Alex Blaze

Cheerleader Punished for not Cheering Rapist

Filed By Alex Blaze | May 05, 2011 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: basketball, gay cheerleaders, rape, sport, Texas, women

In 2008, a high school cheerleader (known in court papers only as "HS") was raped by a student athlete at her school. cheerleaders.jpgHe confessed and got probation. Later, at a basketball game, the cheerleaders were instructed to chant his name:

Four months later, in January 2009, HS travelled to one of Silsbee High School's basketball games in Huntsville. She joined in with the business of leading cheers throughout the match. But when Bolton was about to take a free throw, the girl decided to stand silently with her arms folded.

"I didn't want to have to say his name and I didn't want to cheer for him," she later told reporters. "I just didn't want to encourage anything he was doing."

Richard Bain, the school superintendent in the sport-obsessed small town, saw things differently. He told HS to leave the gymnasium. Outside, he told her she was required to cheer for Bolton. When the girl said she was unwilling to endorse a man who had sexually assaulted her, she was expelled from the cheerleading squad.

Her family sued, arguing that her free speech rights were violated and that the request that she chant her rapist's name in support of him four months after being raped by him was "insensitive and unreasonable." Two courts ruled against her, saying that she's essentially a mouthpiece for the school, and ordered her family to pay the school $45,000 in legal fees. The Supreme Court just denied appeal.

This is what a culture that doesn't take rape seriously looks like. A student shouldn't be punished at school because she refuses to be in the same room as her rapist, much less cheer him on.

Where the relevant law stands in this case is meaningless at the point where a principal, who's supposed to be a leader, empathetic, and knowledgeable about basic psychology and social issues, abuses his authority in such an extreme fashion. He could have prevented this suit by exercising a little judgement from the beginning instead of obsessing over having that one last cheerleader cheering.

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Holy Sh.... What?

This doesn't even make sense. Even IF there's a legal basis for forcing this woman to cheer for her rapist, then requiring that she pay for the defense of the school is unjustifiable and beyond the pale of legal sleaze.

This is absolutely horrifying. What is a convicted rapist doing representing the school in the first place. What can we do to make sure this is seen by the Supreme Court?

Absolutely nothing. Once the US Supreme Court rejects an appeal, that is absolutely, positively the end of the matter. If there's any political leverage to be had (I wouldn't bet on it), it would be against the Silsbee Independent School District.

Local court > Appellate Court > STATE Supreme Court. This hasn't gone to the US Supreme Court, just to the State Supreme Court.

This girl should contact feminist legal organizations or even better, GLORIA ALRED, the uber woman lawyer from Los Angeles, to represent her now. The school system has to be shamed into not collecting, and how does RAPE only merit probation in the south? A white athlete perogative?

Correction on earlier comment: The assailant was not white, but African-American. I looked up the newspaper article about the case.There were THREE assailants who assaulted her in a locked closet. Everyone was making excuses for the assailants, saying that their parents and the adults were to blame, not these kids "who were ALL victims of too much alcohol". In other words, underage drinking was tolerated, and their parents were simply bad-mouthed for not better watching their kids. At anyrate, there is no dispute that the girl was sexually violated by three different student who took turns. The prosecutors said that the issue of consent was difficult to ascertain because of the alcohol.

Hold the freaking fone!
The prosecutors said the issue of consent was difficult to ascertain due to the alcohol?

Um correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the consumption of alcohol (in the eyes of the law) make the issue of consent moot? I thought you were unable to give consent if intoxicated.

This is sick. Like actually sickening. I want to give that girl a hug and tell her that the whole world isn't populated by the asshats she has had to deal with through this.

Vincent J | May 5, 2011 9:47 PM

You can call Richard Bain to remind him that if there's a hell, they'll be a special place for him. 409.980.7800, press 3 for Sillsbee High, then dial his extension: 7802.

As much as I hate to say it, the court made the correct decision legally. The defense chose the incorrect grounds on which to sue. They should have focused on the superintendent's unusual and cruel ultimatum. The superintendent is as much of a moral criminal in my book as the rapist.

God bless this girl for her bravery!! And I pray to God and the heavens and the angels that she soon surpass this school, the principal, her rapists, and even the town.

If there's anyway she sees this and would like my moral support or just someone to speak to, she can email me at renitamac@yahoo.com

This is just another example that the Justice branch of our government is misnamed.

Terrible, terrible!! I noticed the one commenter included a phone# to contact the principle. I wish there was a petition to sign as well. I think it is important when there are hate crimes, or rape, and insensitive southern cavemen, to let them know the whole world is watching and we won't stand for that S***!!!

Jay Kallio | May 6, 2011 5:29 AM

This case is outrageous. Requiring someone o cheer her rapist is unconscionable. Are women's and girl's bodies, health, mental and emotional well being so without value in this society still that their rapist is given higher regard and importance than they are?

If it had been a 16 year old boy who had been raped, who would have even thought to require him to cheer his rapist?

I found more details about this case in this Oct 27, 2010 ABC News report: http://abcnews.go.com/US/rape-high-school-cheerleader-vows-fight-school-district/story?id=11972052&page=3

Is anyone setting up a legal fund for this girl? How about some pro bono legal assistance? I'm curious as to whether there is any way to make it very costly for this school to pursue these legal fees? I can't help but wonder where the local public opinion is on this insanity? It sounds like there is no doubt that she was raped by three of these boys. Where are the other parents of girls at this school? Where is the rest of the cheerleading squad, being required to cheer rapists? Does the public just want this to go away quietly?

