A Cheerleader’s Rape in a Small Texas Town

Caroline Heldman has been covering the rape of teenaged Hillaire S.–a cheerleader in Silsbee, Tx.–for the Ms. Blog since October (see here and here). Her latest report reveals shocking new details of the attack and of the response to the case by the town, the high school and the courts. This is part one of a two-part series.

Maybe it’s the cheer that makes this one rape among hundreds of thousands that occur in the U.S. each year so resonant.

As Rakheem Bolton came to the free throw line during a February 2009 basketball game, the Silsbee High cheerleading squad had a rhyme at the ready: two, four, six, eight, ten, come on Rakheem, put it in.

Four months earlier, cheerleader Hillaire S. had alleged that Bolton had raped her at a house party. And now she was being asked to gleefully urge him to “put it in.” She quietly folded her arms, stepped back from the rest of the squad, and refused.

A few weeks later, she once again found herself asked to cheer when Bolton approached the free-throw line. This time, she knelt down next to her cheerleading coach and remained silent. The coach took her into the gym’s foyer to face the school superintendent and the Silsbee principal. Hillaire says they told her she needed to cheer for everyone. Sobbing, she stood her ground. She was formally removed from the squad the next school day.

——

The house party took place on an October night in 2008.

Hillaire was exceedingly intoxicated after drinking a beer and multiple shots of vodka. She made out with a guy in the living room and was egged on to kiss a female friend by a group of ogling guys. Rakheem Bolton, then playing for the football team at the school, and his friends arrived late to the party and, seeing an intoxicated and flirtatious Hillaire, isolated her in the house’s pool room. Here’s what she later told the police happened next:

I was suddenly pushed into the pool room and the door was closed behind me and the lights turned off. … I was pulled backwards and someone whispered in my ear ‘just lay down on the floor …’  Hands on my thighs were pushing my legs apart. I felt someone penetrating vaginally. I suddenly realized what was happening and I put my hands on someone and yelled at them to stop. I then said, ‘Seriously, stop it.’’ I then said ‘no!’  I heard someone–I think it was Derek–say something like, ‘Dude she said ‘stop it’ and ‘no.’ [Editor's note: "Derek" was a minor at the time, so his name has been changed]

Even if Hillaire had not said no, a crime may have been committed anyway. For one thing, the Texas penal code deems it sexual assault when one person uses force and the other is physically unable to resist. In addition, Hillaire may have been too intoxicated to be considered legally able to consent.

This really isn’t a he said/she said story. Two students outside the pool room–Patrick Steed and Richard Garrett –heard Hillaire say “Stop!” Unable to open the locked door, they retrieved Jacob Riley from another room. Riley again heard Hillaire say “stop,” so they broke through the door, only to find that three of the four athletes had fled through the window, breaking it in the process. The one young man who stayed behind told police, “I know I did not do anything so I didn’t run.”

Derek, one of the football players who fled, confirmed Hillaire’s account of the incident. He said that his teammate Christian Rountree “was holding her and was trying to talk her into coming in [to the pool room], so when they went back in I just followed.” At one point, he says, Bolton told the others to leave the room for five minutes. “We act [sic] like we left but we just hid under the pool table.” Then “Rakheem layed [sic] her on the floor and started to have sex and she start [sic] saying ‘stop.’ So Rakheem stopped.”

When the rescuers burst in, they found Hillaire lying partially under the pool table, half-clothed and crying. Said Patrick Steed, “All she had on was her black bra. She rolled over and reached for her clothes that were under the pool table. She was crying and appeared upset.” Garrett added to police, “I believed Hillaire had been raped.”

Stacy Riley, who owned the party house, was watching a movie in her room when the assault took place, and would later be charged with serving alcohol to minors. She heard the commotion and found Hillaire in the pool room. Said Ms. Riley,

[I asked] her again if she was hurt and ask[ed] her if she had been raped. All she would say was ‘yes’ and continued crying. … I began to cry again and said to her, ‘Sweetie, if you were my daughter I would want to know.’

Meanwhile, Garrett and Jacob Riley actually tried to chase down the perpetators, Garrett grabbing a bat and Riley a martial-arts sword. Bolton, who fled without his clothes into the woods, had borrowed a jacket and shorts from his friends and was heading back to demand his own clothes. Jacob confronted Bolton and accused him of rape. According to Stacy Riley, Bolton yelled back,

I didn’t rape no white girl. I wouldn’t use anyone else’s dick to fuck her. I didn’t put my dick up inside her. I don’t know if she has AIDS. I don’t even know that girl.

But Bolton would later nod assent when police asked if his DNA could be found on a condom left at the scene.

