“We Understand One Of My Colleagues Raped You. Here, Have A Taco, And Shut Up”

taco

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.

Never mind.

  • 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.

______________________

Pointer: Fred

21 thoughts on ““We Understand One Of My Colleagues Raped You. Here, Have A Taco, And Shut Up”

  1. The Governor of Texas, Gregg Abbott, should, in fact, have intervened. If for no other reason than that he was, prior to running for Governor, the State’s Attorney General (when this happened). To expect Rick Perry to do anything is folly, as he was just barely bright enough to tie his own shoe laces.

      • From what the report read, the state government did launch an investigation, ending up with the arrest of the perpetrator.

        this does beg the question of why the officer was not charged with rape.

      • I know you were kidding, but no, really. Gregg lost me, however, when he accused the Army of trying to occupy Texas with that Intelligence exercise a few months back. Makes me think he can’t tie…whoops! Almost made it look like I WAS slamming him for being handicapped. Does mental count?

  2. “The Justice Department Civil Rights Division’s standards elude me.”

    Me, too. I worked with some of these folks over twenty years ago on an IA investigation that turned into a federal civil rights case, and it is hard to imagine any group more righteously zealous (then) about their duties. Something has changed, that’s for sure. When a case like this comes to light, it is always difficult to comprehend how the ball can be dropped on so many levels consecutively. I tend to rely on Hanlon’s Razor, but lately I wonder….

  3. Outrage! Guess you can’t go into a police station under any circumstances and expect: (1) to be safe; (2) to be treated as the law demands you be treated; (3) that if some sociopath/psychopath policeman breaks the law in said police station you will be threatened into silence and no one higher up will do anything about it; (4) that law means anything at all, even to those sworn to uphold it; (5) I should assume now that rape is simply a violation of my civil rights, not a violent crime.

    And I don’t think little ol’ La Jolla, Texas is some gross anomaly. If it’s happening there, it’s happening elsewhere.

    I am often a doomsayer, I know, but this puts the doom right down into every small community. A snake rots from the head down: it’s only going to get worse, kids, after either Trump or Hillary is elected.

  4. It undermines my position that rape allegations disproportionately give power to purported victims when actual victims, obvious victims, victims on bloody cameras, for fucks sake… Get this kind of treatment. I want to stand up for police, because I generally think they do a good ob… But this guy had to know the cameras were going… But he really thought he’d get away with this (for the exorbitant cost of a fucking taco, no less). This is so frustrating. And six months? Not years, not decades… MONTHS?

      • Oh, you don’t have to sway me, I know of those cases and more (Crystal Magnum (Duke Lacrosse), I think, was far more egregious than Gibson).

        But what I see as the overarching issue here is a failure of the justice system: Failure to assume innocent until proven guilty and failure to provide due process on one side, and failure to uphold the law and apply justice when convicted on the other. It’s shit like this that hollows out respect and confidence for institutions that it’s necessary to have respect and confidence for.

          • They aren’t on a case by case basis, which is how the cases should be treated.

            But they are relevant when you look at them as belonging to the category of Miscarriages of justice. I see this as an indictment of the judicial system, rather than some kind of twisted utilitarianism that makes these horrible situations cancel each other out.

            • They relate to each other, because the Kern County cases did severe damage to our ability to prosecute sex crimes.

              the Kern County scandal happened around the same time as the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal. The Church did not need to shelter accused priests- a decent lawyer could discredit the accusers on the stand. And then of course what happened in Kern County gave pseudo-moral cover to those who sheltered accused priests.

              A trillion sex abuse cover ups could not have done even a trillionth of the damage done by the Kern County cases.

              I hope somebody makes a movie out of it.

  5. 6 months for the civil rights violations makes sense if and only if it were added in addition to a felony sentence to the rape itself (the felony sentence having itself been upwardly adjusted for the perp being a cop). 6 months altogether, with damning video evidence, is ludicrous.

      • Just an FYI, the ‘LL’ in Tex-Mex is pronounced as a ‘Y’…hence, ‘tortilla’ is pronounced as ‘tortiya’. Both spellings, in Texas, will produce the same pronunciation.

          • La Joya. The Jewel. See, eg., Joyeria, jewelry store.

            This town is essentially a Mexican town. It’s smack dab on the border. “Mexico is different, like the travel poster says.” Let’s hear it for diversity. We should be more like Mexico. Mexican culture is wonderful. We can learn so much from other cultures!

            This hasn’t gotten any play because the perpetrator isn’t white. If the victim were black, the perpetrator would likely have been declared a “white Hispanic.”

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