Tuesday, October 5, 2010

True Crime Tuesday/ Sext-ual Harassment

JAN: In the YOU-CAN'T-MAKE-THIS-STUFF-UP department, you have to give big points to the Wisconsin district attorney who sent sexually harrassing text messages to a victim of sexual abuse-- calling her a "hot young nymph" and asking if she was "the kind of girl who likes secret contact with an older married elected DA."

This is so gross on so many levels, I just have to spell them out.

The DA was, at the time, prosecuting the victim's boyfriend for trying to strangle her, so not only was he targeting the vulnerable, there was an unspoken power play -- the implication that turning down his sexual favors might affect his resolve in prosecuting this victim's boyfriend.

She was 26. He was 50. Ick.

In perhaps the SO-HYPOCRITICAL-YOU-CAN'T-BELIEVE-IT department, the DA was also on the local Crime Victim's Rights Board.

In the IS-HE-OUT-OF-HIS-MIND? department, even after the sexting story broke, the DA repeatedly resisted stepping down from this Crime Victim's Rights board, and later tried to barter with the board, saying that he would only step down if they didn't disclose any of the details. (they declined and eventually he had to step down).

And to prove that he's the kind of guy who doesn't believe that no means no, there were thirty text messages, count-em, thirty, to this woman.

What I find the most unbelieveable, though, is that when the story initially broke last spring, the Office of Lawyer Regulation in Wisconsin concluded that the DA's actions were "inappropriate," but did not amount to misconduct. So my question is: if targeting someone who already proved vulnerable to abuse, and then using your perceived power over her to make sexual advances isn't misconduct in Wisconson, what the hell is??

Did I mention this District Attorney was an elected official?? Up until a couple of weeks ago, he was still planning to run for re-election. Is this a sense of entitlement gone mad? Delusional beyond delusional? Early onset Alzheimer's?

Luckily for victims of sexual harassment, other women came forward with more complaints and our older, married DA was finally forced to step down.

But if it took this much public exposure to bring him down, imagine how much corruption could go undetected in any district attorney's office. What a terrific setting that would be for a mystery, and what a great basis for a fictional villain this DA would be.

ROSEMARY: You know..if I saw this on Law & Order I wouldn't have believed it.

JAN: Yeah, that's the tough part. This guy might just be too creepy to make him seem true.

What do you think? Good villain, or too far over the line?

And come back tomorrow when I interview Elizabeth Brundage about her terrific new book: A Stranger Like You

Thursday, we'll be talking about my favorite topic again, EMAIL addiction.


  1. That's down right scary! I'm thinking, are we a third world country? This doesn't happen here.

  2. Clearly this guy must have 'friends' in high places. What on earth was he thinking?

  3. Just another clueless male hypocrite. How unself-aware can one be?

    That is really scary, and such a throwback!

  4. It is truly frightening when our elected officials are so out of touch with reality--and yet we voted them into office. What is wrong with this picture?

    At least we've finally got three women justices on the Supreme Court. Do I hear four?

  5. Yeah, when I read about this guy--I kept thinking--does he think this is okay? Or, okay for HIM? Or how was he rationalizing it? Or was he?

    And I think that's the writing-lesson from this--one of them!--tht the baddest of villains always thinks there's some reason he/she is not bad, that they desrve to have whatever they want, however they want it.

    Sheila, HURRAY! It's pub date for FUNDRAISING THE DEAD! You go!!And congratulations.

    And debut author Laura Alden's MURDER AT THE PTA. HOw hilarious and irresistible is that! (You know Laura Alden. You just don't know you know. Check it out!)

  6. Sheila,
    What I find so scary is this guy's confidence that he could get elected again.

    Karen, this guy manages to be both a throw back and ahead of the curve, what with employing a sexting technique for harassment at the ripe old age of 50.

    And what about this guy's poor wife?? Yikes.

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  8. This smacks for me of the attidude of the Good Ole Boy network--you know the type that thinks it's acceptable to make sexist jokes and who say we're just being over sensitive or is it PMS when we complain.
    Every woman in that county should be out campaigning against him when he re-runs for office.

  9. sounds like a scene right out of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo!! Unforgiveable.


    Mystery Lovers' Kitchen

  10. Jeez unreal yet not. It's a good example of how some people get demented visions of grandure, entitlement and being untouchable when in a position of power.

    I'm with you ,Jan, what's up with the Office Lawyer Regulation's thinking? What are they all numb from the neck up?

    I don't think this would be too far over the line to be a villian. We've all read or seen stuff like this before. We don't like to remember it because we want to trust those in power and things like this shake our trust. But it's better to shake that trust than to live blindly.