Bolton’s parting words to partygoers were: “I didn’t rape anyone, and you better be locked and loaded! I’m going to spray this house !” According to Ms. Riley, “He told my son and I … that we had better not go to sleep, that he was coming back to kill everyone.”

Hillaire didn’t sleep: She spent the early morning hours after the rape at the police station and at a nearby clinic. She had sustained internal injuries and her right thigh showed a full handprint bruise–“a thumb and four fingers,” according to her mother, Christena. Of the four young men in the room, Bolton, 17, and Rountree, 18, both legal adults in Texas, would be arrested and charged with “child sexual assault,” which carries a prison term of two to 20 years. Derek, a minor, was arrested on unknown charges.

—–

How does a young woman go on with life after such a traumatic experience? And how does a community respond to a survivor of such an attack? In this case, the simplest answers are “bravely” to the first question, and “with cowardice” to the second.

Hillaire returned to school a few days after the rape only to face a chilly environment from most of her peers. She says school officials urged her to take a low profile; the cheerleading squad wanted her to skip homecoming because, according to a fellow cheerleader, “Someone from another city had called and threatened her. If she cheered at another game, they were going to shoot her.”

Hillaire went anyway, only to see that some students had painted Bolton’s and Rountree’s jersey numbers on their faces to protest their removal from the football team after their arrests. Students also chanted “Free ‘Tree’” (referring to Rountree) at the homecoming bonfire the next week, within earshot of Hillaire.

Rather than rally around the rape survivor, many fellow students and others in Silsbee blamed Hillaire for what happened that night. Said Sarah [not her real name], a fellow cheerleader,

Right after it happened, most of the school was supportive. But as time went on and we heard more details of what happened, that’s when people started doubting that this happened. … A majority of the school felt this way.

When asked what changed her mind, Sarah described Hillaire’s sexual behavior at the party as proof enough.  She explained to me that Hillaire didn’t act like a “real” rape victim:

She had no shame. … She never seemed upset. She acted like it was no big deal. … I wouldn’t have told people what happened. … I wouldn’t have openly said, ‘This is what happened, blah, blah, blah.’

Hillaire was called “slut” several times to her face at school. A toddler approached Hillaire at a town parade and–at the probable urging of her parents–called her a “bitch.” An anonymous letter to Hillaire’s family read:

These boys are nice respectable boys and you can’t tell me that there were no other girls that wanted to be with them so they raped your daughter (please). Just think how you have ruined these children [sic] lives and your daughter gets to carry on and be a cheerleader after drinking herself and going against your family values. … This makes your daughter [sic] reputation look very bad and if you think people will forget, remember we live in Silsbee. Someone will always remember! (Don’t think she won’t be talked about.)

Then, in February, four months after the rape, Hillaire was kicked off the cheerleading squad for refusing to cheer for Rakheem.

Hillaire’s popular status as a cheerleader obviously couldn’t compete with the second religion of the town: high school sports. The high school stadium seats 7,000—equal to the town’s population—and it’s always full on game day. With sports having such status, the best male players gain special privilege. Many people in town rallied behind Bolton and Rountree, and the latter’s mother, in an interview with The Silsbee Bee, thanked them:

We’ve had a tremendous, just tremendous outpouring of support and we just appreciate everyone and just thank you for believing in these boys.

Believing in the “boys” meant dismissing both Hillaire and eyewitness reports. Instead, as one student articulated, the overriding belief was that Bolton wouldn’t rape anyone because “he was popular. A lot of girls wanted to be with him.”

Hillaire was deeply hurt by the reaction, but maintained a brave front. Her father Craig told me:

My daughter would wake up in the middle of the night crying and come sleep in our bed at 16, 17 [years old] because she was having nightmares. She’d get up in the morning without any sleep. She’d say, ‘I can’t let them know that I’m not going to school today.’ I look at my kid and say ‘Wow, she’s my 16-year-old kid, and she’s my hero.’ She’s so strong and determined, beat down but fighting back. She could have given up and quit fighting, but she didn’t do that.

Read about the verdict, the town’s reaction and how Hillaire is doing in part two.

Comments

  1. Scott Rose says:

    One thing we should all demand to know; to what did Rahkeem Bolton plead guilty exactly, when he entered into a plea bargain and pleaded guilty to assault? The Texas penal code says of that degree of assault, that the violent criminal has caused “bodily injury.” Bolton pleaded guilty to causing this victim bodily injury. What part of her body did he plead guilty to injuring? The second thing we should all demand to know, is why Bolton was ever allowed back into the same school with this victim. I have read through the Silsbee Schools Code of Conduct. There are ample provisions in it, for keeping out of the regular public schools a violent criminal who did the sorts of things Bolton did. The night of the assault, multiple witnesses saw him engaging in public lewdness, running about naked outside of a dwelling, having jumped out a window when rescuers tried to stop him from continuing to doing bodily harm to this victim. Multiple witness also heard Bolton make felonious threats against various people on the same night he did bodily injury to this victim. At the time Silsbee Schools allowed Bolton to return to Silsbee High School, he had not yet been convicted but he had been seen out of doors, guilty of public lewdness, and he had made felonious threats against multiple victims. When Silsbee Schools let THAT back into Silsbee High School, it recklessly endangered the safety of all other Silsbee High students and employees. I have information . . from court documents . . that he assaulted his science teacher, but, because the school wanted him to continue on its basketball team, instead of expelling him they gave him an “in-school suspension.”

