It was a surprise to me, I thought the age of consent did not go below 17 anywhere in the U.S. I was wrong, because in Seattle the age of consent is sixteen. Still, It appears as if the police were looking to charge Venoy Overton, age 22 and a University of Washington men’s basketball team player, with some kind of sex charge on Tuesday, after charging him with furnishing alcohol to a minor. The article keeps saying that the girls stories did not collaborate, and that police decided to forgo any sex charges. Apparently one of the girls went to the police some time later after the incident and told them she was “compelled into a sex act” with Overton.
From The Seattle Times:
The girl who later brought her case to Seattle police said she was compelled into a sex act with Overton after seeing her friend engage in the same act with him, the report said.
She later told police “it just happened,” according to the report.
The King County Prosecutor’s Office said the decision to forgo sex charges against Overton was based on a review of statements by witnesses, including the girl’s friend and two other men who were in the apartment, according to a memo outlining the decision. Overton told police that the girl never said “no” to any sex acts, the memo said.
King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Carol Spoor called the case “highly problematic” because the girl participated in sex acts under “situational pressure.” State law, Spoor wrote, “places the burden on the victim to clearly communicate a lack of consent to the suspect, which she did not do.”
This is pretty much the tone of the entire article. It makes clear that the girls were of age and gave consent. It refers to “sex acts” and “sex charges”. It dances and tip-toes around one word: rape. If the age of consent is sixteen, and one girl brought her case to police, and they decided against ‘sexual charges’, what does that mean? To me, it means one of the girls decided to go for the gold, tell police she had been raped, and get a big, fat payday. Probably more accurate to say is a lawyer told her to, and is probably telling her right now to sue anyway, because they can still get some bucks out of this, maybe television, a book deal, who knows?
Oops, I just looked down and saw that I accidentally got on my soap box.
Let’s talk about the future for a second. I just saw a post that Justin Holiday, senior co-captain for UW, suffered a concussion during Saturday’s game against USC. After Overton’s charge on Tuesday, Coach Lorenzo Lamar suspended him for the Pacific-10 Conference tournament. So it is very possible that UW may have to play Thursday’s game without their senior guard and their senior co-captain. That would definitely be a setback.