Houston-area police are looking for a man who raped a 12-year-old girl in a CVS bathroom on October 16. While conveying that information to the media, a detective on the case said the victim “was not necessarily all that unwilling.” That rumbling you hear is a shitstorm brewing.

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According to the local ABC affiliate, police in Soutside Place, Texas say a man in his 20s lured the girl away from her mom and grandmother and into a bathroom. Here’s both ABC 13 and Southside Place Detective Michael Kelly missing the point by an impressively wide margin:

Kelly tells Eyewitness News the man coaxed the girl then into the women’s restroom where they allegedly had sex. “She was not necessarily all that unwilling, but at the age of 12 it doesn’t matter,” said Kelly.

In Texas, you don’t have the right to consent to sex until age 17.

The correct descriptor everyone is hunting for here is “rape.”

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The girl remembers her attacker as white, with a goatee, hairy tattooed arms, specks of possible paint on his clothes, and what police describe as a “distinctive hairline.” If you have information about the attack, call them at 713-668-2341. If you have the sinking feeling that there’s no “right” way to be a rape victim anymore, no one who is ever seen as completely blameless, even a child literally lured by a stranger, please direct your silent wordless screams of frustration into the wind.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly dentified Kelly as a detective with the Houston Police Department. The investigation is being handled by Southside Place police, where Kelly is employed. I regret the error.


Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com.
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The person of interest identified in the case, taken from store security footage. Screengrab via ABC 13