    • it’s because he’s on the sports team… that’s whats wrong with small texas towns… sports are EVERYTHING!… especially football. so when any of the team’s boys gets in trouble, everyone tries their best to find a way to help them out of it because the championship is coming up and they need their players to win… i have lived in texas all my life and that is one of the things about this big state that i absolutely abhor…small towns with their small town thinking.

      • What is new about the hysteria of sports? I dont see much difference between small towns and big cities in this regard. Houston – where I lived for nearly 30 years bent over backwards to get a new football stadium. The Astrodome too old – at the ancient age of 46. Gee – wasn’t it just a few years before Houston promised Oilers owner Bud Adams everything but the kitchen sink to keep him from moving the team to TN which he did anyway? The big shots got their wish and Reliant Stadium and Minute Made Park and Toyota Center built. There are schools in Houston which are crumbling down and areas of the city in dreadful repair – however the sports teams win out. The few who can afford to attend the games bask in tbeir high lifstyle.

        • I agree with all of this, but at the same time girls can be a tease. They don’t want to look too easy so they say No. They want to test how much you desire them so they say No. But they want you, ecepxt you, to keep asking, keep asking, keep asking until they say Yes. So often, when they say No, they really mean Yes. That’s why there’s confusion. And there’s a big problem when these girls say No and really mean No! Because then nobody takes them seriously.

          • lunazzzy says:

            When a girl says no, she means no. It doesnt matter what you think she wants, you have to go by the words that are coming out of her mouth. Its this kind of ridiculous thinking which you have displayed that leads to boys thinking they can ignore what a girl says because “they know she really wants it after all”.

    • Having seen years of raped children at Texas Children’s Hospital and working at a center for abused women and children. How hard was it for them to believe that witnesses heard her say, “No and stop.” It sounds like there was evidence and if it wasn’t a crime why did he run away. I currently teach in a Texas High School and any young man accused of this crime would have been suspended or sent to a different school for those in trouble with the law. Flirting does not constitute and acceptance of being raped. Your school should protect victims of crime; not the criminals.

    • I agree with you completely! It seems he should have been in jail.

  2. from http://www.kfdm.com/articles/former-39394-school-high.html
    “I have no hard feelings,” said Bolton. “I never have and I feel like it was just a misunderstanding.”

    “I believe in second chances,” said Winford Harper. “He had gotten into a little trouble. Trying to clean his life up. Going to church. Doing his services every Wednesday. Trying to make a difference. He was making a difference in the neighborhood.”

    …..

    a misunderstanding… a litte trouble…

    rape culture at it’s finest

    • Mikaila says:

      Yes – a ‘misunderstanding’. Sickening, isn’t it.

      How wonderful that he has “no hard feelings” and is able to put all this behind him! Unfortunately his victim doesn’t have that luxury – she will be affected by this forever, and is being trashed by people in her community while he gets to go on and become a big shot football player at college.

    • what a bunch of ignorant bastards… misunderstanding?

      • you people are truely ignorant. i go to silsbee high school and im sure as hell proud of it. you believe anything the media says and you dont know the facts. honestly… you disgust me.

        • If someone is intoxicated and unable to consent, says ‘no’ and ‘stop’ and someone continues to have sex with them, that is rape. Rape is rape is rape.

          You may be proud to go to your school, but I wouldn’t be. You also sound very young. One day you’ll hopefully understand how your point of view is more harmful to victims of rape than helpful.

    • Can he explain this then?

      “According to Stacy Riley, Bolton yelled back,

      I didn’t rape no white girl. I wouldn’t use anyone else’s dick to fuck her. I didn’t put my dick up inside her. I don’t know if she has AIDS. I don’t even know that girl.

      But Bolton would later nod assent when police asked if his DNA could be found on a condom left at the scene.

      Bolton’s parting words to partygoers were: “I didn’t rape anyone, and you better be locked and loaded! I’m going to spray this house !” According to Ms. Riley, “He told my son and I … that we had better not go to sleep, that he was coming back to kill everyone.”

