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. mespo727272
    1, May 5, 2011 at 8:28 am

    …. The legal system has as its goal such an apportionment but as you note it is fraught with policy concerns dealing with the overarching need to maintain a reliable administration of the law.

    so, are you saying that our ‘justice’ cannot see the forest for the trees?….or, they are the trees….?

    apportion [əˈpɔːʃən]
    (tr) to divide, distribute, or assign appropriate shares of; allot proportionally to apportion the blame

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

  2. Dredd
    1, May 4, 2011 at 7:22 pm
    I think this is a metaphor / microcosm type thingy for the American public … raped … yet required to cheer for those who have raped them.

    Just sayin’ …

    and I’ll second that too………….

  3. Soozie-queque:

    You are indeed correct that we have a legal system and not one based on subjective notions of natural justice. The concept of justice involves apportioning to each his due in the mind of the decider. The legal system has as its goal such an apportionment but as you note it is fraught with policy concerns dealing with the overarching need to maintain a reliable administration of the law. Sometimes that does mean an injustice to an individual litigant as APPEARS the case here. However, most nations throughout history find that ignoring precedent and respect for the system as a whole leads to decisions based on emotional and transient ideas of “justice.” The great philosophers all agree that “justice” is moving target and dependent on large measure on the times in which the question is asked, who’s asking it, and who’s deciding it. A system of laws administered according to stare decisis is designed to remove that subjectivity. Elsewise we achieve something akin to a “Star Chamber” where decisions on culpability are made according to the dictates of individual conscience of the judges. That system worked not at all.

    I wouldn’t be so hard on our system. It has worked for centuries and is the model to the world. That it is not perfect in no way diminishes that fact. Few man-made institutions reach that loft goal.

  4. Alan,

    Then you must pray for the Robber that shot you after breaking into your house….if they are the same to you….Your statement is creepy….

  5. 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. Most think that if they have DNA evidence and a witness to testify that Justice will be served. They also expect the general law-abiding public to be on their side, and not blame the victim. They are so convinced that they are right that they do not use due diligence in their choice of attorney and in the selection of the claims.
    We have a Legal system, not a Justice System in the USA. It is even a misnomer to call our selected lawyers Justices, as this is not their assigned nor accepted job.
    Most in our country want to distribute culpability. I disagree with the concept, but most people will question why she was at an after-party.
    Filing on the First Amendment was a rookie mistake on the part of the parents’ attorney. However, now that Sislby has clearly been complicit in the assault by not taking action to prevent, and not taking disciplinary action against the perpetrators, I hope that if any of the perpetrators is ever involved in this type of activity in the future, that all parties named in the lawsuit by the parents will be liable for their part in condoning this behavior. Furthermore, I hope that the school and it’s administration is additionally liable for all of the actions or assaults by any and all of it’s student athletes in the future, for this story shows that they clearly received an education in Sislby, even if we disagree with the lessons. I would suggest the school institute sensitivity training on women’s rights, with published disciplinary actions for offenses of harassment or assault. I would also question if the school claims that cheerleaders are required to attend school events, if it was clearly documented that the after-party at which the assault took place was not a school event.

  6. “I have been a long credit of these cost shifting decisions”

    You need to turn off spellcheck…

  7. AlanDowunder, that is the Fallacy of False Equivalence.

    That is the fallacy of defining distinct and conflicting items in similar terms, thus equating items that are not, in fact, equal.

  8. If it is a cheerleader’s duty to cheer, is it a pharmacist’s duty to fill a prescription for contraceptives?

  9. Texas. It must be something in the water. Schools, politics, police behaviour and just about every public transaction between an official entity and the citizenry comes down to the calibre of the people doing the job no matter what the law, rules or regs say. This is another sterling example of an epic fail in the hiring process:

    “HOUSTON (KTRK) — The death of Osama bin Laden is related to an investigation of a teacher at Clear Brook High School. The teacher is accused of making a racially insensitive comment to a student in front of the entire class.

    She said, “The teacher told the student that ‘I bet you’re grieving.’ And she basically looked at him and said what are you talking about? And he said I heard about your uncle’s death and she said wow, because she understood that he was referring about Osama bin Laden being killed and was racially profiling her.”

    The remark was made to a classmate, an American-born girl of Muslim faith. It happened at Clear Brook High School in the Clear Creek Independent School District. The mom wanted to speak out about the incident but wanted us to protect her identity, saying she doesn’t want any retaliation against her daughter or the girl who experienced the inappropriate comment.”


  10. i’m sure they’ll get it all worked out at the next game prayer

  11. Woosty, who knows? Those people are so self-righteous and lacking in insight they cannot connect the dots. It is about keeping people like James Dobson mollified.

  12. Stamford Liberal
    1, May 4, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    “… this bill is to ensure that women are relegated to brood mare status in order to breed serfs for his corporate overlords …
    what do you think the blowback will be if these Republican wetdreams come to pass?

  13. Swarthmore,
    Even if Obama wins, but the Dems lose the Senate, women are in trouble.
    Well said Mike A.!

  14. OS,

    “SL: I hope that when this POS bill gets to the President’s desk he vetoes it.”

    I can’t imagine he wouldn’t but, then again, saying and doing are two entirely different things.

    I just sent John of Orange an email and asked how many jobs this bill will create … I then said that since he doesn’t care about jobs, this bill is to ensure that women are relegated to brood mare status in order to breed serfs for his corporate overlords …

  15. And one more thing. What does this anti-choice bill and all that energy expended in writing this POS have to do with job creation and getting energy prices under control?

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