like that. But it was definitely not a dream.”

And then interestingly enough he talked about forgiving this woman for perpetuating what he considers a generational curse.

“I, well, definitely forgive them. As I’m older, I look at it and I know that it had to be not just about me and them, but them and somebody older than them when they were younger, and whatever happened to them when they were younger. I looked at it as if there was a sort of like, I don’t know, a generational curse, so to speak, going down through the family. Not just started with her doing that to me.”

It’s a curse Kelly says he has broken. Then the interviewer and author asked Kelly if he wished that this woman were held accountable for her actions.

“Back then, too young to judge. As I’m older, I’ve only learned to forgive it. Was it wrong? Absolutely. But it’s a family member that I love so I would definitely say no to that one. To be honest, even if my mom, I saw her kill somebody, I’m not gonna say, ‘Well, yeah, she definitely should go to jail.’ It’s just something I wouldn’t do.”

Let’s put a pin there and we’ll return to it in a minute.

R Kelly Waited Decades To Discuss His Sexual Assault

Image Source:

When talking about fatherhood, R Kelly likened himself to the Bill Cosby. The Bill Cosby we once knew as father figure Heathcliff Huxtable from the show. Naturally, choosing to evoke that name, Heath had to ask Kelly what he thought about the allegations lodged against him.

His answer was very interesting.

“I can say is that it was a long time ago. And when I look on TV and I see the 70-, 80-, 90-year-old ladies talking about what happened when they were 17, 18, or 19, there’s something strange about it. That’s my opinion. It’s just strange.

Although if—
“[interrupts] It’s strange. Strange is strange. I can’t explain strange. That’s why strange is strange. Because it’s something we can’t explain.”

But don’t you think that if they’re telling the truth, it doesn’t matter how long ago it was?

“If God showed me that they were telling the truth, I would say that’s wrong. I don’t care if it was a zillion years ago. But God would have to do that, because God is the only one can show me that. No man can tell me that. No woman can tell me that. And when you wait 70 years, 50 years, 40 years, to say something that simple, it’s strange. You know why I say that is because it happened to me, and it wasn’t true.”

R Kelly is not the only Black person to proclaim Bill Cosby’s innocence. He’s not the only man or woman to question why the women waited so long to report the incidents of sexual assault. He’s not the only famous person to question whether or not these women are after fame or notoriety.

But being that R Kelly is a survivor of childhood rape who waited decades, 38 years to be precise, to talk about the experience, it is incredibly hypocritical for him to question these women for coming forward years after their alleged assaults with Cosby. The same shame, guilt, confusion he felt as a child might have been the same feelings these 50 + women dealt with as well. Not to mention Kelly’s relative was not famous and powerful like Bill Cosby was. Clearly, he’s viewing the situation from the lens of a famous Black man, accused, time and time and time again, of his own sexual deviance.

Which brings me back to the comments he made about his relative. R Kelly talks about eventually coming into the knowledge that what happened to him was wrong. But he doesn’t believe his relative should have been held accountable for her actions because he loved her.

Listen, I’m all for love; really I am. But love doesn’t excuse wrongdoing. It seeks to correct it and make the loved one better. And if you want to talk about breaking generational curses, his relative being punished for sexually abusing him would have gone a long way in accomplishing that both psychologically and symbolically. Children and adults need to see that their bodies and their feelings are so valuable, that there is punishment associated with the violation of them. You don’t cease to love someone because they’ve been punished for inflicting bodily, emotional and psychological harm on someone else. You hope it makes the better and prevents them and even the victim from perpetuating that evil onto someone else. Maybe if R Kelly had seen those type of consequences, it a might have helped to hold him accountable for his own predatory relationships with young girls.

Perhaps R Kelly feels like he’s broken the curse because his victims, for all we know, are not family members. But romantic and sexual relationships with girls, children, is not breaking the curse. It’s continuing it on a grander scale, with the money and access to not only feed his proclivities but cover them up and evade punishment as well.

I could be completely off base; but the same forgiveness R Kelly is issuing to his relative might be the same leniency he’s extending to himself. In one part of his mind, he realizes his behavior is not right. But in another, he excuses it by saying it happened to him. And since he’s loved and adored by fans and was exonerated by the justice system, he feels he should be excused.

But it’s just not true.

