The Best Defense

The civil case against former DeAnza baseball players for a 2007 group sex incident appears to be unraveling. Of the nine original defendants, only two defendants are left and one intends to fight back in court regardless of whether or not he is exonerated in the case. San Jose attorney Bruce Funk, who represents defendant Kenneth Chadwick, would not confirm or deny if the plaintiff’s attorneys have attempted to settle out of court, though we hear that an offer was made and rejected. But Funk did say “we will go back after that plaintiff’s attorneys for financial compensation.”

Not only that, sources close to the case say Funk has threatened to sue the alleged rape victim for malicious prosecution. The civil case was filed against Chadwick, even though there were no charges filed and he didn’t even participate in sex acts with the girl, who was 17 years old at the time.

Chadwick says he spent only 45 seconds in the room before he walked out. The woman who sued could be liable now for not only costs, but also attorney’s fees in addition to the malicious prosecution threat. The other defendant remaining in the civil suit is Christopher Knopf. An attorney familiar with the case says “the girl will be lucky to get $100,000. Her team has spent hundreds of thousands in attorney’s fees. Bruce is totally controlling the case now. It’s an ass kicking, and the plaintiff’s side is in complete freefall.”

With the civil suit on the verge of falling apart, it seems District Attorney Dolores Carr  might be vindicated in the end for her heavily criticized decision to not press charges. Civil cases are easier to win than criminal ones, and this one’s not looking like a slam dunk at this stage.

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  1. One has to wonder two things:

    If there weren’t an election, would DA Carr’s stand on this case be taken more seriously?


    Will the Mercury News learn its lesson about using elections to condemn the actions of trained professionals like Carr, who turned out to be right all along?

    My hope is that this victim, her family, and her friends realize that DA Carr tried to spare them this kind of pain by not prosecuting this case, due to lack of evidence. The Sheriff’s Department should be ashamed of their handling of this case.

    And finally, I am outraged that this young woman is being treated like this, and will be re-victimized by the very people who raped her in the first place. I must say this is a prime example of how victims seeking justice are treated when high priced lawyers for offenders scapegoat victims to get their clients off. No wonder victims of violent crime/witnesses don’t come forward as often as they should~

    • Ms Kathleen it seems you have already decided the young men are guilty of rape.  They have not been tried or convicted of that.  The civil case has been very enlightening with testimony and fact brought out.  Including the scandalous behavior of the young woman after the alleged rape.

      As it unfolds, this case does a great deal to harm the real victims of rape and violent crimes.  The courtroom blog in the Merc has given quite another side to the torrid story. 

      Bad behavior isn’t always criminal.  Group sex isn’t always rape, in fact many times its participatory.  The lesson learned for the public should be that people heed the instructions the Judge gave that included people who are under the influence of alcohol are still responsible for their actions.  If that young lady had realized that maybe she wouldn’t have brought the alcohol to the party, wouldn’t have gotten so drunk when she already had a history of it causing promiscuous behavior on her part. 

      I don’t doubt it is a humiliating experience for her but it still remains a self inflicted one.

      • Observer,
        We can agree to disagree. The three young women, who had to push their way into the room and stop it, said she was unconscious and they were raping her. Having sex with someone who is unconscious, or is so chemically impaired that they can’t make a rational decision IS rape in my book. It doesn’t matter if her behavior was sexual in nature, she was clearly too drunk to know what was happening.

        And by the way, I would NOT place a lot of trust in reports from the Mercury News. They have proven they are untrustworthy too many times to count.

        • Yes the three young women pushed their way into the room and stopped it.  People can stop participatory sex too can they not?  I do believe the three young women were traumatized by what they witnessed, however, that doesn’t make it rape or a crime.  They too had been drinking, they were at a raucous party, so maybe it just appeared too unsavory for them to imagine anyone wanting to participate in it willingly.  Could that be the case?  Isn’t it at least an option?

          The young woman in question was described as unconscious by the three young women, yet conflicting reports state she walked out on her own accord, was conscious enough to offer apologies to her ex-boyfriend on the way out. 

          Putting one’s self in a chemically impaired state all on their own doing, engaging in risky behavior (that is present both before and after this event) does not excuse the young woman for being held accountable for her own actions or give her the right to claim she has some “right” to want to party until she’s falling down drunk then cry rape or harassment to anyone who embarrasses her after the fact. 

          Regret about drunken sex is too often masked by a cry of rape.  That diminishes the crime of rape for all those who truly are victimized by its violence and aggression.

  2. If the case had been properly investigated from the start this would have been a No brainer for the D.A.  Doesn’t the D.A. have the power to conduct her own follow up investigation with her own staff? Maybe the ball was dropped twice.  The bottom line…. I agree we have a very very poor victim.  I feel sorry for her that the system FAILED.

  3. I still don’t get why the baseball players weren’t at least charged with rape of a minor and aiding in the rape of a minor?

    There were witnesses and it shouldn’t be hard to prove she was until 18.

    So in those terms Carr gives them a walk on everything; because she couldn’t get them on higher charges.

