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The last mepham update because i want to go back to my little magical world where kids do not do these things to other kids

Its been a while since Ive done an update on the Mepham case; things have been relatively quiet since it was determined that the rapist boys would be tried as juveniles instead of adults.

Todays Newsday has new details about the attacks and they are brutal. You thought being raped with a mineral ice coated baseball bat, golf ball and pine cone was horrible? Theres more.

Apparently, the boys who were sodomized face that torture more than once. They younger boys were forced to sexually assualt each other.

As many as 24 players watched these acts take place.

A witness says that there is a fourth boy who has not been charged that sodomized at least one of the victims.

A black player was the target of racial epithets. The other victims of the attacks were forced to put on white sheets and yell at the black player that the Klan is back and the player was going to be lynched.

The JV players, who were barely out of middle school and most likely either 13 or 14 years old, were constantly threatened with more abuse if they told. They were frightened of the older boys, some of whom weighed 200 lbs.
The hazing started the first night. On the second day, in the afternoon, a lineman molested a boy with a broomstick and Icy Hot. He was threatened with a beating if he didnt comply. The younger boy was held down by two older boys. One of them was co-captain of the team.

The next day, the captain tortured the same JV player with duct tape, ripping hair off of his body, including his pubic hair.

Another JV player was forced to sodomize another player. He was told if he didnt do it, they would do the same to him. He complied. They sodomized him anyhow, with the broomstick, the pine cone and a golf ball.

All the boys were threatened not to tell. At least one boy recalls one of the victims screaming.

These events took place both day and night. How did not one adult know when 2/3 of the 60 boys at the camp knew?

I found myself in tears reading todays story. These were more details than I previously knew. These are boys the same age as my daughter; still so young, so vulnerable. They were damaged by their teammates, they were hung out to dry by their coaches, they were let down by classmates who supported the football team over the victims, and they will probably be disappointed by the justice system, which will most likely slap the rapists on the wrist and hand them a light sentence.

What kind of person does this? What must go on in someones mind to think that this behavior is permissible? If I was a parent to one of those bastards, I would ask the court to lock him up for a long time.

I believe in justice. I believe in our legal system and I trust them to do the right thing. Im not really into the whole eye for an eye thing. But if I had one moment with those rapists, one moment with the teen torturers, I swear I would tear their eyes out with my bare hands.

I am so sick about this that I almost wish I didnt know. The previously revealed details were bad enough. Somehow, these extra added minutes of agony that the boys suffered, the little add ons like the duct tape, the way in which the boys were manipulated and mentally abused makes it so much worse than it was thought to be.

I dont trust these boys to be rehabilitated. Obviously, they had some kind of upbringing that instilled in them a sense of entitlement and power. They are damaged goods, the worse kind of bully - the kind raised with the idea that being a bully is ok, that being a star athlete gives you some kind of ownership over everyone around you.

There was nothing constructive about this post, nothing added to the already lengthy list of Mepham stories I have written. Its just me venting and me feeling the need to stick my kids in some kind of protective bubble - especially my daughter, who starts high school nine months and is just the kind of naive, trusting person who thinks everyone is her friend.

[The Mepham story is featured in this week's Sports Illustrated]

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» Tried as Juveniles? from dave's not here
What juvenile in his right place does this? Thanks to Michele at A Small Victory for the link. [Read More]

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Comments

I don't understand it either, and the problem I think is that we, as a society, veiw these rapists as abnormal monsters. What we really need to do is face up to the fact that rapists are every day people with families, with jobs, with social lives. That is what is so scary, but until we stop dissasociating ourselves from them as a society we will never be able to take full protective measures and make them take the proper punishments they deserve.

"rapists are every day people" They fucking well are not.

Perhaps what she means is that in outward appearance these rapists are every day people. You can't tell just by looking at them that they are that wrong on the inside. We like to think of our evil as looking evil. It's a lot easier to believe that an orc or a balrog is dangerous than the kid who looks like your brother, son, or nephew. We want our evildoers to look like evildoers, and equally we don't want to think that those who don't look evil could be.