What R Kelly needs is to be honest about his past, his patterns, (a couple of other things like his mother’s death) and seek to really break the curse through acknowledgement, therapy and then reform.

If you haven’t already, carve out some time to read the entire interview. It’s very well-written, well constructed and very telling.

“I Was In Panic Mode” Victim In Alleged Brooklyn Rape Speaks Out As Teens Released From Jail

January 15th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This
Source: AP Images

Source: AP Images

Four of the five teenagers arrested on the charge of raping an 18-year-old young woman in Brooklyn’s Osborn park have all been released.

The District Attorney’s office could not meet its deadline to secure indictments against the teenagers charged in the gang rape.

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson told the New York Daily News he agreed to their release saying “Because we are determined to get to the truth about what happened in that park, we need more time to investigate this complex case and gather more evidence. Therefore, we consented to the defendants’ release.”

They were all released without bail. The one suspect, whose family paid bail already, will have their money refunded.

The fifth suspect, the 15-year-old will remain in custody for a prior arrest in October for assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Authorities claim he did not abide by the conditions of his agreement to attend an alternative incarceration program for young offenders.


According to the Daily News, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, detectives are reviewing a 10-second cellphone video, taken by one of the accused teenagers, that shows the victim smiling. Reportedly she is not wearing pants in the footage.

The Daily News also reports that neither the father or daughter could make pick out any of the five teenagers from multiple lineups.

Earlier, we reported that two of the five suspects, when arrested, said that the father was having sex with his daughter in the park when they approached the two of them. He denies the accusation. When the Daily News asked him his thoughts about the suspects being released from custody, he said “I have nothing to say.”

He maintains his story about what happened that night, telling  ABC 7,

“One of them put a gun in a my face, telling me to run. And all of them had their way with her.”

The results from the rape kit have not been made available yet. But investigators did say that the victim showed bruising and scars consistent with someone who had been attacked.

In an interview with ABC 7, the young lady said that she did not know the teenagers who allegedly raped her.

When asked how she felt when her father left her in the park, she said:

“I was just real scared. I didn’t know what to do and I was in panic mode.”

You can check out the ABC News story, including the brief interview with the father and daughter, whose faces are not shown, in the video below.

Teens Charged In Brooklyn Gang Rape Allege Father Was Having Sex With His Daughter First

January 13th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This
Teens Charged In Brooklyn Gang Rape Allege Father Was Having Sex With His Daughter First

Source: AP Images

If you thought the story of the gang rape of an 18-year-old woman in Osborn park was disturbing. The latest developments surrounding the case take the story from bad to worse.

As at least a few of you suggested, there seemed to be some details missing from the story. And testimony from the five teenagers who raped the young woman, neighbors and the authorities, might be filling in some of those holes.

Police sources told four separate newspapers that two of the teenage boys charged in the rape alleged that the victim was having sex with her father in the park when they arrived.

As we reported earlier, four of the suspects had been apprehended. Two were turned in by their mothers, after the surveillance video from a deli was released, two were found by the police and the fifth, a 17-year-old, was arrested while at school.

Officials told the Post, the New York Daily News, the Wall Street Journal  and The New York Times, that in separate interviews two of the suspects said when the saw the father, 39, and his daughter they were having sex on the playground.

One of the suspected attackers said, “Can we have some of that?” to the father. Another source told the Wall Street Journal, one of the boys said, “We’ll take it from here.” The two suspects said that the sex between the father and daughter appeared to be consensual.

The victim told authorities that she was drinking a beer with her father in the park when the five boys approached them. There is a discrepancy about whether or not the victim corroborated her father’s story about one of the boys carrying a gun. One report says she does. And another says she doesn’t. She does consistently say that they forced her father to leave before sexually assaulting her. She said she was raped by at least one of the teenagers, forced to perform oral sex on two and all five touched her breasts.

An attorney for the 17-year-old alleged attacker, Spencer Leeds, said that Mayor de Blasio’s remarks forced authorities to bring charges against the boys without properly vetting the case.

“Apparently it was the mayor who kind of forced the police’s hands, putting it out there that the community was at risk when they’re not at risk.”

Attorneys asked that the victim’s father also provide a DNA sample.

According to officials, the father hasn’t had custody of his daughter, the victim, since she was two-years-old. She was adopted and grew up outside of the city. The two recently reconnected and the young woman came to live with her father and another woman over the summer.