      So, not only does his obvious ignorance and lack of intelligence betray his lack of remorse and sensitivity, but he uttered terroristic threats. And they let him off that easy? They thought well enough to charge him initially with Child Sexual Assault, but neither are on a Sex-Offender’s Registry?

      Perhaps you and others should make certain that there’s no fame and fortune in their future. If there is to be justice, these men should be removed far and away from the vaunted pedestals upon which their community and others have placed them as “Athletes”

      They cannot be allowed to be praised as heroes for this and certainly not as victims. They cannot be allowed easy wealth as Athletes while honest people, who don’t rape underage drunk girls and threaten witnesses, face foreclosure on their homes, bankruptcy and joblessness as the thanks for their personal integrity and morals.

      And no way should the rubes of Silsbee, Texas be allowed to burden the costs of failed justice upon the victim. So, sign that petition and tell everyone about the horrible thing that happened in Silsbee until everyone knows about it. Make Silsbee the butt of your rude jokes and encourage others to do so as well. Make Silsbee the laughing stock of the Lone Star State…somethin’ like this…

      Two truckers walk into a bar. One says to the other, “Man, I need to use the john so bad, I’m shaking and can barely stand!”, And starts to head for the Mens room. The other trucker grabs his buddy’s arm and says, “Wait a minute, pard. We’re in Silsbee, remember? Ya’ sure y’all wanna’ do that here?” After a slight, uneasy pause, the stricken trucker says, “Yeah, I guess it can wait til Beaumont.”

    • I went through a similar thing when I was in middle school. I was raped at a party by someone who was 18 when I was 11. Everyone told me I was a slut and it was my fault, so I kept quiet about it for years but the scars from it remain to this day (I am now 40, still single). What this poor girl is going through has to be a nightmare for her and it sickens me that people are still so ignorant that they put the blame for what happened on her. Lock up this little creep, he is nothing but a worthless piece of trash! If they don’t, I hope his future rape victims sue this town and everyone who supported him.

      • That’s so true. He knows he can get away with it now. He’s not going to stop.

      • Do you believe you are STILL single as you put it because of your assault? Honey – there are FAR more of us than them. Sure you could be married to some old thing out there but you dont want some old thing out there. Dont blame yourself for the numbers not adding up fairly!

      • This is so true. One of the biggest ocaisl problems is peer pressure. It takes a courage not to behave like the rest of the crowd to risk being ostracised and mocked for not embracing aggressive behaviour. It takes a real man. Remember that you’re not born a man, you become one by your actions and your beliefs. And real women want real men.

      • I have helped many teenagers to let a counselor know of a rape that happened to them in middle school or in high school. They told me first.

    • How do you clean up a victim of rape having been heard by more than witness saying “NO!” and having a condom with his DNA, and her internal injuries. Go work in a rape crisis center.

  3. Rachel Maran says:

    It always astounds me when communities and even the legal system decide to protect star athletes instead of the young women they victimize. To say the least, the adults who sanctioned the treatment of this young woman should know better. This leads me to exclaim: Talent is not a carte blanche, and intoxication is not consent!

    It is also important to recognize that we are discussing high school students. What happens if and when these children (As the majority were minors in the eyes of the law at the time of the assault) go to college, or join the labor force as adults? When a school sanctions this type of violence in such a public and reprehensible manner, the administration is teaching a lesson to their students, indeed.

    Perhaps it is time that all public schools, require seminars on sexual violence, intimidation, and assault, in addition to their health and physical education. Support is available to young women at the college and universities level in this country, so why not in high school? I strongly believe that it is high time that our education system take a stand on the subject of sexual assault. I also strongly believe that it is about time that men started taking boys aside and talking to them about respecting women, because it is definitely not enough that we as woman talk to them.

    A woman’s right to choose her sexual partners is a right that has been sullied and questioned for far too long. This forces me to ask myself: was the sexual revolution all for naught?; Have we as a society learned nothing about the mandate of sexual liberation? Clearly not, or it would be understood that rape is not about sex, it is about power and violence; For that very reason, rape is considered a war crime because it so frequently used as a means of mass intimidation in times of political conflict. Violent offenders use rape to undermine the integrity of women by attempting to intimidate them into submission all the while destroying their self respect, and instituting shame.

    In conclusion, I generally do not blog or respond to articles in public forums, however, after reading this story I chose to make an exception. I have heard far too many stories just like this, where young women are penalized for speaking out against violence and sexual assault. It is our right as women to protect ourselves and seek justice against those who would commit violence against us. It is the role of the legal system and the schools to support women in prosecuting sex-offenders.

    -Rachel M

    • Helen Rivas says:

      Thank you, Rachel, for stating the issue cleary. The Law supported the school system, but what kind of lesson have students learned? Evidently that some people have a greater right to respect than others. The victim, fortunately, appears strong and has solid support; however, I fear that the perpetrator may have learned more about impunity than appropriate behavior. Shame on the adults who failed to meet their responsibilities.