At very least, I think the convicted rapist boys' names should be publicized very widely on the internet, where they will be easily googled as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. The coach's name as well.

This is one of the most truly offensive cases of date rape and subsequent punishment of the rape victim that I have ever heard. I am appalled when in other countries rape victims are sentenced to being stoned to death for being raped... this is not quite as barbaric or extreme, but the rank smell seems very similar.

This sack of scum Richard Bain has no business being in a public office of any kind. He's a lowlife roach.

It would be interesting to know where he parks his car? I hope he has insurance cover for damage done to his vehicle while parked.

If the public justice system doesn't deal with abusive scum like Richard Bain, then folk have the right to take justice into their own hands. I'd encourage doing so.

This is simply outrageous. I'd like to know what the thinking was behind the court's decision not to hear the case.

I suggest you have a look at
http://www.silsbeebee.com/search.php?search=Rakheem+Bolton&location=0

Summary:

According to Silsbee Police Chief Dennis Allen at the time, officers from his department were called out at about 2:40 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, 2008, in reference to a sexual assault that is said to have taken place at 324 Pinewood in Silsbee.

After officers responded, they met with the victim, a 16-year-old female, who claimed she had been sexually assaulted during a party that was attended by several students from Silsbee High School.

According to Chief Allen, the victim is a cheerleader at the high school while at least two of the suspects in the attack are football players.

They were identified as Rakheem Bolton, 17, and Christian Paul Rountree, 18, both of Silsbee. A third defendant is a minor.

The girl accused the three young men of cornering her in a room in the house where the party was taking place, locking the door to the room and assaulting her sexually.

Chief Allen said that when the girl screamed out for help, others at the party attempted to get into the room, which prompted the three men in question to jump from a bathroom window to escape.

The girl was taken by her family to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont where a rape kit was administered. That kit was turned over to the Texas Department of Public Safety crime lab. Officials say there was DNA evidence found that could possibly link one of the teens to the crime....According to Chief Allen, one of the three boys involved has been cooperative with the investigation. “Some reports were that she (the victim) was held down during the attack, but those facts are being disputed,” he said. “The investigation is ongoing.”

A grand jury in January 2009 refused to indict the accused.

May 2009 The victim's family filed a civil lawsuit naming, Hardin County District Attorney David Sheffield, administrators with Silsbee ISD and the accused.

The DA recused himself.

October 2009 A Federal Court dismissed the civil suit.

December 2009 2 of the three accused were indicted (after the rape kit results were analysed) by another Grand Jury. NAACP defends accused, charging racial bias.

September 2010, Bolton made a plea agreement to misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended. Bolton was ordered to serve two years probation and ordered to pay a fine of $2,500.

On Jan. 26 2011 the sexual assault charge against Christian Rountree were dismissed. A Motion to Dismiss was filed by Special Prosecutor David Barlow who cited the reason for his request as being in the “interest of justice.”

Rountree flunked college and is now unemployed.

Dawn on sagebrush | May 6, 2011 9:20 AM

Thank you for the information, Zoe.

Just Annie | May 6, 2011 10:17 AM

If the rapist confessed, the school has no business allowing him to play on any team or represent the school in any way, regardless of any court decision. This is crazy.

The confession came after the game.

Once the Grand Jury decided not to prosecute - because the results of the rape kit tests were unaccountably delayed - the school had no real legal excuse for not letting him back in.

Once the second Grand Jury indicted him, they suspended him immediately.

The requirement of the Coach and School Administration for a girl who had alleged that the player had raped her, to cheer for him in particular with the cry "Put it in, Bolton" I consider to be inhuman.

That the accusation has now proven to be substantiated is in many ways beside the point.

The NAACP honcho BTW turns out to be a close relative of Bolton.

If I had to guess at what really happened... what started out as consensual turned into sexual assault, when the inebriated victim got beyond her comfort zone. NO means NO, but it didn't seem that way at the time to anyone but her.

Did the assailants mean to rape her? I doubt it. Alcohol was involved.

They are no more at fault than if they'd gotten drunk, driven a car, and crashed it into a dozen pedestrians, killing them. Which is to say, guilty of negligence, misjudgement, ill-educated by a society that tolerates such things, but not actually evil. The consequences to the victims are just as dire as if they were though.

This doesn't send a message that NO MEANS NO DAMMIT!!!! We need to not destroy the lives of drunken teens when they do stupid and harmful things, and yet it's even more important to stop this from happening again.

The Coach and Administration, that's Evil. As are those who apparently delayed the evidence so that the school's team would do well.

And meanwhile the rape victim has been victimised again. This sickens me.

The superintendent has no business being an educator if he values sports more then the welfare of one of his students. The school should've expelled Bolton, not have him on the basketball team. The courts are simply being ridiculous placing the value of a cheer over that of free speech. Unfortunatly, it is common that the losers of a civil suit pay all legal fees, though in my opinion the loser of the suit should've been the school district.

Having gone to a huge, suburban, midwestern high school, I know what it's like for sports to be put above all else.

My question is if this guy actually *raped* her, why is he not in jail right now? Seems he got off much too easy for such a horrible crime.

Also this comment form is seriously broken. >.>