Remember when the Times reported on the gang rape of an eleven-year-old Texas girl by quoting a bunch of people who thought she was asking for it by dressing older than her age? Well, now a boy who was 16 at the time of the assault has admitted his guilt — and he has a pretty unusual excuse.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the unnamed juvenile defendant has admitted he took part in one of the six assaults the Cleveland, TX girl was subjected to in 2010. He and she both say their sexual activity was consensual, but that doesn't make it legal, or right, because she was eleven years old. Now the boy says he felt "prodded" to have sex with the girl because people were calling him gay. It's unclear who exactly was making fun of him, but his codefendants in the assault case were apparently part of an adult gang with the Clockwork Orange-esque name of "Slut Them Bitches." He wasn't a member of the gang, and he's allegedly the most remorseful of all the defendants. YourHoustonNews quotes his lawyer:
You've heard from the lead investigator of this horrific case that my client was the most remorseful and the least culpable (of the defendants) [...] This event is completely inconsistent with his past character. He did not know the child was 11. That has sickened him. It was disgusting and perverted and that is how he feels about it.
The boy's been sentenced to 7 years probation. He won't have to register as a sex offender, but his probation does include a number of restrictions — he can't use drugs or alcohol or look at porn, he can't leave the county, and he can't have any contact with the victim. This is a stiffer sentence than the county attorney had recommended, but the judge said, "I've already determined that there needs to be punishment in this case. I am not following the recommendations. You don't come in here thinking that (the plea agreement) is tied together with a nice bow."
Clearly, being the victim of gay-bashing isn't a justification for statutory rape. But the defendant's case does shed some light on how groups of guys can police masculinity with horrifying consequences. We don't know the exact circumstances of the assault, but the defendant wouldn't be the first teenage boy to have sex — or participate in a rape — just to show he's a man. And if there's any doubt in your mind that the requirements of traditional manhood — applicants must be 100% straight and ready to fuck anything that moves, regardless of consent — are bad for women as well as men, take a look at the little girl who got assaulted multiple times so that grown men could "Slut Them Bitches" and a teenager could "prove" he wasn't gay.
Cleveland teen admits his role in 11-year-old's gang rape [Houston Chronicle]
Fourth juvenile in Cleveland sex assault case gets 7 years probation [YourHoustonNews]