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Me and my big mouth

A couple of months ago, 76 entries into the longest comment thread I’ve ever hosted, we were debating the “other Duke rape,” the one that happened at a frat party on Gattis St. on Feb. 11, 2007. Joan Foster mentioned that the father of the victim wanted to talk to President Brodhead but was rebuffed by Larry Moneta, who said that the president was “a very busy man.” The source, when I asked, turned out to be Bill Anderson, who was both a participant and a topic because of the many questionable facts and inferences he’s injected into the lacrosse debate. I wrote something clever about how he had a way of finding people at Duke who talked like they were characters in a bad movie.

Silly me! Last Wednesday I was getting ready to go to the coast and who should I hear from but the victim’s father. We ended up having a pleasant (given what we were talking about) phone conversation, and I learned a lot. The main thing he wanted to clear up was that he really has been in touch with Bill Anderson and Larry Moneta really did brush him off with that “very busy man” cliché. There’s plenty more I’d like to say about the situation but it will take me a while to put it together — I need to go over some things with Mr. Rouse again and see what else I can find out. But those are the essentials.

This is more a placeholder than a post. You can leave comments, if you want, but I won’t be clearing any. I welcome input from anyone with solid information or perspective. For instance, why was bail only $50k? (It seems, from this article, that $50k was what state guidelines dictated at the time, but there must be some latitude and discretion involved.) It would also be helpful to hear about cases that were handled well. I’m thinking especially of the academic side — it’s clear what law enforcement is supposed to do, but not quite as clear what a college should or can do. In this case Duke didn’t do what was needed to retain an excellent student even though she very much wanted to stay. That’s not the worst aspect of the whole story, but it looks to me like it was completely avoidable, and I find that very sad.

For background, here are some links. Refer to the comments I linked in the first paragraph for more caustic perspectives.

I will not be posting comments, but you can use the comment form to leave a message for me (you can also just email it — reharmonizer at an-earful dot com).