Serial Rapist on the playa

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Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby rblackraven » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:33 pm

Thursday night my daughter (who is 19) and I went riding our bikes to a few art installations. We were sober. She decided to go see Burn Wall Street but I was tired. She took off on her bike. On the way to the installation it began to rain. She ducked into Want It Camp.
12 hours later she arrived back to our camp hallucinating and having been given an IV at the med tent.

She had been found behind Emerald City, face down and overdosing. The rangers assumed she had gotten drunk or taken drugs. Several hours after returning to our camp bruises appeared on her neck and it was obvious from other signs that she had been sexually attacked.

She IDENTIFIED her attacker -a DJ from Want It- and he had an accomplice.
There are NO rape kits on the playa nor forensic nurses. Because my daughter did not want to be taken to Reno, questioned for a 9th time (she had already given descriptions and a report to the Pershing County officials on the playa) she was told no charges could be filed. When a victim is taken from the playa to Reno they are given a rape kit there, all of their clothing taken for evidence and then they'redischarged; with no way back to the playa, their belongings or place to stay. If the victim is in shock and still under the influence of dosing they are not able to make a rational decision or find help either.

There were two other women reporting the same drugging, strangulation and rape that night.

This was my 7th Burn. Made sure my daughter was 18 before she was allowed to attend, and she is no dummy. She has been going to school and living in San Francisco for a year, I told her BM was safe. So she accepted a glass of water (she thought) from a DJ and bouncer at Want It.

There is a special meeting being held by the BORG this month. My concern is How many times has this happened? Why are there no numbers? Why are there no Rape Kits on the playa?! We are a city. As a city we require the same medical and legal services available to any city.

The Rangers were great and did a complete follow-up, as far as they could. The Pershing County Sheriff's office has been less forthcoming and we are still waiting for a copy of the formal report.

Please do what you can, or of you have been a victim please report this to the BORG or reply to my message here. this should never happen to ANYONE. Especially at Burning Man. I had always thought that rape and dosing on the playa were an urban myth. They are not and my daughter will never be the same.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby grenadine » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:38 pm

How many times does this have to happen until rape kits are available on the playa? Do we need to start a rape kit camp? For fuck's sake, they have pee funnels, but no rape kits? Do we need to start adding rape kits to the list of essentials to bring yourself in addition to your water?``
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby Savannah » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:48 pm

It's terrible that your daughter was assaulted. I am so sorry.

We're mostly Burner hobbyists on ePlaya here, and there are not a lot of inroads from here to event headquarters. Your daughter's story needs exposure in additional places. Please consider emailing (as you see fit):

LAW ENFORCEMENT
http://www.burningman.com/on_the_playa/le_feedback.html

EMERGENCY SERVICES DEPARTMENT
http://www.burningman.com/preparation/e ... E-S7Rir9T4

FEEDBACK
http://www.burningman.com/blackrockcity ... dback.html

I wish recovery and strength for your daughter, and for you.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby some seeing eye » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:22 pm

Very unfortunate and unacceptable to say the least. You might expand the report of everything that happened, when, where, who what, and contact info for the others with the same experience then send a postal mail to the BM HQ. I would also copy legal (at) burningman (dot) com. And copy placement. The BMORG has a lot of influence in setting law enforcement and medical procedures on playa and I hope this can be fixed by next year.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby maladroit » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:26 pm

Sorry to seem harsh, but the problem will begin to go away when charges are actually filed and these monsters are brought to justice. I know it's easy to want to just forget it happened, but rape is going to stay with you for the rest of your life and some inconvenience getting to and from a party in the desert is not worth allowing this monster to go unpunished. It's not fair to the other women who were raped and couldn't identify the attacker, nor is it fair to the women who will be raped in the future.

The importance of the Burn is insignificant compared to seeking justice for getting raped. I feel stupid for having to actually say that.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby Nipple » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:35 pm

rblackraven wrote:The Pershing County Sheriff's office has been less forthcoming and we are still waiting for a copy of the formal report.


She filed. And Pershing County? That's an entirely unacceptable response.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby maladroit » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:41 pm

A police report doesn't mean there are charges.

But, yes, this seems like an excellent thing for police presence to make top priority, rather than slipping people drugs and then busting them for possession.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby Nipple » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:45 pm

Well, rape is one of those crimes that are underreported.

