~ ~

Friday, January 31, 2014


One of the key points consistently overlooked in the online discussions of the Brendan Gibbons Rape case has to do with the former Michigan football player's actual legal status. Many folks new to this situation thought that since he was never convicted in a court of law, that means he was never arrested. That point was clarified yesterday.

But a lot of UM apologists also want to say "the case is closed, he was never found guilty, there's nothing here, time to move on", and so forth. I pointed out that Gibbons actually WAS FOUND GUILTY by a university discipline process, and that legally-binding judgment was based on a standard of the preponderance of evidence against Gibbons. So it's clear that there is something there (not nothing there).

The victim in this case can still press charges against Gibbons, as there is no statute-of-limitations for first-degree criminal sexual assault in the State of Michigan. The S-O-L for other degrees of CSC range from six years to ten years, depending on the severity of the crime. Here is the link, read it for yourself. If the local police recommended charges on first-degree sexual assault, and if the prosecutor wants to bring it forward, the victim has the rest of her life to move forward with prosecution.

We're hearing that the police were ready to move forward with this case in 2009, so why might the victim have decided to hold back? Plenty of normal reasons that normally apply in these cases, but in this situation, the victim may have made a logical and conscious decision to use the legal discretion allowed to her by the statute-of-limitations.

If she was advised that she had a full decade to bring legal charges, and in the meantime she could pursue justice against her attacker through a university process that would allow her to maintain a low public profile during her college career, I could see her making that choice. Could you?

Perhaps the victim was waiting for the university process to play out, while also going through college in a quasi-normal fashion, before returning to the legal stage. This appears plausible.

Gibbons could still be charged with
First Degree Sexual Assault,
and he could still be found
guilty in a court of law.
He is not legally "off the hook".

(If this were to happen, it would not be
a "muscle pull" or "family issues".)

****** Click on NO COMMENTS (or # comments) below to enter and view reader comments. ----- Remember to check Spartan Headline links, updated real time, in the left column of (Web version only). *****Note: If you are receiving this post via automated email, you need to go to the site to view headline links and embedded videos in this post: (Web version only). SIGN UP TO RECEIVE POSTS VIA EMAIL, TWITTER OR FACEBOOK IN THE RIGHT COLUMN.*****


  1. Why did she decide to not pursue prosecution?

    Answer: Kobayashi Maru. The No Win Scenario...

    Start with her name being shown on ESPN (a chUMp held up a sign in the background) during a chUMp football game.

    Findings from a University of Kentucky Research Study.

    Studies show that between 1 in 6 and 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted during their lifetimes. Of those reported, between 1 in 6 and 1 in 3 go to trial. Of those liticated, 18% result in conviction.

    Why do women not pursue prosecution?

    Women are not believed. Often cases are approached with "rape myths" and sterotypes and the deservingness of the rape victim.

    The legal system all too often downgrades or drops the charges in plea bargaining so the offender never has to admit committing the heinous crime.

    Women are often sujected to brutal cross examination by their own lawyers to prepare them for what they will face. This often causes the women to quit the cause.

    The questions asked of the victim are often instrusive making them feel further violated, a situation reserchers call "secondary victimization."

    In the past, and it still happens, police express doubt in the women's stories, were unsupportive and even threated to charge the woment with crimes for not cooperating.

    Lawyers often do not take cases they do believe they will win and the level of certainty for those lawyers must be high.

    Women must face intense public scrutiny in the court. This leads to public humiation, excessive pity, unwanted attention from thrill seekers, and a feeling they are viewed as somehow guilty ("asked for it") and acted unfairly to the perpetrator. Women are often ostracized, rejected, or even spurned by friends, family, and co-workers for having gone through with a trial. The emotional trama of the trial and the negative consequences often take years or decades to overcome.

    In addition, a first offender can get off with probation and a fine. Jail time is not mandatory.

    So, would you put yourself through that knowing that the probability of getting justice was less than 5%? Would you put yourself through that knowing that your assailant could come back at you to "punish" you? Would you put yourself through that to add to your trama, which will take years to overcome without the added burden of the public trial and its consequences?

    That the young woman chose to keep her privacy does not construe innocence to her assailant. It merely shows she understands the whole process is stacked against her.

    Gibbons should never be allowed to contribute to the human gene pool.

    1. Don't correct my typos. I am already angry enough.

    2. 76: I would like to re-format your "comment" into an article ("post") if you don't mind. You obviously make a number a great research-based points, and you happen to be hitting the nail on the head regarding the DENIAL that some people are expressing over the lack of a criminal conviction in this case. Your points explain valid reasons why a victim would not pursue her assailant through the criminal justice system. Many of us already know that picture so we understand that the action could well have occurred even without a legal conviction.

