MARYVILLE, Mo.—A Fox News guest suggested that women cannot attend parties and drink alcohol without expecting to be raped or taken advantage of.
Following the news that a Missouri county prosecutor had asked a special prosecutor to review the charge that a 14-year-old girl was raped by an older high school student in 2012, Fox News host Shepard Smith invited criminal defense attorney Joseph DiBenedetto to explain the case on his show.
“I’m not saying she deserved to be raped,” said DiBenedetto, “but knowing the facts as we do here including what the prosecutor has set forth, this case is going nowhere and it’s going nowhere quick.”
“But what did she expect to happen at 1 a.m. in the morning after sneaking out?” continued DiBenedetto. “What it comes down to is this: if you’re a woman who likes to party and have a good time, you have to choose between that and the very real possibility of being raped.”
DiBenedetto was referring to the case of Daisy Coleman, a high school student who claims that authorities in the town of Maryville, Mo. helped protect her alleged assailants from criminal charges.
Nodaway County Prosecutor Robert Rice maintains that his decision to drop the charges in the case stem from a lack of evidence and the victims’ refusal to cooperate. He said that once Daisy and her mother, Melinda Coleman, invoked their Fifth Amendment right, the case could no longer move forward.
“What you’ve done, Joseph, is taken an alleged victim of rape and turned her into a liar and a crime committer,” Smith suggested. “That’s a far jump from a 1,000 miles away.”
DiBenedetto disagreed. “Isn’t every woman who stays out late and behaves promiscuously committing a moral crime? Aren’t these women lying when they dress the way they do and then claim they don’t want attention from men?”
Smith then pointed out that “promiscuous behavior and immodest dress” are not crimes.
“Well, maybe they should be. Look at this case. Look at the Steubinville case. Both rape incidents allegedly took place at parties where girls were drinking. If you take away the girls and take away the drinking, there would have been no rape,” concluded DiBenedetto.