By describing these boys strictly as abominations we forget that abominations don't necessarily look like abominations. Satan was the most beautiful of God's angels.

This probably isn't very coherent, but then I'm short on sleep and cash, and high on stress (related to those two shortages), so I'm happy when I can string two whole sentences together without having to stop and grope for a missing word. 8)

Michele,

Have you thought about writing a book about this incident? I know you're working on another, but your perspective on this stuff would be very valuable.

Just my two cents.

As a victim of sexually based hazing rituals myself, I find myself feeling the deepest pity for the victims of such acts. I cannot rightly vilify completely (that's the operative word here) the demented acts of the aggressors, as there is obviously some sort of deep-rooted psychological pathology that is leading them to feel superiority by violating the most fragile and, dare I say it, sacred of barriers.

But what they did is certainly a test for one's forgiveness. I try my best to not be a behaviorist, since I enjoy free will and its benefits. However, one must wonder where the very notion came from for this kind of heinous humiliation...

There are so many disgusting aspects to this story. The conclusion one is forced to reach is that the local populace's reaction is based on who the perpetrators are. These are "good kids", so what they did is basically irrelevant.

You know that if a lower-class non-resident kid the same age as these boys had committed a liquor store robbery in that area - one in which no one had been physically harmed - they'd be shipping him off to the state penitentiary by now.

Deciding to try these kids as juveniles, when their crimes were so horrific and pre-meditated, represents a complete failure of our legal system.

Their eyes aren't what I would tear out.

I dont trust these boys to be rehabilitated.

Me neither. That's just one of the more depressing things about it.

"As a victim of sexually based hazing rituals myself, I find myself feeling the deepest pity for the victims of such acts. I cannot rightly vilify completely (that's the operative word here) the demented acts of the aggressors..."

Jeef, are you on drugs or are you just stupid? You claim to pity the victims yet you, "cannot rightly vilify completely...the demented acts of the aggressors..."! How can you do anything but condemn the dirtbags who did these heinous acts and the scumbag coaches and parents who support them?

Moral equivalency is an ugly thing, and you, dear Jeef, are full of it.

"...the problem I think is that we, as a society, veiw[sic] these rapists as abnormal monsters. What we really need to do is face up to the fact that rapists are every day people with families, with jobs, with social lives."

Jessica, what is it with people like you and the idiocy that you spew? Rapists are NOT everyday people. The kindest thing one can say about rapists is that they are psychopaths. As for me, I believe in a two-step rapist recovery program:

1. Throw them into Saddam's hole.

2. Bury them alive.

There is a group of people even worse than rapists. That would be apologists for rapists, which include you and Jeef.

Since you think "...that rapists are every day people with families, with jobs, with social lives.", perhaps we should move all of these "every day people" next door to you. After having such scum as neighbors, then you can talk about how normal you think they are.

I don't think Jessica was trying to apologize for the rapists. To me, it seemed like she was trying to point out that our tendency to think of rapists as hideous monsters makes it less likely that these perpetrators will receive the punishment due for their crimes.

I'm sure the boys who did this look like normal, healthy, All-American teenagers to many of the people in their town. It does take a degree of reflection to understand that boys who look and act so normal in many situations could do something so vile. To those townspeople, the simple rapist=monster imagery leads directly to a boys=not monsters, therefore boys=not rapists conclusion.

It is scary to realize that people who appear outwardly normal can be so depraved and violent. I think that's the point Jessica was trying to make, and it's entirely valid. In no way did it justify such a savage castigation.

Miker, I'm sure the rapists look like regular people. So far as I know, rapists do not sprout horns from their heads, nor do warthog-like tusks erupt from their lower jaws. I agree with you that it is scary that these rapists look normal from the outside.

But I find it scarier that the townspeople, coaches, school officials and so forth can stand behind and support the rapists. I'll bet that a majority of the rapists' supporters see themselves as kind and compassionate people.

Rapists are hideous monsters, like it or not. Apologists for rapists are even worse. I think Jessica was indulging herself in feel-good psychobabble because she is too squeamish to face reality. It is a horrible fact of life that seemingly normal-looking people can commit the most heinous of crimes. But that is a fact of life and no amount of wishful thinking can make it otherwise.

