All Articles Tagged "rape"

You Know Michael Sam But Not Sasha Menu Courey. Were Her Rape & Death Ignored?

February 13th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: University of Missouri Athletic Department

Source: University of Missouri Athletic Department

When you tell people you work for a black women’s website, they love to share the stories they think you should cover. Some of them are terrible and would never work and some of them fit perfectly in line with what we are trying to do here. This was the case last month when my sister’s friend Brittany sent me a link about Sasha Menu Courey. Sasha was a woman of color, a swimmer who attended the same college as I did: the University of Missouri. We affectionately call the school Mizzou. Sasha and I were on the campus at the same time; but to the best of my knowledge I never got to meet her. I’ll always remember Mizzou fondly. As the place where I met some of my best friends, learned about myself and learned the skills I would need to survive at my job and in the world. I love Mizzou.  But for Sasha the experience was different. Though her journals and testimony from close friends seem to suggest that Sasha loved our school, something happened to her during her time there that perhaps changed the rest of her life.

Sasha, a Toronto native, was raped while she was a student at Mizzou. And presumably the aftermath of the rape and other subsequent events led her to take her own life 16 months later. She was 20 years old. It was tragic. And what made a terrible situation that much worse is that though several university officials knew about the rape, evidence suggests that the University, my university, didn’t report or investigate.  I read the story and naturally was immediately saddened that this had happened first to Sasha and then secondly that nothing had been done to address it. This was a terrible story that had largely been underreported and it pained me…for about 20 minutes. And then like Mizzou, I forgot about her.

Two weeks later, the story of Micheal Sam, the gay NFL prospect came out and Mizzou was being celebrated in the media for “producing” a star athlete and also providing an environment where a black, gay man felt comfortable to come and live “out.” I knew our campus was pretty progressive when it came to LGBTQ issues, especially since Missouri can be quite conservative and has a long history of being flat out racist. But that’s a story for another day. The notoriety and praise that the university was receiving because of Sam’s announcement felt a little one sided. And I couldn’t really put my finger on why. And then I remembered Sasha. ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” conducted a six month investigation into Sasha’s story, interviewing school officials, medical professionals and consulting Sasha’s own journals to obtain the information you’ll read in this story.

And in an effort to tell her story, to hold my beloved university accountable and maybe inspire someone in her situation to step forward, I’m passing it on to you.

Sasha Menu Courey was a sprinter and relay specialist on the university’s swim team from 2009-2011. A Toronto native, she had been recruited by Mizzou and several other schools to compete. She was given a near-full scholarship. Before Sasha had come to Mizzou, at the age of 16 she had attempted suicide after a breakup with a high school boyfriend. She took several Tylenol before calling the ambulance. The incident was written off as teenage angst and she stopped counseling shortly afterward.  Once she got to Mizzou, she was a straight A student and was named Student Athlete of the Week during her sophomore year.

Then in February of 2010, after a night of drinking Menu Courey went back to Gil Moye, a male friend’s apartment where the two had consensual sex. Afterward Menu Courey believed she was raped by another man. She described the incident to a rape counselor. Here is her word for word account of the incident obtained from her school records.

“[We] were falling asleep & then i heard the [door] open & some other guy walked in & locked the door & i couldnt really see who it was & i never saw a face the whole time…. but i remember just sitting upright in bed at the sound of someone walking in. & i just remember feeling really scared thinking that the two guys had planned this or something. so my first thought was figure out who this other person was in case so that if i needed the informaton i would have it later… the guy told me his name & then he pulled down his pants & put on a condom & just knew i was screwed …”

Menu Courey went on to describe the assault in detail, mentioning that she tried to reach a friend and former boyfriend on the phone during the assault:

“… I started to panick & as i still on the phone trying to reach one of them tears start going down & the guy just lift up my dress & next thing i knew he inserts from behind. by that point tears were falling more but i wasnt loud & didnt anything. and then i just snapped and kind pushed him away & yelled no! and then he just left.