The father testified that after he left the park to go seek help, he returned two minutes later throwing a bottle at the group. They chased him off. When he returned 12 minutes later, with police officers, the teens were gone and his daughter was there half-clothed.

Earlier, the father noted that when he ran to a Bodega to call the police he was turned away by the workers. They said that they refused to let him make the call because he was so intoxicated they couldn’t understand what he was saying and he never mentioned that he wanted to call the police.

Neighbors told The New York Times that the man is a known alcoholic who often leaves his younger children unsupervised and would knock on doors to beg for spare change and cigarettes.

While one of the suspects claimed that he had consensual sex with the victim, authorities say she had cuts, bruises and abrasions consistent with being physically attacked. They also stated that it could take 7-10 days before the results of the rape kit will be known.

The teenagers are facing charges of rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act and sexual abuse. According to The New York Times, the two 17-year-olds will be charged as adults because by New York law, people 16 and older have their cases tried in adult criminal court. Prosecutors will determine whether the cases for the younger suspects, (all under 16) will be tried in Family or Criminal Court.

18-Year-Old Raped By 5 Teen Boys In Brooklyn Park, Walking With Her Father

January 11th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This
18-Year-Old Raped By 5 Teen Boys In Brooklyn Park, Walking With Her Father

Source: NY 1

A traumatizing sexual assault happened at Osborn Park, in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn this past Thursday.

According to New York 1, investigators say five teenage boys brutally gang raped an 18-year-old girl. The teenagers, approached the girl and her father as they were walking through the park at around 11:15 p.m. One of the assailants pulled a gun out and demanded that the father leave.

The father didn’t have a cell phone, ran to a local Bodega for assistance. Store workers refused to call the police.

Eventually, the father did return with two police officers. But by that time, the five boys had raped his daughter.

The boys fled the scene of the crime.

Thankfully, four of the five boys have been apprehended.

Two of the boys, a 14-year-old and 15-year-old, were turned over to the police by their parents on Sunday. The other two, a 15-year-old and 17-year-old were located by police later.

There is still one assailant on the loose.

Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a statement on Sunday:

“I am disgusted and deeply saddened by the horrific attack that took place in Brownsville yesterday evening. We will take every step possible to find and swiftly prosecute the assailants of this vicious crime. Every New Yorker in every neighborhood deserves to feel safe and protected, and we will not stop until the perpetrators of this disturbing attack are held accountable for their actions. This administration has zero tolerance for sexual attacks, and we will work to ensure a crime of this nature never happens again.”

People in the neighborhood said that while the park can be dangerous, they were surprised to hear that it happened.

“It shouldn’t happen out here. Too many police officers are out here so I don’t know what it happened out here.” 

Another person said,

“It needs to be police lighting in this park when it gets dark so if anything happens in here, the people walking by can see. Because right now, it’s pitch black and you can’t see anything that’s going on.” 

The young woman was treated at King’s County Hospital and was released.

Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit

Why Teaching Sexual Consent Is Essential To Ending Rape Culture

January 5th, 2016 - By Charing Ball
Share to Twitter Email This
Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

On a side note: Let’s talk about sexual consent.

And no, we are not just talking about it because of Bill Cosby.

We are talking about it because based on a number of conversations I have had with the populace both online and off, I can tell that quite a few of us do not have a clue about what it means to explicitly give or receive permission before we engage in sexual activities (including kissing, touching and intercourse) with another human being.

And this is kind of important because sexual assault is a crime…

For instance, many are under the impression that if someone offers you a mood-altering drug, and you willingly accept it, then you basically consent to every action that happens following the consumption of the pill.

While it is conceivable that a person who accepts a mood-altering drug might be interested in a sexual relationship, not everyone who takes drugs is “asking for it.”

Many people are also under the impression that a person has given consent to be sexually assaulted by virtue of being in an active sexual relationship, or previously having sexual relations with the person who assaulted them.

That is also false.

There are other beliefs that many of us have about consent that are not very accurate and are potentially dangerous. And while there are tons of resources already available to help us all understand better what consent is and how to apply it to our lives (like here, here, here and this great Nigerian Jollof Rice consent video here…just to name a few), I am beginning to wonder if just having the information readily available is enough?

