Earlier this summer, in an egregious case of power-tripping entitlement, Arizona police officer Robb Gary Evans drove drunk to a bar, showed his badge at the door to get in sans cover, walked up to a friend of a friend and put his hand up her skirt so he could "run his fingers" across her genitals without consent. When bouncers threw him out, Evans told them he was a cop and could have them arrested.
Now, we're not police officers, but it seems like Evans managed to do everything a cop (or non-cop) should absolutely never do under any circumstances: operate a vehicle after drinking eight beers, abuse his title to receive better treatment, and sexually assault a virtual stranger. It's shocking that he didn't manage to torture any small animals on the ride over, but no man has time to get everything done off his checklist, especially when he's wasted.
Some justice has been served: a jury convicted Evans of sexual abuse and the police force fired him from his post. But Judge Jacqueline Hatch — appointed by Jan Brewer, who currently holds the title of America's Worst Governor Ever (a very competitive ranking!) — decided that Evans didn't deserve jail time because he didn't have a criminal record and because his friends really like him. Also, because the woman in question is a total whore who occasionally leaves her house at night to socialize in public spaces.
According to the Arizona Daily Sun, here's how the slut-shaming went down:
Bad things can happen in bars, Hatch told the victim, adding that other people might be more intoxicated than she was.
"If you wouldn't have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you," Hatch said.
Hatch told the victim and the defendant that no one would be happy with the sentence she gave, but that finding an appropriate sentence was her duty.
"I hope you look at what you've been through and try to take something positive out of it," Hatch said to the victim in court. "You learned a lesson about friendship and you learned a lesson about vulnerability."
Hatch said that the victim was not to blame in the case, but that all women must be vigilant against becoming victims.
"When you blame others, you give up your power to change," Hatch said that her mother used to say.
We wouldn't be surprised if Hatch decides to write an inspirational self-help book for young women sometime in the near future. Chapter One: Friends Don't Let Friends Get Fingered by Drunk Cops! Chapter Two: Be the Change You Want to See In Yourself by Not Blaming that Police Officer for Sexually Assaulting You! Chapter Three: The "Bright Side" of Rape!
There are so many more mind-blowingly horrible aspects to this story that you might want to stop reading for a second and do a little rage-dance before continuing. We'll wait.
Alright, let's continue with the never-ending shittiness:
- A witness said Evans also pinched another woman on the ass an hour before sexually abusing the victim in this case, but Judge Hatch decided that "the incident would be prejudicial if it was allowed to be admitted as evidence." Ah, and now we have an inkling of why Evans has such a sparkling clean criminal record: because people are intimidated by cops and scared that no one will believe them if they speak up against them, and because our system is fucked. Moving on.
- So sad on so many levels: Evans' former girlfriend said it didn't really matter what Evans did because COPS. "These people put their lives on the line every day," she told the court. "I hope you'll be lenient on him. To me, this is one way we can give a little back to those in law enforcement who give so much to us everyday."
- Oh, she also said that Evans wouldn't be able to go hunting anymore, which is totally a punishment in itself, right? Numerous "hunting buddies" also told the court that hunting was "one of Evans' chief passions." And this is relevant because why?
- Former Flagstaff Police Lt. Randy Weems, recently a candidate for Flagstaff chief of police, said "this is the second time in 25 years that I feel the system didn't work" and that he didn't "necessarily agree with the way this case got to be here." Awesome. We're sure Flagstaff's women are thrilled he's around to protect them.
- Perhaps most depressing at all, the victim said she had been harshly criticized by both strangers and friends in the community for pursuing prosecution. "I sincerely hope this trial will prevent other women from being victimized in the future," she said. "I am more exhausted than I have ever been. I stood up for what happened to me for reasons bigger than me."
In a more perfect world, everyone would be forced to read a transcript of these trial proceedings to understand the definitive meaning of rape culture. We would print Hatch's words in textbooks across the nation as an example of how not to talk to those who are taken advantage of by people in high-ranking positions. But all we can hope for right now is that more women will ignore everything that ever comes out of Hatch's evil mouth and follow in the victim's brave, brave footsteps.
No jail time for Flagstaff cop in bar groping [Arizona Daily Sun]
Image via Aperture51Shutterstock.