Pastor Accused Of Raping Six-Year-Old Girls Allegedly Said The ‘Devil Was Inside’ Of Them

December 16th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source; Facebook

Minnesota police recently issued a warrant for the arrest of 61-year-old Jacoby Kindred, Pastor of One Accord Ministries. The charges associated with the warrant actually date back to child molestation offenses, some of which allegedly date back to as late as a decade ago. According to the Pioneer Press, Kindred is accused of raping the 14 and 16-year-old daughters of his son’s girlfriend since they her six years old. He even allegedly told one victim that “the devil was inside her and he could take the demons out of her,” prior to sexually assaulting her.

According to the victims, the alleged abuse incidents occurred at his Maplewood, Minnesota home and “involved fondling, oral stimulation, and rape.” The abuse is said to have gone on for a decade. Authorities were alerted of the alleged abuse in July by the mother of the victims, who reached out to the police after she recovered a letter detailing sexual acts performed with Kindred, written by one of her daughters.

Kindred has responded to the allegations, insisting that the mother of the alleged victims made them tell “lies” because she is upset with him.

“Anyone can make up anything when you sit there long enough and you rehearse it,” Kindred told the Pioneer Press in a phone interview. “All a woman has to do [in Minnesota] is make an accusation, true or false, and the man’s going to be in trouble.”

During the time of the call, Kindred told reporters that he was out of town for a funeral, but declined to disclose his location. If found guilty, Kindred could face up to 30 years in prison.


Did Iyanla Vanzant Slut Shame A Rape Victim?

December 4th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Iyanla Vanzant Slut Shame


Most of us, if not all love us some Iyanla Vanzant. Besides her many accolades, she is a free therapist for us all via her Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) show, Fix My Life. Two weeks ago on the show, Iyanla counseled two sisters from San Antonio who had a deep rift between them. Their anger stemmed from traumatizing episodes during their teenage years.  As OWN reports:

Iyanla has traveled to San Antonio to meet two sisters in crisis, Barbara and Geneva. Barbara grew up affluently with her aunt and uncle. Geneva was raised by their mother in poverty. At 17, Barbara invited her younger sister to come live with her, but a rift formed between the sisters after Barbara learned Geneva was sleeping with Barbara’s boyfriend, who fathered two of Geneva’s four children. Now, Iyanla wants to get Geneva’s side of the story. Watch as she shares a family secret with Iyanla and opens up about what her sister taught her about being a woman.

During the clip, Geneva confesses to Vanzant that Barbara’s boyfriend would fondle her and coerce her into having sexual intercourse. Despite telling her sister about the rape, Geneva stated Barbara  did not believe her. As their sexual relationship progressed, the boyfriend would give gifts and money to Geneva. Unfortunately, during the clip  Vanzant did not believe Geneva had been assaulted, instead she told Geneva she was “h-eing”. Her claim on Geneva’s juxtaposition was based on the belief that Geneva accepted the money and gifts from the boyfriend. Vanzant asked: “Did her boyfriend give you money to lay up with him?” When Geneva said “yes,” Vanzant looked upon her disapprovingly.

Although Vanzant is filled with tough-love, her response to Geneva was surprising. Perhaps it was because Geneva became pregnant with her first child at 14 and had two children with Barbara’s boyfriend that Vanzant was disappointed, but her reaction was read as slut-shamming by many media outlets. It seemed to be implied that because of Geneva’s history she knew what she was doing with her sister’s boyfriend. But as we also know, your sexual history should never be an example of how people can treat you. The age of Barbara’s boyfriend was not revealed but he was older than Geneva when he began to have sex with her while she was 16 years old. Geneva also claims Barbara taught her how to be a woman by only dating men who could provide financially for her. Geneva’s history has not given her a healthy perception of relationships but she should not have been accused of “h-eing” especially if she was taught a certain type of behavior in order to survive her living environment.

Check out the Fix My Life clip below. Do you think Iyanla slut shamed Geneva?

