Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Public Assassination of Rape Victim Megan Rondini - Donald V. Watkins


The Public Assassination of Rape Victim Megan Rondini
By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on August 22, 2017
The public assassination of Megan Rondini is in full swing. Yesterday, the Alabama Political Reporter ("APR") rolled out Terry Jackson "Sweet T" Bunn, Jr.'s defense to a rape charged filed by University of Alabama honors student Megan Rondini in the early morning hours of July 2, 2015. The APR article delivered on a promise made by the Bunn family in its July 27, 2017, attack ad in the Tuscaloosa News to trash Megan if her family pursued justice in her rape case.
According to the attack ad, text messages on Megan's phone prove that Megan wanted to have "consensual sex" with Sweet T. The APR article regurgitates this defensive theme. The totality of evidence, however, indicates that Megan was the victim of a drug-facilitated rape.
The APR article claims that Megan's case has been the subject of "sensational reporting" by BuzzFeed News and Internet bloggers. "[T]he facts and not just a handful selectively doled out evidence should be scrutinized under the harsh light of justice", says APR.
Yet, APR failed to mention any of the "facts" evidencing police misconduct in "fixing" Megan's rape case for Sweet T. APR also failed to discuss any of the prior reported rape cases where Sweet T was the designated rape "suspect". Likewise, the APR article did not address the failure of criminal investigators to test Megan's urine sample for the presence of GHB or any other "date rape" drug. This failure is very significant because Sweet T enjoys a well-known reputation for trolling the local bar scene and for using GHB on young, unsuspecting prey. He is widely regarded as a "sexual predator".
Sweet T was informed that he was a rape suspect when investigators first visited his residence at 5:45 a.m. on July 2, 2015. Yet, the APR article omits any explanation for why investigators left the crime scene unsecured for a two-hour period before returning to the house later that morning. Their unexplained departure from the house gave Sweet T a two-hour window of opportunity to coach his friend/witness (i.e., Jason Barksdale), who was in the house, and to alter and/or destroy evidence in the residence before investigators returned.
Finally, the APR article ignores the plethora of documented conflicts of interest involving the law enforcement officials who were charged with the responsibility for properly investigating and prosecuting Megan's rape case. The sheriff and both district attorneys took laundered campaign cash from the Bunn family and/or its businesses. None of the conflicted officials recused themselves from this case. Even Sweet T, himself, got in on the political action by "tipping" District Attorney Lyn Head $500 in laundered campaign cash after she closed his rape case with a pre-packaged grand jury review a month after Megan committed suicide on February 26, 2016.
An Incapacitated Rape Victim Cannot "Consent" to Sexual Intercourse
The APR article acknowledges that an incapacitated woman cannot consent to sexual intercourse. This is a correct statement of Alabama law.
When Megan arrived at DCH Region Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, she gave the attending RN an account of her rape at 3:15 a.m. and again at 3:35 a.m. She also gave the physician on duty an account of her rape at 4:04 a.m. All three accounts of the sexual encounter were consistent and described the following scenario: (a) Megan was at Innisfree Irish Pub with friends; (b) Megan saw Sweet T at the pub and remembered him from a previous encounter at Innisfree in November of 2014; (c) Megan did not talk to Sweet T inside the pub on the night of July 1st; (d) Megan did not remember leaving the pub, even though she had not been drinking heavily; (e) at 3:15 a.m., Megan told the RN she woke up in Sweet T's bedroom; at 4:04 a.m., Megan told the ER physician she woke up in the car while it was pulling up to Sweet T's house; (f) once they arrived at the house, Sweet T told Jason Barksdale to leave and told Megan to go upstairs to the bedroom; (g) Megan went upstairs to Sweet T's bedroom; (h) Megan told Sweet T she did not want to have sex with him; (i) Sweet T said, "this is the nicest [you] will ever have"; (j) "we had sex, not consensual…. I told him I didn't want to and that I wanted to [go] home because I needed to get my friends"; (k) "it was not forceful but I knew I didn't have a choice"; (l) Sweet T began by performing oral sex on Megan; next, he put his penis in her mouth; and then he had vaginal sex with her "while holding [her] down"; (m) Megan was unsure if he ejaculated; (n) Sweet T passed out after he was done; (o) Megan escaped from Sweet T's house through a second floor window because his bedroom door was locked; and (p) Megan's friend picked her up from the house and drove her to the DCH emergency room for a rape kit exam and urine sample.
Later, Megan gave Sheriff's Department investigator Adam Jones the same account of her rape during his preliminary interview with her at DCH. She remembered more details of the incident with the passage of time.
According to Megan, Sweet T insisted on having sex with her when he entered his bedroom. Megan insisted on leaving his house without having sex.
Megan had no memory of any events from the time she left Innisfree until the time she arrived at Sweet T's house. Some kind of substance knocked her out, and it did not appear to be alcohol. Megan's condition was consistent with what is commonly experienced by the victims of "date rape" drugs that render a woman incapacitated during sex acts. Furthermore, Megan reported that she was "not responsive" while Sweet T was having unprotected sex with her. She later developed gonorrhea from this sexual encounter.
Investigators never tested Megan's urine sample to obtain a scientific answer to whether Megan had been unobtrusively administered GHB prior to having "consensual sex" with Sweet T. Also, they never questioned Sweet T about his use of "date rape" drugs.
The Defense of "Consensual Sex" Rests on Megan's Text Messages
Sweet T's defense of "consensual sex" is based on text messages on Megan's cell phone. To be clear, there are no text messages of any kind from Megan to Sweet T, and none from Sweet T to Megan -- ever. She regarded him as an "old man".
By all accounts, the sexual encounter between Megan and Sweet T occurred during the 59-minute period that commenced after she left Innisfree Irish Pub at 12:05 a.m. and before Megan's started sending a string of frantic text messages at 1:04 a.m. to her friends for help in escaping from Sweet's Cottondale house.
According to the APR article, at 12:14 a.m., Megan made Megan made videos of the interior of Bunn's house and sent them to friends via text messages and Snapchat. It would have been physically impossible for Megan to video animals at Sweet T's house only nine minutes after she left Innisfree.
According to Sweet T, he picked Megan up outside of Innisfree and took her to the Houndstooth Apartments, where she lived. This is about an 8 to 10-minute ride from Innisfree to Megan's apartment. They entered the gated apartment complex, parked the car, walked to Megan's front door and entered her apartment, made and consumed drinks, and then proceeded to Sweet T's home in Cottondale. His residence is at least 18 to 20 minutes away when traveling by car from Megan's apartment.
Even though security cameras show Megan, Sweet T, and Jason entering her apartment, Megan had no recollection of taking these men to her apartment.
This left about 26 minutes for Megan and Sweet T to chat and have drinks at her apartment and to chat and have sex at Sweet T's residence.
Of course, Sweet T initially told investigators that he did not take Megan to his house. He later abandoned this falsehood and pivoted to a carefully scripted "consensual sex" storyline.
Sweet T claims that the following text messages clear him of rape charges:
Megan to a Friend (12:06 a.m.): "Pick me up in morning"
Friend (12:08 a.m.): "Kk I have class at 10 so early ish"
Megan (12:08 a.m.): "We are going to guck"
Megan (12:11 a.m.): [emoji]
Friend (12:11a.m.): "Do it" [emoji]
Friend (12:11a.m.): "Wear a condom"
Friend (12:13 a.m.): "Good luck"
Megan (12:14 a.m.): "Eww but I'll make it real good"
Friend (12:16 a.m.): "Hahah like a tru horseback rider"
At 1:04, Megan texted another friend: "Cb come get me rn". This was the first of scores of text messages Megan sent to her friends begging them to help her. They eventually arrived at the house to rescue Megan from the crime scene. From there, they went to the emergency room at DCH.
Prior to July 1st, Megan had only made causal references to Sweet T in text messages to friends on two occasions – once immediately following a November encounter described below and again in December of 2014. While her friends jokingly expressed some interest in socializing with Sweet T, Megan expressed no such interest.
The Defense Suggests that the Word "Guck" Means "F-ck"
Sweet T's legal team has implied that the word "guck" in the 12:08 a.m. text message Megan sent her friend was a misspelled reference to the word "f-ck", which is a slang word for sexual intercourse. This misinterpretation of "guck" is offered as proof that Megan had a desire to have sexual intercourse with Sweet T after she left Innisfree. Several points shoot down this bogus defense theory.
First, "guck" is a well-defined English word that has nothing to do with any form of sex activity. When it is used as a noun in many English-speaking countries, "guck" means "slime or oozy dirt". When it is used as an adjective, "guck" is descriptive of a "slimy or dirty" person or thing. When it is used as a verb, "guck" is slang for confronting or chastising a slimy person about his/her "dirty" behavior or ways.
Megan's 12:14 a.m. text makes it clear that Megan was going to "guck" Sweet T, and "make it real good". Megan never got this chance to "guck" Sweet T about his conduct with young college-age women because she was drugged after she left the pub.
It is important to note that Megan was a well-travel student. She had already visited three countries -- England, the Cayman Islands, and most of Canada – where "guck" is a word commonly used by highly intelligent individuals who possess an extensive vocabulary. Megan fits this profile. She was a 3.8 GPA University of Alabama honors student who was set to graduate from the University in three years.
Second, the word "guck" was not a misspelled version of "f-ck". When Megan used and misspelled the adjective "f-cking" while pleading for immediate help from her friends in text messages sent at 1:55 a.m. and 2:08, the auto-correct feature on her cell phone spelled this word as "ducking", not "gucking".
Third, the individuals who received text messages from Megan immediately after she left Innisfree had been drinking since 8:30 p.m. on July 1st. Some of them were drunk. Megan cannot be held responsible for how one of her friends interpreted her reference to "guck".
Fourth, Sweet T had absolutely no idea about any text messages that were sent or received by Megan after she left Innisfree. None of them said Megan wanted to have sex with him.
Sweet T's Reputation as a "Dirt Bag" Who Trolls Bars for Young College-Age Women
The ARP article describes Sweet T this way:
"Bunn, nearly 15 years Megan's senior at the time, is from a wealthy and influential Tuscaloosa family. His habit of haunting taverns frequented by young college co-eds has given him a roguish reputation according to locals. 'He's a 30 something frat guy still trolling for college girls,' said a law-enforcement officer. 'With that silly nickname and airs of privilege, he's a dirt bag,' said the officer who is not authorized to speak on the record. Megan and her friends were aware of Bunn's habit of hanging out at bars and his family money, as shown from texts in November and December of 2014."
Our investigative reports agree with APR's assessment of Sweet T's general reputation in the Tuscaloosa community. He is regarded as a "dirt bag" who is known to use "date rape" drugs on young women. Sweet T is also "protected" within the local law enforcement community because of his family's financial connections to The University of Alabama and its prominence in the Tuscaloosa community.
Prior to the July 2nd rape report, Megan's only encounter with Sweet T occurred when she interceded on behalf of an 18-year-old female college student/friend that Sweet T was trying to pick up at Innisfree during Iron Bowl weekend in November of 2014.
No electronic, handwritten, or other tangible evidence exists in Megan's police file that suggests she had any interest in having sex with Sweet T.
Veil Threat to the Rondini Family
The APR article concludes with this veil threat to the Rondini family: "The files reviewed by APR are filled with graphic details of Megan's life, some too shocking for print but surely will be exposed during a trial."
Megan is dead. Sweet T apparently raped her before passing out. Megan was bullied and threatened by sheriff's investigators when she reported her rape. She was trashed in the Bunn family's recent attack ad. Yesterday's APR article continued the tragic re-victimization of Megan Rondini.
We have reviewed the police file in Megan's rape case, as well as a host of information that was independently gathered in this case. None of this information gathered is shocking or embarrassing to the Rondini family.
Sweet T's status as a "protected" sexual predator allows him the freedom to victimize young college-age women. This conduct is tolerated because his family contributes big money to The University of Alabama's athletics department and to local law enforcement officials.

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