Class Notes 10/31

We began class by discussing a sexual assault that took place the night before. On Monday, October 30th, local Brandon C. Westendorf was arrested for sexual abuse in the third degree.

The Iowa Code for Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree is: 709.4


I then entered this code into the Iowa Code website to find further information about the charge. I found out that:

 1. A person commits sexual abuse in the third degree when the person performs a sex act under any of the following circumstances:

 a. The act is done by force or against the will of the other person, whether or not the other person is the person’s spouse or is cohabiting with the person.

 b. The act is between persons who are not at the time cohabiting as husband and wife and if any of the following are true:

 (1) The other person is suffering from a mental defect or incapacity which precludes giving consent.
 (2) The other person is twelve or thirteen years of age.

 (3) The other person is fourteen or fifteen years of age and any of the following are true:

 (a) The person is a member of the same household as the other person.
 (b) The person is related to the other person by blood or affinity to the fourth degree.
 (c) The person is in a position of authority over the other person and uses that authority to coerce the other person to submit.
 (d) The person is four or more years older than the other person.

 c. The act is performed while the other person is under the influence of a controlled substance, which may include but is not limited to flunitrazepam, and all of the following are true:

 (1) The controlled substance, which may include but is not limited to flunitrazepam, prevents the other person from consenting to the act.
 (2) The person performing the act knows or reasonably should have known that the other person was under the influence of the controlled substance, which may include but is not limited to flunitrazepam.
 d. The act is performed while the other person is mentally incapacitated, physically incapacitated, or physically helpless.
I also discovered that sexual abuse in the third degree is a class “C” felony, which is punishable by confinement up to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
I then went to Facebook to try to find Westendorf’s profile. This was very interesting.
After this, Anelia called the Black Hawk County Court to try to get the mugshot published. We could not find it anywhere, even on VineLink, but for some reason it was on KCRG.
It worked.
After this, we continued to watch the documentary about the Rolling Stone and the University of Virginia.
I am extremely interested in this documentary. The tone, graphics, transitions, and sound effects really maximized the quality of the film.
According to the film, she was raped by Haven Monohan, and he forced her to give five men oral sex.
She immediately called her friend, Drew, whom she had a crush on, and told him what happened. He advised her to call the police, but she didn’t.
Jackie continued to ask Drew why he didn’t like her as the weeks progressed, but he realized that that he needed to cut the friendship off so she could move on.
Two years went by, and then a Rolling Stone journalist,  Sabrina Rubin, uncovered the case, brought it back to the surface, and ultimately shocked the nation.
It turns out that a women by the name of Liz Seccuro was also ganged raped in that same Phi Kappa Psi house back in 1984.
But the story being in favor of Jackie ends there. Because of the storm the story by the Rolling Stone caused, the Washington Post decided to follow up. They spoke with Jackie and the stories were far different. In fact, they spoke to her friends, such as Drew, and they explained what happened on that night because it was far different than Jackie’s portrayal.
After Jackie’s story started falling apart after her credibility became shot, the Rolling Stone had to admit a retraction. This then caused an even bigger storm.
The dean of the University of Virginia then filed a $7.5 million libel case agains the Rolling Stone. She claimed there original story was a reckless disregard for truth and was sloppy reporting. Furthermore, the dean’s reputation was completely ruined. She received death threats and had many awful nights during the peak of this story. When she found out that story was false, she felt it was necessary to sue the Rolling Stone, which I agree with.
Imagine receiving death threats and ultimately going through hell and having a shattered reputation because of a false story over a sexual assault.
The dean did win her lawsuit and was rewarded $3 million.

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