14-Year-Old Girl Blamed for Being Sexually Abused by Softball Coach

jailI'm so beyond disgusted by this story that I don't even know where to begin. Good lord, which part of this horrifying tale sickens me the most? Is it Mickey T. Gotwalt, the twisted 52-year-old softball coach who sexually abused a 14-year-old girl, going so far as to buy her wedding rings (even though he was already married) and secretly plot to kill the girl's mother so he could run away with her?

Or is it Gotwalt's slimy defense attorney, Thomas A. Warda, who blames Gotwalt's "poor judgment" on the cancer medication he was taking at the time and the 14-year-old girl's come-ons? Not that it matters, because she'll forget all about the abuse someday anyway.

Yes, he REALLY said that. His exact words?

"I mean (Gotwalt) didn't kill this girl ... I mean this isn't -- I don't think she's gonna have psychological injury the rest of her life ... I mean he'll be in prison, but, you know, she'll have forgotten all about this at some point."


Sufficiently nauseated yet? Yeah. That's what I thought.

I'm enraged whenever the victim is blamed in a sexual assault case, but trying to pin a 52-year-old man's guilt on a 14-year-old girl ... pathetic. Warda argues that the girl sent her coach naked photos, thereby bringing the abuse upon herself.

Well, guess what? Fourteen-year-old girls are legally allowed to have "poor judgment," if that's what you want to call it. Softball coaches three times their age are NOT.

Thank god the judge and prosecutors were sane enough to recognize Warda's defense as lunacy: Gotwalt was found guilty. But it still bothers me, to put it mildly, that our criminal justice system is such that Warda thought he actually had a snowball's chance in hell of winning this case. When will we stop blaming victims of sexual assault?

Is this one of the most disgusting stories you've ever heard?


Image via Alberto/Flickr

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