24 Aug 2006 @ 11:18 AM 

James Mirtle posted his thoughts on the sad and twisted tale of Mike Jefferdanton and his former agent, David Frost. In the comments, you see mudcrutch79 raise the spectre of “reasonable doubt” because it took the players who did talk so long to come forward (i.e. after CBC’s “The Fifth Estate” ran their expose about David Frost).

Lyle Richardson (better known to many of y’all as Spector from Spector’s Hockey) counters quite rightly that it can take years for the victims of sexual abuse to speak out against those that harmed them.

Lyle’s right, kids.

There are two groups of people that get huge stigmas attached to them right off the bat: Children who have been sexually abused by somebody “respectable”, and rape victims. It’s immediately assumed that they’re lying, that they’ve been somehow “coached”, that they’ve got some kind of axe to grind.

I should know, because I fall into both groups.

I was sexually abused as a child by one of my uncles–and my mother’s only solution was to simply throw him out the house before he decided to move on to my sister…and that happened only because he admitted it to her when he was drunk. She refused to go to police, and the subject was officially verboten in the house for the next 28 years–my sister didn’t even know about it until I told her last summer. We still don’t talk about it, because all my mother does is make excuses for her brother. It was ‘Nam, he’s not right in the head, it was years ago, just let it drop. I love my uncle, but that doesn’t change what he did to me and it doesn’t change the fact that I’ve had to spend 28 years trying to get myself right again.

I was raped at 18 in Montana and again at 20 in Idaho, and neither time was anything done by the authorities; the first time because I was inebriated at the time the assault took place, and the second time because I was unfortunate enough to not get the shit beaten out of me when I was assaulted. Even now, when I bring it up there’s invariably somebody who either calls me a liar or accuses me of having some kind of axe to grind because of some base reason; my attacker(s) were probably lousy lays, I didn’t get a reach-around, the condom probably broke, they never kissed me, no charges were ever filed. Take your pick–I’ve heard it all before. In the late 80s and early 90s, if you got raped anywhere in the Intermountain West, you were screwed when the case went to trial, unless you sustained life-threatening injuries in the assault–and even then it was hit or miss because when you get on the stand you get assaulted again by defense attorneys who try to paint you as some kind of tawdry whore who was “asking for it”.

People who file false allegations of sexual assault don’t do people like me (or, for that matter, investigators and prosecutors) any favors either. There’s a reason why there was an intensive 2 1/2 year investigation before charges got filed against David Frost, people–it’s because the OPP wanted to be absolutely sure that there was something to corroborate one person’s allegations. The road of justice is littered with the corpses of cases brought by overzealous prosecutors who didn’t feel that they had to take the time to make sure that the allegations being brought had at least some truth to them, who asked leading questions and took statements made by “questionable” people on faith or told real offenders “name names and we’ll go easy on you.”

Kern County, McMartin Preschool, Scott County, Gary Dotson, the Duke Lacrosse team. For every case like that, there’s a Graham James or a Paul Bernardo or a Brent J. Brents who really did do what he was accused of and who really does deserve to be locked up.

James is right; this case is going to get very ugly. It’s going to be hard on the accusers and hard on the defendant and hardest of all on the investigators who have to stand up in court and defend their investigation. But regardless of the right or wrong of David Frost and what he’s done or not done, don’t immediately dismiss or belittle the accusers because it took them so long to get the courage to speak up–because that, friends and neighbours, is the greatest wrong of all.

Just sayin’.

Posted By: The Acid Queen
Last Edit: 24 Aug 2006 @ 11:21 AM

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Responses to this post » (12 Total)

 
  1. Tapeleg says:

    How long did it take Sheldon Kennedy to come forward? That didn’t make it any less valid. If they nail this guy, it will all be worth it.

  2. CasonBlog says:

    Why is there a stigma surrounding this certain type of violent assualt? Why in India are women who are raped subsequently murdered by their dads and brothers for having brought “shame” to their families? It will take brave folks to end this crap- your kind of bravery.

  3. [...] Click here for some of the most courageous writing I’ve ever seen. [...]

  4. Sasky says:

    You do know I admire you for working so damn hard and being able to keep your head up even through everything. And being able to make me smile with random things. This just ads to that.

  5. George Malik says:

    All I hope is that Frost’s walking his last days as a free man.

    “There are some people who are so dangerous that they should be removed from society,” as the best probation officer I knew once said.

    And thank you for being so brave. “I’m sorry” is the only thing I can think of…words fail.

  6. [...] How hard did it have to be for the Acid Queen to publish this one?  I’ve stayed away from talking about the Mike Danton / David Frost saga for many reasons.  But this post shows why AQ can’t do the same. [...]

  7. Artman says:

    Thank you for the only writing on the Danton case that made sense.

    Statements like the one you are reacting to show absolutely no empathy, and reasons why rape and child abuse are STILL such a prevalent crime today. Kudos to you for your courage. And thumbs down to mudcrutch79 who obviously has no idea what empathy is.

  8. Christy says:

    Wow, that must have been really hard for you to talk about and I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with those awful situations.

  9. acidqueen says:

    And thumbs down to mudcrutch79 who obviously has no idea what empathy is.

    Well, let’s be fair to mc79 (since he better explained where he was coming from in a later comment). David Frost is a dirtbag and a creep–that much was made crystal-clear by The Fifth Estate’s piece on the guy.

    But he also has a right to a fair trial just like every other Canadian citizen, and the Crown still has to convince a jury that the man actually did what he’s been charged with.

    If the investigators have done their job, and the evidence and testimony drive away all doubt, then I hope the Crown can get David Frost put away for a long, long time.

  10. acidqueen says:

    Wow, that must have been really hard for you to talk about

    Yes and no.

    Everybody has their own way of coping–some constructive, some destructive. My coping technique is to talk about what happened, because by talking about it and getting it out in the open the healing process is accelerated.

    It is painful to talk about at times, but it’s made me a stronger person. And if talking about it drives home a point or sends some sort of positive “I refuse to be a victim”-type message to others, then so much the better.

  11. James Gunner says:

    I don’t think anyone wins in cases like this. Sad fact of life. We can go after attackers with a vengence and lynch them or attack the victim. That seems to be the way it goes.

    It’s weird when staying out of it is actually the best course of action. It’s times like this I wish I believed in karma. I’d sleep better and not be up right now commenting on something that disturbs me.

  12. Doogie2K says:

    Wow. Just…wow.

    Both those things fill me with hate, as does the sad fact that people still insist on blaming the victim in a crime about power. I’m glad you can talk about it the way you do, because that’s what needs to happen in order for things to change. I hope things have at least changed from when these things happened to you (I remember an episode of Quantum Leap from the early 90s about date rape, and the situation it presented shocked me with its raw unfairness), and I hope they throw the book at Frost. Given Ontario’s history with child abuse cases (MLG janitor and kids-in-cage come to mind as examples), it’s sadly not likely, but maybe the time that went into this will make it stick in a meaningful way.

    As for MC, he’s a lawyer. I don’t know if he’s a criminal lawyer, but either way, he has to consider these sorts of things. Hopefully, the time delay involved here means that the prosecutors and detectives involved have.

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