A Woman Reveals Her Divisive Family Secret to Iyanla

WTF: New Zealand Teens Broadcast Stories Of Gang Rape On Facebook

November 7th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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From Hello Beautiful 

Because these days, raping girls and bragging about it on social media has become a thing…I’ve got to report something that turns my stomach merely typing it. A group of teen boys in West Auckland, New Zealand, who call themselves The Roast Busters have been getting girls as young as 13 intoxicated, gang raping them and broadcasting it on their sick Facebook page of the same name (that has since been taken down) for two years now. What’s worse about this entire story is that New Zealand’s police say they can’t do anything about the group or their raping for leisure! Oh and police have confirmed that one of the boys is the son of a high-profile entertainer, and the other is the son of a police officer. There goes that same privilege we say in the Steubenville and Maryville rape cases.

Reports claim the police have known about this group since their start, yet no arrests have been made.Detective inspector, Bruce Scott has said that “none of the girls have been brave enough to make formal statements to us so we can take it to a prosecution stage or even consider a prosecution stage.” Even though police have investigated, collected evidence and the rapists only brag on social media, even at one point recruiting new members, police still do nothing to take these young criminals to court. Detective Scott has also said, “The reason we have not prosecuted anybody is we don’t have sufficient evidence at this stage.” Well isn’t that interesting?!

The boys, who are between the ages of 17 and 18, can be seen in their videos, driving around in what they call “The Roast Mobile.” One of the members says, “We pick them up, never drop them off, roast them…” The young man in the photo on the left, Joseph Levall Parker, has left the group.

Anonymous interviews with some of the victims have helped in getting the Roast Busters’ Facebook page shut down. “They don’t understand how I feel inside; they don’t understand how this has hurt me,” one victim says.

It’s being reported that as a result of publicity around the case, one of the young men who previously declined to cooperate presented himself at a police station early this afternoon. Another member is also being interviewed by police. At least, now there is an investigation happening and maybe, just maybe justice will be served.

Read more at 

Oh My Damn: Chicago Mom Charged With Raping Man At Gunpoint

September 9th, 2013 - By Brande Victorian
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Cierra Ross Charged With Raping Man


In a bizarre, or at least rare, news occurrence, a Chicago woman and mother has been charged with raping a man after holding him at gunpoint and forcing him to have sex with her friend.

According to DNA Info, on the morning of July 26, 25-year-old Cierra Ross offered the 33-year-old victim a ride around 5 am. After the man got into the passenger seat of the car, Ross reportedly pulled a gun and demanded he get into the backseat of the car. When he did so, an unidentified woman made him take off his clothes and then forced him to have sex with her even though he begged her to stop.

When a pair of headlights came into view, the victim saw that as his opportunity to flee so he ran out of the car with only his t-shirt on and flagged down the driver who happened to be a cabbie. The taxi driver picked up the man and let him use his phone to take a photo of the license plate on the car of the attackers before dropping him off at his Berwyn home.

In addition to raping the man, the women also took his cash, iPhone, and credit cards which were used at several locations following the attack.

Thanks to the victim’s quick thinking and his ability to pick out Ross from a line-up, the mother of two who works at a local Denny’s restaurant, according to The Huffington Post, was eventually booked on September 5 and is being held on a $75,000 bail. Arrest records show she has been convicted twice of misdemeanor solicitation of a prostitute in the past. So far there’s no word yet on the motive of this attack or the other woman involved in the rape.

Let’s hope both women are made to pay for this heinous crime.

Woah! Sean Kingston Accused of Gang Rape In $5 Million Lawsuit

August 30th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Sean Kingston accused of gang rape

Source: WENN

Back in July of 2010, a woman by the name of Carissa Capeloto accused recording artist Sean Kingston and his body guard of gang raping her in a Seattle hotel room. According to Capeloto’s story, after indulging in marijuana and several shots of Vodka, she was forced to have sex with Sean, his body guard and another member of his entourage.

