FanShot

Accusations, Prison Time, and Refusing to Cop.

16

I wasn't around during the Holm case, so forgive some of my astonishment at what happened to this guy. I agree with the commenter to this Hlas story, since he happens to be me, but I am unwilling to drop this for reasons that affect all men in college, outlined below. THESIS: Holm never would have been sent up had he received a jury trial, because normal humans do not convict someone of sexual assault if the witness/third person -- 24 inches away -- says it never happened, and the physical evidence is exculpatory, and the defining logic for the judge was that the accused had more to lose than the accuser. (Under such logic, all accused criminals are automatically convicted.) And he never would have been charged if Pierre Pierce hadn't happened, and created a political and social firestorm: he simply wouldn't have been charged. And, I daresay, he never would have been charged if he had been black, because the specter of false rape charges against black men over the past 200+ years would have had the Johnson County DA running for the Mississippi first, before attempting to ruin a young man against whom NO evidence could be compiled, save that of an erratic, drunk, and angry young woman whose own boyfriend (the sole third-party witness, physically proximate to the supposed assault) disputed her claims. So I realize I am puncturing about eight PC balloons at once here. No need to comment and suggest that we do not speak of such things on a happy sports blog. DISCUSSION: But sexual assault, and we are reaching the point now where it doesn't mean what the words say it means, is the third rail of big time sports. A certain boy scout, physics major and stud hoss Iowa RB may have been run out of town by a certain university president because -- although cleared of any wrongdoing by law enforcement -- he refused to apologize for something that neither he nor the police nor the ostensible victim said happened. This is not a long reach from Holm refusing to accept a get-out-of-jail card because he was supposed to admit he did something that no one ever showed he did. Universities now lose funding from the US Dept. of Ed. if they allow accused men to question or otherwise test the accusations made against them by alleged victims of sexual assault. That is correct: if you are accused, you may not defend yourself properly, if your college or university wishes to retain critical federal funding. Anyone who is the parent of a boy or young man in this environment had best discuss these matters with his or her son. College is a time of great social and sexual experimentation, usually under the influence of this or that intoxicant, and never more so than today. Feminist cant suggests that because rape is a serious crime, a few eggs will be broken (i.e., a few innocents will be destroyed) in order to further social justice. This principle now controls the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars to places like the SUI. I know that I am thrilled that my own son, a competitive freestyle skier (not exactly choir boys, they) has matriculated from his New England university without incident. I started in on him five years ago with suggestions such as this: "Yes means no. No means no. Yes means maybe. No means try me. Don't ever mess around with girls unless they are sober and have been chasing you for at least a couple of weeks." Be careful out there. This case wasn't a case where "No means yes". This wasn't a case of "No really means yes." This was a big case of nothing, unless you were Jordan Holm. PERSONAL ANECDOTE: I was a reporter for the DI who watched James Wendell Hall get sent up for the murder of Sarah Ann Ottens. I was naive and 17 years old; I was shocked at the ease with which the state convicted this guy, and I have never forgotten the cheesy theatrics and bad suit worn by the state prosecutor. After seven years that conviction was thrown out because prosecutor Woodward lied to the court and abused the process that all accused are owed. I am new to the Holm case and have only been reading about it for a couple of days. But I would be stunned if the Johnson County DA would ever retry this case before a jury, and really, that is all we need to know if I am correct. FOR FURTHER REVIEW: For other comments and a fairly lengthy and sensitive blogress' interview with Holm, go here: http://emmawilhelm.com/2010/10/16/wasjusticereallyserved/ and here: http://emmawilhelm.com/2011/01/29/talking-truth-with-jordan-holm/ (She's a Carleton/Smith grad, she's thorough.) For more on how universities may no longer investigate claims of sexual assault by alleged victims, go here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903596904576516232905230642.html Here is a (rough) scan of the Press-Citizen coverage of the Hall case, mostly by Mark Rohner, who was the best hard news reporter at the P-C for a couple of decades. Note how Hall was not arrested until after six months of interviews, obviously accomplishing nothing, and perhaps proving that a DA or assist AG could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. Meardon, Sueppel, Downer and Hayes were the ace law firm back then, and, I believe, did not abandon this client when it would have been convenient: http://newspaperarchive.com/iowa-city-press-citizen/1973-09-20/ In 1993 Hall was convicted of strangling to death Susan Hajek in Cedar Rapids.

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