Some sadistic and none-too skilled cynic appears to be writing the news, and I don’t appreciate it, especially the news about how our justice system deals with rape.
Felipe Santiago Peralez, a La Joya, Texas police dispatcher, repeatedly assaulted, raped, terrorized, and forced a woman into performing various sex acts during an “all night invasion of her body” while she was in the custody of the La Joya police department for a misdemeanor probation violation. Even after Peralez’s colleagues and superiors saw the jail security video, they refused to take his victim to a hospital for an examination as required by Texas law for all rape investigations. One of them was kind enough, she says, to offer her a taco. (It is unknown if she actually ate the taco, or if it was yummy.) An officer also told her that if she breathed a word about what happened, she was liable to go “missing.”
This happened in 2014. The La Joya police chief at the time also saw the video, and reported it to city authorities. As a result, a Hidalgo County grand jury charged Peralez with three counts of civil rights violations and one count of “official oppression”—yes, I would agree that a cop sticking various objects, organic and otherwise, into a confined woman’s vagina without her consent qualifies as “oppression”— and he was sentenced to a whopping 6 months in state jail and 30 days in county jail after a plea bargain.
See? Those Texas types know how to handle rapists with rough, effective frontier justice…none of this lame California sentencing, with a rich kid Stanford swimmer getting just six months because he promises that he’ll devote his life, well, some time anyway, to telling other rich kids not to drink so much that they think unconscious women are blow-up sex dolls. Yup, none of that slap on the wrist nonsense in Rick Perry’s domain! There, a police rapist gets six months AND another month. It serves him right! Don’t mess with Texas!
All of this comes to light in a law suit filed by the victim, referred to as A.R., that names Peralez, the City of La Joya, its former and current police chiefs, its city administrator, several La Joya police officers, the city of Peñitas, its police chief and two more officers there, and asks for 70 million dollars in damages.
I feel like I’m losing my mind. How can an entire community become so corrupt that it would behave this cruelly and unjustly? The police officer who warned A.R. to keep her mouth shut was a woman. The whole story reads like the screenplay of a lurid revenge fantasy like “I Spit On Your Grave,” except that it’s missing the fun part where the victim meticulously tracks down her abusers and tortures them to death in the most ingenious and disgusting ways possible. Of course, it appears that A.R. would have to track down the whole town, including its police force and the grand jury. And the local news media. When the justice system delivers this kind of outrage, isn’t the media supposed to report it, and loudly? Maybe reporters were told that they might go missing too.
Or someone offered them tacos.
The absence of any national reporting on this two-year-old horror is just one of the aspects of the story I find disturbing. Such as…
- Why did I have to read about this on the relatively obscure Courthouse News Service site?
I can find no other mention of it.
- Does Texas see anything amiss in this fiasco? Governor Abbott should be aware of this. Why hasn’t he ordered the state to get involved? Ex-Governor Rick Perry is lobbying to be Donald Trump’s Vice-President. Why doesn’t he express appropriate outrage? Wait—Rick Perry is lobbying to be Donald Trump’s Vice-President. That explains all manner of otherwise incomprehensible decision-making.
- What qualifies as noteworthy police misconduct these days? Sandra Bland, an African American women, killed herself in jail after being jailed for a questionable traffic stop, and her treatment or mistreatment by authorities was covered and dissected by every major news source, as well as featured on Sunday morning new shows. A police officer brutally abusing a woman all night long gets less than a year of jail time, and it’s “You’ll never believe what Khloe Kardashian said about Selena Gomez!”??
Whose lives matter in this country?
- Where are the feminists? Rolling Stone finds a lying anonymous source and uses a feminist reporter with an agenda to run a fake exposé of a University of Virginia fraternity engaging in a gang rape that never occurred. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand brings “Mattress Girl,” the Columbia student who persisted in harassing a male student who was cleared of the sexual assault she accused him of by carrying a mattress with her wherever she went, to the State of the Union address as her guest. Hillary Clinton, of all people, has said that all victims of sexual assault have a right to be believed. A.R.’s rape and debasement is on video.
Hello? Feminists? Civil rights activists? Does anyone care? Wait: She isn’t a female college student or in a state with a strong Democratic constituency, though, is she? Never mind. What was I thinking…
- The Justice Department Civil Rights Division’s standards elude me. It didn’t hesitate to see if it could cook up charges against George Zimmerman when all the evidence and a grand jury said that he was innocent; it announced that it was looking hard to see if Officer Wilson could be prosecuted when the only evidence suggesting that he had violated Michael Brown’s civil rights were a manufactured story by Brown’s partner in crime that he had his hands up in a gesture of surrender when he was shot, and the relative skin colors of the police officer and the deceased. Why has there been no Justice Department investigation into the La Joya rape? Why haven’t we seen photographs of Loretta Lynch comforting A.R. Tell me it isn’t because A.R. is white. Please. Please.
Or because her rapist is Hispanic...
- How many completely corrupt communities are there like La Jolla, Texas? That there is even one is a disgrace to the nation.
Surely that matters to somebody.