I gave Jessica what she deserved. If she wishes to bury her head in the sand and deny reality, that's her business. However, she will be called on it. There is an ocean of difference between stating that outwardly normal-looking people can commit horrible crimes and stating that "...the problem I think is that we, as a society, veiw[sic] these rapists as abnormal." monsters.

Err, how about:

"...the problem I think is that we, as a society, veiw[sic] these rapists as abnormal monsters."

Preview is my friend.

Tom, you're ignoring Jessica's last statement:

"make them take the proper punishments they deserve."

Again, it sounds to me like she is saying that we as a society have a tendency to resist punishing (or taking precautions against) people who don't look like criminals. I don't see how that can be fairly interpreted as advocating soft treatment for these perpetrators. It sounds like just the opposite to me...

Yes Miker, I am disregarding Jessica's last statement. The phrase "make them take the proper punishments they deserve." can mean almost anything. Given the rest of Jessica's post, I would bet money that her idea of proper punishment involves some combination of treatment, probation and hugs. Do I know this for a fact? No, I cannot read Jessica's mind. I can only go by my gut instinct.

I disagree with your inference that "...she is saying that we as a society have a tendency to resist punishing (or taking precautions against) people who don't look like criminals." Her post says that she believes "...that rapists are every day people with families, with jobs, with social lives." She. Is. Wrong.

These rapists may very well look like "every day people with families, with jobs, with social lives." I think you and I would agree on that point. But to claim that rapists actually are "...every day people with families, with jobs, with social lives." is the height of idiocy.

Perhaps we can agree to disagree, at least until Jessica returns to this thread. Im curious to hear her responses to all of this.

"But to claim that rapists actually are "...every day people with families, with jobs, with social lives." is the height of idiocy."

I guess the critical item is how one defines the word "everyday". I would think it's quite likely that these particular perpetrators do have families and social lives - those roots are almost certainly wherefrom much of their support in the community originates.

Obviously there is something very far from "everyday" about them, since they did perpetrate horrific crimes that most of us outside of their immediate community strongly condemn and for which we believe they deserve to be severely punished.

As far as what Jessica actually intended to say, we'll just have to wait and see if she returns...

Interesting reply there, Tom. I particularly enjoy you're insightful and wonderfully detailed commentary on my character. The complete vilification of even the committer of these heinous and deplorable crimes is far too easy of a thing to do, and even as I struggle to say this as I'm sure many others do, everybody is entitled to due process.

Even sodomizing evil little bastards. ;)

Seriously though, pity for the victims and the willingness to still treat the aggressors as human beings are not as mutually exclusive as one might think. It is always harder to think that the most evil of people has a shred of good in them. Everyone is entitled to forgiveness and restitution.

Before you send off on how I'm attempting to slap these guys on the wrist, read that last word again. Restitution. The act of making good or compensating for loss, damage, or injury; indemnification.

Such an act leaves only jail-time as restitution. But it is there. Even if they are sent there for the rest of their lives. Which would be a most beneficial case.

To answer your question, I'm not on drugs or stupid. I simply know that seething about it won't do any good.

Make that "your insightful". It's late to be arguing...

Jeef, I'm sorry that you were "... a victim of sexually based hazing rituals...". I cannot begin to imagine what living with that must be like.

Having said that, I don't understand and cannot agree with "I cannot rightly vilify completely (that's the operative word here) the demented acts of the aggressors...""

Why? How can you not vilify and condemn completely such heinous acts? It's difficult enough to understand that when stated by a detached LLLer. It's impossible to understand such a sentiment coming from a victim of such acts.

Due process is a given in our legal system, even for "sodomizing evil little bastards". It does not mean that such people should not be condemned, vilified or loathed. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing and if you have forgiven those who attacked you, I tip my hat to you. But I am deeply troubled by you or anyone else who wants to treat such filth "as human beings". One should be treated as a human being from birth. However, if a person should commit a heinous act, that person should be treated as the burden to society that they are. I think restitution is a part of rehabilitating a criminal to "human being" status. However, since sex offenders recidivate at much higher rates than other criminals, "human being" status is and should be much more difficult, if not impossible, to regain.