At personal cost, she reported. If they're soft pedaling, or slow rolling that file... my entire lexicon turns into a couple small (and unfriendly) words.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby RedHeaven » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:22 pm

That is fucking awful, I feel horrible for you and your daughter and downright ashamed that I live in a city with people that do such horrible things. Sometimes the city kind of freaks me out like that. It can get really weird. HOrrible horrible yuck.......so pissed off.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby Major Krash » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:32 pm

I assume you have contacted the Want It camp mayor? If he knows his camp (and members) are about to get dragged through the mud (and possibly face violent anonymous vigilantism that puts not only them but their families and loved ones at risk), they might help...

http://www.burningman.com/themecamps/th ... ci=W&m=199

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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby Simon of the Playa » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:40 pm

a good idea Major.

e-playa Justice being what it is...
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby salope » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:52 pm

I'm sorry your daughter went through this.

There really really should be rape kits and people trained to administer them on the playa. Really.

Maladroit, many women chose to not report their rapes or not press charges. One can hardly blame them, given a reporting process that can be insensitive and re-traumatizing, and a legal system where the odds are stacked against them. Should charges actually be brought, women can look forward to invasive questioning and character assassination based on their sexual history and perceived "wantonness" - essentially they end up as the ones on trial. No one is obligated by your outrage to go through all that in pursuit of "justice" which is frustratingly unlikely to be delivered.

The hurdles are high enough as it is. It's horrifying that a burning man attendee needs to endure further inconveniences of being taken to Reno and then stranded while in a traumatized state.

I'm sure there are logistical hurdles: you need certified people to administer rape kits, they would probably need to be a part of medical and interface with law enforcement, but these are hurdles that should be overcome.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby Candybox » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:13 pm

I am so sorry this happened to your daughter. I am horrified that BRC doesn't see fit to have rape kits, despite being crawling with LEOs and having a clinic sophisticated enough to have an X-ray machine.

How can we help get rape kit on the playa? Where does one even get a rape kit?
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby Bob » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:35 pm

Thanks for posting this here and doing the hard work to follow through w/ the org and the so-called law-enforcement agencies. You're my kind of hero.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby AntiM » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:40 pm

Candybox wrote:I am so sorry this happened to your daughter. I am horrified that BRC doesn't see fit to have rape kits, despite being crawling with LEOs and having a clinic sophisticated enough to have an X-ray machine.

How can we help get rape kit on the playa? Where does one even get a rape kit?


It simply can't be impossible to have rape kits... is there some sort of legal mumbo jumbo to cut through? Procedures to make the kit evidence worthwhile? What knowledge, funding, etc do we need to facilitate rape kits on playa?
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby VampireKitten » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:47 pm

This is fucking horrible... I hope someone from that camp figures out who it was and they get what's coming to them.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby scott_k » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:49 pm

I'm so deeply sorry about what happened. Have you considered filing a lawsuit against Pershing/ Washoe County for failing to respond to the crime scene with an adequate investigation? With all of the resources available (and the massive Pershing County law enforcement budget), I find it incomprehensible that it was not possible for a rape kit to be delivered to the playa (the scene of the crime). As others have said, I am shocked that there are instances of undercovers trying to entrap burners, yet, law enforcement is not interested in standing prepared to protect individuals if there is no revenue to be generated. Awful.

I'm not an attorney, but perhaps someone with legal expertise could weigh in on this.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby elKay » Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:04 pm

This just makes me sick.. Did the police actually tell her that they had to take her all the way to Reno where they would leave her with no clothes and no way back if she wanted to pursue it?
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby gyre » Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:51 pm

Maybe the last time he did this, they didn't want to go to reno either?

Really not defensible to not follow through with prosecution.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby mayorofwantit » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:23 pm

My name is Jason. This is not my playa name, but my REAL name - as this is a very REAL situation at hand. I am the head steward (or "mayor") of Want It. I was just made aware of this thread by fellow camp mates. Myself, along with a few other core planners in camp, were apprised of the situation on Sunday, 9/2 when we were approached by rangers to discuss what happened. We were stunned to hear of what happened and we cooperated with the rangers as much as we could. We even agreed to give the rangers access to search individual personal spaces within camp to see if they could locate any of the victim's missing personal belongings. None of the girl's items were recovered during their brief search. However, the rangers told us they would be back later that day, or the following day, to further discuss. We never heard from the rangers again. We have since been trying to piece together information and facts from that night with the intention of approaching the lead investigating ranger (whose information we have). Till now, we had no idea whether our camp was still implicated in, or associated with, this case. We also were never given any indication of the victim's identity or where she was camped... until this ePLaya thread.

