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Girl Seeks Rape Justice on YouTube: Too Much Sharing?

It's a grim addition to the court of YouTube: a Florida 16-year-old who says she's a victim in a rape case that's gone unprosecuted by the Orange County state attorney's office is airing her plea for justice on the video-sharing site.

In the video, she says, "Hi, my name is Crystal . . . I need some help. I didn't want to do it this way, but it's the only way I know that's going to work, that someone out there in the world is gonna listen to me. "The prosecutor wrote in her case file since Crystal was "a mere 1 month away" from turning 16, when it would be "legal to give consent," her case would not be prosecuted. Florida law states that a 15-year-old cannot give consent to sex. To see the danger behind this use of technology,


Though the trend of turning to YouTube as a forum of last resort is growing, the founder of the organization RAINN says this is troubling. He says "A rape survivor's intention may be to reach out, and we encourage that, but this is a dangerous way to do it." If potential savior could see the plea for help, so could the original attacker. Some online confessions of rape include names, photos, and hometowns. The public information could give perpetrators a chance to find them or gain more satisfaction.

Though we've recently seen a video on YouTube inspire results at Fort Bragg, how much sharing is too much? Do you think it's important to expose the role of the justice system in this case? Are victims putting themselves more in danger?

Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 9 years
I don't think she should have done it on youtube, there are plenty of places where you can get counseling and have someone to talk too! She may have was telling the truth but that was a dumb way to do it.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
A 23 yr old should, but few really do
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
There was allegedly an occasion in which she was drugged and raped (without her consent) by the same man. In that case, it's irrelevant if they've had consensual sex in the past or not. Even if the chance exists that she's just trying to get revenge for a breakup, I hope the guy learns his lesson - this is what happens when you mess around with a young teenage girl who hasn't (and cannot have, given her age) had enough experience to be able to handle a heavy sexual relationship rationally and maturely. A 23 year old should REALLY know better than that.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
So it is a statutory case only. My next question then is why is she upset? Did he break up with her, and this is her revenge? I don't have any sympathy for her. Yes the guy is a creep, and should go to prison for statutory rape, but she consented, so this wasn't emotional.
mcpro26 mcpro26 9 years
This makes me mad because here in Georgia there have been a couple of 16 year old boys who have gone to jail for having sex with their 15 year old girlfriends but Florida will not prosecute someone who is 23??? TSU I also was questioning the poverty thing with what I saw in her room but then i thought maybe that was not her room. Now this does not make this anymore right or wrong but I understand the thing about her being 15 and all but could she be doing this because maybe he broke up with her and she is mad at him I really feel we do not know the whole story. How lame does a 23 year old have to be to date a 15 year old? Isn't that a freshman in high school???
serial serial 9 years
UnDave35, the way I read it is that the 15 yrs old girl and the 23 yrs old man were in a relationship where "consensual" sex happened. If the girl were 16 or older (in Florida) it becomes a factual matter of whether there was consent or not. If the prosecutor finds consent by the accuser or facts that imply consent, then the prosecutor has a very weak case and will not likely pursue charges. However -- and here's the big BUT -- statutory rape does not look at consent or lack of consent at all. The law of statutory rape assumes a minor under the age of consent CANNOT give voluntary consent at all. As a 15 yrs old, even if she were a month away from the age of consent, the alleged victim cannot have given her consent, and even if she did consent is no defense. But here, the 23 yrs old man doesn't deny that he had sex with an underage girl, but claims it was consensual (which is not a defense to statutory rape) and the AG decided not to pursue him when he clearly broke the law. That's the shocking thing here.
TsuKata TsuKata 9 years
She's made me skeptical of her with this video. She keeps going on about "living in poverty" but that's a brand name t-shirt she's wearing, and she's recording this on a webcam, which is not exactly an accessory you can buy on food stamps. She's in a bedroom that is reasonably appointed. There's a nice handbag on the bed behind her. Maybe to her as a 15 year old, that's poverty. But, it makes me doubt her veracity when she is clearly exaggerating her status for the purpose of embellishing her story. It also makes me doubt her maturity though, which means if this guy was messing with her, with her theoretical consent or not, she's not coming off as someone who was ready for any kind of relationship. I generally oppose age of consent trials. I do think that people reach a reasonable maturity level to give consent at different times, and for some people, that time is 15 and some people, it's 27. I also think that a guy who ends up in a relationship with a much younger girl isn't necessarily a rapist or a criminal mind. But, the law is what it is, whether I like it or not, and it seems like she'd have a case. I really do wonder if there's more to the story, though.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I'm confused about this. Was she having consentual sex with the guy, or was she raped? It can't be both.
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 9 years
Hopefully the other victims that were raped by him, will come forward in another way than she did. Then maybe that will help in convicting him soon. Once a rapist always a rapist and he will do it again. He'll only just get better at raping if he's not taken off the streets.
nicachica nicachica 9 years
