Letter to the Editor for the Washington Post.
Please censure Cohen for his editorial which used Cyrus’ VMA performance to make a larger statement about Ariel Levy’s The New Yorker article regarding the “Steubenville Rape.” While he cogently argued Cyrus’ performance perpetuated the same stereotyping responsible for the debacle – "teenage culture that was stupid, dirty and so incredibly and obliviously misogynistic . . . ," he dismissed a young woman’s horrific sexual assault and minimized the crime because "this was not a rape involving intercourse." Mr. Cohen stated the “Internet -- in e-mails and tweets and Facebook, . . . formed itself into a digital lynch mob that demanded the arrest of the innocent for a crime — gang rape — that had not been committed." Gang rape was never charged; two individuals were charged with rape and adjudicated “delinquent.” They were not innocent.
A young woman was inebriated beyond rationale decision-making. At least five individuals took advantage and assaulted her sexually. Three assailants received immunity for testimony against the two perpetrators. Probably others were present who videoed and tweeted photos, and that data went viral - instantly available to anyone with an Internet connection. I am dreadfully sorry for the victim and perpetrators – they will never be the same.