The lawyer representing Bill Rausch in his ongoing sexual assault cases in D.C. filed several motions this week. Among them was a response to the prosecutor’s request for a hearing to determine how much, if anything, she’s allowed to bring up about this journalist’s reporting on the case.
Rausch’s lawyer claims that none of these victims would have come out against Bill if I hadn’t planted the idea in their head to do so. Rausch’s lawyer is a woman, herself, and so it’s shocking to see that the defense’s argument is that these women – I think we’re up to six, now – who reported everything from sexual harassment to rape – didn’t do so because of their personal strength and determination, but because a man told them to do so.
It’s not only insulting, it’s untrue. Each of these women sought me out because I was reporting on Bill. The victim in this case tried to file charges in 2011 but, since it was before the MeToo movement, her complaint fell on deaf ears.
She’s also forgetting that the judge for the protection order (that his mistress filed after he beat her up and stalked her), found the reports to be credible enough to compel Bill to take over twenty domestic violence classes. In that hearing, Bill’s lawyer made the victim watch a private porno that Bill had recorded to see what her response would be.
Bill is upset that this journalist has become a part of the case. But Bill Rausch’s own actions made that happen. He made me a victim, too, when he stalked me online, using fake social media accounts to attack my credibility in preparation for his trial. He compelled others to do things like post maps to my house, online. And he did so from a U.S. base in East Africa – at least two coworkers from that base have also filed harassment charges against him.
It’s a gross argument because it doesn’t argue that the attempted rape did not happen, but that the women would (and should) have remained silent about it. And judges in DC don’t look kindly on victim blaming these days.