The gruesome report went on to describe the alleged incident in detail, revealing that Capeloto claimed Sean’s body guard literally picked her up and placed her on top of Sean and then all three men proceeded to gang rape her while she was “obviously intoxicated, incapable of consent.” The alleged victim went on to say that her friend eventually came into the room, rescued her and called the police. She was then rushed to the hospital, where she was reportedly treated for injuries consistent with rape. Sean, however, maintained that the sex was consensual. The charges were eventually dropped  after investigators concluded that she wasn’t credible enough to build a solid case. Although Sean may have been cleared of criminal charges, it looks the initial criminal investigation was only the beginning.

According to TMZ, Capeloto recently filed a civil suit against the singer over the incident, claiming that her life has been ruined. In the filing, the young woman claims that she has difficulty sleeping and suffers from panic attacks and mood swings. We hear she’s asking for at least $5 million in damages. Sean has also filed paperwork in response to Capeloto’s lawsuit, insisting that the sex was 100% consensual. The trial is schedule to begin in November.

We will continue to keep you posted as this story develops.



Follow Jazmine on Twitter @jazminedenise.

10-Year-Old Texas Girl Arrested And Charged With Raping 4-Year-Old Boy

August 9th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Note: The photo used in this post is a stock image and not a photo of the child in question with this news story.

I’m not really sure where to even start with this heartbreaking story.

A 10-year-old Houston, Texas girl was arrested and charged with raping a 4-year-old boy, KHOU 11 reports. While the details surrounding the incident are scarce, what we do know is that the alleged incident is said to have occurred in the courtyard of the girl’s apartment complex.

“She was just being a child, having fun and playing. She didn’t know she was doing any wrong,” the girl’s mother told KHOU.

The incident was first reported back in April, which is when a sex crimes investigator was assigned to the case. The child was arrested last week and taken to a juvenile detention center, where she was held for four days.

“Me and my mom was crying and then she took me to the police car. I didn’t want to get in,” the girl told reporters.

“Just to look and see her through those windows and bars, screaming and stuff, screaming for me to get her out… it was a nightmare,” the child’s mother added.

One can only imagine how frightening it was for the preteen to be fingerprinted, issued a prison jumpsuit and placed in cell.

“It was my first time being there and I was scared. I thought something was going to happen to me,” she said the experience.

Although she didn’t have an attorney, local community activist, Qunaell X, stepped in to defend her.

“This was nothing more than horseplay. That’s what this was. It has gone a little bit too far… criminalizing a 10-year-old child,” Quanell said.

The child’s mother won’t specify whether or not she believes her child did anything wrong, but she argues that investigators should consider the fact that they’re dealing with a child.

“I’m not saying she didn’t [do something wrong], I’m not saying that she did. I’m saying she’s still a child.”

If convicted, the girl may have to register as a sex offender.

Turn the page to watch news coverage on the case. 

Tawana Brawley Finally Paying Restitution 25 Years After False Sexual Assault Allegations

August 5th, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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A screenshot from the New York Times' Retro Report on the Tawana Brawley case. via YouTube

A screenshot from the New York Times’ Retro Report on the Tawana Brawley case. via YouTube

Tawana Bradley, 40, who falsely accused Steven Pagones of raping her in 1987, has finally started making payments to Pagones; he won a defamation case against her in October 1998 and is still owed $431,492 in restitution, reports USA Today.

Brawley was 15-years-old when she was found unconscious and wrapped in a garbage bag. Her clothes were ripped and burned—the words “n***er” and “K.K.K.” were written on her torso. She pointed to three white men as her assailants, one of them Pagones, but forensic evidence shows there was no evidence of assault found in the tests. The crime received massive media attention and deepened racial tensions.

“They destroyed his ability to practice law,” Garry Bolnick, Pagones’ lawyer claimed. “This episode soured him on the whole legal profession and really prevented him in pursing his career.” Brawley was found guilty in a defamation case in 1998 and ordered to pay $190,000. With interest, the total has grown to $431,492. There’s always been doubt about whether he would ever be fully paid.

