Police Make Arrest in Norman High School Rape Case05-Dec-2014
Late last month, a group of Norman High School students walked out of school in protest of the bullying of three girls who are said to be victims of rape. The #YesAllDaughters movement was intended to bring attention to the bullying of rape survivors and to protest what they say is the district's refusal to protect the girls.
The leaders of the movement say that the girls were bullied out of school after being raped by the same boy. The teen was suspended from school after disseminating a video of one of the alleged assaults, but despite this video evidence and despite an audio recording purported to be the young man bragging about "f---ing the sh-t" out of an unconscious girl, no arrests had been made in the two and a half months following the alleged incident on September 19.
On Tuesday, police arrested Tristen Kole Killman-Hardin, 18, on two counts of first degree rape.
The former Norman High School student is accused of raping three girls: two 16-year-olds and a 14-year-old. Reports say he admitted to raping a 16-year-old on September 19, and that he raped the 14-year-old four days later. After the girls came forward with their allegations, a third girl came forward saying that the teen raped her in a school bathroom in January.
A Jezebel article details the accusations against the boy and the claims of his accusers. The first accusation came the morning after the assault, when a 16-year-old girl told her mother that she "hurt" and that she thought something had happened to her the night before. Upon taking a bath, the girl found evidence of sexual assault.
She texted Killman-Hardin, who allegedly denied that anything happened, but later said he "felt bad" about it. If text message evidence is authentic, the boy told her that he "was just as drunk" as she was and telling her "u got to stop being the only hot chick drinking."
A friend of Killman-Hardin alleges that the teen came over the next morning, still drunk, and admitted to raping and sodomizing the unconscious girl. Jezebel author Anna Merlan describes her interview with the friend:
"He was still drunk and stuff and talking about it. he boy told me over the phone recently. (His name is being withheld.) As he listened to Brian talk, he says, "I knew right off the bat it wasn't cool. Like, that's not cool to do. I don't care if you are my buddy, honestly, that's some heinous stuff to do somebody." He says he pulled out his phone and started to record the audio. "What bothered me the most is he thought it was funny."
Is the former Norman High School teen a serial rapist? Is he someone who doesn't understand that having sex with a person too intoxicated to protest is a crime? As always, a person is innocent unless proven guilty, although in Killman-Hardin's case, making video of the assault and confessing to friends certainly will make it easier for a prosecutor to demonstrate guilt.
With so many cases like these in the news--intoxicated girls being raped and sexually assaulted by classmates--it is imperative that we teach all of our children--sons and daughters--about drinking and rape. If she can't say no, it doesn't mean yes.
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