Followers of the Tracy McIntosh ’75 case will want to read this update.

Two months earlier, McIntosh, married and the father of two teenage daughters, had welcomed the 23-year-old niece of an old college buddy to the Penn campus with an evening-long pub crawl that ended in her rape in his office.

This is more than a little sloppy. McIntosh and his defenders would insist that he is not guilty of “rape”. I am no expert on Pennsylvania law, but it seems clear that McIntosh pled guilty to sexual assualt, not rape. So, strictly speaking, he is an admitted sexual assaultist, not a rapist. There is a difference. He pled quilty to:

Except as provided in section 3121 (relating to rape) or 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse), a person commits a felony of the second degree when that person engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with a complainant without the complainant’s consent.

You don’t have to be a lawyer to pause a moment over the use of the word “consent” in this statute. Many Eph men can claim to never have had sex without the women’s consent, never with a women who had had too much to drink (and was therefore in no position to give consent), never with a women who had expressed reluctance at any point in the evening.

But some (many?) Eph men can not make that claim. It all comes down to how seriously one takes the notion of “consent”. If consent can not be given under the influence of alcohol, then many (most?) Eph men would be guilty of sexual assault, at least in Pennsylvania.

Does that mean that all men are rapists? No! If you are looking for crack-pot feminist quackery, you have come to the wrong blog, or at least the wrong author on EphBlog. But it is perhaps too easy to put Tracy McIntosh into the nasty little box labelled “rapist” and pretend that he is a different creature from his fellow Ephs.

And this still ignores the question of what really happened. It is easy to conjure up visions of McIntosh as some sort of monster out of a Law & Order episode, drugging unsuspecting women with animal sedatives. But it doesn’t take much imagination to see a different picture, one in which McIntosh and the unnamed woman engaged in consensual sex that seemed, the next day, much less consensual to the woman.

So, she goes to the cops and McIntosh, who is innocent (by assumption) in this rendition of events, faces some unappealing choices, especially if he has made some bad choices in his non-marital relationships in the past. Copping a plea bargain might have made much more sense even if McIntosh knew that he was innocent.

I don’t really believe that, but it is certainly within the realm of the possible.

Back to the article:

The account of the uneasy intervention is contained in a memo outlining an internal investigation by a Penn official in July 2003, two months after McIntosh was charged with rape by the district attorney.

The interviews in the memo would appear to run counter to an earlier Penn investigation concluding that there was no proof of a sexual assault or that McIntosh “has a history of predatory conduct.”

JA acceptance/rejection letters will be mailed out soon.[What the heck does this have to do with McIntosh? — ed.]

You don’t think that McIntosh (or Mark Foster, for that matter) has anything to do with JAs? Silly you.

Recall our previous discussion of JA/first year romantic relationships.

(My favorite part of that thread was when two participants were talking about a male — Surpise! — JA who dated two of the female first years in his entry. They assumed that they were talking about the same JA. How many miscreants could there be? Turns out that they each knew a different miscreant.)

The problem with JAs — 90% of whom are surely male, whatever Emily Thorson might wish to believe — who date first years is that they are using their position as JA to score with EphBabes who would not, in all likelihood, be dating them if they were not JAs. (I recently heard a female JA compare the effect on first year females of the purple t-shirts that JAs wear to that of military uniforms.)

There is nothing wrong with dating. There is nothing wrong with juniors dating first years. There is a great deal wrong with JAs taking advantage of dating opportunities that they would not have if they were not JAs.

If those JAs were real gentlemen, they would politely but firmly tell the aspiring first year groupie that, if this is meant to be, it can easily start next year.

And that is the connection to McIntosh. Even in the best case scenario, he had sex with a young women who was highly unlikely to have had sex with him were it not for his position at the school to which she was applying.

To the male JAs for the class of 2009: If you become romantically involved with a first year, especially a first year in your entry, then you are abusing the trust that Williams College has placed in you.

It may be true that the first year — all of 18 years old and far away from home, perhaps struggling for the first time in her life, perhaps unsure of herself in a new world full of challenges and disruptions — wants to date you. Perhaps she honestly is attracted to you. You are certainly attracted to her.

You may have handled the matter sensitively — you have checked with your entry and sought the “permission” of your co-JA. You may think of yourself as basically a good guy, not someone who would ever cause a woman harm.

Don’t kid yourself. You are a predator. You are Tracy McIntosh ’75.

Print  •  Email