The victim in what has become known as the Cleveland gang rape case has had many disappointments – her parents, the District Attorney, and the news media – but she now should at least realize the public does care deeply about her well being.
If the psychological profile of extremely promiscuous pre-teens is true and their behavior is born out of both abuse and neglect and the need to know someone cares, then the twelve year old Cleveland Junior High student has finally found that “caring” in our community. An outpouring of love and concern and money, etc. for the girl’s family has been widely reported, but rather than celebrate what we already knew about the giving spirit of this community, we would like to take a realistic look at the long list of people who have contributed to her current problems and how they have benefited from her.
Of course many have wondered where her parents were while such a young child was running around for over a year and having solicited sexual liaisons with so many people. So number one on the list has to be the two people who brought her into the world. Reports have indicated that before any of this happened her father was unemployed. That piece of information leaves some of us wondering how the young girl could have been left alone unsupervised and unprotected if her father is at home when she leaves for school in the morning and at home when she comes home from school in the afternoon. Never mind the reports that say her mother is a “cocktail waitress and dancer”, if they cared about their child the father could have guarded, protected, advised or even chaperoned her.
But they didn’t chaperone her. And they are not likely to chaperone her to Mexico like many Hispanics might in similar circumstances. No, all of the media attention that might normally cause a victim of rape and protective parents to wish they could disappear has instead caused a massive outpouring and the irresponsible parents have hit the jackpot. Furniture from ‘Mattress Mac’ and all kinds of other donations adding up by some estimates to $100,000 plus, all point to keeping their daughter here and her case in the media for Mom and Pop.
The infamous District Attorney, Mike Little, is surely enjoying the possibility of ongoing media coverage with his name highlighted in report after report as the embattled politician faces his toughest re-election bid to date. Little hopes to keep a lid on accusations that he himself raped one of the male inmates in the local jail. If the District Attorney can avoid indictment and a Blue vs Little rape Cleveland case, all of the posturing he can do in this high profile 19 defendant Cleveland case could help him get another 4 years as DA.
While Little is laboring under the shadow of public allegations of routinely using selective prosecution, official oppression and politics in his application of discretion, he is setting this case up to come out to his advantage. A gag order helps to contain any reports of rampant well known continued promiscuity on the part of the underage victim and helps to silence critics that want to point out these were multiple incidents over a long period of time. The gag order silences anyone with the audacity to ask why this District Attorney did not intervene and isolate the victim in order to prevent months of further abuse. Along with the gag order, recent media reports have lowered any expectations or hard work for the District Attorney – reporting that if 19 cases an average cost of are pursued at $50,000 it would cost Liberty County nearly one million dollars.
It is very clear there has been an outpouring of concern and love for the victim in this case. But because of the publicity and the money and power involved in this case, when this case is over there may not be any evidence at all that anyone other than the public cared about her. The parents have a new lease on life. The media has its storyline. Mike Little has his high profile case seven months before candidates announce they will run for office. And 19 males from the age of 15 to 27 and a now 12 year old girl will just have to read the script that all of those who benefit from this give them.