We've gotten a bunch of tips about the recent assault of a University of Michigan law-student-turned-prostitute, so it's time to try to lay out the facts — and some disturbing assertions.
According to The Ann Arbor News, the 22-year-old student was advertising sexual services on Craigslist in order to pay for tuition. She met University of Michigan Near Eastern Studies professor Yaron Eliav in a hotel room, where she "reluctantly agreed" to let him hit her with a belt. However, he then slapped her in the face; when she had vision problems the next day, she went to the police to report an assault. She was initially charged with prostitution and he with accosting and solicitation, but both charges have been reduced to "using a computer to commit a crime." Prosecutors won't be charging Eliav with assault because "you have to prove (nonconsensual) physical contact beyond a reasonable doubt, and based on the circumstances, we did not feel we could prove that."
Here's where things get really creepy. Ann Arbor Detective Sgt. Richard Kinsey told the Ann Arbor News, "Perhaps she should have cracked a legal textbook before coming in to the police station to talk about this." Right, because if she hadn't been so dumb, she would've known that legal recourse is for nice girls, not prostitutes. Says an anonymous commenter at The Michigan Daily, UMich's student newspaper: "The hooker was engaging in pretty much standard kinky stuff (i.e., butt slapping) and then when she tried to not deliver on the services he had contracted her for (by the way, that's fraud) he slaps in her in the face once or twice. Big deal."
Making things even weirder is a long message sent to both Above the Law and the University of Michigan Law listserve. The writer says she is the law student involved in the case, but she gives no name, and there's no way of knowing if it's actually her. But it contains some allegations that are terrifying if true:
Most of you probably don't know what it's like to push a boxcutter into your own wrist and neck. Or what it's like to walk home from the psych ward, and set to the task of cleaning a room covered in your own blood. Or how humiliating and degrading it is to be penetrated against your will. You probably read the newspaper story, but you should know that it contained factual errors, and that it omitted significant details from the police report. I had no idea what I was walking into, and I'm lucky that I've made it through alive.
She also writes:
I later found out that this man had targeted other sex workers, making him a serial sexual sadist. Violent men target sex workers because they know sex workers are isolated, fearful, and ashamed, and won't go to the police.
U-M Professor, Student Involved In Sex Case [Ann Arbor News]
University Professor, Law Student Plead No Contest In Sex Case [Michigan Daily]
Michigan 2L Responds [Above the Law]