March 5, 2009

DA declines to file charges in alleged St. Mary's rape case

Someone claiming to be a St. Mary's College student and a suspect in the alleged rape of another St. Mary’s student posted on this blog, proclaiming his innocence:

“I am being accused of a crime I didn’t commit,” wrote the poster, who identified himself as Blake Johnson, the St. Mary’s sophomore whom police had arrested last Friday on suspicion of rape. “I want scream my innocence from the top of Mt. Everest and tell the world.”

You don’t see many recently arrested crime suspects protesting their innocence so vehemently and publicly (because they get lawyers who tell them to keep their mouths shut). This comment certainly got my attention, especially when Johnson (or the person claiming to be Johnson) said his goal was not to persuade, but “to express my anguish in these hard times.” He also spoke of the “undeserved” pain and suffering his family his going through.

It turns out that Johnson (or the person posting and claiming to be Johnson) might have a point in protesting his innocence.

According to the Contra Costa Times, the District Attorney’s Office declined to file charges against Johnson and sent the case back to police for further investigation.

Moraga acting police Chief Robert Priebe says the case is still “active.”

Johnson was arrested and booked into County Jail in Martinez, but he immediately posted $100,000 bail and was released. Police and college officials say the rape occurred January 24 at an on-campus residence and involved a woman who was also a student at the college. The woman identified Johnson as her attacker, leading to his arrest.

We don’t know the circumstances of the case. Did it involve two acquaintances? Is it a he said/she said thing? Did the woman properly identify the man she says assaulted her?

I posted a response to Johnson saying that I hope the truth comes out, and, if he is, in fact, innocent, that he will be exonerated.


Anonymous said...

Maybe justice will be served in this case.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand what is going on with all these alleged rapes lately. First, you have the alleged rape by Michael Gresset of a subordinate DA, and then this Saint Mary's case. In both cases, the victim chose to wait 4 months and 1 month respectively to report the rape. I am pretty sure if I was raped, I would know it as it was happening and report it as soon as my attacker quit forcing himself on me. Why do these women wait? I am sure some crazy Berkeley militant liberal feminist will list a 100 reasons rooted in psycho babble trash about why women wait to report rape, but I think they are just fancy excuses. People who get raped should report it immediately or it just makes the situation smell of buyer's remorse. It is just like these people crying foul about their unaffordable mortgages. On move in day, these people who bought McMansions they could never afford thought they were the smartest guys on the block, but now that things have gone sour and their "investment" has tanked they cry foul and play victims. I think the same is true for these women that decide to pull the rape card months after they made a bad decision or realize that the man they were sleeping with is not quite what he seemed. At some point this culture of having no personal responsibility for bad decisions needs to stop.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:22 you are disgraceful.

Some facts for you from

-1 out of every 6 American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime (14.8% completed rape; 2.8% attempted rape).

-17.7 million American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape.

-9 of every 10 rape victims were female in 2003.

-Effects of Rape
Victims of sexual assault are:7

3 times more likely to suffer from depression.

6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.

26 times more likely to abuse drugs.

4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.

-60% of rapes/sexual assaults are not reported to the police.2 Those rapists, of course, never spend a day in prison according to a statistical average of the past 5 years. Factoring in unreported rapes, only about 6% of rapists ever serve a day in jail.

Do I need to go on?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:42 I am not sure why you think I am disgraceful. I am sure all of those statistics are correct, and they are very sad, but they don't address my post. Why do women not report rape in a timely fashion if they were indeed raped? These late reports are marginalizing real victims and casting a cloud of skepticism over every rape report. In my mind rape is a pretty clear cut crime and there is really no excuse not to report it as soon as it happens, especially given the tremendous resources available to victims like rape hotlines, rape counselors, campus services, thoughtful well trained police, rape shield laws, etc., etc.

Anonymous said...

Studies have also been done that show a politically incorrect truth: Some women lie about being sexually assaulted. Just like some women lie about their kids being molested by their estranged ex-husbands.

Anonymous said...

Some well-known cases of women lying or enhancing their stories: Tawana Brawley--remember her--and the Duke University cases. One police officer I know says most of the supposed rape cases his department gets in a month are teenage girls who are afraid of getting in trouble for being out all night, so they make up some story about being kidnapped. The officers know the case stinks right away but they still have to investigate it. A lot of time and energy wasted.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:40..... What percentage of rape allegations turn out to be false? And what percentage of innocent people have been convicted of a crime they did not commit? It is so easy to accuse an innocent person of rape and in doing so ruin their life. In this case, is it not the accused who is being raped of their dignity, reputation and integrity? Ponder that for awhile.

Anonymous said...

We (my neighbors and I) live near St. Mary's and cannot help but notice how things have changed there in recent years.

Lots of noise, on-campus parties apparently sanctioned by the school and an increasing number of weapons and drug cases on campus. We were particularly impressed by the St. Mary's kids who dressed a dog in a Lacrosse uniform and threw it off a balcony.

This is not "the Lasallian Way." But the school remains the town's biggest employer and a major contributor to its tax base. We feel they should start paying for police services (since Campus Safety does nothing but hold the kid's hair back when they're upchucking in the parking lots).

People posting to the CCTimes have pointed out how many major stories, including the ex-dean's affair with a student, went unreported by local media and we feel that is wrong. We're looking for fairness and truth and we want things brought to light.

That said, we hope two young lives haven't been ruined here. It has happened in the past. As far as the case being handed back, it just means there wasn't enough to file... it often happens, sometimes it takes time for a small department to do the investigation needed.

Just the truth, please.

Anonymous said...

As someone who has been closely linked to Saint Mary's College for over nine years, I am pretty shocked by the misinformation being portrayed in the above post. One should really take a look at the annual crime statistics to see that SMC being illustrated as an unsafe place is simply false.

As an institution, SMC faces all the same challenges that other Colleges and Universities do. The difference is it is located in a very small community, where many incidents are magnified.

The last line of the post says, "Just the truth, please". I would encourage that as well, and not rely on assumptions or small town gossip.

Buying Viagra said...

A person who committed a rape should be given the dead penalty or prison for life, they are cowards, just like the people who hunt innocent animals just for fun.