Rape Victim Told To Cheer Alleged Rapist: Supreme Court Turns Down Appeal of Texas Cheerleader

The Supreme Court has turned down review for a Texas high school cheerleader who was kicked off the squad for refusing to chant the name of a basketball player that she said raped her four months earlier. Officials at Silsbee High School threw her off the team for not cheering for Rakheem Bolton, a star on the Silsbee High School football team.

The Fifth Circuit turned down the cheerleader’s free speech claim –stating that “[i]n her capacity as cheerleader, [she] served as a mouthpiece through which the school could disseminate speech–namely, support for its athletic teams.” The Supreme Court refused to review the decision below.

The girl identified as H.S. was 16 when she said Bolton raped her at a party. Bolton however only received a misdemeanor assault charge and was given a suspended sentence. That seems like a pretty light sentence, but the prosecutors insisted that the victim agreed with the result.

Putting aside the question of whether the girl had a first amendment claim (which is debatable), there remains the positively horrid decision of the district superintendent, his assistant and the school principal who ordered her to cheer her alleged rapist. They then tossed her from the squad. It is incomprehensible to me that three adults — let alone educators — would take such a draconian and thoughtless position.

What is particularly disturbing is an order from the federal court for H.S. and her parents to reimburse the district more than $45,000 for the costs of defending against a frivolous suit. Once again, it is incredible that the district has even demanded such costs. I have been a long credit of these cost shifting decisions as in the recent Westboro case.

Christian Paul Rountree (on right with Barlow on left), 20, and a 16 year old football player were also accused of a second degree felony charge of sexual assault of a cheerleader in 2008. However, the initial grand jury returned a no bill on the charges and then the prosecutor was replaced after being sued by the family. The family sued sued District Attorney David Sheffield, Silsbee Independent School District, Superintendent Richard Bain Jr., Principal Gail Lokey and cheerleading coach Sissy McInnis.

The special prosecutor then secured charges against Rountree as well as Bolton. Accounts stated that the girl was forced into a room by the three players and raped. It is hard to see how such a claim ends up in a plea for a misdemeanor.

Here is the Fifth Circuit ruling: 09-41075.0.wpd

Source: SF Gate

49 thoughts on “Rape Victim Told To Cheer Alleged Rapist: Supreme Court Turns Down Appeal of Texas Cheerleader”

  1. i. It’s no surprize to me that the State of Texas allows it’s teenaged girls to be raped. after all last week they were ready to force injections on all of them. It’s a Republican State and money prestige and a winning team will always take precidence over the suffering and public humiliation of a teenage girl. It’s also a cattle state. Every good cattleman knows what heifers are for and no cattleman is going to sacrifice a good bull to save a dime a dozen heifer.
    Dredd- Yes I agree. Sadly the American people have been gang-raped repeatedly by every Republican administration since Nixon. when we manage to elect a President who actually has the peoples interest at heart, the Republican Congress does every underhanded thing they can to get him out and make him look ineffectual in the bargain. It’s time that people realize that the Republican Party isn’t the GOP anymore. More like the GTOP (grand theft old party.)

  2. The Moar You Know,

    Racism? Of course, your complicity to _misogyny_ is all well and good.

    It takes quite a stretch of the imagination to argue that the original post reads like something from Stormfront, but your comments read like the typical senseless and insensitive drivel of Rape Apologists, that’s for sure. Your contemptible attitude toward the girl and her family makes you come off just as bad as, indeed worse, than any racist.

  3. Supreme Court Denies Justice To Texas Cheerleader Who Refused To Cheer Her Alleged Rapist

    Leading legal scholars have pointed out that this case is about more than justice for one purported rape victim — it’s a civil rights issue that goes to the heart of students’ right of free speech under the First Amendment. Though it might seem obvious to most people that H.S. had every right to sit out that cheer, the lower court insisted that as a cheerleader, she was speaking for the school and as such had no right to stay silent when coaches told her to applaud her alleged rapist. The court explained in its decision:

    As a cheerleader, HS served as a mouthpiece through which [the school district] could disseminate speech – namely, support for its athletic teams…This act constituted substantial interference with the work of the school because, as a cheerleader, HS was at the basketball game for the purpose of cheering, a position she undertook voluntarily.

    It’s unclear to many court watchers how H.S.’s silence was disruptive, or how the school’s right to “disseminate speech” through cheerleading outweighed the needs of a sexual assault victim.

    The Firth Circuit has repeatedly illustrated its hostility to first amendment rights and victims seeking compensation claims. Texas too has a bad track record when it comes to high-profile rape cases. A recent case involving the gang-rape of an 11-year-old girl by at least 18 men, including several student athletes, caused national outrage after many in the community tried to blame the victim. For years Texas has forced women to pay for their own rape kits. Two months ago, the Texas House approved a bill that would require victims of rape who became pregnant to get an ultrasound and hear a description of the fetus before getting an abortion.

    One reporter summed up the miscarriage of justice this way: “The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case is a devastating rejection of students’ rights to speak out against school officials, and a disturbing affirmation of a culture that punishes rape victims instead of perpetrators.”

  4. Woosty’s,

    “what do you think the blowback will be if these Republican wetdreams come to pass?”

    Another segment of the population that will alienate the GOP. I, for one, will not sit by and watch it happen … you know the old saying about a woman scorned …

  5. mespo727272
    1, May 5, 2011 at 10:06 am
    You speak of shoulds Mespo, not actualities….One need look no further than the condition of the ‘general law abiding public’ to see that the Star Chamber is indeed what we have….

  6. Woosty:

    ““…in the mind of the decider..”..that is frightening…”


    The reason ours is a system of laws and not of “justice” is precisely due to that fear and the inherent difficulty in defining “justice.” In more primitive hierarchical societies, “justice” was whatever the decider meted out. Our system of laws is designed to give notice of expected behavior to guide the conduct of the citizen, as well as to circumscribe the discretion of the decider who judges that conduct. Otherwise we would have a true “Star Chamber” system where personal whim and caprice rule the day. As with most things we do have a middle ground where natural justice can be afforded in a civil setting. The courts of equity were designed to do just that but only in certain disputes among citizens and typically not in disputes between citizens and their government.

  7. Soozie-queue ,
    You say, “The first mistake most people make, when they have not spent a good portion of their lives immersed in the legal system, is in thinking we actually have a Justice system.”

    I think most people have long ago been corrected in thier thinking that the ‘legal’ system is just.

    And I don’t agree with you that people don’t use due diligence in choosing attorneys….I think most people do as well as can be expected given the amount of information available to them….and against the putrid tide of self aggrandizement by many Attorneys. Many attorneys make thier livings playing with other peoples money and lives and never being held personally responsble for how they do so. And there is very little that the general law abidng public can do about it that is meaningful, efective or worthwhile. So I guess that I do’nt agree that we have either a justice system or a legal system at this juncture in time. I think we have a ‘political’ system…like Rugby….and some people like to play rugby…but those of ust who prefer ‘golf’ or ‘bowling’ or track and field’ or ‘ice skating’ or ‘skiing’ are a tad resentful of our current ‘legal’ system.

    Which is not to say that I don’t agree with you on the ‘blaming the victim’ bit, it’s just that right now, I think the victim is the general law abiding public

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