Restitution is a lovely concept. Sometimes it's appropriate, such as in the case of a thief. A thief, in addition to serving jail time, should have to repay the victim with interest. But restitution falls woefully short when comes to certain crimes, such as what you suffered. What is the price of someone's lost innocence? It's one thing if innocence is lost through the normal growing-up process; it's quite another when it's brutally taken from someone through such a horrible crime.

After looking up the word "behaviorist", (I guess I learned something new today, thank you.), that appears to be my position. ;) I'm not the least bit interested in why someone molests children or participates in the Mepham rapes. My interest lies in protection of the innocent and punishment of the guilty. I don't care if an evil person has a shred of good in them. I can't read minds and I can't read hearts. What I can do is observe a person's actions.

Regarding my seething, (I love that word) I decided a while back that I can work off the anger and helplessness in one of two ways. I can post in forums or I can pull a Charles Bronson in "Death Wish" kind of action. I have chosen the former.

So basically your saying that if someone, even someone like Jesus (humor me on this one, Im just aiming for the admirable standing, not the person himself) they are socialy damned for all eternity? Coming from a background where I was sexually abused growing up, I understand the undying hatred, but I don't condem that person to the darkest hell. I belive that rape is one of the worst things a person can do. The consequenses can be far worse than death (life being created) don't get me wrong... But because someone commits this act, doesnt mean that person is now a waste to the rest of the world. People can change, even though they don't always. It's kinda like if a child under some circumstances ends anothers life. Does that mean the child is damned forever?
Tom, I think that maybe you've never been hurt the way that victims have been. It might just sound a LITTLE insane, but when your on this side, you understand just a little bit better.
Oh by the way. Sorry if my spelling has caused anyone serious pain. I can't spell worth a damn. Hey, While your out condeming everone that's ever done something wrong, why don't you through me in there for not using a spell checker.

These rapists -Ken Carney, Phil Sofia, and Tom Diasparra (names were published in several newspapers) should have been tried as adults. Since they will not be, they will never be punished appropriately for what they did, and the only restitution that will be paid, will be paid by the school district when it loses the civil cases.

Kitsune, I'm hard-pressed to know how to respond to your post. I can get past the poor spelling and punctuation. But what are you trying to say in your first sentence? The rest of what passes for your post comes across as so much babbling.

Instead of making excuses or putting words into my mouth, why don't you learn how to write clearly so that the readers of your post can understand what you are talking about?

When I heard about this scandal, I saw for the first time how far the ritual of hazing as gone. Hazing used to consist of paddling and pranks at the most in my time. These kids now feel the need to top off whatever hazing took place the year before. If the kids that join teams know ahead of time that there will be something done to them to initate them into the sqad, there expecting something to happen to them. When the actions that are taken against them include sodomy and torture at an age of 13 this is not hazing. These are the individuals or groups way of getting off on their own personal agenda. If this statement is false, then how can these kids allow this idea to be brought about and laugh at it when it takes place? These kids are clearly sick mentally disturbed individuals that need help. These kids have been affected for life from what these kids did to them. The punishments that were given are appalling to every american. Hazing has its limits and this time that limit has been crossed. Those kids should of been tried as adults sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole or put to death. Since the death penalty is not instated in Long Island, God will judge these sadastic criminals and place them in their rightful place Hell! The school is to blame because they overlooked these activites for years, as well as knowing about threats being made before hand and did nothing about it. The City of Long Island is to blame for standing behind these individuals to preserve the school districts name as well as wanting a winning football team instead of being concerned with the sodomy that their students and friends took part in. Fuck your season. If a season is more important to you then acts of rape at your school you as well deserve death. These people are very pathethic individuals, who's morals are clearly seen and who's ideology is purely tarnished. The parents of these kids are to blame for raising their kids this way and for standing behind them after the truth came out. Mepham High School will from now be known as the school where you can join a sports team, land the spot of quarterback and then be raped repeatedly in order to be one of the guys.