This Tuesday, Rally in NYC to Demand That Our Leaders Take Rape Seriously

woman with child speaks out at last rally

We’ve written previously about the infuriating acquittal of two New York City police officers for rape. You can read more information about the case here, and about the protest here.

This Tuesday June 28th, we are holding a follow up rally at the Manhattan Supreme Court, where the sentencing of ex-NYPD Officers Moreno and Mata – who were found guilty of official misconduct but acquitted of the more serious crime of rape – will be held.

Come out to show your support and solidarity for justice and for taking rape seriously.

Click here to RSVP to the event on Facebook.

And even if you can’t attend the rally, sign the petition on change.org to show your solidarity.

You’ll remember that the officers were convicted of official misconduct for making three unauthorized return trips to a woman’s apartment, even placing a phony 911 call to buy themselves more time inside the residence of a helpless person they had been dispatched to protect. Ex- Officer Moreno, while denying the rape allegation, actually testified that he got into the semi-conscious woman’s bed while she was wearing nothing but a bra.

This outrageous conduct was a clear betrayal of the officers’ duty to protect this member of the public. Their misconduct leaves NYC women forced to wonder whether a police officer called in a moment of need will be a protector or a predator. Sign the petition to Justice Gregory Carro to ask that he sentence Moreno and Mata to the maximum of two years for their official misconduct charges.

Join the Rally on June 28 to Demand:

* The maximum sentence for ex-NYPD cops Moreno and Mata
* NO MORE sexual assault, sexual harassment and disrespectful behavior by the NYPD
* Full funding for programs to end violence against women!
* NYC & the justice system Take Rape Seriously!
* Safe Homes, Safe Streets, Safe Communities & a Safe City!

Subway: 4, 5, 6 to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall | J, Z to Chambers St. |

N, R to City Hall

Connect the Dots is a coalition comprised of CONNECT, Crime Victims Treatment Center, Feministing.com, National Organization for Women (NOW-NYC), The Healing Center, New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault and Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN). We are a diverse NYC based coalition of advocates and organizations working to prevent violence and sexual assault in our city and promote women’s health and rights. Along with NYC Council members, activists and survivors we are coming together to “connect the dots” between the sentencing of Officers Moreno and Mata, and the larger issue of Violence Against Women!

Email nycconnectthedots@gmail.com with any questions or concerns.

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14 Comments

  1. Posted June 24, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    I really wish I didn’t have class at that time. Otherwise, I would be there!

  2. Posted June 26, 2011 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    What have the leaders to do with anything? The way I understand it, there are heavy penalities for rapists, if a guilty verdict is reached. Guilty or not guilty is something a jury votes on. The jury voted not guilty apparently.

    If anything we should find out the names of the jurors and demonstrate in front of their houses. Or am I missing something?

    The only alternative I can think of, is overhauling the legal system and changing not guilty untill proven guilty into guilty untill proven not guilty for rape. That would raise conviction levels.

    • Posted June 26, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      “If anything we should find out the names of the jurors and demonstrate in front of their houses. Or am I missing something?”

      This is not without appeal, however I think there’s probably some sort of zoning ordinances against that in residential areas. The City Hall/court building area is frequently where demonstrations with permits are held in New York.

      I suppose it has to do with the leaders because in addition to this latest sexual assault by the NYPD, there is a long history in this town at them looking away or reprimanding more lightly when it comes to institutionalized violence. Google some names like Sean Bell, Abner Louima , Micheal Stewart, Amadou Diallo, I could go on.

      And lastly, penalties for rapists are paltry.

      • Posted June 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        The city which is home to wallstreet and the five new york crime families has a long history of corruption? Yeah I am sure thats a feminist issue :p

        • Posted June 27, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

          It’s an issue of oppression and abuse, which are feminist issues. And sexual assault, which is in this case and was also in the Louima case (though headlines tried to word it in any other terminology, as he was a man) has always been regarded as a feminist issue.

