Expert slams comments on alleged Scottsdale rape case: don't blame victim

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(Source: Scottsdale Police Dept.) (Source: Scottsdale Police Dept.)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

After a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted in Scottsdale over the weekend, many comments on Facebook show people blaming the victim.

Read story: Man accused of sexually assaulting unconscious woman

Jessye Johnson with the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, who does not have knowledge of this specific case, said just because a victim was drunk, that does not give anyone the right to take advantage of her.

At his first court appearance, Rodolfo Ramirez's attorney said there was no evidence to show his client committed the crimes alleged. And a friend of Ramirez's who we spoke to said he was shocked when he heard the news.

"He's a good guy," the friend said. "I don't know what happened, but he's a good guy."

Although Scottsdale Police paint a clear picture of a perpetrator and a victim, Facebook tells a different story. One commenter said, "I blame her friend for leaving her and don't blame him." Another said, "She drunk [sic] herself unconscious. Both are to blame."

"There's a tendency for some reason in our culture to say, well, if you hadn’t done that, he wouldn’t have done this," Johnson said.

But she added that has a chilling effect on whether women report crimes against them.

"'This is somehow your fault,' and so there’s a reluctance to even report the crime that their character is being questioned," Johnson said.

While all are innocent until proven guilty and Ramirez has his right to due process, Johnson said in any case, no one deserves to be taken advantage of. She added that consent is a clear, affirmative "yes," and can be revoked at any time.

"When we’re looking at cases like this, having that moment of pause and saying, well, who is really responsible here?"

We reached out to the attorney for Ramirez during his initial court appearance and he said he has no comment at this time.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Lindsey ReiserLindsey Reiser is a Scottsdale native and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

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Lindsey Reiser

Lindsey returned to the Valley in 2010 after covering border and immigration issues in El Paso, TX. While in El Paso she investigated public corruption, uncovered poor business practices, and routinely reported on the violence across the border.

Lindsey feels honored to have several awards under her belt, including a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award, Hearst Journalist Award, and several National Broadcast Education Association Awards.

Lindsey is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and she currently serves as a mentor to journalism students. She studied for a semester in Alicante, Spain and also earned a degree in Spanish at ASU.

She is proud to serve as a member of United Blood Services’ Community Leadership Council, a volunteer advisory board for the UBS of Arizona.

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