Maybe it’s not enough to tell folks to “Just Google it.” Lord knows what they might return with. Perhaps it is time we start drilling into people’s heads the importance of no means no. And maybe, just maybe, we need to start doing it as early as preschool and in all of the schools across America.

Yeah, I know what some of you are thinking: Isn’t this topic a little to heavy for children? Personally, I don’t believe that it is as children too can find themselves victims and perpetrators of unwanted sexual advances. But teaching consent isn’t a sex talk. And teaching consent is not only about showing folks how to effectively communicate their boundaries and wants, but also showing people how to navigate through situations when the “yes” or “no” is ambiguous.

As noted by Michelle Dominique Burk in a post for Everyday Feminism:

The way consent has been framed for most children — in cases where it is explicitly addressed — is that we tell kids something along the lines of “If someone says ‘no,’ then you need to listen to them.”

While this is an important lesson, it is normally as far as the discussion goes.

And simply couching all aspects of consent into this one no-means-no phrasing misses several key components of consent that are essential for kids to learn and employ as they start developing interpersonal relationships.

Discussing consent with a child in only this way proposes that “no” is the only form of non-consent available. This isn’t true, and when children learn about consent in this way, they can grow up with a sense of ambiguity about what constitutes consent.

Because discussing all aspects that encompass boundaries and consent can seem incredibly overwhelming – especially when trying to explain them to a child – many adults shy away from talking to kids about consent in a way that is comprehensive.

However, discussing consent with children in a way that acknowledges its various facets is hugely important because as children go through adolescence and then adulthood, the way that they have learned about consent as a child will inform how they interact with other adults and children in their own interpersonal relationships.

It should be noted that last year, California became the first state to mandate sexual consent lessons be required in high school sex education classes, which is a great start. But in all honesty, it’s nowhere close to where we need to be as a society.

And based on a lot of comments that I have been reading online, folks are going to find themselves in some serious trouble. While I am certain that some of the “folks” behind some of these comments are actual predators, I have to also acknowledge that some of the misinformation from those who aren’t comes from living in a culture that 1. does not value women and 2. treats rape as the norm.

Arrest Warrant Issued For Bill Cosby In Alleged 2004 Sexual Assault

December 30th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This
Arrest Warrant Issued For Bill Cosby

Image Source: WENN

An arrest warrant has been issued for comedian and entertainer Bill Cosby for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. The alleged assault took place back in 2004, at his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania mansion.

According to People, though Constand wasn’t available for comment, her attorney, Dolores Troiani, expressed gratitude toward the prosecutor.

“Obviously we appreciate the expression of confidence in her. We’ll have to see what happens. We hope justice will be done. We will cooperate fully.” 

Constand, now 42, works as a massage therapist in Ontario, Canada.

Cosby has always claimed that the encounter with Constand was consensual. But in new court filings from this past summer, Constand said she was in a relationship with a woman at the time and called Cosby a narcissist who missed cues that she’s gay.

The warrant for the arrest comes just two weeks after Cosby filed defamation suits against several of his accusers, including Beverly Johnson.

Last summer, amid mounting allegations from more than 50 women, the Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman reopened Constand’s case, sending detectives to Canada to interview her.

New interest for the case surfaced after during the race for Montgomery County’s district attorney. The Democratic opponent ran a television ad criticizing his opponent, Bruce L. Castor, for not prosecuting Cosby when he was the district attorney in 2005.

Constand didn’t appreciate her name and her alleged rape being used for political gain and filed a defamation suit against Castor for making her “collateral damage for his political ambitions.”

Back in 2004, Constand was the operations manager of Temple University’s women’s basketball team She met Cosby in 2002, a year after she’d started working there. The suit said that “over time she considered him to be both her friend, albeit older, and a mentor.”

The two spoke over the phone about Temple women’s basketball team, she was a guest at his dinner parties and other events he hosted.

In January 2004, Cosby invited Constand to his home around 9 p.m., telling her “he wanted to offer her assistance in her pursuit of a different career.” During the conversation, Constand said she feeling stressed about her career decision. That’s when Cosby offered her three blue pills which he said was herbal medication to help her relax.

She took the pills with bottled water and within a short period of time, she said her “knees began to shake, her limbs felt immobile, she felt dizzy and weak, and she began to feel only barely conscious.” She told Cosby she didn’t feel well and Cosby walked her to the sofa and laid her down.