Auntie Coosa, for once, i completely agree with you. I really feel for this girl and its so disheartening that she has to turn to the internet to get her story out there! It just goes to show how much more there is to do to show that acquaintance rape is the way most women are raped, NOT through random attacks (although that happens too of course). We need to realize that once, JUST ONCE, if a woman says no, then yes, it is rape and it is totally about power and control. I really hope this girl gets the help she needs. :(
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 9 years
I was appalled at the comments on her website from insensitive people. They made a mockery of her pain. She needs to get to the Sexual Abuse Center near her and get some ongoing counseling. They can also work with police. Just because the male (and stronger) says it was consensual does not mean that at some point he started FORCING himself on her and she said STOP. The point that the authorities missed is that RAPE is not about sex at all or consent at all. RAPE is about POWER and this guy at some point went from "I love you honey" to "I'm gonna force myself on you sexually and you can't stop me." The girl should have been referred for counseling and the guy needs counseling too. It doesn't matter if you're married or not, when a girl or woman says STOP. The male STOPS. RAPE is about FORCE and POWER. This child has obviously lost the power in her life to choose what someone does to her body and soul. She definitely needs to RUN to the Sexual Abuse Shelter and get someone there to listen to her.
Silverlining10 Silverlining10 9 years
Eh, I think she's lashing out for getting dumped. If charges weren't pressed, then the whole story wasn't told. Every state would be all over statutory rape.
Swimcyclewalk Swimcyclewalk 9 years
I think You Tube is the perfect place to make a statement about criminal activity. If the AG is dismissing this case, I'm guessing we're not hearing the whole story.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
in this day and age we should stop blamin adults as children are more deviou, cunning and conniving than they were before, but i'm still mortified that that was the reson for not pursuing prosecution, if an 89 year old man can be tried for crimes against humanity then WTF??
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
No, You Tube is the perfect place to make a statement of criminal activity. Right next to the dog skateboarding.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
i see dr. phil in her future. she should probably be in an in patient treatment facility for trama and depression. disturbing. but she sees herself as having nothing left to lose so she isn't thinking clearly.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
I agree with you Jillness. she could very well have been keeping it a secret that she was dating a 23 year old. my cousin had a baby at 16 with a man who was 25. They are now married and have another child. I know that "age is nothing but a number," but generally a girl that age doesn't have the maturity to handle dating a guy that age. Just my opinion. my heart really hurts for her. I also hope she finds some help, and isn't further taken advantage of her by someone with bad intentions.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
i don't understand. if she was having a relationship with him that was sexual, at some point he committed statutory rape. right? i would assume that when they started their relationship she was not "one month away" from being 16. It seems pretty clear, but maybe there are details we don't know. and being one month away from 16 is not like being one month away from 23. those are formative years, where sometimes a few months can really make a difference in their level of maturity. Anyway, i am really sad for her. i know from experience the justice system will not always come through for you. i am really sorry. :(
Jillness Jillness 9 years
I don't necessarily believe that her parents are to blame, because it is very easy for teenagers to do this kind of thing. While I am certainly not an expert, it is my opinion that you can't prevent your child from being faced with temptation or bad situations. All you can hope to do is to give them the tools to make the right decision in those moments. When I was a teen I knew a couple of girls who really had great parents, but their daughter had friends who were willing to stage massive lies to fool their parents. I think it is possible for these parents to be great parents who happen to have a child who kept it a secret that she was dating a 23 year old. Just my opinion, though. I wonder if this media attention will help her case?
serial serial 9 years
I saw this story on CNN this morning. It's outrageous that the Florida AG's office is not pursuing charges against the accused rapist just because the victim was a month shy of the age of consent. Statutory rape is not subjective - it's not about was there consent or no consent. The age of consent is provided in the statute, and if the victim is under that age of consent then SHE CANNOT HAVE VOLUNTARILY CONSENTED! I really don't care if statutory ages of consent are arbitrary or not (14 in some states, 16 and 18 in others); if the state has enacted that law then the AG's office should enforce it!
kastarte2 kastarte2 9 years
It is an outrage that they aren't at least charging him with statutory rape. Her parents or gaurdians should be pursuing this and putting pressure on the authorities. Could it be that they think she got what she asked for by messing around with an older guy? Or do they just don't care?
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
agree with marinilush - that was my first thought... where were the parents when this 15 year old was dating a 23 year old?? geesh. and also agree with the others about age of consent issue.
Bookish Bookish 9 years
"OK, a 15-year-old is having a sexual relationship with a 23-year-old...where are this girl's parents? Did they KNOW about this relationship? If they did, what were they thinking? I agree with the other posters - if she was under the age of consent, even by ONE DAY, he committed statutory rape." I agree.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
OK, a 15-year-old is having a sexual relationship with a 23-year-old...where are this girl's parents? Did they KNOW about this relationship? If they did, what were they thinking? I agree with the other posters - if she was under the age of consent, even by ONE DAY, he committed statutory rape.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"Ok, what's the point of having an age of consent if "close enough" to the age of consent is just fine? He committed statutory rape." I agree.
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