    • I taught Health in Texas for years during Summer School and every agency that spoke to our students about sex, including police officers would have called this rape. They even told of teens that were intoxicated and that doesn’t mean someone consents. Someone can even kiss and fondle but if they say no to the sex it is against the law.

  4. Rape is NOT like Getting a Flat Tire! Demand Rep. Pete DeGraaf apologize.

    Demand that Kansas Representative Pete DeGraaf apologize to the victims/survivors of rape for his insensitive remarks.

    Sign our petition on Change.org

    http://www.change.org/petitions/rape-is-not-like-

    We believe that Kansas State Representative Peter DeGraaf should apologize for minimizing the real human rights violation that the crime of rape truly entails and for not showing adequate compassion and respect for the personal dignity of the rape/sexual assault victims and their families. All human persons have the right to self autonomy and personal dignity and to be treated respectfully by their governmental elected officials.

    See our other petitions:

    http://www.change.org/medicalwhistleblower/petiti

  5. An excellent article and worthy of the old Pine Needle which served as a mirror back in the 1960s in Hardin County. The Needle was a labor of love and succeeded beyond its creators’ wildest dreams. Shook up the commissioners court and the long term county judge was ousted. New blood went through the veins of the courthouse for a while. What happened to this young girl is criminal. To look the other way simply because there were jocks involved is worse. Yes Caroline got it right – sports is a religion. The high school field cost millions and was a source of embarassment when its poor architectural design and thus prone to flooding was discovered. As I recall the new campus cost 27 million – the majority of which is still owed. The school shortly thereafter lost alot of students and thus teachers when a major industry closed. Now more than 30 teachers have been laid off. Ridiculous – yes. Shame on those who should be tending to our youth. Shame on those who are voted into office and do not do their job. They are highly paid and make a mockery of justice. There is much blame here. All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. May I NEVER be guilty of that!

  6. apaperbackwriter says:

    Great reporting, Ms. I’m just curious to know why you used her name and picture? Most newspapers don’t reveal the identity of victims of sexual assault, even if it is publicly available information. It may be that Hillaire S. has given you the go-ahead to use her name and picture, but it would make me feel better if this was spelled out. I couldn’t find any explanation one way or another on your site. Thanks!

    • michelekort says:

      Her father Craig volunteered the photo for us to use. Thanks for asking.

      • Considering how much harassment she’s receiving, including from out of town, it’s still a bad idea to reveal her photograph and name.

        Irresponsible.

        • Rebecca says:

          Seems to me the only ‘harassment’ she’s receiving is from her school and community. Stepping forward takes strength and courage. The only irresponsibility shown in this entire situation (from the facts I’ve read) are on behalf of the perpetrator, the school, his lawyer, and the community. This young lady can now speak up and hopefully help to make a difference. Brava!!

          • I second that Rebecca! Those who oppose THE TRUTH including the victim’s name and picture being shared WHEN SHE WANTED IT TO BE SHARED are those who are morally defunct and unable to tell the truth – cowards. Just because you choose to shy away in the corner when a crime is committed against you doesn’t mean that is right and doesn’t mean that anyone else should. People are so cruel and this dumb town is the perfect example of a blemish on society. I am so sorry this girl experienced what she did, but it will only make her a strong and wise woman, and her actions to expose the situation can only help more people. Go shut yourselves in a room if you can’t handle the truth being exposed. Clearly the parents, education and legal systems in that state raised this rapist.

      • She probably agreed with her Dad. She might just be “fighting back” by not hiding what happened to her. She is a role model for girls everywhere!” My Mom was a WWII Navy veteran pilot trainer and she went with friends to have on beer and a man put date rape drug in her drink. She got sick and he said he’d help her home. My Mom was engaged to marry my Dad. She called him and told him what happened and he rushed back to their college to be with her. The man that raped her never came back to college. My father believed my Mom as did her friends, and they were married a few months later. They both were incredible. My Mom became a great role model for raped and abused women and children. I too became involved in stopping injustices that still continue. These adults can lie for their sons, but the truth has a way of coming out. God bless all of the victims of rape that are victimized again by the people who should help them!

  7. Shame on this town.

  8. Hillaire is such an amazing young woman. As a teenager, I cannot even imagine how hard it is for her to just live a normal life. God bless her and may she receive justice.

  9. Victoria Sikora, RN says:

    when will men learn to control their own muscles !!!

    • Umm…never? And besides that, these weren’t “men”. They were high school BOYS with all the hormones and egos of idolized athletes! They thought they were untouchable and apparently they ARE! At least in that podunk, hill-billy, Texas town.

