This month, two people involved in sex crimes are in the news on both sides of the Atlantic. Rodney Reed has been on death row in Texas since 1998 when he was convicted of the April 1996 murder of Stacey Stites. Although Reed was charged only with capital murder, the victim was also raped.
By contrast, Virginia Giuffre, the former Virginia Roberts, claims to have been a victim of sex crimes, in particular she says she was trafficked by the now deceased Jeffrey Epstein and forced to have sex with (raped by) Prince Andrew, who at the time was fifth in line to the English throne.
The way these two tall tales are related uncritically by both the mainstream media and the usual suspects is a wonder to behold, mixing loaded semantics with twisted rhetoric and false narratives generated by carefully crafted factoids compounded with selected omissions. Let’s deal with Virginia Roberts first. She tells us she was trafficked, which means what? Trafficking is the new narrative of the anti-prostitution industry. Traditionally a prostitute was a fallen woman, the Biblical harlot or Victorian “unfortunate”. Second wave feminism went further, equating prostitution with rape, sometimes even pornography was viewed as rape. There were no prostitutes, only prostituted women who, devoid of agency, were bought and sold by men.
When actual prostitutes and others working in and around an expanding sex industry realised this stupid rhetoric was threatening their livelihoods, they fought back with a narrative of their own: “sex work is real work”, or simply “sex work is work”.
Next, third wave feminism and the moral Puritans of the right came up with sex trafficking, which is where we are now. Of course, human trafficking for sexual or other purposes is nothing new, and is not necessarily ignoble. The men and women who ran the Underground Railroad in the antebellum Deep South could be described as human traffickers, but sex trafficking implies specifically either forcible sex slavery or the exploitation of the young for sexual purposes. When Virginia Roberts met Jeffrey Epstein she was sixteen, not fifteen as she would claim initially. That being said, in Florida the age of consent is eighteen, which many would regard as too high. This means that any sexual activity between her and Epstein could be construed as child sexual abuse or even statutory rape, absurd as that may sound.
Although Virginia Roberts may have been too young to consent to sex, she was not too young to be held accountable for her misdeeds. In the United States, teenagers are regularly prosecuted for serious crimes, sometimes they are charged as adults. What few appear to have noticed is that Mrs Giuffre has not only claimed to have had sex with Jeffrey Epstein but to have recruited girls for him, numerous girls, many of them younger than she was. This statement against her own interest was not a throwaway comment, and is clearly to be given more weight than most of her other claims. Instead, the media has focused on her encounter with Prince Andrew and his unconvincing lapse of memory.
Unless the photograph of her and the Prince with their arms around each other is indeed a fake as has been claimed, there is no convincing denial of this, but what precisely does this photograph prove? What it appears to show is a teenager having fun, the smile is genuine, and the sex, if it happened, was clearly consensual. So what is the problem?
For her, nothing, but this encounter and the fact that it happened due to Jeffrey Epstein has been used to tarnish Prince Andrew’s reputation, and to fill Mrs Giuffre’s bank account, something that should not be permitted. She has even had the temerity to start a non-profit for genuine victims. Best not to mention her salary and expenses.
Her latest wheeze in order to maintain her media profile is to claim the FBI has warned her of a “credible” death threat from those mysterious, powerful people we are supposed to believe murdered Epstein in his prison cell. No Virginia, that is not the way it works, at least not in the West. Here, the powerful and well-connected don’t murder their enemies, only gangsters do that. Instead, they use the apparatus of state persecution to make their lives Hell, investigating them for imaginary crimes, or encouraging, perhaps paying, people to accuse them of imaginary crimes. Ask Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh about that, or some of the women who had sexual liaisons with Bill Clinton in Arkansas and were subsequently mocked publicly as trailer trash.
Odious though Virginia Roberts may be to exploit her crimes for her own financial benefit, she pales in comparison with Rodney Reed. The story we are fed, one which has been swallowed whole by a host of celebrities, is that Reed is the victim of a miscarriage of justice, a black man railroaded by a corrupt criminal justice system and sentenced to death by an all-white jury for that most unspeakable of crimes, defiling a white girl. Reed’s family and supporters even go so far as to name the real killer, Stacey Stite’s fiancé, Jimmy Fennell, a rogue police officer who is said to have actually confessed to the crime. Not only that, he failed a polygraph.
If one listens only to Reed’s amen corner, one might indeed wonder why he is on death row. Fortunately, there are other sources out there that tell us the whole truth, in particular the Texas Court Of Criminal Appeals, and the local KVUE station whose coverage has been excellent.
Rodney Reed is a serial rapist with a preference for white girls. In 1987, he was arrested in Wichita Falls, Texas. Contrary to feminist dogma, most rape victims fight their attackers; they have bruises, not credibility issues. This victim was bruised; Reed claimed they’d had consensual sex then a fight. The jury bought this, and he was acquitted.
That argument does not wash with a 12 year old victim; Reed sexually violated her in her own bed. He was tied to her by DNA, but the authorities decided to prosecute the Stites case first, and once he was convicted, clearly thought that was the end of the matter. There is no reason Reed could not have been tried for this child rape; after Ted Bundy was tried for and convicted of two murders, he was tried and convicted for a third. In the UK, a convicted murderer serving a life sentence can be tried again – Peter Tobin and child killer Robert Black, for example.
Reed’s downfall was his last known victim, a young woman named Linda Schlueter. Like Stacey Stites, she was just 19 when she kindly but foolishly gave a stranger a ride late at night. Reed lured her to a secluded area then demanded oral sex. When Linda told him she would rather die, he took her at face value, and a struggle ensued. Although Linda was no martial arts exponent and men are generally stronger than women, she managed to escape his clutches, and rather than pursue her, Reed drove off in her car. She reported the attack promptly.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.