Thursday, March 13, 2008

Rape Versus Prostitution

Yes, the most prominent New York politician resigned yesterday due to his dealings in prostitution, the way he transferred money to finance it and of course transporting prostitutes across state lines. It was shameful, ridiculous, idiotic, stupid and you can use many more adjectives to describe Spitzer. Yet as bad as it was, in my book rape is far worse, because that isn't consensual and shows the worst in people. Now Dennis Gallagher hasn't been convicted of raping a woman in his office, but when you look at the details of a possible plea agreement, the situation looks terrible.

From The NY Times:

A New York City councilman accused of rape is close to a deal with prosecutors to avoid jail in return for his resigning from office, seeking alcohol abuse treatment and apologizing to the victim, according to two people familiar with the negotiations.

The councilman, Dennis P. Gallagher, a Queens Republican, was initially charged with raping a woman in his campaign office in Middle Village in July after they met in a nearby bar. Mr. Gallagher, who is married and the father of three children, acknowledged a sexual encounter but said that it had been consensual.

In January, a State Supreme Court judge dismissed the indictment of Mr. Gallagher, saying that prosecutors had unfairly prejudiced the grand jury against him. The judge added, however, that the evidence was strong enough to warrant an indictment.

That ruling left the door open for prosecutors to present the case again to a new grand jury. The Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown, said that he intended to seek a new indictment, but that has not happened.

A sticking point earlier in the plea discussions was whether Mr. Gallagher would be required to register as a sex offender. No such requirement is in the current proposed resolution of the case, according to one of the people familiar with the negotiations.

So basically they had a sexual encounter, he said it was consensual, she said it was rape. Except for Gallagher, everyone involved agrees there is enough to indict him. Now he's ready to make a deal to save himself from being a sex offender and having to serve time in jail for what he did. If he's innocent like he claims, then he should try to fight it, not make a deal, because it presumes some level of guilt.

So in one week, we could have two resignations from NY public officials. Damn, I wonder if that's a record. In any case, both men were wrong in what they did, and while Spitzer's meltdown will be more in the media's spotlight than Gallagher's, his is still far worse.