“Subsequently, [Cosby] positioned himself behind [Constand] on the sofa, touched her breasts and vaginal area, rubbed his penis against her hand, and sexually assaulted her. ” 

She woke up at 4 a.m. “feeling raw in and around her vaginal area” and her “clothes and undergarments were in disarray.”

Cosby greeted her in morning in his bathrobe. She left his home by herself and reported his actions to the police a year later.

The statue of limitations for the case expires in January.

Constand filed a civil lawsuit against Cosby in late 2006. He settled with a confidentiality agreement, which Constand is trying to undo.

“He Picked The Wrong Lady” Women Who Survived Holtzclaw’s Attacks Speak Out

December 11th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This
Source: AP Images

Source: AP Images

Many of us rejoiced after Daniel Holtzclaw was sentenced yesterday evening. When rape and sexual crimes go underreported particularly when it comes to disenfranchised women of color, this was a victory and hopefully a shift in the right direction.

For some, this case is about a police officer receiving justice for his abuse of power. And that’s part of it. But it’s also about women being taken seriously when they come forward with stories of sexual assault.

Janie Liggins, the 57-year-old grandmother, who launched the investigation into Holtzclaw’s behavior, spoke today during a press conference.

“I was out there alone and helpless, didn’t know what to do. And in my mind I could think was that he was going to shoot me, he was going to kill me. He did things to me that I didn’t think a police officer would do…I was a victim. I was traumatized, I went to therapy…I still live with this day after day.”

She also said that she suffered from a stroke behind all of this.

As you know, Liggins wasn’t the only one. Another woman who attended the conference was Shaudae Harris. Harris was sexually assaulted as she was handcuffed to a hospital bed.

“I just couldn’t even believe it, I was speechless, I was scared, when everything was going down…I felt like I was in survival mode and I had to do what he was making me do.”

Benjamin Crump, who represented five of the women who brought claims against Holtzclaw, said, “This isn’t just a celebration of victory, it’s a celebration of courage.”

The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Holtzclaw was on suicide watch at the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.

Daniel Holtzclaw Learns Of His Possible 263-Year-Sentence On His Birthday

December 11th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This
Source: AP Images

Source: AP Images

Daniel Holtzclaw turned 29-years-old yesterday and on this day he also learned that he might face 263 years in prison for the rape and sexual assault of eight women.

Last month, we reported that Holtzclaw, a former Oklahoma City police officer, was charged with 36 counts of rape, sexual battery, indecent exposure, stalking, burglary, and forcible oral sodomy.

Yesterday, he was found guilty on 18 of those counts after an all-White jury, composed of eight men and four women, deliberated for 45 hours. You may remember that Holtzclaw’s case was particularly interesting because of his 12 of his 13 victims were Black women, living in impoverished neighborhoods, with criminal histories.

While on duty as a traffic officer, Holtzclaw preyed and manipulated these women either offering to drop one of their charges or banking on the fact that authorities would not believe their stories.

According to CBSNews, yesterday, on his birthday, Holtzclaw was convicted of sexually victimizing 8 of the 13 women. He was found guilty of four counts of first-degree rape, one count of second-degree rape, six counts of sexual battery, four counts of forcible sodomy and three counts of procuring lewd acts.

Each of the first-degree rape convictions carry a life sentence but the jury recommended 30 years for each charge, equaling a total of 263 years in prison for all the offenses.

He will formally be sentenced on January 21, 2016.

Many of 13 women who testified told the jury that Holtzclaw pulled them over while out for traffic stops. He searched for outstanding warrants or checked to see if they were carrying drug paraphernalia, then forced himself on them.

The women’s ages ranged from 17-58.

It was the 58-year-old’s testimony that launched the investigation.

Sex crime detectives testified that they identified and interviewed women Holtzclaw had either searched or been in contact with during his 4 p.m. – 2 a.m. shift. They also used GPS records from his patrol car to place him at the scene of these alleged incidents.

Holtzclaw, who was fired after his arrest last year, did not testify on his own behalf.

When the verdict was read Holtzclaw was visibly disturbed, shaking and crying in a bent position.

You can watch video of that moment in video below.

The sentencing starts around the 3:30 mark.