Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Rape Apologists

Jeffrey Toobin, perhaps the most rational legal commentator on CNN last night--made the point that if Hollywood wanted to confirm the stereotype that it is out of touch with mainstream values, the petition in support of the rapist Roman Polanski, is just the demonstration.

Roman Polanski is a great artist. The Pianist, is a great film and Polanski directed and participated in the creation of many great cinematic masterpieces. He is also a child rapist--he admits it. According to press reports his arrest was prompted by a taunt in court papers filed by his lawyers:

So how is it that we can ignore the crimes of persons like Polanski, in fact how do we rationalize honoring him and going so far to make such a person out to be a victim?

This is precisely the same thing that occurred here in our Home Town, in Our Home State and around the country when I began to represent victims of rape and incest against the family members who raped and covered-up the crimes. Other family members rode to the rescue, attacked the victim, extolled the perpetrator. The same thing happened in the priest sex abuse scandals. A dear friend of mine, in fact my God Father, a sainted man in my view--related to me the story of an accusation against a priest in his parish. My God father's first response was an attack on the character of the mother of the victim.

Could it be that our values, religious, aesthetic, familial override our integrity? At bottom, it is a matter of what we have invested in our relationships, and with whom we identify. Oh, for the record, what Polanski did, the Grand Jury testimony summarized here:

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