Baugh said he listened to recorded statements given by Morales before her death and believes that while she was a troubled youth, she was “as much in control of the situation” as Rambold. The judge also said Morales was “older than her chronological age.”
The naysayers that constantly deny that racial stereotypes are an inherent part of our culture and how they are used to value a non white woman’s (or girl, as is the case here) worth, should look no further than this case.
In April 2008, a 14 year old Latina girl was raped by her teacher. She committed suicide as a result of the ongoing trauma. Five years later (FIVE) there is finally a sentence for this crime. While the prosecutor had asked for 20 year in jail, the judge deemed 30 days to be a fitting punishment because the child was “in control of the situation”. This rapist (no alleged because he has been found guilty) was expelled from the sex offenders program he was attending because he had remained in contact with several minors in spite of being forbidden to do so.
The offender’s lawyer, not content merely doing his job had to go beyond the call of duty and remind us who was really hurt in this situation:
Rambold’s attorney, Jay Lansing, argued Monday for the suspended sentence. He said Rambold lost his career, his marriage and his home and has suffered a “scarlet letter of the Internet” as a result of publicity about the case.
A 14 year old Latina child was raped and committed suicide, the criminal is given a slap on the wrist but of course, we should be sorry for “the scarlet letter of the internet” that he is going to carry from now on.
Unlike the humanity denied to his victim, he gets to be treated as a subject with rights.
ETA: And I just saw Jezebel’s coverage of this case. Predictably, there isn’t a single mention of this child’s ethnicity. As I said on Twitter, this way of white washing the case erases the long history of racialized misgonynist violence and removes all context of the ways in which Latina women and children (and Women of Color in general) are dehumanized and sexualized. Yes, this could have happened to a child of any ethnicity or race, however, more often than not, these very specific stereotypes about oversexualized girlhood are applied to girls and women of color. Purposefully erasing this context only helps perpetuate the violence which remains unexamined.