For one week, The Temple News did not take to newsstands for Thanksgiving break.
And that’s when news broke.
Two freshman football players are being investigated for two rape cases. The first reported case occurred Nov. 20 on Main Campus inside the 1300 residence hall, while the other occurred Nov. 11 on Norris Street near 15th Street. The latter was not reported to the Philadelphia Police Department until Nov. 18.
The facts are simple: Alcohol is said to be involved, both alleged rapes seem to be cases of “acquaintance rape” and no charges have been made. The problems, and questions, the cases raise are not as straightforward, nor are they being easily answered.
For one, what sets the cases apart? The first reported case occurred on a Saturday, and news broke that it had been reported to the Philadelphia police that Monday. In the second case, approximately one week elapsed between the time the incident occurred and when the 21-year-old woman reported it. What stopped her from coming forth first?
We must deter the public from drawing hasty conclusions, especially as the word “consensual” is mentioned. Acquaintance rape occurs when a person forces sexual intercourse on someone he or she knows. It often involves alcohol, which hinders a person’s ability to make sound decisions, let alone agree to sex.
If there is alcohol involved, it is still rape.
We do not know yet if the female victims were raped by definition, as no charges have been made, but the females both felt violated enough to report the cases. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, 60 percent of rapes and sexual assaults go unreported to police. In addition, college-age females are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted, according to RAINN. Looking at these two statistics side-by-side, one can only assume incidents of rape and sexual assault occur on Main Campus more often than they are reported.
Each case deserves a fair and thorough investigation before conclusions are drawn from hearsay. Wait until all the facts are revealed before judging the situation. No one except the parties involved will know what went on behind closed doors in each case, but rape is a heinous crime and should not be taken lightly.