    • Age of consent is 18 in CA so even though the young men were also young (were any of them 18 or all older?), so I wonder about that too.

      I read in one of the Merc comment sections that the young lady was an emancipated minor.  Maybe that makes the difference?

  4. “Group sex incident”?

    Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice was a “group sex incident.”

    This was boorish young men with no self-control abusing an even younger, clearly troubled woman uncapable of making decisions about her own safety.  When did sexual assault on an incapacitated woman become a spectator sport?

    • I guess the question for many people isn’t when did sexual assault on an incapacitated woman become a spectator sport but rather was THIS young woman actually incapacitated?  She was seemingly willing and able to initiate the encounter and walked in the room after explicitly asking for sex and backing that request up with lap dances and crotch grabbing (of the boys). 

      “clearly troubled” is subjective and not relevant to the party.  She is clearly troubled in her life as it is depicted at the trial (her ongoing promiscuous behavior, her unwed pregnancy, her continuation school and drop out status, etc etc)  But to the young men who were themselves drinking that night, I am guessing they didn’t ask for her history and mental stability as she put her hands on their penises.  She is not a very sympathetic “victim”.

      • Positions,
        Unless you were at the party and saw what happened yourself, you must consider who is reporting, “What happened.” I worked with youth offenders and I can tell you right now, a youth’s perception of things is way off in many cases. For example, I cannot tell you how many times a kid would say to me, “Well if they didn’t leave their keys in the car, I wouldn’t have stolen their car. Or if they didn’t leave their window open, I wouldn’t have robbed them…..” These guys blocked the door when 3 young women tried to get in and stop this. The young women reported that this young girl was completely out of it, and was being raped.

        In so far as the behavior of this girl, let me just say that clearly she is troubled, but that doesn’t mean she should be subjected to a gang rape. These young men were wrong to do what they did, and need a good butt kicking by their parents. Their friends and neighbors need to stop supporting their actions towards this young girl. We need to teach young women to have more self-respect, and young men to have MORE respect for themselves and young women. Parents need to teach their children how to behave and stop being their buddies. Kids need a parent to guide them and discipline them, not a friend who acts and dresses like them. 

        To make excuses for these guys is just unacceptable. If this were their mother, sister or aunt, I can guarantee you they wouldn’t be being sued for gang rape, they’d be on trail for assault and battery, or murder.

        • You said that a youth’s perception of things is wrong many times.  Maybe its the three so called heroes who’s perception were off that night.  Did you ever consider that before convicting these young men of gang rape in your court of public opinion?

          The girl needed and still needs a good butt kicking by HER parents.  Making excuses for her and her behavior is just as reprehensible as it is for the guys.  Its not hard to believe she participated willingly given the testimony and the pictures she so proudly displays to this day on her own Facebook pages.  She’s a teen mother in a “committed” relationshp and she still acts like as slut, why is she surprised when men oblige her and treat her like one?  No one deserves to be raped, but giving a woman sex as she asks for it isn’t rape, not even when its at a party with spectators. There are frat & sorority houses all over the country where there is wild sex going on at parties with people in and out of the rooms and its all consentual.  The only thing that made this different was the three soccer girls who thought they were rescuing someone who was there of her own free will.  Free will at the party, free will at the bar, free will in the bedroom.

    • TOTALLY AGREE.  “Group sex incident”??  Group sex is something you do when you’re a wild youngster, not when you are gang raped at a party.  I feel so sad for this girl and for the turmoil that has afflicted her life because of the actions of these selfish and morally corrupt monsters.  Knowing some of the defendants personally, I really can not say I am surprised that they did this as they always thought they were above the rules of society.  I just pray for peace for this young girl and I know that in my heart that karma is a bitch and these guys will pay for what they did, one way or another.

      • Disturbing and sad,

        What is truly disturbing and sad is that the teenagers at this party didn’t stop this long before it went this far, and that guys who are the jocks at school are treated like they are above the same standard of behavior other kids are. Adults teach them that attitude, so they think they can do anything they want without consequences.

        It is no different now then it was when I was in school some 30-35 years ago. Jocks and cheerleaders got a pass on bad behavior, and grades because they were rich and or popular. As a society we owe it to ALL youth to treat them the same and punish them the same so that they can grow into responsible adults that are held accountable for their actions.

  5. “I feel sorry for her that the system FAILED.” I agree 100%. Our system needs a lot of work. The blame here lies with the Sheriff’s Dept. They handled the investigation and gathered evidence and BLEW IT big time. Sorry, but DA Carr doesn’t get the blame for this one~

      • John,
            go to court one day and see what happens.  It’s the system.  I was involved with a jury trial.  It’s a three ring circus.  More rights for the suspect than the victims.  my case was a Sexual Assault.  The case was sad and how things get turned around. I learned that it’s not who is guilty.  It’s who says the best story.
            Geez did you lose your job or something?

  6. I said this in the last blog and I will say it again. The standard in California court is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Carr did not make this standard up. She was, however, smart enough to know this case would not fly (even in Berkeley). I admire her for having the “Balls” to make the unpopular decision to not file as apposed to try the case based on public opinion or outrage.

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