"Rape" is stated repeatedly on fraternity's videotape, Campus NOW reveals
Campus National Organization for Women members are joined by Lisa Gier King's family in protesting the University Police Department, which arrested King after she reported being raped at the Delta Chi fraternity house at UF February 27.
Delta Chi will be tried by UF for various conduct code violations (but not rape) at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 9 in Academic Advising room 200 (just across from the Infirmary) at UF. The hearing is open.
Delta Chi members videotaped the incident and after police viewed the tape they claimed it wasn't rape and arrested King for filing false charges. After Campus NOW members viewed the videotape, they discovered that rape is mentioned repeatedly on the tape. See Campus Now's statement, below.
On April 1, the UF/SFCC Campus National Organization for Women (NOW) again protested the University of Florida Police Department for arresting Lisa Gier King for reporting rape. Barra Cohen, chapter member, read the following press statement at UPD:
We support Lisa Gier King for coming forward to report being raped. This is what we believe happened:
1. Saturday 2/27/99 at a Delta Chi party on campus, an anonymous call was made from inside the house warning the police of an impending rape-a "woman in distress" call. UPD officers who responded to the call left the house without fully investigating.
2. After her reported attack, Lisa runs naked, crying to a fraternity house nearby, Theta Chi, and calls family and the University Police Department.
3. Lisa tells UPD officers in her rape report about a video tape of the incident and all the details she remembers. She seeks medical care at the hospital and gets a "rape kit" (a forensic medical examination), the results of which take longer than a weekend to analyze.
4. Monday 3/1/99, less than TWO DAYS after the report was filed, UPD officers arrest Lisa Gier King and take her to jail for "falsifying a report" because they claim the video tape (made by Delta Chi members) demonstrates her consent. Lisa says "I told officers I wasn't [kicking and screaming and yelling] because he [Mike Yaraus] said he would break my neck...."
Two Campus NOW officers have viewed the video tape with Lisa's permission. Lisa's arrest is even more outrageous now that we know what is said on it. There is nothing "clearly consensual" about this tape. NOTHING. I want you all to know some of the things that were said on this tape. I want people to filter through the misinformation we have been hearing from Delta Chi brothers, their attorney and the press and hear what they said themselves:
One man in the room says "This is what you call ___" And another finishes it for him and says "RAPE." And then they repeat it many times. "Rape. Rape. Rape. Rape-white trash. Rape-white trash." Then the narrator says to the camera, "Unbelievable. This is a ...night in Delta Chi history...maybe nationally, the night we rape a white trash crackhead bitch."
Later one man says "...it's RAPE thirty in the morning..."
At one point two Delta Chi brothers act as commentators at a sporting event and say, "I think this is what Yahraus wanted...He's this power-controlling guy." Then, "notice the struggle of the hands."
Delta Chi seemed able to identify what was going on between Mike Yahraus and Lisa Gier King at the time for what it was--rape. What does the word "rape" mean to UPD officers? Is it a joke? Is it "out of context"? Is it funny? We don't think it is funny at all.
We ask UPD, again, why did you arrest Lisa? Why does the whole town know Lisa's name, but we do not know these men's names? Why have these men not been arrested? Why did you not thoroughly investigate this woman's claim? We ask you all here today to think about how much time UPD officers spent investigating the men of Delta Chi and how much time was spent investigating Lisa.
On Monday March 1st, 1999 the University Police Department sent a message to all women by arresting a woman after less than a two-day "investigation" of her report of rape. The police claim they want women to report rape and sexual harassment, yet their history of victim blaming and handling of rape cases like this one discourages women from coming forward. They go into rape cases with a male supremacist interpretation; they go into rape cases convinced that the woman is a liar and clearly wanted to have sex and the men are just "boys being boys." By arresting Lisa, UPD reminded us that when we come forward to report rape, not only will we not be believed, our character will be in question, we will be scrutinized for our sexual past, how much we drank, and what we wore, but also that we may actually be arrested and treated like a criminal.
In Lisa's case, she was treated in all these ways but also had her name blasted all over the papers, TV, and radio and she has to spend energy, time and money on her defense, at a time when she needs privacy and support.
First UPD decided these men were victims of a false report. Now the University of Florida, the Gainesville Sun and the Alligator imply they are victims of hazing. These grown men knew what they were doing to Lisa and had complete control over themselves; they heard her say "I do not want this" and they saw and even commented on her resistance on being penetrated. Lisa is the victim here ... Lisa is the one who is not getting justice. Lisa employed defense mechanisms that every rape victim and experts on sexual battery are familiar with to get out of that situation alive and to see her children again. Perhaps they do not know what rape looks like; perhaps UPD officers think a dancer could not have possibly been raped. Perhaps they think any woman who hangs out with intoxicated college-aged men must want it. Well they are very wrong. Rape is when a woman does not want it. Mike Yahraus and his buddies knew it was rape, they said it themselves.
The three to four men, including Mike Yahraus, who were in that room that night should have been arrested, not Lisa. That tape does not prove she wanted to be penetrated by Mike Yahraus and it does not prove she lied about being raped. We stand by what we have said from the beginning-arresting her was wrong.
The Campus National Organization for Women and the thousands of Lisa's supporters demand:
1. The State Attorney's Office led by Rod Smith investigate UPD's handling of the reported rape by Delta Chi fraternity member Mike Yahraus and the arrest of Lisa Gier King, the woman who filed the rape report.
2. All criminal charges against Lisa be dropped and she receive a formal, public apology for arresting her without a proper investigation of the crime.
3. The University of Florida hire more rape victim advocates and earmark more money for rape prevention and victim services.
For more information, contact UF/SFCC Campus National Organization for Women at (352) 377-9935.
Campus NOW is circulating a petition listing the demands above. You can pick up petitions at the Civic Media Center (1021 W University Ave) or in Anderson Hall on the UF campus on the bookshelf outside room 115 Anderson.
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