      • Posted June 27, 2011 at 2:30 am | Permalink

        “This is not without appeal”

        Yeah, it is. Neither you nor I was on this jury, and we’ve only seen some of the information they deliberated over. Also, their responsibilities as jurors were to enact the laws of our country, not to change our legal system. Being a juror is a tough job, and being one in a high-profile case is incredibly difficult. It can be physically, emotionally, and financially taxing. Protesting a jury’s decision is ridiculously unfair to the jurors themselves, barring allegations of jury misconduct.

        “And lastly, penalties for rapists are paltry.”

        The average convicted rapist gets a 12-year sentence, which is higher than most every other sentence except for murder. It is also, aside from murder, the crime most likely to be met with capital punishment.

        The penalties for a full rape conviction are harsh. The difficulty comes in proving rape in a criminal court beyond a reasonable doubt, which is why many prosecutors offer plea deals rather than go to trial. These plea deals at least involve registration into a sex offender database and other limitations that would not be in place if that person was not convicted if the case went to trial.

        It is thus worth noting that the big issue about rape as a crime is that it’s difficult to prove, and we have social pressures and taboos that compound those problems.

        • Posted June 27, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

          “This is not without appeal”

          Yeah, it is.”

          If I can acknowledge I find this idea appealing/amusing (note I didn’t actually go and DO it), because I’m capable of being honest about my anger towards things working out unjustly for victims, who are you to tell me otherwise? “Appealing” is a subjective thing. If I find it there (again without actually doing it) I find it there. But then you couldn’t do you sanctimonious thing at all the wimmens on this site where you continuously explain why we need to uphold the status quo.

          ” Neither you nor I was on this jury, and we’ve only seen some of the information they deliberated over. ”

          You mean because there were other things, like the bedclothes, that the cops removed from the scene entirely?

          “And lastly, penalties for rapists are paltry.”

          The average convicted rapist gets a 12-year sentence, which is higher than most every other sentence except for murder. It is also, aside from murder, the crime most likely to be met with capital punishment.”

          Capital punishment? Where in the United States are people getting capital punishment for rape, with no other crime involved? The Supreme Court ruled against the death penalty for rape in 1977, Coker Vs. Georgia. Everything I’ve read on rape sentencing in New York state suggests that the sentencing actually fluctuates depending on a number of factors such as the victim’s age, if the victim had any sort of mental or physical disability, etc. And even if they were all doing a dozen years (I think more are doing between 5 and 8), it still wouldn’t be enough.

          • Posted June 28, 2011 at 12:21 am | Permalink

            Fine, if we’re going to go into semantics then pretty much nothing is “without appeal”. But if we’re being serious about acting ethically and in a manner that is in accord with our beliefs then protesting jurors in a case without juror misconduct is fundamentally unappealing, and, more to the point, unproductive.

            And no, I mean because we weren’t on the jury. We weren’t firsthand witnesses to testimony. We saw bits and pieces of the cases that were presented to them. And they were charged with a standard of evidence that we are not charged with for their deliberations. It is difficult enough to be a juror without observers passing judgment on decisions.

            As for capital punishment, I meant historically. It is also worth noting that historically rape was a crime with a high rate of misapplied capital punishment, for a variety of reasons.

            There’s a reason why rapists tend to spend less time in jail, if any, and it’s not because our punishments for rape are slim. It’s because rape is difficult to prove in a court of law, and as a result cases involve plea deals to lower charges.

            The issue here is changing culture to make proving rape less difficult, and thus raising conviction rates on the actual charge of rape. It also means educating people to recognize rape when it happens, rather than after the fact, when it becomes substantially harder to make a legal case.

  3. Posted June 28, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    I can’t reply to davenj’s last comment, but here:

    “There’s a reason why rapists tend to spend less time in jail, if any”

    Ok, once I read that, there if NO POSSIBLE REASON why I or any other feminist on this board needs to entertain a damn thing he says. If this isn’t rape apologism, nothing is.