      There was one girl who said Hillaire didn’t act like a “normal” rape victim. WTF??? Exactly how is a normal rape victim SUPPOSED to act? Is there a normal reaction to having been literally raped by these slugs and figuratively raped by the school and the so-called justice system???

      Horns down! This whole thing makes me SICK.

      Keep the faith Hillaire! You are strong and brave and many, many people all over the country admire and support you.

  10. She really just needs to quit the cheer squad, then. If they’re not going to cooperate she needs to cut all ties from this guy and make her life easier.

    • Why should she be punished (by having to give up an activity she enjoys) for the bad behavior of others (horrible responses from the adults who should be protecting her)?

    • Why? She is the victim, her life has been altered enough. It should not be her responsibility to rearrange her entire existence because she was attacked. That kid who assaulted her shouldn’t have the privilege of being on a sports team.

    • Are you serious?

      Thousands of women do not report sexual assault for very similar injustices and hardships detailed above, because it makes their lives “easier.” Is that the way we should be thinking?

      It’s obvious H.S. doesn’t want an easy life. She wants justice. And she deserves it.

    • She needs to stand up and speak the truth! It heals victims and helps others to come forward with crimes. By the way, rape happens to young men also. It is a crime; we should all want to stop.

  11. What I mean is-why would you want to be part of that team after that??

  12. As a white nationalist (someone you’d call a neo-nazi), I seldom agree with feminists on much of anything. This is an exception. I want everyone who hurt this cheerleader to pay BIG. That includes Bolton, Bain, and the idiot judge who wouldn’t know justice if it bit him on the behind.

    • The idiot judge is paying in a much different way if he did not make his peace with the Lord!

    • My Perspective says:

      You only care about this because she is a young white female…you described yourself as a “neo-nazi”, after all.

      If she were black or biracial or Asian or Latina, this wouldn’t matter to you at all.

  13. Patricia says:

    This makes me sick to be from Texas. Ugh, there is a petition going on that I urge everyone to sign this girl has suffered enough. What this guy did was sick and for him to get away with rape, not matter how drunk the girl was is wrong. And this isn’t the view point for every Texan, so don’t lump all of us in to this pot, I am from a small town, and this wouldn’t stand for this.. Ugh, this made my stomache turn, and I cringed reading that the school kicked her off of the team and asked her to lay low, like she did something wrong. Hell no, what this school did was wrong and what they did was say hey rape isn’t a big deal. She was raped all over again.. Everyone involved in this should be ashamed of themselves for doing this to this poor girl, she has to live with this for the rest of her live..

  14. Rea Howarth says:

    Young men are taught from an early age to see girls as objects of sexual gratification, especially for those who excel at sports. They expect teachers to give them a pass on exams just because they excel on the playing field; they are taught to hit hard and win at all costs. In short, they are taught that aggression is a good thing and that as long as they win, anything goes, including using young women for their own gratification.

    And look at what the school has done again: The adults in the high school have basically told every girl that if she gets raped, it must be her own fault. This is a terrible message for all young people. The men and women of Silsbee and the judge who reinforced that message ought to ask themselves: “What if the same thing happened to my daughter?” Rape is not about sex. It is about aggression.

  15. Sixty-seven years ago brave young men and women invaded the coast of France. The end of WWII was less than a year later. Many gave the ultimate sacrifice so that you and I can achieve greatness, reach our potential. They never got to but we carry that torch. When high jinks such as this rape case occur – it is equivalent to spitting in the faces of those soldiers. The cemeteries which dot the world’s landscape is sacred and cast a great shadow over all of us – which includes the Hardin County Courthouse, Kountze, TX. To sit by and fold our arms is a grave injustice and not to be taken lightly!

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      I get what you’re trying to say, but putting soldiers up as paragons of virtue or whatever is bad form. Historically, soldiers would rape and pillage and plunder after a victory. Even in WW2, allied soldiers did plenty of rape. Historian Oshiro Masayasu claims that there were as many as 10,000 rapes by American troops during the three month Battle of Okinawa. That was nothing compared to what happened to German women as the Red Army rolled in.

      Most soldiers are good people and many gave their lives for a great cause. Saying a rape is like spitting in a soldier’s face though…it’s just strange considering how many of those soldiers were rapists themselves.

    • Good god, I never want to hear rape referred to as ‘high jinks’ again. That’s part of the problem.

  16. Sorry, but internet petitions aren’t going to accomplish anything here.

    If you really want to help out, make a donation to this girl and her family’s legal fun. (they’re now being charged $45,000 in legal fees)

    http://www.helpthecheerleader.com/

  17. This is America, right – So if any of you feel up to it, why not look-up Rakheem Bolton on Facebook and let him know what you think about the case. And yes, he’s on there.

