A 14-Year-Old Girl Was Raped Repeatedly in Juvenile Detention Center and the State Said It’s Her Fault

August 5, 2013  |  
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A disturbing news story out of Louisiana today has us angry and disgusted. A woman who was  repeatedly raped at age 14 by a guard at her juvenile detention center is trying to sue Terrebonne Parish. But the lawyers for the defense claim the guard “could not have engaged in sexual relations within the walls of the detention center with (the victim) without cooperation from her”, according to the Parish Times. The guard Angelo Vickers, who is in jail, is said to not have used force or intimidation when he had sex with the victim who’s being called Mary Doe. Are they serious?

The age of consent in Louisiana is 17, meaning a girl who is just 14 can’t legally consent to intercourse. And the fact that the man is in a position of power, controlling her every move, means that if this woman said no, she had a lot to lose. She’s now 20 years old and a mother of two who struggles with several psychiatric disorders–it’s easy to see how this abuse might contribute to that. And this woman has had a tough, tough life when it comes to sexual abuse:

According to court papers and testimony, the girl was sexually molested at the age of 5 by her swimming teacher, and at the age of 9 by a construction worker.
During that same year, her mother was killed in an auto wreck; a year later, she was raped by an uncle and those assaults continued for two years. During that time, court papers say, the uncle gave the girl alcohol, heroin, marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine.

Still, the defense says the rape (which, let’s not forget means forced sexual intercourse) was consensual because just look at this girls history. One lawyer maintained “a sharp look must be directed toward the victim’s history. It would not be fair, the lawyers say, for Terrebonne to pay for problems it did not create.” The defense says that Mary Doe, as well as other women who came forward with the complaints that landed Vickers in jail, were “no Little Miss Muffin”, meaning they were wayward girls that wanted to be raped.

The guards are in a position of authority and supposed to protect the girls from abuse and mistreatment, no matter where it comes from. The state is supposed to be protecting children, even children who are “bad”. This tactic completely throws out the definitions of rape and consent that it put in place to protect victims. It’s a big blow to women’s and children’s rights. Even a person with a criminal record is still that–a person. The fact that the defense even has the audacity to make these claims is horrifying.

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