Brawley now works as a nurse in Laurels of Bon Air nursing home in Richmond, VA. A court in Virginia ordered Brawley’s employer to garnish up to 25 percent of her paycheck. So far, she’s paid a little over $3,700 to Pagones — for the first time since the 1998 case. Inconveniently, under Virginia law, Pagones must renew his request for Brawley’s wage garnishment every six months.

Bolnick has been tracking Brawley down to pay the restitution for years. She had been accused of leaving town, changing her Social Security number and using an alias multiple times. “[I]t was a combined effort of his law firm, Pagones’ private investigation business and The New York Post that found her,” USA Today adds.

“It would be nice if she would pay off the entire judgment. Obviously, she’s going to make us work for that,” Bolnick said. Rev. Al Sharpton was largely involved in defending Brawley and was also ordered to pay restitution,, which has been taken care of. “The only way we will get the money is if some of her so-called supporters come up with it,” added Bolnick.

Former Fugees Director Gets 90 Years In Prison For Raping And Impregnating His Daughters

July 29th, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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His name is Aswad Ayinde, director of the MTV Video Music Award winning Fugees video, “Killing Me Softly,” and aside from some serious jail time, Ayinde needs the butt-whooping of a lifetime.

We told you earlier in the year about the “Killing Me Softly” director around the time his second of five trials had started. It was reported today that he was given 50 years in prison for his actions, which included raping one of his daughters since she was eight years old, and impregnating her four different times. Ayinde was accused of sexually assaulting five of his seven daughters and impregnating some of them, bringing about six children, so that he could create a “pure bloodline.” A few months ago, his wife, Beverly Ayinde, recounted her life with the director, including his control over herself and their children:

“He equaled himself to being a prophet. As time went on, he was god-like. I had to call him, ‘my god.’ He equated himself to Jesus Christ … He would sit us all down and lecture us about his greatness and his power … At another point, he equated himself to Prince and Michael Jackson.”

Not only did Ayinde sexually assault his daughters many times, he also walked around his family’s home unclothed according to testimony, and he even made lewd comments about his children in front of Beverly. This includes a time where he told her that spirits were telling him that he should perform oral sex on the victim of this second case when she was just eight years old. Beverly claims she didn’t call police because he threatened to kill the girls, and according to reports, all of his sexual assaults went on for 30 years in different homes (and even an abandoned funeral home), until Beverly left her husband. But despite all that, it was his daughters that went to the police in 2006. As the victim from this second trial put it, “We found out we had other siblings, young siblings, and we had to put him to a stop. Even though we were healing, they could still fall victim.” She’s probably referring to the 12 other children Ayinde had with other women over the years. Ayinde was also accused of beating his daughters and brought some of the children they had into the world in the family home, with at least two dying in the home and being buried without authorities knowing at the time.

Though he was given 50 years for his crimes against his daughter on Friday, in 2010, he was sentenced to 40 years for assault for raping and impregnating another one of his daughters (hence the 90). The women impregnated were given separate trials, so that’s why Ayinde has three more to face. The daughter from this second trial, now 35, has had two children from her father who have genetic illnesses caused by incest (and reportedly had four in total with one dying of spinal muscular atrophy). She is doing better these days, and she even went back to school to study communications. But she took time out to speak out against her father, and to him, at his trial in New Jersey on Friday as he prepared for another sentencing by saying, “I can’t describe how much you hurt me and my sisters.” The last time Ayinde tried to assault this particular victim, was in 2003.

While 90+ years in prison sounds like a hell of a punishment, what God has in store for this man is on a whole other level…


Straight From His Mouth: Are Men As Animalistic As Society Portrays Them?

July 22nd, 2013 - By WisdomIsMisery
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Q: Are men as animalistic as society portrays them to be when it comes to self-control and sexuality?

