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Friday, May 30, 2008

Gopher Football Rape Case Update

Click on the label "Gophers" at the bottom of this post to reacquaint yourself with the story.

Former Gophers football player Dominic Jones was sentenced to one year in Hennepin County jail today in Hennepin County court. MN Daily:

    He also received a $6,000 fine, seven years supervised probation, a suspended prison sentence of 48 months and will have to pay further restitution which has yet to be determined.

    The suspended sentence means Jones must not violate the terms of his probation or the 48-month sentence will be executed.

    He must also register as a sex offender and attend sex offender counseling.

    The sentence was more severe than the recommended sentence for the fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charge against Jones, because of the particularly demeaning and humiliating nature of the act, Judge Marilyn Rosenbaum said.

    Jones, however, is eligible be put on work or school release. Despite that, after sentencing, Jones' attorney Earl Gray said his client had been "released" from the University and that he no longer has his athletic scholarship.

    Prior to sentencing, the victim read a statement to the court expressing the trauma she endured in the past fourteen months.

    "I don't feel there is any punishment that would justify my permanent damage," she said. "I'm the only one that has a mandatory life sentence because of this assault."

The following is from the July 17, 2007 USA Today:

    ...the woman had come to the apartment complex with a friend and some Gopher players. He said she drank heavily with the players and had sex with E.J. Jones, Massey and Daniels before passing out.

    Dominic Jones arrived later and had sex with the woman [Note: the charge of Jones having intercourse with the alleged victim was later dropped as it was never proven. - Drake] while Daniels recorded the video on his cellphone, Freeman said. The file had been deleted from the phone, but investigators recovered a part of it, he said.

    "It's amazing what the forensics can do to reconstruct that," Freeman said. "That cellphone video, a picture is worth 1,000 words, and that video reflects what happened, at least at that point in time."

    The woman's blood-alcohol level was estimated at at least 0.30% by a doctor who reviewed police reports and witness statements, according to the criminal complaint. Stephen Smith, the doctor, based his estimate on her size and weight and descriptions of the amount of alcohol consumed.

    That's a level, Freeman said, "in which motor function, including the ability to stand or walk, is lost." He said third-degree criminal sexual conduct occurs when a "victim is helpless. This is the textbook definition of helplessness when you're over .30."

The below is from the Minneapolis Star Tribune May 29, 2008:

    Jones had been charged with third-degree sexual assault for having sex with an 18-year-old woman who prosecutors said was too drunk to give consent.

Please, by no means, should you read any further if you are siding with the 18-year old alleged victim in this case.

Okay, here we go: An 18-year old girl wanted to party with Gopher football jocks. And she did. She consumed enough liquor in a short amount of time that skyrocketed her BAC level to near .30%. The BAC legal level of intoxication is .08%.

Where did she obtain the liquor? Why was an 18-year old drinking alcohol in the first place? We know how society demonstrates righteous indignation for any cigarette smoker, especially anyone under the age of 18 smoking cigarettes. Why is there so little outrage made of underage drinking?

Let's review what the alleged "victim" said:

Prior to sentencing, the victim read a statement to the court expressing the trauma she endured in the past fourteen months.

"I don't feel there is any punishment that would justify my permanent damage," she said. "I'm the only one that has a mandatory life sentence because of this assault."

The only person responsible for her situation is the woman herself. She brought on her own "trauma." She is the only person deserving punishment. She wanted to party and she did. Then she woke up or sobered up and had a case of morning-after regret. Well honey, live and learn, live and learn. You wanted to party and you did. You knew what you were getting into. Take responsibility for your own actions.

This is supposedly what Jones did to her.

And for this he receives a sentence of:

- a $6,000 fine,
- seven years supervised probation,

- a suspended prison sentence of 48 months,
- he will have to pay further restitution which has yet to be determined,
- he must not violate the terms of his probation or the 48-month sentence will be executed,
- must also register as a sex offender and attend sex offender counseling.

I think the sentence is egregiously over-the-top and harsh. If anything, in my opinion, I think Jones is guilty of poor judgment and perhaps bad behavior. The last time I checked, those things weren't necessarily against the law.

©2008

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Comments:
dude. dont take this the wrong way but what if that was your daughter? you know i agree with you on so many things but saying she deserved what she got? what if it happened to your daughter?
 
Hey EC. I welcome intelligent discussion and debate. I don't expect anyone to agree with me 100% of the time. I'm glad to be challenged by those who comment here.

I can only give a hypothetical answer to your question since I do not have a daughter. Let's look at what is known:

- the 18-year old ADULT woman in the story WANTED to go to the party.

- she WANTED to party as is evidenced by her over-consumption of booze.

- she PUT HERSELF in the situation voluntarily.

- it appears that she had a case of "morning after regret".

Her actions are entirely different than a woman or girl who is FORCED into a situation where she is sexually abused or raped. When cases like that happen, the offenders, if found guilty, should be sentenced to 25 years, no parole on the first offense. I have no sympathy for rapists or those who sexually force themselves upon anyone.

The actions I described immediately above are far different from the 18-year old woman in the post. It appears - to repeat - she knew exactly what she was getting into. She put herself into the situation. But the following morning, or whenever she sobered up, she had a case of "the regrets". She has to accept some, if not most, of the responsibility in what happened to her.

Perhaps...perhaps Dominick Jones is more culpable of poor judgment and bad behavior, as I wrote, but his sentence still - to me - seems far more harsh than it should have been.

I hope this clarifies what I was trying to get across in the post, and your question is entirely relevent and appropriate. I hope, that if I did have a daughter, I would have taught her and instilled in her better behavior of her own judgment that the girl in the story.
 
Oh, and in no instance in the post or my above comment did I ever say that she "deserved" what she got. I said she is responsible for her actions.
 
ok. i Dont agree with your take but understand it better. i know what youre saying.
 
Not a problem EC. Intellecutal and honest debate, and disagreement permitted and encouraged here, unlike the LeftTard sites.
 
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