Following news that the Maryville rape case will get a second chance in the Missouri justice system, a Fox News guest jumped on air to explain why he thought the allegations of rape from Daisy Coleman and Paige Parkhurst aren't true. Defense attorney Joseph DiBenedetto's take on the case on Thursday involved the phrase "I’m not saying she deserved to be raped," which for some will be enough to get where he's going with this. For everyone else, here's more: "there are telltale signs of this girl actually lying," DiBenedetto said of one of the girls in question. What were those signs? "She is leaving her home at 1 a.m. in the morning and nobody forced her to drink...what did she expect to happen at 1 a.m. after sneaking out."
Here's the transcript of that opening bit:
There’s no denying that from the surface it appears to be some sort of cover-up. But when you look at the finer details, there are telltale signs of this girl actually lying. She is leaving her home at 1 a.m. in the morning and nobody forced her to drink. And what happens? She gets caught by her mom, she’s embarrassed and the easy way out here is, ‘Mom, someone took advantage of me.’ But what did she expect to happen at 1 a.m. in the morning after sneaking out? I’m not saying — assuming that these facts are accurate and this did happen — I’m not saying she deserved to be raped, but knowing the facts as we do here including what the prosecutor has set forth, this case is going nowhere and it’s going nowhere quick.
To his credit, Fox News's Shepard Smith didn't allow his guest's victim blaming to go out into the world totally unquestioned. "What you’ve done, Joseph, is taken an alleged victim of rape and turned her into a liar and a crime committer,” Smith said at the end of the interview. He continued: “that’s a far jump from a 1,000 miles away.”
To be sure, the Maryville rape case has raised a lot of questions — mainly about the manner in which it was investigated in 2012, and why Missouri Prosecutor Robert Rice dropped the charges at the time against the 17-year-old boy accused in the first place. Whether Rice reconsidered those questions, or whether he's just reacting to the widespread media scrutiny directed at Maryville since an in-depth profile of the case was published in the Kansas City Star, the case itself now goes to a special prosecutor for investigation.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.