    • Christian Rountree is on there as well, as Chris Rountree and if you’re not sure if you found him, cross-ref from Bolton’s page – they’re still buds it seems.

    • MacKenzi says:

      The majority of people who would willingly track him down on Facebook would most likely hurl death threats at him for this. I don’t think that will do anything about the situation.

  18. Unfortunately this is a case of a lot of mistakes made by a lot of people in a lot of ways.

    I would NEVER say that rape is the victim’s fault, but I will say that it is not the best choice to be intoxicated at a party no matter how safe you think you are. That being said, it still does NOT condone any sort of aggressive sexual act performed by anyone there at any time.

    I’m going to assume – because I never saw it explicitly stated – that Bolton and the other boys were also intoxicated, and probably helps explain Bolton’s aggressive reaction when confronted. This still does not excuse ANY of his behavior, however, and there should have been greater consequences to his actions. If this would have happened where I went to high school, Bolton would have been expelled or at LEAST suspended because of the threats made to those at the party. Add to that the public indecency and the rape accusations and that student and their family would have been advised to relocate for everyone’s safety.

    The decisions that were made legally and within the school are appalling. They basically punished Hillaire – above and beyond the horror of rape trauma – for being in the wrong place at the wrong time… with the wrong people. And I have to say that just because you “don’t act like a victim” does NOT and will NEVER mean that you are automatically a liar and were never abused/assaulted. Everyone responds to trauma differently, and it sounds like Hillaire is dealing with it as best as she can.

    It seems like Bolton got away with what happened with no real personal consequences to him legally. None of us can speak of any guilt or shame he may feel regarding what happened and what he will have to live with for the rest of his life. I can only think that because these boys were “so young” with “promising futures” that they were not registered as sex offenders with the hopes that they would somehow repent or be reformed without the stigma of sex offender forever attached to their lives. These boys got lucky in that respect. Again, I do not condone anything they did and I do believe they should have faced much harsher consequences. However… everyone deserves a second chance. Not the kind where they get to repeat their mistakes again, but the kind where they learn from them and become better people.

    It might seem inconceivable to offer redemption or reformation to a rapist, but if we had done something horrible (and many of us have) we would all want a second chance too.

    • “I would NEVER say that rape is the victim’s fault, but I will say that it is not the best choice to be intoxicated at a party no matter how safe you think you are. That being said, it still does NOT condone any sort of aggressive sexual act performed by anyone there at any time.”

      Then why bring it up? What purpose does it serve, except to hint that maybe Hillaire wouldn’t have been assaulted if she hadn’t been at a party? It’s funny how women and girls in our society are expected to dress a certain way, behave a certain way, give off a certain vibe, that we have resort to all kinds of little safeguards every single day to try to avoid rape, and when one of us is assaulted, we get armchair critics talking about her behavior, what she could have done differently to protect herself, etc. How about this: Instead of telling girls not to go to parties, or wear short skirts, how about we tell boys not to rape people? ONLY RAPISTS ARE TO BLAME FOR RAPE. Rape happens while people are sober, too, FYI. One in four American women are sexually assaulted, and that’s a cultural problem, and a symptom of that cultural problem is the fact that people seem to think it’s okay to point out “they were drinking at a party” as some kind of reason it happened. Plenty of people drink at parties and never get raped or rape anyone. You say you’re not condoning it, but bringing it up in the first place as if it’s important is in a way doing exactly that.

  19. SKEETER says:

    THE COURTS,LAW ENFORCEMENT IN TEXES SHOULD ALL BE A SHAME OF THEIR SELF FOR ALLOWING H.S TO BE ATTACK THE WAY SHE HAS FOR STANDING UP FOR HERSELF TO A RAPIST. WE WONDER WHY OTHERS FEMALE WONT COME FORWARD WHEN THEY HAVE THEY HAVE BEEN RAPE SHAME ON ALL OF YOU, AND WE WONDER WHY WE TAKE MATTERS INTO OUR OWN HANDS BECAUSE WE CAN NOT GET JUSTICE FROM THE LAW. i THINK HE SHOULD BE HUNG MY HIS NUT SACKS AND HUNG OUT TO DRY.

  20. Why would you stay in that town?

  21. So disgusting. I feel so bad for Hillaire, and I hope she knows that there are thousands of people on her side.

  22. There are things about this story that aren’t passing the smell test. The jury and the appeals court had far more information than we do, and they reached a much different conclusion, to the point where they even awarded attorneys fees to the school. Is Bolton a rapist? Is Hillaire a drama queen making a false accusation? I don’t know, and neither does anyone else here.

    • Not sure how it can be a false accusation when the article states in the beginning that there were multiple witnesses and physical evidence of attack, don’t forget Bolton’s DNA at scene.

