Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Bama Nation Is Thirsty For Justice In Megan Rondini’s Rape Case - Donald V. Watkins 

Bama Nation Is Thirsty For Justice In Megan Rondini's Rape Case
By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on July 12, 2017
Yesterday's article exposing the breath and depth of the Terry Bunn family ties to Tuscaloosa, The University of Alabama, and the state's law enforcement establishment struck a nerved with a lot of people around the state. My telephones, text messages, and private Facebook messages were jammed pack with feedback from angry readers and parents of UA students.
As a result of the article, many readers now realize that T.J. "Sweet T" Bunn, Jr., has received very favorable treatment in the criminal justice system. They are livid.
Charitably speaking, Sweet T has gotten breaks in the system that only money, connections, and access to skybox tickets to Crimson Tide football games can buy. These breaks have elevated Sweet T to the status of a "modern-day untouchable."
As I expected, the back-channel calls came yesterday from individuals close to the University. As I understand it, the University is worried about its image and brand in the wake of the negative publicity surrounding Megan Rondini's rape case. For a fleeting moment in time, I thought the University might also be concerned about the suffering of the Rondini family, or with the safety and security of female students, both on and off campus. This was never mentioned during the calls. The Tuscaloosa crowd just want Megan's situation to go away.
I do not speak for the Rondini family, as they have an attorney representing them. However, I do speak for the thousands of parents like myself who have daughters attending the University and who are thirsty for justice in Megan's case. This is what we want for Megan and our daughters:
1. The University must seek criminal justice for Megan Rondini. In other words, somebody has to go to jail in Megan's alleged rape case.
2. The University must request a special prosecutor who has not been compromised by his/her acceptance of laundered Bunn family campaign money to investigate Megan's case. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, a handpicked Robert Bentley appointee, is not the appropriate person to investigate Megan's case because he is too weak and inexperienced to conduct a proper rape and cover-up investigation. Former Montgomery County DA Jimmy Evans or former Baldwin County DA John David Whetstone would be our recommendation for a special prosecutor because each of these men has the courage, backbone, experience, and integrity to seek justice in Megan's case.
3. The University must stop its sanctioned whisper campaign in which misguided supporters are quietly trashing the reputation of Megan Rondini. Remember, Megan committed suicide as a result of the bullying, betrayal, and failure of law enforcement and University officials. She was an honors student and genuinely good person. Any attempt to portray Megan Rondini as a young "tramp" or "slut" who wanted Sweet T's body for a one-night stand is factually incorrect, intellectually dishonest, and morally wrong. We will not tolerate any character assassination of Megan by the University or other parties involved in this case.
4. The University must assure the public that UA students who are raped in the future, whether on or off campus in Tuscaloosa, will have the services of well-trained attorneys who specialize in victim's rights to aggressively advocate for them as they participate in local law enforcement investigations of their rape complaints. The victim's status as a UA student, not the location of the rape crime, will trigger this duty.
5. Leslie Abernathy, the Director of Corporate Giving and Foundation Relations, and Sheriff Ron Abernathy, her husband, must recuse themselves from rape cases involving UA students in which a major University donor is related by blood or marriage to the alleged rapist.
6. President Stuart Bell and the University's Board of Trustees must issue a public apology to the Rondini family and Bama Nation for the University's failure to handle Megan's rape case appropriately.
These good faith steps would quench our thirst for justice in Megan's case. They would also contribute to the healing process for the Rondini family. Finally, they are the right things to do for Megan and our daughters.

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