There are animalistic men in society, but these men are not the barometer by which all men should be measured. Similar to the fact that the news does not cover stories about all the planes that land safely each day, while the majority of men practice self-control, there are few public accolades for doing what you are supposed to do. Rather than ignore the obvious, let’s focus on the most evident lack of self-control and sexuality when it comes to men and women…

As many of you have noticed, I do not talk about rape. I am not immune or blind to the echo-chambers in the blogosphere on the topic, but I have largely and purposefully chosen to remain on the sidelines. I am not positive the Internet is a place to have conducive, meaningful discussions about rape, rape prevention, and rape culture. There are (justifiably) too many raw emotions, and such discussions usually dissolve to finger-pointing and trolling rather than meaningful discussion or solutions. However, today I am going to do my best to respectfully provide my opinion on the subject.

One in three women will be raped, beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime. I am not absolving men who perpetuate such crimes, and I am definitely not blaming their victims. However, this statistic shows that two in three women will not experience such unfortunate fates, so the majority of men in the world are in fact not committing such crimes.  Sadly, some men are truly animalistic by their very nature, but some other men are the byproducts of the society in which they live. In my opinion, one of the overlooked issues when it comes to rape and rape culture is not that we have a rape culture (in America).  The larger problem is that we encourage a culture of silence, in which rape-culture is a subset.

The fact that we promote a culture of silence permeates a plethora of issues. For example, a culture of silence allows cities like Chicago to dissolve into violence with annual homicide rates greater than most war zones; it allows a majority of financial institutions to drive the global economy into near collapse while only a minority of these same financial institutions is ever held legally responsible; and finally, as it pertains to today’s topic, it allows rapes to occur, then blame the victims (men and women) for “allowing” themselves to get raped (the phenomenon known as “victim blaming”). This is a very real problem, and these are only a few examples of an infinite number of issues that negatively impact our society, which I believe, are all allowed to fester under an overarching umbrella of a culture of silence. A culture of silence discourages at best, and punishes at worst, those who dare have the courage to speak out against the expectation that they remain silent. To address these many underlying issues, we must recognize this overlapping issue. Attempting to address the offspring of this larger issue of repressive, expectant silence without addressing the root cause of the problem is the equivalent of trying to chop down a tree by breaking off the branches.

These underlying issues will continue to grow (although rape, homicide, and violent crimes is statistically lower than ever, one rape, violent/preventable death is theoretically one too many) as long as a cultural of intolerance for victims and silence about that intolerance exist. It is difficult, if not outright impossible, to move towards a solution when we refuse to talk openly about the problem. While it may be easier to believe that all men contribute or actively participate in these problems, the truth of the matter is that many men do and will not. Yet, those men who have the audacity to speak out are often chastised, their motives questioned, and their thoughts dismissed since their faces are not representative of the more familiar victims of the crime. In some people’s minds, the majority of men are representative of the crimes perpetrated by  a minority of men, rather than recognizing that some men are hostages tangled in the same web of injustice—these type of men can identify personally or know daughters, wives, sisters, and mothers who suffered similarly unfortunate fates.

Unlike some have written, I believe the first and easiest step is not to “teach men not to rape” or to “teach women not to get raped.” Instead, both men and women would benefit from focusing on teaching men to respect women as equals and women to respect and recognize themselves as equals to men. A number of these issues arise because a number of men (and some women) see themselves as unequal, often times below the former. It is much easier to repress or look down upon the rights of another human being when you do not see them as your equal. This has been demonstrated throughout history, with slavery being the most obvious example. In order to repress another or seek power over another, you often have to see them as below you or “second class.” I believe a good first step, would be to teach men to recognize and respect women as their equals – a direction, for the record, I believe we are moving in but obviously, we are not there yet.

WisdomIsMisery aka WIM uses his background as an internal auditor to provide objective, yet opinionated, qualitative and quantitative analysis on life, love, and everything in between. WIM is not a model, a model citizen, or a role model. See more of WIM on his weekly write-ups for SBM, on Twitter @WisdomIsMisery.

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