Currently browsing posts filed under "Gensheimer/Foster"

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Ashamed

I received this e-mail from a current Williams student. She gave me permission to print it here (anonymously) and was even surprised that I wrote back to her.

You don’t know me as we have never met, but I am a sophomore at Williams and recently discovered ephblog.com. After reading all of your comments on the Mark Foster/Maryl Gensheimer case, I have only this to say to you: You should be ashamed of yourself.

I don’t care what you have to say about the facts or the outcome of the case. Your response to the entire situation is truly shameful. I love everything about Williams College and would be hard-pressed to find something negative to say about it. You, Mr. Kane, made me feel ashamed of this school for the first time in my life. I resent the fact that we share this great school in common, because to me you represent everything that Williams is not.

I don’t know who you think you are, or what right you think you have that allows you to so readily judge the moral character of a man whom you do not know. I am also in no position to judge your own character, and won’t presume to be. What I can say with absolute certainty is that I despise the way you have handled yourself in this situation.

I would assume, or at least hope, that the motivation for your frequent blogs is a continuing interest in and love for your alma mater. If that is the case, and you truly care about this institution and its students, then do what is best for us all and find something more useful to write about. It is people like you that make it so difficult for our community to recover from incidences like these. No one has benefited from anything you have said, but many have been hurt.

In all honesty, I expected more from a Williams graduate. The extent of my disappointment you do not even know.

Heartfelt stuff. Strangely enough, I actually take more pride in my writings on this case than 99% of my other posts. If this doesn’t strike you as a balanced, honest and thoughtful account of the issues involved, than you should never bother with my drivel again. It won’t be getting any better, and most days it will be much worse.

Some of my other commentary has, at times, been edgier. See here and here.

I am sure that this young Eph believes that Foster is completely innocent, that he was unjustly accused by a vengeful and/or confused ex-girlfriend. And, she might be right! It is more than possible that Foster is completely innocent, that any of us viewing a videotape of the night in question would conclude that he did nothing wrong.

I do not think that this is likely, but it is certainly possible. I also believe that Gensheimer and her family/friends have a very different perspective on the matter.

So, I can understand why this Eph takes exception to me writing about the case, why she is infuriated with me for bringing this up time and again. I’d wager that she probably knows Foster (who will graduate this spring) and can’t believe that he deserves the appellation “accused rapist” for the rest of his life.

But her fury is not reason enough to end discussion and debate. Indeed, once Foster graduates it will be easier to ponder this case in all its messy reality. Sexual assault is a real problem, even at Williams. If you don’t want to know about it, don’t read EphBlog.

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Not Rape

Before it disappears from the web forever, it is worthwhile to review the Boston Globe article that publicized the most famous alleged sexual assault at Williams in the last 15 years. Previous coverage here. Comments:

1) I continue to believe that the College could do much more to decrease the (low) rate of sexual assault on campus. Unsurprisingly, my recommendation is unlike anything you would read elsewhere. Make every male student at Williams vividly aware of the Foster case by showing him a picture of Foster at his arraignment, perhaps even having the first years try on a pair of handcuffs. The lesson that every male Eph should have drilled deep into his bones is that having sex with a female Eph is a risk unless you are 100% certain that she is a full and eager participant. A credible accusation of rape — an accusation that will turn your life upside down for a decade or more even if you are (found) innocent — requires only a credible accuser. And all Eph women are credible. Foster didn’t think that it could happen to him. Foster was wrong. Don’t make the same mistake he did. If if Foster is not a rapist, he is most certainly not a gentleman. The punishment for caddish behavior at Williams is much higher than you think it is. Don’t be a cad.

2) Gensheimer graduated last spring and Foster is in his senior year. This has been a painful topic to discuss while they were current students. By next fall, it may be easier for the rest of us to get some perspective.

3) Is the transcript for the trial available somewhere? From the excerpts that we have seen, I suspect that it would make for compelling reading.

Article below:

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Foster ’05 Acquitted of Rape

From the Eagle:

Following 3 1/2 days of testimony, a Berkshire Superior Court judge yesterday acquitted a former Williams College student of raping a fellow student last year.

Superior Court Judge Margot Botsford said the differences in testimony from the defendant, 20-year-old Mark H. Foster Jr., and his accuser made it impossible for her to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt whether Foster was guilty. The trial was held before Botsford without a jury.

See here and here for previous EphBlog commentary on the case.

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Foster Case

We are coming up on the anniversary — if that is the right word — of the Mark Foster rape case. Here is an overview article. Here is the Record’s take.

Does anyone know what the current state of the case is?

Although factual correct, this Berkshire Eagle correction struck me as cheesy.

CORRECTION JUNE 19, 2003 An article in Tuesday’s paper headlined “Williams College student arraigned in rape case” incorrectly stated that suspect Mark H. Foster Jr. is a student at Williams College. He was a student when the alleged rape occurred on March 16 and completed the semester, but has not enrolled as a student for the next school year, according to Director of Public Affairs James Kolesar.

I know that Jim Kolesar has better things to do with his time.

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Take Back the Night (with this photo)

Although this blog has occasional suggested idiosyncratic views of how to decrease the rate of sexual assault on the Williams campus, I suspect that many observers might agree that plastering this picture all over campus might be a good way to start.

As this article in the Berkshire Eagle describes,

A Williams College student was arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court yesterday on one count of rape, stemming from an alleged assault on a fellow student this spring.

Mark H. Foster Jr., 19, of Concord, pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance after a brief arraignment during which he was represented by Northampton attorney John Callahan.

Foster allegedly raped a fellow student in his dorm room after a night of drinking and dancing on the college campus March 16.

Foster is, of course, innocent until proven guilty, but even at this stage of the judicial process, he has paid a heavy price. We will have more to say about this case going forward, but I would wager a lot of money that making every male student at Williams aware of this case (and of the price that one might pay if one is less than certain that one’s sexual partner is anything less than an enthusiastic participant) would do much more to decrease rape on campus than all the sensitivity training and other awareness workshops that the college has put on in the last 10 years.

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