The confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh for the lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court have taken a lot of oxygen out of the news cycle these past few days. Professor Christine Blasey Ford, stepping out of much-sought-after anonymity, has put her name to the accusation of the nominee's attempted rape of her.
As it stands, the professor and her family are under protection because of death threats (Kavanaugh has received them, too) while Kavanaugh's wife is making cupcakes for the press outside their home. I wish I was making that up. How Blasey Ford has been treated is typical. Blame her. "Why didn't she report it sooner?" is the refrain from Kavanaugh supporters, including the president.
Oh, there are lots of reasons a victim of sexual assault doesn't report. I will give you two: Alaska Superior Court Judge Michael Corey and Anchorage Assistant District Attorney Andrew Grannik.
In August of 2017, Justin Schneider, in the middle of the day, offered a ride to a woman. He choked her until she was unconscious and then ejaculated on her. The grand jury called it an "offensive contact with fluids."
Schneider, while choking the victim with both hands, told her he was going to kill her.
"The man told her that he wasn't really going to kill her, that he needed her to believe she was going to die so that he could be sexually fulfilled," APD Detective Brett Sarber wrote.
When the victim became conscious, her perpetrator was zipping his pants. Schneider offered his victim a tissue, returned her backpack to her, and drove away. She had his license plate number. Police had his DNA in the Kleenex he'd so graciously offered her.
She reported the crime to police as soon as Schneider drove out of sight. You might ask yourself what a man does after such an event. This man headed to his job as an air traffic controller at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. She went to the Alaska Native Medical Center.
Schneider no longer works orchestrating the planes you and I fly in and out on. You may share my relief in this. It seems fair at the very least that a man who is sexually fulfilled in someone thinking they are about to die isn't in charge of the lives of so many. Andrew Grannik, the guy in charge of prosecuting Schneider on behalf of the community, didn't think so. He called the loss of his federal job a "life sentence."
Here's a thought, Mr. Grannik — being the victim of sexual assault is an actual life sentence. It doesn't go away.
See, Mr. Grannik and Mr. Schneider came to a deal and Judge Corey gave it the stamp of approval. Schneider will not serve time in jail. He's been on house arrest for the past year, with his wife and kids, and now he's good to go.
As reported by KTVA, Grannik hopes it doesn't happen again and doesn't think it will, "That's the reason why I made the deal that I've made, because I have reasonable expectations that it will not happen. But I would like the gentleman to be on notice that that is his one pass — it's not really a pass — but given the conduct, one might consider that it is."
Schneider has been going to counseling to get over his need to choke a woman half to death in order to get himself off. The judge and DA apparently think that's adequate to put him back on the streets of Anchorage.
The judge told Schneider, "This can never happen again."
OR WHAT? He got away with it once. If there's a next time, he won't hand his victim a DNA sample and her phone.
The victim wasn't at the sentencing, but Schneider thinks this whole thing is about the best thing that's ever happened to him. "I would just like to emphasize how grateful I am for this process. It has given me a year to really work on myself and become a better person, and a better husband, and a better father, and I'm very eager to continue that journey."
Having a hard time being a good husband and father? Maybe violently attacking and sexually assaulting a woman would help. Who actually thinks this? Grannik and Corey, who are supposed to be protecting us. Thanks for nothing on that, sirs.
Mr. Schneider doesn't have to register as a sex offender. His crime wasn't deemed sexual enough.
Here's the thing — she did report.
Meanwhile Schneider is "on a journey" of self-discovery.
The judge and DA absolved Schneider of his crimes.
These are the reasons why women don't report.
Because when they do, it doesn't matter.
Judge Corey is up for a retention vote on this November's ballot. The only bench he should be allowed to sit on is in a park, watching seagulls and wondering if the newest missing woman in the news could have been avoided.