This was my 13th year at Burning Man and my 10th year with Want It. Want It has always striven to provide a safe camp for both our own camp mates as well as for our guests. Please know that we are taking this matter VERY seriously and that we will do whatever we can to help the authorities, the victim, and the victim's friend's and family. We also ask that the community please withhold any judgements against our camp, performers or guests until all the facts have been made clear. Such accusations have the ability to destroy the reputations of those who have nothing but the purest and best of intentions. We ask that if anyone in the community has any information that may help us, then please contact us or the victim's family/friends immediately.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby offarock » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:35 pm

mayorofwantit wrote:My name is Jason. This is not my playa name, but my REAL name - as this is a very REAL situation at hand. I am the head steward (or "mayor") of Want It. I was just made aware of this thread by fellow camp mates. Myself, along with a few other core planners in camp, were apprised of the situation on Sunday, 9/2 when we were approached by rangers to discuss what happened. We were stunned to hear of what happened and we cooperated with the rangers as much as we could. We even agreed to give the rangers access to search individual personal spaces within camp to see if they could locate any of the victim's missing personal belongings. None of the girl's items were recovered during their brief search. However, the rangers told us they would be back later that day, or the following day, to further discuss. We never heard from the rangers again. We have since been trying to piece together information and facts from that night with the intention of approaching the lead investigating ranger (whose information we have). Till now, we had no idea whether our camp was still implicated in, or associated with, this case. We also were never given any indication of the victim's identity or where she was camped... until this ePLaya thread.

This was my 13th year at Burning Man and my 10th year with Want It. Want It has always striven to provide a safe camp for both our own camp mates as well as for our guests. Please know that we are taking this matter VERY seriously and that we will do whatever we can to help the authorities, the victim, and the victim's friend's and family. We also ask that the community please withhold any judgements against our camp, performers or guests until all the facts have been made clear. Such accusations have the ability to destroy the reputations of those who have nothing but the purest and best of intentions. We ask that if anyone in the community has any information that may help us, then please contact us or the victim's family/friends immediately.


Good to see this kind of response.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby maladroit » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:12 pm

Bravo. If people aren't willing to follow through on prosecution, at least maybe the creeps will be prevented from going back and hurting more people in our community. They can just go on to hurt people in their own community, and someone there might be willing to press charges. So, hopefully, "only" two or three more rapes before justice is served.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:24 pm

This is a dreadful, terrible thing to have happened.

Carry a cup with a lid and closed handle. and carry enough water. If something does getting dodgy don't be afraid to yell, scream, whatever. Almost all citizens of brc would help in an instant--Nobody likes this kind of shit.

NOT saying the op's daughter deserved t his in the least, no one does. Just seizing the opportunity to put out some prevention advise.

I hope we get the creep.

"I was at burningman, so it isn't really a rape", doesn't fly as a defense--thank dawg.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby elKay » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:28 pm

Bravo. If people aren't willing to follow through on prosecution, at least maybe the creeps will be prevented from going back and hurting more people in our community. They can just go on to hurt people in their own community, and someone there might be willing to press charges. So, hopefully, "only" two or three more rapes before justice is served.

Can you imagine any young traumatized woman willing to drive with the police for a few hours to Reno for an uncomfortable and humiliating procedure that takes several more hours without an understanding officer who encouraged her to, and promised to at least bring her back home when it was over?
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby maladroit » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:41 pm

elKay wrote:Can you imagine any young traumatized woman wanting to drive with the police for a few hours to Reno for an uncomfortable and humiliating procedure that takes several more hours without an understanding officer who encouraged her to, and promised to at least bring her back home when it was over?


Hell no. Especially a very young and inexperienced one, with a limited perspective on what it means. Rape victims really, really want to forget the whole thing ever happened. Only...they find much later...they can't.

It is a situation where people who know her, like her friends and parents for example...encourage her and give her strength to do whatever it takes to bring the creep to justice, and stand by her through the ordeal to help in any way possible. Actual rape counselors on staff with BRC Medical would be a huge help.

This is not a shaming of the victim. Rather, as was part of the OP's original point, the community needs to be more aware and ready to lend a hand. If this happens to someone close to you, step in and be their strength, but don't let it rest until everything possible has been done. Letting it slide might be easier now, but the results down the road are worse.

Allowing this type of behavior to go unpunished could kill the event just as surely as too many feathers or what the fuck else.

Edit: I speak exclusively of "her" in relation to this case, but it could as easily happen to men.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby Dr Tootay » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:49 pm

As a long time advocate (over 20 years) for IPV and rape, there are so many pieces here that are so disturbing. I'm so sorry your daughter was raped, it wasn't her fault and she doesn't deserve it. As for rape kits on the playa, that would be impossible as a rape kit is for collecting forensic evidence, it requires a certain protocol and training and there needs to be a strict chain of evidence to ensure it is not tampered with. All of the above would be extremly difficult to master on the playa. I did some shadowing last year with ESD to be a volunteer although was unable to come this year. I believe there are efforts through ESD volunteers that can accompany victims to Reno for the rape kit exam and who would then be able to bring the person back to the playa when it was completed. Perhaps more education is needed by ESD to make sure victims are aware of their options and choices so they can make informed decisions. And there are trained rape crisis counselors with ESD.

