Apart from the obvious—that in both the specifics of the alleged crime and the (to date, non-existent) conduct of the prosecutor the Sacred Heart controversy has no similarities to the Duke lacrosse case—I have no comment on the specifics of the allegations at Sacred Heart. But it is striking to read some of the early press coverage. (Emphasis added throughout.)
The victim told police they got naked and assaulted her.
It’s interesting to discover that Bennett—a mere hours after the allegations first went public—had concluded that a crime had occurred, making the (unnamed) accuser “the victim.”
According to police, the 18-year-old female victim, from New Jersey, was having consensual sex with Sanders in a room at SHU's Roncali dormitory across Park Avenue from the Fairfield campus when Sanders suddenly held the girl down on the bed and called two other males to join him.
Tepfer softens his discovery that a crime occurred behind the “according to police”—but since his “the 18-year-old female victim” isn’t in quotes, the summary appears to be his own. Like Bennett, he has concluded that a crime occurred, since otherwise, how could the (unnamed) accuser be a victim?
Sanders allegedly held the victim down while Travers and Triner sexually assaulted her; when she screamed and struggled, Travers and Triner fled the room.
It’s unsurprising, of course, that a feminist blog would automatically conclude that the mere filing of a rape allegation means that a crime occurred, thereby making the accuser “the victim.” But what does it say about the standards of Deadspin and the CT Post that they adopted the same guilt-presuming standard?
On another front, Andrew Strickler, Newsday:
He said all three men involved had been drinking, as had the girl.
The (unnamed) “girl” and two of the (named) “men” in the case are the same age. It’s unclear if Newsday policy suggests differing ages of adulthood for males and females.
While Sanders held the girl down, police said the two other males took off their clothes and sexually assaulted her.
The CT Post doesn’t identify the 18-year-old male suspects as “boys.”
Every article I read about the allegations names the three suspects; none names the accuser. Apart from that point, some early coverage--notably that of Stephanie Rietz of the AP--was scrupulously neutral, and a model for others to follow.