      My point is only that she still has time if she wants to press charges, not saying that she should, but somewhat debunking the counter-claim that he must be "innocent" since he's not "guilty" on the grounds that he still may, one day, become "guilty" if only she chooses to go through with it.

      (Hope you're not angry with my article. I'm not saying she's wrong to not press charges.)

    3. I have become aware that the victim was a student-athlete at the time of the assault. That status creates additional reasons for her choosing not to pursue this in court.

      1. If she was on scholarship then she may have believed she would lose her scholarship if she took her assailant to court. Scholarships generally are renewed on an annual basis and there are plenty of reasons a scholarship renewal can be denied.

      2. She may have believed that the public circus of a trial would have impaired her ability to compete in her chosen sport, on the field and off.

      There is nothing published one way or the other. Even so, it is a plausible conjecture that she chose completing her education and competing in her chosen sport over the trama of a public trial.

  2. SM82, You have my permission and every right to do the article you proposed. Do read the information from U.Ky on the subject matter.

    Why am I angry? Because of the very denial you mentioned. I have much more close, familial experience with the trauma suffered by assault victims. That none of the 3 went to trial definitely does not mean the attacks did not happen or the ladies were somehow confused about what was done to them.

    Too much of the chUMp garbage being posted is just the kinds of things a defense attorney does. Maybe this, maybe that, and how about this conjecture and before you know it, they have FABRICATED reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury.

    You must take this up. I am emotionally compromised on this topic. You see, the men in the lives of the victims share a portion of their trauma and a little of their own, too.

    1. I just want to be clear. When I say the men in their (the female victims) lives have a little trauma of their own it is not for having done anything wrong. We tend to start feeling guilty about not being there, not better protecting our loved ones, feeling helpless that we can do nothing to undo the damage and especially angry that we can not hurt those that inflicted pain and suffering on those most special in our lives.

  3. MSUSpartan76's arguments are valid, and I might feel a bit conflicted about the whole thing because I do have compassion for men that may be falsely accused (no, I've never assaulted a female - sorry, chUMps). But there is one aspect to this whole thing that the UM-friendly media and posters seem to treat as tangential, when they acknowledge it at all. That would be the findings of the medical professionals - conducted very shortly after the alleged incident, if memory serves - that the young female in question had injuries consistent with having suffered a sexual assault.

    If these findings are reliable and trustworthy, then they would have to be among the largest supporting factors for her stated version of events. And Mr. Gibbons and his enablers would have some explaining to do. I mean, what do Hoke and Brandon know that the MDs don't? I'd be genuinely interested in hearing the counter-argument to the medical report.

    1. I have noted 2 counter claims made by chUMps.

      First was, "The vaginal tearing is consistent with what happens when 2 drunks have sex."

      Second was (and made by the very same chUMp): "Maybe she was a virgin and just go angry she lost her virginity."

      It is that kind of defense lawyer tactic that got my ire up in the first place.

  4. If the victim preses charges inside the 10 years, that doesnt mean he is guilty does it? I mean, if she presses charges, there would be a trial. Then the trial could go either way or neither?

    1. I certainly believe your interpretation is correct. This is the longest window for a statute-of-limitations to my knowledge.

      The Prosecutor and/or Police in this case seemed to be willing to move forward with the involvement of the victim, but she did not ask them to do so. It is my firm understanding that she could ask to press charges, and after discretionary decisions by the Prosecutor, a trial could take place. And in a fairly adjudicated criminal court trial, the "results" could go "either way".

      The University of Michigan already ruled against Gibbons based on a violation of sexual misconduct. The penalty imposed by UM was expulsion. Their standard of evidence was lower than a criminal court would demand, but their range of punishment was also much lower than a criminal court could impose. It is possible that some evidence used in the university process may not have been available immediately after the incident, such as statements by witnesses and corroborating testimony to existing statements. (However, I'm moving pretty far into conjecture, so I will stop there.)

      All that said, I'm not an attorney, but we have one virtually on staff, so I will check with him and get back to you right here in this comment thread.

  5. If the case goes to trial that means the evidence has been seen by a grand jury and is sufficient to indict the accused. In plain English, if it goes to trial, at least the preliminary jury sees the evidence as sufficient to get a conviction.

    Part of presumed innocent until proven guilty. Part of due process.

    If the trial results in not guilty, which literally means not FOUND guilty, that does not mean he is innocent. Juries are not designed to determine innocence.

    If it goes to trial, it is a very good chance he is guilty. Then it is a matter of if the prosecution can get a conviction. Odds are about 1 in 4 that a conviction will be rendered by the jury. It would be 1 in 3 if she did not know her attacker.

    FYI, 1st offender can get off with a fine and probation.


Please sign in using the method most convenient for you. We do not receive your login information. This function is provided by Blogger.