Woman wins “A Date with Travis,” then raped by Travis

This is pretty appalling. An Illinois woman is suing Waukegan radio station WXLC for being sexually assaulted on a “date” she won from one of their contests.
The station promoted Travis Harvey as a “great” and “kind” guy in their challenge, “Win a Date with Travis,” which she ended up getting after being asked a series of questions by Harvey along with other contestants. So after being tested and judged as to whether she was an adequate “date” for the bachelor, Harvey invited her to his house on the night of their oh-so-special date where he drugged and raped her.
And this all happened despite the fact that Harvey had a record, which the station failed to find out:

Baizer [the rape survivor's attorney] said Harvey had previously been convicted twice of violating a domestic violence order of protection taken out by another woman. The radio station was negligent for not checking Harvey’s record, and for promoting him as a safe–and desirable–date, the suit alleges.

To top it off, Harvey himself was only charged with criminal sexual abuse and is just serving probation for a measly year. (Since there was no physical evidence.) *Fuming*
h/t to Veronica.

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  1. nightingale
    Posted November 30, 2008 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    And depressingly so.
    Radio stations really need to be held to a higher standard when it comes to their contests. I remember someone dying from one a few years ago, and now this. What they did might not be legally wrong, but they should do their best to keep contestants safe, and running a criminal record isn’t that hard (or checking with doctors, which I believe was the problem with the death).
    Good luck with finishing law school!

  2. nightingale
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Why does it matter why they were at his house? It’s questions like that that lead women to be distrustful of every man. There’s nothing wrong with ending a date in someone’s house, and having it have nothing to do with sex, and there are plenty of reasons to visit someone’s house at the end of a date. Totally beside the point whether or not you can understand it.

  3. nightingale
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    General question, since you are knowledgable!
    Wouldn’t it be more telling that he plead guilty, since conviction rates for rapes are so low? I would think that that would mean that they’d have to have a really good case for him to be worried about conviction enough to plead guilty to an ambiguous case.

  4. evann
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    ah, how can I resist?
    ok, so basically I look at it from a probabilities standpoint.
    Issue one: like all humans, prosecutors like to “win” and hate to look stupid. Prosecutors don’t want to (and it’s illegal) prosecute a case without merit. They will lose, it’s a waste of time when they could bust people who have clear evidence, and it reflects poorly on them. But even if a prosecutor really just thinks that everyone that darkens their door is guilty, there is another check: the judge. Judges must toss out cases without merit. It wastes the court’s time, and the judge doesn’t want to risk getting overturned on appeal (embarrassing and judges REALLY hate being wrong)
    Issue two: Rape is a serious, awful crime. It carries a huge stigma. Human nature is to fight against being wrongly convicted, especially with something that carries such an awful connotation. I don’t know about you, but I assume most people would fight like HELL not to be falsely (or even rightfully) charged with this crime. I personally would risk going into deep debt rather than have a stain like this on my record. Would everyone? no, but i would say a VAST majority of people would.
    Even if you were convicted, you could still personally maintain your innocence, and hope for an appeal or mistrial. And like you said, rape convictions are not easy! Not only is it a private crime with no witnesses (usually), but there is sometimes no physical evidence. And juries can be prejudiced against victims for a variety of reasons.
    So based on the law of probabilities, one would assume that this guy moooost likely did at the very least sexually assault the woman.
    (side story: my dad is a public defender, and once DID help a client do this. The man was a mexican immigrant who worked in a carnival, and was accused of touching a child while he buckled her into a ride. My dad absolutely believed that this man was innocent, but knew that a trial was risky- the child had inconsistent testimony and the man didn’t present well. My dad made the very hard decision (with his client’s informed consent) to have him plea to something lesser, which meant he had to be deported. The man spoke no english and was TERRIFIED, and just wanted to go home. So yes, I know that this can happen, but honestly that is the only case i can think of that I have heard from him.)
    so, we can never know. but we can make really good guesses.

  5. Alan
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    An “emotionally damaged man”? Are you serious? That is crossing the line! You have no idea what his past emotional history is like.

