rape is rape

Man who drugged and raped his wife for years because she was “snippy” gets no prison time

rape is rape*Trigger warning*

Well, this is fucking awful.

Over the course of three years, an Indiana man named David Wise regularly drugged his wife, raped her, and filmed the assaults on his phone. When confronted, he admitted to her in writing that “I was taking advantage of you in your sleep and you kept coming to me and telling me it was NOT ok.” He was convicted of six felony charges, but won’t spent a single day in prison because the county judge suspended 12 years of his 20-year sentence and decided that eight years of home confinement was plenty. 

To quote Wise’s ex-wife Mandy Boardman: unfathomable. In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, she spoke out against the sentence:

“To have my rapist, my attacker, convicted on all six counts, only to be let go – only for him to walk out that door the same time I could — was just unfathomable. I never thought that he would be at home, being able to have the same rights and privileges as I do.

Somebody who premeditates what he’s doing to me, over and over again, for three-plus years, in my own home, in my own bed, by somebody I trusted fully, 100%, deserves to spend a great deal of their life in prison to pay for it. What he did was wrong, and it was proven that it was wrong, and there was no consequence.”

Boardman also called out the judge, Kurt Eisgruber, for urging her to forgive her rapist-piece-of-shit-husband.

“While the judge was giving his opinion on the sentence, he first turned to me and told me I needed to forgive my attacker, which is unfathomable. He told me I needed to forgive my attacker and I needed to let my attacker walk. It was a punch to the gut from the justice system — or from one judge.”

Eisgruber claimed he was just trying to say that he hoped she could eventually forgive him “because he’s obviously struggled with this.” I have a hard time imagining a judge would consider it his place to dispense such advice if this were a case of stranger rape. While marital rape has been illegal in all of the US since 1993 (yep, that recently), not everyone agrees that martial rape is rape, and there’s still a tendency to see an assault by a spouse as something more akin to a relationship issue to be worked through than a criminal violation.

Meanwhile, there’s no indication Wise understands what a terrible thing he did, and the light sentence just seems to confirm the idea that “there will be no consequences for your crime” — to Wise and the rest of us. I’ll give Boardman the last word, since that is the very least that she deserves:

“He never once apologized, never once expressed any type of remorse, and his explanation for admittedly drugging me was because I was snippy. Women, don’t get snippy out there; you might get drugged and raped.”

Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like Cosmopolitan.com, TheAtlantic.com, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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