  23. People knowingly go where they want at whatever time they please. Everyone wants to be adult and not accept the consequences. I believe she had sex and then decided to stop in the middle of the act. Wow.

    How can I judge? I have seen it before, that’s how. The girl wants to be sexual with multiple guys, then thinks it over when she’s being penetrated. After the second guy (within the SAME ROOM), you have established your morality gauge so it is not someone ELSE’s fault that you chose wrong. Going to someone’s room at 2am doesn’t make you a slut….it is what you intend & actually do once you get there that make’s you one.

    Her bravery is really the foolish insistence that she has no fault. Her entry in a room with 5 guys was her putting herself in that bad situation. Love it or leave it, she would have simply been a drunk teenager if she stayed out of the room.

    So, moral of the story? Tell your kids do not drink, even if their friends do – get a ride home. If someone wants you to be with more than one person sexually, alone in a room by yourself, say no. These are two things our grandparents took as common sense so why is it happening so often now? People don’t teach sensible behaviour to their children so when confronted with a difficult situation, they may choose wrong. And yes, this applies to both the accused and the accuser. Choices are our own responsibility.

    • And you, Jay, have established your morality gauge. Hillaire stated she was “pushed” into the room, the door was shut behind her, she was “pulled backwards,” and her legs were “pushed” apart. How is it you interpret that as going where she wants at whatever time she pleases? Your assumption that she was consenting goes against all accounts of the crime. Individuals, such as your self, that see inebriation and/or flirtation as an invitation to rape are despicable and a danger to society. She DID say no. Witnesses heard her. She did not choose to get raped. To suggest so is deplorable. And I’ll give you a hint as to why your grandparents’ generation had fewer rape reports: because insulting points of views (like yours) were a lot more prevalent in the past. Rape will continue to become less acceptable in society as there are more and more brave women like Hillaire and more people who encourage zero tolerance for such a horrible, violent crime.

      • AegisWinx says:

        And before you go, “Oh you whiny wymyns!” Jay. Im a guy and I find your statements quite appalling as well. Not that a guys opinion is worth more than Anna’s AND or other females. But its quite sad(If not Sickening) that guys really dont see ANYTHING wrong with this. There are guys that think the same as I and for that Im grateful .

  24. I’m disgusted by the callous treatment of this incredibly brave young woman by those who should be supporting and protecting her. It’s apparent that if she were an athletic star, the education system would have made HER safety the priority. Shame on the administrators and community for giving out rape privileges to their athletes while disregarding the well being of every other child in the district. Hillaire will continue to have my (and countless others’) endless support while these criminals and their morally depraved boosters will never recover from such evil intentions. I suggest they start repenting and asking for forgiveness immediately.

  25. AegisWinx says:

    This girl is an heroine,my opinion of cheerleaders has changed and for the better.

    You GO GIRL! You DO YOUR THING!

  26. It makes me sick when people say that a rape victim should act like she is in shock or something. I want to tell these people that they are not in a tv show. I know one girl who was raped by one of her best friends and she told somebody. But that person did not believe her only because she was not in shock about it. When people at the school we went to heard about it, they said that she lied and the all rallied around him. The school at least did the right thing and made him go to the alliterative school until all of it was sorted out. But my friend ended up leaving the school and moving because of the threats she was receiving from her so called friends. She had to go through all of that only because how rape victims are portrayed.

    When someone is raped, female or male, some would be shocked, but others have a mindset that would want to get the perpetrator off the streets so he/she will no longer victimize another person again.

  27. What is going to be done to those responsible and I do mean those elected officials perched at the Hardin County Courthouse?

  28. Feminist Metalhead says:

    Beyond sickening. Give her family justice!

    • Not only shluod women know what they DON’T WANT, but they also shluod explore their freedom to discover what they DO WANT. By buying into the societal norm that, sexually, only males can make the first move, women give up their power. And, unconsciously become sexual submissives, which indirectly plays into the rape culture in which we find ourselves.

    • I agree with Abigail. Within the context of this mpcaaign it’s also clear that consent’ means the practice of consent’. That’s what is sexy. Consent is sexy’ does not mean Yes is sexy.’ It’s totally everyone’s right to say No. And it’s OK to say No when we want to. This comes across strongly.

  29. David Liao says:

    Hopefully, something can be done before the statue of limitations of 10 years comes due. (Since the alleged assailant admitted to his DNA being on a condom, the statute applies whereas if he had not, there would be no time limit.) Even if a prosecutor believes the case does not have a plethora of evidence, even a plea bargain with a minimum sentence would bring justice.

    Also, I’m duly impressed with how everyone on this board has resisted trying to inject race into this debate.

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