I’m only nine chapters into Jon Krakauer’s Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, but it’s riveting and horrifying. While I suspect I will have more to write once I’ve finished, right now I’m totally sickened and furious. The failure to investigate and prosecute sexual assault, not to mention tackle the culture that permitted it, was unconscionable.
And it I were a person who lived in Missoula, I’d be terrified to know that Kirsten Pabst now decides what cases get prosecuted. During her volunteer effort to defend an accused rapist at the University of Montana, she displayed an opinion on sexual consent to the University Court that was unimaginable:
So even if you’d given it previously, that doesn’t count if you’re asleep, right?” “Correct,” Pabst replied. A moment later, however, she hedged: “Well, it depends. That’s not really a hard-and-fast rule. But some people would argue that if I go home with someone and we say, ‘Well, we’re going to go have sex,’ and then I fall asleep and wake up and he’s having sex with me—some people would say that’s consensual, and some people would say it’s not.” The questioner followed up: “What does the law say?” “I don’t know the answer to that,” Pabst answered. “There is no hard-and-fast rule.”