Sunday, August 13, 2017

COMMENTARY -- The University Of Alabama Sides With “Sweet T” In Megan Rondini Rape Case - Donald V. Watkins -- Warning to All Female UA Students 

The University Of Alabama Sides With "Sweet T" In Megan Rondini Rape Case
By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on August 13, 2017 - 6:31 am/ct
The University of Alabama has chosen a side in the high-profile Megan Rondini rape case. Megan was an exceptionally bright and respected UA honors student who accused Terry J. "Sweet T" Bunn, Jr., of raping her during the early morning hours of July 2, 2015. After Sweet T escaped prosecution on Megan's rape charge, she committed suicide.
The University has abandoned Megan Rondini and is standing with Sweet T in her rape case. By siding with Sweet T, the University has failed Megan and her parents, again, and has placed its female students at risk.
Sources close to the University's board of trustees say the institution is unwilling to jeopardize its longtime financial relationship with the Bunn family over Megan's report to Sheriff's investigators that Sweet T raped her. It's that simple.
Ms. Leslie Abernathy, the University's Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, oversees donor relationship with major financial contributors like the Bunn family. She is married to Sheriff Ron Abernathy, the man who reportedly ordered his criminal investigators to "script" Megan Rondini's rape case for Sweet T's benefit. This directive transformed Megan from an innocent "victim" of a promptly and properly reported rape into a fully Mirandized "criminal suspect" for actions she took in escaping the crime scene.
The Bunn family's relationship with the University is mutually beneficial and ironclad. Over the years, the Bunn family has shown its support of the University by: (a) leasing a luxury skybox suite in Bryant-Denny Stadium, which required a one-time $500,000 pledge of money, together with a hefty annual lease payment, plus the costs of game tickets; (b) serving as a member of the Crimson Tradition Committee which raised more than $70 million to renovate and construct certain athletic facilities on campus; (c) contributing major donations to the Crimson Tide Foundation; and (d) lending the use of its corporate jet to the Athletic Department.
Terry Bunn, Sr., has also served as a member of the University President's Cabinet, which is a powerful group of about 300 members who advise the President on matters of importance to the alumni, donors, political establishment, and corporate community.
At the time Megan Rondini accused Sweet T of rape, Terry Bunn, Sr., and Terry Bunn, Jr., were gubernatorial appointees to the governing board of separate state agencies. Each represented the district that encompasses Tuscaloosa.
By aligning itself with Sweet T, the University has chosen to ignore a mountain of evidence supporting Megan's rape claim. As we understand it, the University is clinging to a false and misleading narrative, birthed by Sweet T and packaged by his protectors in the local law enforcement community, that an "outgoing", "friendly", and "flirtatious" Megan Rondini wanted to have spontaneous, "consensual", unprotected sex with him, unaided by the administration of a "date rape" drug. Parroting a PR theme from a recent Bunn family attack ad against Megan, University officials are privately telling concerned parties that text messages in Megan's phone on the night in question support this narrative.
No text message on Megan's cell phone or Sweet T's phone evidences her consent to have any kind of sex with Sweet T. His number was not in Megan's phone, and hers was not in Sweet T's phone.
By embracing Sweet T's false and self-serving narrative, the University has elevated its financial relationship with the Bunn family over the safety and security of one of its brightest and most disciplined female students.
Since Megan's rape case became public in June, the University has not taken any steps to warn freshman and upper class female students about Sweet T and his predatory behavior. It has taken no steps to ban Sweet T, a 2005 alumnus, from the campus. Furthermore, the University has not requested Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Megan's rape case, from top to bottom.
Instead, the University has quietly collaborated with the Bunn family and others to trash Megan Rondini in the court of public opinion and in the court of law.
In light of this catastrophic failure of leadership by University President Stuart Bell and the University's board of trustees, we are issuing the appropriate warning about Sweet T to all incoming and returning female students. This warning is issued solely for the purpose of preventing another Megan Rondini-type incident, which ultimately resulted in the tragic loss of her life.
On August 2, 2017, President Bell issued what he characterized as an "important message about sexual misconduct reporting and resources." This message, which was issued in the wake of growing criticism over the University's mishandling of Megan Rondini's rape case, simply shared general information on "resources, reporting options and support available to those affected by sexual misconduct."
To the disappointment of many, Dr. Bell did not have the courage to use the word "rape" in his "important message" and he did not have the decency to address Megan Rondini's rape case in his passive "Cover-Your-A--" message.
Again, Dr. Bell's message focused on what female victims of sexual assaults can do AFTER they have been raped. Megan properly reported her rape case, but it did not matter because the "suspect" involved was well connected to the Tuscaloosa law enforcement community and the University.
Dr. Bell's message was completely devoid of any new rape prevention measures being implemented by the University to minimize the possibility that Megan's tragic experience can happen again to another female student.
Finally, the University's unholy alliance with Sweet T and the Bunn family in the Megan Rondini rape case sends a powerful message to all female students that when the institution has to choose between supporting a student who is a rape "victim" and a "suspect" who is the immediate family member of a big-money donor, the University will subjugate the value it places on the lives and safety of its female students in order to side with the big-money interests every time.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

No comments: