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A debate on rape

August 10, 2003

Amy Alkon misses the point (Letters, Aug. 3). Rape transcends mere biology. Every year thousands of men are raped by other men. Abner Louima was sodomized by a New York police officer using his truncheon. Power and humiliation are key components of sexual assault.

Alkon writes that "victims can sometimes prevent rape by acting prudently ... say, realizing that going up to hotel room with a famous basketball player probably won't result in a friendly game of checkers." Even if the alleged victim felt Kobe Bryant had some sexual interest in her, why should she expect him to be a criminal? Bryant is responsible for controlling his impulses, not his alleged victim.

Bart Stratton



I wish Amy Alkon could tour Stuart House, the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center's facility for the treatment of very young rape victims. What would Alkon say of these children -- that they were victims of "sex crimes"?

The law is clear on the subject: Rape is rape. It does not become another type of crime because the victim happens to be young and attractive. That difference exists only in the minds of people who would rather blame the victim than hold the rapist accountable.

Bonnie Sloane

Los Angeles

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