And while it is very sad that these behaviors are perpetrated on the playa, it is unfortunately a mcirocosm of the defaulf world which will include a certain number of rapists. And there could even be a higher percentage on the playa as it would be very easy for someone to manipulate the environment in order to prey on women, to use the ethos of "freedom" on the playa to coerce women into sexual encounters they really don't want, and make it difficult for some women to come forward. As already noted, rape is the most underreported crime for a whole variety of reasons.

I hope you do at least contact the theme camp and inform them of what occurred so they can remove those elements from their camp. Please encourage your daughter to contact a rape crisis center in her community where she can get help. With metta
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby Bob » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:56 pm

Dr Tootay wrote:As a long time advocate (over 20 years) for IPV and rape, there are so many pieces here that are so disturbing. I'm so sorry your daughter was raped, it wasn't her fault and she doesn't deserve it. As for rape kits on the playa, that would be impossible as a rape kit is for collecting forensic evidence, it requires a certain protocol and training and there needs to be a strict chain of evidence to ensure it is not tampered with. All of the above would be extremly difficult to master on the playa. I did some shadowing last year with ESD to be a volunteer although was unable to come this year. I believe there are efforts through ESD volunteers that can accompany victims to Reno for the rape kit exam and who would then be able to bring the person back to the playa when it was completed. Perhaps more education is needed by ESD to make sure victims are aware of their options and choices so they can make informed decisions. And there are trained rape crisis counselors with ESD.

And while it is very sad that these behaviors are perpetrated on the playa, it is unfortunately a mcirocosm of the defaulf world which will include a certain number of rapists. And there could even be a higher percentage on the playa as it would be very easy for someone to manipulate the environment in order to prey on women, to use the ethos of "freedom" on the playa to coerce women into sexual encounters they really don't want, and make it difficult for some women to come forward. As already noted, rape is the most underreported crime for a whole variety of reasons.

I hope you do at least contact the theme camp and inform them of what occurred so they can remove those elements from their camp. Please encourage your daughter to contact a rape crisis center in her community where she can get help. With metta



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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby littlewing » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:58 pm

Hi everyone,
BlackRaven, I am so sorry this happened to your daughter. Please let her know that she is not alone, and that it is not her fault.

I was raped at Burning Man in 2003 and have been working with the good people at B.E.D. since then to raise awareness of sexual assault on the playa.

When the same rapist was caught 3 years later, he was prosecuted and served 5 years in jail. Bringing charges is a horrifyingly long and brutal process for the victims. 2 women pressed charges, a third dropped out due to emotional pressure. It's not easy on the victim and I understand completely why a woman chooses not to do it.

As to rape kits on the playa-- there has been a great resistance to having them on the playa, along with pregnancy tests and emergency contraceptives. First of all, rape kits have to be done by a physician or other medical professional who is trained. As evidence, it has to go through strict protocols of handling, or it will get kicked out of court quickly. It's not something just anyone can do. And to go through that, press charges and have it thrown out, is completely devastating. I understand everyone's outrage, believe me, but it's a lot more complicated.

And now we come to the real conundrum.... to have rape kits on playa, with the folk who are trained to do them, would mean having to admit that it happens. Although we have worked for 6-7 years now to make the issue of sexual assault on the playa a foremost issue, a big part of attendees just don't want to talk about it. It harshes their buzz, or makes them face something ugly. So many times I have gotten responses like "you are too negative" or "No one here wants to hut anyone here" and I'm always, like, "What planet are you from?"

Anyway, I don't mean to go off like a "victim" although I am one. At least there is a response protocol in place, partially as a reaction to the trial of the rapist in 2007. But clearly more needs to be done. It's not just a matter of a girl who isn't clear with her consent. It's a matter of sexual predators being present and this needs to recognized.

Pershing County Sheriffs were wonderful to us through out the hearings and the trial. I'm not sure why the change of attitude on their part.

Anyway, Black Raven, please contact me privately if there is anything I can do. It breaks my heart that this would happen to anyone out there, much less a young girl in the beginning of her adventure of life.

Please know i am here for her any time, day or night.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby littlewing » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:02 pm

And for the edification of all eplayans, there are convicted sexual predators at Burning Man every year. They go and register, like they are supposed to, according to law, at LEO trailers, and they are there. This makes me so angry I could scream, but there is absolutely nothing done to prevent this, and very few have, before this, ever really wanted to talk about it.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby Dr Tootay » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:03 pm

I am puzzled why an advocate wasn't called since the rangers were involved and law enforcement. Part of the protocol is when there is a sexual assault or a domestic violence incident reported to the rangers, and ESD advocate is supposed to be paged to the scene as well.
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