    • Posted June 29, 2011 at 12:05 am | Permalink

      Nonsense and blatantly misconstruing language. Here’s the full quote:

      “There’s a reason why rapists tend to spend less time in jail, if any, and it’s not because our punishments for rape are slim. It’s because rape is difficult to prove in a court of law, and as a result cases involve plea deals to lower charges.”

      That’s not rape apologism by any measure. It’s recognition of the legal challenge that securing a rape conviction presents. It’s recognition of the sad truth that getting people to plea to lesser charges and be forced to register as a sex offender is preferable to no consequences at all.

      The way to stop this is to eliminate what barriers we can in regard to pursuing rape convictions. It means removing the stigma of victimization that people feel so that they come forward, and come forward fast enough to pursue criminal convictions. It means educating people about what rape is so that they recognize it when it happens to them or to others. It means working to end insidious victim-blaming. These are legitimate, achievable goals that can improve the way our legal system operates.

      If you really couldn’t understand what I wrote then you shouldn’t entertain anything I write here, because my sentences end with periods, not commas.

      • Posted June 29, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        I understand that you said rapists should get lighter or no sentencing, based on the fact that, in a system operating in a culture of institutionalized sexism in a culture that largely endorses rape apologism (i.e. rape culture) you feel it’s hard to prove. Especially when many rape cases still even in this day revolve around how drunk the victim was or what they wore rather than if they consented, and rape is still largely treated as a joke. It most certainly IS rape apologism. Don’t attempt this sad gaslighting tactic of pretending I don’t understand you.

        You stated that rapists should get lighter or no sentencing, and I’m done with you. This is going to be my answer here on out if you attempt to engage me in discussion on this site, or any other part of the internet.

        • Posted June 29, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

          “You stated that rapists should get lighter or no sentencing, and I’m done with you.”

          Again, nonsense and misconstruing, along with a hefty dose of backpedaling.

          I refer you to the quote you so hastily butchered by cutting out the actual core of the argument: rape, as a crime, is difficult to prove in a court of law to our standards of justice (proof beyond a reasonable doubt). This is due to a variety of reasons, some of which we can affect, and some of which we cannot.

          Part of the difficulty comes in regard to victims of the crime recognizing it when it happens, and people understanding what rape is. These things are absolutely within our purview to remedy.

          However, there are still going to be many cases of rape that rely solely on one witness’ testimony, and those cases are difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, barring an admission of guilt from the alleged perpetrator.

          This is not rape apologism. It is a recognition of the difficulties our legal system has with prosecuting rape. Some of these difficulties can be fixed, and some cannot. That means that there will be many plea deals that are the best of a series of bad choices.

          Rapists should get the sentencing they deserve. However, in a world where rape is difficult to prosecute, I (and most people) would prefer some punishment to no punishment at all. That’s not apologism. To construe it as such is to seriously misrepresent my point.

          • Posted June 30, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

            I’ve backpedaled on nothing. Not on my views of this case, of rape in general, or my opinion that rapists should be sentenced more harshly. I’ve not backpedaled on my honesty about my non-repressed anger about this case, or pretty much anything else on this site I’ve expressed outrage over, however, I’ve also indicated I understand that these things can’t always be acted on, even when acknowledging I find them appealing. The mental health pros get it, but you take it as yet another opportunity for a display of paternalistic lecturing.

          • Posted June 30, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

            You’ve clearly backpedaled on butchering my quote and calling me a rape apologist. Anyone looking at this can see it.

            It’s not rape apology to advocate for changing the things that are within our power to change to improve rape conviction rates while acknowledging that it’s better to get someone on a sex offender registry through a lesser charge than to drop the case entirely.

            It is fundamentally unappealing, from a perspective of justice and fairness, to protest jurors for coming to a conclusion when you haven’t shared their experiences and are operating from a position of significantly less information and the privilege of not having the social obligation to enforce laws and justice.

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