I once knew a women (let’s call her Alice) who was raped by a cop. This was decades ago, and Alice told me she didn’t expect to find justice in a courtroom because too often the victim was treated as if she were the one on trial, especially in this case where it would be her word against that of an “upstanding” police officer. I think she was right.
What Alice did instead was tell her brother-in-law, who was associated with some shady mob figures. He told her to call the cop in a friendly manner and set up another meeting–where his mob friends would take care of him. Alice did, and they agreed to meet at a Queens restaurant.
The cop never showed up.
Now another case indirectly involving the NYPD is in the news–the rape accusation against local TV anchor Greg Kelly, son of police commissioner Ray Kelly. Meanwhile the accuser’s brother is also high up in the NYPD.
On TV Greg Kelly comes across as an amiable sort, which of course proves nothing. The problem is that while I don’t know the name of the accuser (protected by both the NYPD and the press) I do know the name of the accused–which is not the way it should be.
The fact is Greg Kelly hasn’t been charged with anything, and his name never should have been leaked to the press. The tabloids have had a field day with this. Google the name Greg Kelly today, and instead of the tv reporter/ anchorman or Marine combat pilot bio you would have gotten a month ago, the first entry you’ll see is some variety of “rape suspect.”
Blaming the victim is a despicable act. Thanks to people like Linda Fairstein, former head of the Manhattan DA’s sex crimes unit who is widely recognized and respected for her diligent work on behalf of rape victims, women like Alice are now getting a fairer shake in court and are less afraid of coming forward.
In the Greg Kelly-Anonymous case, Fairstein said “This woman doesn’t come close to establishing her physical helplessness__I haven’t heard anyone establish the elements of a crime here.”
Let’s be clear: Fairstein and others saying that a case has not yet been established is not defending the accused, just stating a fact.
What we do know so far is that the woman met Kelly at a bar for drinks on October 8th, then went to her office with him and had sex. She reportedly exchanged friendly e-mails with Kelly for weeks afterwards. She later discovered she was pregnant and had an abortion. The alleged rape was reported only after her furious boyfriend discovered she had the abortion and demanded that if her story were true, she report it to the police.
The boyfriend then confronted Ray Kelly at a public event and screamed “Your son ruined my girlfriend’s life!”
Meanwhile, Greg Kelly remains on extended leave from his local anchor position. Likeability is a vital element in the career of a TV anchorman, and Kelly’s name has been severely tarnished, much in the way Steven Pagones had his life destroyed by the false rape claims of Tawana Brawley.
A few months ago, local TV weatherperson Heidi Jones reported being raped by an Hispanic man in Central Park. After detectives spend weeks investigating the case, grilling a number of Hispanic men who fit the description she gave, Jones admitted she made up the story to try to get sympathy from an ex-boyfriend.
Meanwhile, nearly one in five women report experiencing a completed or attempted rape in their lifetimes. People like Jones do them a grave disservice by increasing skepticism for real victims with their false charges.
If the ugly claim against Kelly is indeed true, he should be punished to the full extent of the law. If the woman falsely accused him, so should she.
Because whatever your take on this emotionally charged case, one fact is undeniable: we still don’t know who the victim is here.