HB 1584, the bill to address a gaping, rape loophole in Indiana’s laws – the one that failed to convict Donald Grant Ward of sexual assault – will not see the light of day in the 2019 legislative session.
Grant Ward, as his friends call him, climbed into the upper bunk where a female student was fast asleep in her boyfriend’s dark, dorm room at Purdue University. She awakened because she felt her breast being touched, and then… he sexually penetrated her.
Ward knew he was tricking her into thinking he was her boyfriend. He admitted so to the police. He was arrested for rape, He was acquitted on the basis that his conduct was not a crime in Indiana’s laws. To add insult to the already egregious injury he and the jury’s decision caused the victim, the judge expunged his criminal record.
Ward’s attorney, Kirk Freeman, exploited the weakness in Indiana’s laws by defending his client’s conduct and by preening about his behavior; referring to him as “my boy” like a proud papa. His attitude exemplifies the patriarchy that perpetuates rape mentality and continues, unabated, in Indiana.
Indiana’s laws say nothing about the type of sexual assault Ward conducted. Nor do they say anything about the definition of consent. This failure could have, and should have, been corrected in this legislative session. It won’t be. How many additional victims must be raped before Indiana’s legislators see the light?
What does this legislative failure say about safety in Indiana’s colleges and universities?
Personally, if I had a daughter, the very last place I’d send her off to school right now would be Indiana. While Purdue, Notre Dame, and Indiana State enjoy high rankings in educational excellence, I’d be horrified that the Indiana legislature showed gross disregard toward protecting my child, and concerned she could suffer a similar fate…….. with absolutely no accountability or justice. (And BTW- rape can happen to our sons as well as our daughters.) Given a choice, I’d be looking at universities in states where my child would be protected by appropriate laws.
As if this incident at Purdue were not enough to convince me to educate my child elsewhere, Purdue is currently being sued for expelling two students for reporting sexual assaults.
Some other states to consider
The Hon. Mandy Powers Norrell, South Carolina State Representative, is currently undertaking to protect the residents of her state from Ward’s behavior and further incidents of sexual assault. Her bill, H 3829, is pending in her state.
Alabama and Tennessee have existing laws that make Ward’s behavior a crime. Both laws are identified in my most recent book, Your Consent – The Key to Conquering Sexual Assault, which shows the consent provisions from coast to coast, explains why rape by fraud is a crime, and clearly defines how “consent” should be expressed in each and every state across the US and around the world.
What your raped daughter or son could face – for the rest of their lives
No matter what form of rape a person is subjected to, rape never leaves their psyche. Rape invades the most private part of a victim’s being and pollutes even the most remote corner of their mind. It takes a great deal of effort and therapy to learn to compartmentalize defilement into a part of one’s brain where it no longer interferes with daily functioning. Even once a survivor makes peace with what happened, they can be plagued with recurring suicidal ideation, depression and interpersonal dysfunction for life.
As a rape survivor, I, and millions of other survivors, have good reason to feel re-victimized by the oversight of Indiana’s legislators. While Donald Ward’s conduct harmed one victim, the legislative decision to ignore HB1584 failed millions of present, past, and future rape victims. Failure to pass this important bill lets the copy-cat out of the bag because it tells sexual predators that there are no consequences for conducting the heinous defilement of rape by fraud or impersonation in Indiana.
Society and our lawmakers must be clear on what consent really means in order to conquer sexual assault! Please register for this booklet today! Together we can fight sexual assault and make the world a safer place!
Every nickel from the proceeds of this book’s sales will be used to fight for sexual assault laws!