Delta Chi: Campus NOW calls on prosecutor to press rape charges
The following statement was released by the UF/SFCC Campus chapter of the National Organization for Women on May 6th, 1999, concerning Lisa Gier King's report of rape at the Delta Chi fraternity house. Gainesville Women's Liberation members also contributed to this statement:
On Saturday February 27th 1999 Lisa Gier King ran from the Delta Chi fraternity house nearly naked and crying to Theta Chi, a fraternity house nearby. She was given clothes and a phone to call her mother and grandmother who were on the scene in minutes. Lisa's mother called the police and after reporting rape, Lisa was carried away from the University of Florida Police Department on a stretcher with a neck brace.
Within hours of the report, UPD officers made up their mind about Lisa's report. As with many rape cases, we believe UPD never even began an investigation of a sexual assault and were against the alleged victim from the start. They yelled at Lisa's mother when she came to get her car, saying her daughter a waste of their time. On Monday, March 1st 1999, Lisa was arrested by UPD for "falsifying a police report" and taken away in handcuffs to the county jail.
Like many women who report rape, Lisa Gier King has been on trial and punished for coming forward from day one. Women have to prove ourselves to everyone, while men who call it rape and even appear to be planning it on the tape, have some sort of credibility Lisa does not. This is sexist. Her "actions" and "behavior" have been the focus point, while few questioned Mike Yahraus, Tony Marzullo, Leo Yuque and the other men of Delta Chi's actions. They have not even been questioned alone by the State Attorney; many witnesses have not ever been interrogated, by anyone.
And this week, Judge Chance has released the tape to the press and decided after a viewing of it by himself that "nothing on the tape would deem her a victim."
We disagree. We are tired of the good ol' boys being the ones to make the decisions in this case and we are tired of our "justice" system punishing women who come forward to report rape. We are tired of men in power ignoring women and our rights. We believe Judge Chance's actions are an insult and a complete violation of Lisa's rights as a victim. The officers at UPD, Rod Smith and Bill Cervone of the State Attorney's and Judge Chance have done a disservice to all women by punishing Lisa King and ignoring the report of rape.
If the police had demanded a test for date rape drugs and searched the house for evidence, they might have gotten closer to the truth of what happened that night. We believe Lisa was drugged with a drug common on UF campus, rophenol. Her behavior on the tape and the black outs she says she experienced concur with the affects of "roofies," a common date rape drug.
We believe that a closer examination of the tape during the alleged rape shows a defenseless, intoxicated woman fighting with what she has and men encouraging rape: she is pushing him, moving his hands, slapping him, crossing her legs, diverting the men from her vagina, using her sarcasm as a weapon. The Campus National Organization for Women believes victims use many tactics to try to get offenders to stop hurting them. Women should be believed and supported when we come forward, not punished. We would like the men of Delta Chi to answer to their behavior on the tape for once.
At one point, we hear Lisa repeat the word "STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP" while Mike Yahraus is penetrating her and holding her legs back. We do not think that is "clearly consensual" as UPD claims. At one point, we believe Lisa is being choked, you can hear her gagging and then gives up fighting for fear of her life and Mike says "What do you want, your circulation back?"
Later he says, "you are submitted." She asks him while we believe he is forcing his penis into her, "Does that make you feel like a man?" "Is that what you gotta do, pin me down?" as she pushes his hands away from her vagina and tries to cross her legs. At one point she says, "I guess there is nothing I can do." And it sounds like he says "You're right, there isn't." When she fights, he pushes her down.
In addition to all of this, the men call it exactly what we think it is "RAPE." They call their tape "the raping of a white trash crackhead bitch" and they clearly see her resistance and comment on it "notice the struggle of the hands" and "get away from her hole, man" At one point the men say "Power, Power, Power," while Mike Yahraus chants "man at work."
Campus NOW and our supporters, including several community and national groups, demand a thorough investigation from an outside, independent entity and for conspiracy, facilitation and sexual assault charges to be pressed against the four or more men who we believe raped Lisa King. Contact: Rod Smith, State Attorney, phone: 352-374-3670, fax: 352-491-4553 and Bob Butterworth, Florida Attorney General, phone: 850-487-1963, fax: 850-487-2564
Others ways to support our campaign and women's rights:
1) Join the National Organization for Women. Dues are $20-40 sliding scale.
2) Come to our weekly protests Thursdays 4:30 - 5:30 in front of Rod Smith's Office, 120 W Univ Ave.
3) Come to a fundraiser for Lisa King's Defense, Monday May 24th at 6pm at Our Place Cafe.
4) Donate $ or in-kind donations (staples, tape, staple gun, disks, etc.) to our campaign. Checks can be made out to Campus NOW. You can also donate to the Lisa King Defense Fund, checks can be made out to Campus NOW and sent to P.O. Box 2235 Gainesville, FL 32602-2235. 90% will go to Lisa's legal fund, 10% will go to feminist organizing.
5) Sign our petition and get others to sign. Contact us to get one or pick one up in Gainesville at the Civic Media Center, Wild Iris Books or Our Place Cafe.
To get involved, contact Campus NOW at 352-377-9935, ufsfccNOW@juno.com, or write P.O. Box 2235, Gainesville, Florida 32602-2235
Search | Archives | Calendar | Directory | About / Subscriptions |