  6. Caton
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Gosh Bill, is there anyone on this site who doesn’t know you’re a 5 foot loser too scared to talk to women, so you hang on a feminist website where you can “tell them”? I’ll bet you only type with one hand on the keyboard, eh? ;)
    Yeah Bill, you’re transparent. I said: “women are victims of domestic violence in this country, every few minutes.”
    You answered:
    “Men are too. What’s your point?”
    Really Bill? Men are victims of domestic violence every few mintues? Is that right Bill? Oh and Bill, did you notice that everyone can drop the other poster’s name over and over, and sound just as condescending and fake-friendly as you do, Bill? Did you get that Bill?
    But to your pisspoor, misogynistic claim, that men are victims of domestic violence every few moments:
    -Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime.3
    -Nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives, according to a 1998 Commonwealth Fund survey.4
    -Nearly 25 percent of American women report being raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or date at some time in their lifetime, according to the National Violence Against Women Survey, conducted from November 1995 to May 1996.5
    -Thirty percent of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year.6
    -In the year 2001, more than half a million American women (588,490 women) were victims of nonfatal violence committed by an intimate partner.7
    -Intimate partner violence is primarily a crime against women. In 2001, women accounted for 85 percent of the victims of intimate partner violence (588,490 total) and men accounted for approximately 15 percent of the victims (103,220 total).8
    -While women are less likely than men to be victims of violent crimes overall, women are five to eight times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate partner.9
    -In 2001, intimate partner violence made up 20 percent of violent crime against women. The same year, intimate partners committed three percent of all violent crime against men.10
    -As many as 324,000 women each year experience intimate partner violence during their pregnancy.11
    -Women of all races are about equally vulnerable to violence by an intimate.12
    -Male violence against women does much more damage than female violence against men; women are much more likely to be injured than men.13
    -The most rapid growth in domestic relations caseloads is occurring in domestic violence filings. Between 1993 and 1995, 18 of 32 states with three year filing figures reported an increase of 20 percent or more.14
    -Women are seven to 14 times more likely than men to report suffering severe physical assaults from an intimate partner.15

  7. Caton
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    As you can see, Bill, you were catastrophically wrong. But that’s nothing new for you, is it? Being humiliated my women…you hate it, and hate them for it, and it drives you to hang around feminist websites where you can belittle the planetary epidemic of violence against women. And yet…
    And yet, you have a need to be humiliated by women. Does this go back to your mother? That’s usually where it starts. Did she not compliment you on your poopies effusively enough Bill? Did your friend’s mom make grandiose claims about his poops “oh it’s sooo big”, in front of you, leaving you feeling inadequate, a feeling which lasted a lifetime?
    Yes, I’m sure all of this and so much more has lead you here, to be humiliated once again.

  8. rustyspoons
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Bill says:
    “If the victim is not to blame then the answer is to blame everyone else?”
    The answer is to blame the RAPIST. Only a stupid rape-apologist would think to blame the victim.

  9. Bill Diamond
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    The radio station did not rape the victim.

  10. Bill Diamond
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Of course we don’t know if the Mexican immigrant actually did anything to the child or not but I just wanted to remind you of your earlier comment:
    “Either way, to have someone plea to something is significant, and from what i’ve seen, its usually because the prosecutor *could* go to trial with a more serious charge, and for any number of reasons agrees to reduce the charge for the perp to just admit to something.”
    And the last part of your quote:
    “In my opinion, people don’t do that (meaning plea guilty) if they aren’t in the wrong.”
    In your opinion without knowing any facts, are you more likely to assume that this person was guilty? Things don’t happen in the courts the way we think and common sense says they should. Courts are not necessarily fair nor just. DNA testing as with the innocenceproject.org can prove certain types of crimes. In the case of this Mexican immigrant, even if he continues saying that he was innocent until the day he dies, he will never have this crime removed from his record.
    I suspect the reason why your father must have told you about this case is because it was a very sad one and probably weighed on his mind. If he’s still alive I hope you can ask him about it to get his insight. But things like this happen across the country over and over again. The innocenceproject.org has some examples but these are certainly only a fraction of the cases out there especially in decades past where racial prejudices, eye witness testimonies, and lack of sophisticated forensics put many African American men behind bars.
    I don’t presume to know what happened in that Travis Harvey’s house but understand that people do plea guilty for many reasons other than guilt.

  11. asseenontv
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Fine, he’s a troll then.

  12. evann
    Posted December 2, 2008 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I said the vast majority. But thanks for once again for not understanding what i’m saying at all- and i seriously don’t feel like explaining anymore to someone who is boringly argumentative I’m going to take all of your misinformed opinions and suggestions (because you’ve proven over and over that you don’t understand the legal system at all) and send them right where they belong: the circular file!

  13. Bill Diamond
    Posted December 2, 2008 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t realize I was here to amuse you. If you are finding this argument about plea bargains and innocent people being instructed by lawyers to plea guilty then criminal law is not the right field for you. I weep for this country when people who enter the legal profession have such clear biases against those being prosecuted.

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