A Cheerleader’s Rape in Silsbee, Texas: The Victim on Trial

I traveled to Silsbee, Texas five times in the past six months, with conservative blogger Brandon Darby, to investigate why, despite the volume of evidence, a grand jury did not indict two football players accused of raping a high school cheerleader (who was later kicked off the squad for refusing to cheer for one of them). I discovered that it was more complex than simply the town’s glorification of male athletes. I found a rising tide of skepticism toward the victim from law enforcement, the town and the local newspaper–complicated and fueled by sexual shaming and racial politics. This is the second installment of a two-part series; read part I here.

This is a slam dunk case. There’s more evidence than we see in most sexual assault cases, and we’ve got lots of witnesses.

That’s what Hillaire S.’s father Craig remembers the case detective saying on the day Hillaire, a high school cheerleader, reported being raped by members of the football team.

So why, three months after the rape, did a grand jury issue a “no bill”–meaning they didn’t think there was enough evidence to indict?

The testimony the grand jury heard is sealed, but we do have access to what the grand jury saw, including all of the police reports. In them, multiple witnesses verify the following facts:

– A heavily intoxicated Hillaire was was brought into a dark, locked room by four high school athletes
– Young men outside who heard her repeatedly saying “stop” broke through the locked door
– Three of the athletes in the room fled through the window, including a naked Rakheem Bolton, the man Hillaire identified as her rapist
– Bolton threatened to kill everyone in the house

There’s more in the grand jury file. When police asked Bolton if his DNA would be found on a condom at the scene, he nodded “yes.” We also know from the medical report that Hillaire had internal bruising, and from her mother that her right thigh had a full handprint bruise.

Given these facts, which were enough for a judge to issue warrants, how could a grand jury possibly issue a “no bill,” letting her attackers return to school and putting Hillaire in a position to have to cheer for her rapist a few weeks later?

Perhaps one clue can be found in the grand jury file, where jurists could read a surprising amount of information that detectives entered about Hillaire’s sexual behavior. The case detective added this note at the bottom of Hillaire’s sworn statement:

After taking the statement I talked with the victim at length in reference to her statement about never having sex before. She related she had never had oral sex either given or received. She has never had heavy petting where there was fondling of the breasts and genitalia.

At length?

The detective also entered into evidence a cell-phone video of Hillaire and another girl kissing at the party in question.

Furthermore, the detective inserted a comment at the end of one witness’s sworn statement, noting that the witness “thought that Hillaire was acting aggressive in her behavior towards Pat Steed [the young man Hillaire kissed at the party] and the majority of what transpired was consensual.”

It’s not the job of a police officer to add comments to the end of a sworn police statement, says Brandon Perron, national director of The Criminal Defense Investigation Training Council. He told me,

This is poor procedure. It’s awful. What they did was alter evidence after it was signed and attested to.

We know, then, that Hillaire’s sexual behavior was spotlighted by investigators. We can’t know, however, what they said before the grand jury.

But by the time I interviewed the case detective for nearly three hours last December, he did not seem to think the case was a “slam dunk,” as Craig remembers him saying on the day of the rape. Instead, the detective claimed that witnesses were unsure whether the accused broke the window as they fled–despite several confident witness statements in the police file taken directly after the fact. And when asked why the two accused fled if they didn’t commit a crime, the detective replied, “Where in the books can you tell me that running is a crime?” The chief of police, also present at my interview, described Hillaire’s sexual activities earlier in the night as “corroborating evidence” for the no bill.

The rest of what we know about the grand jury proceedings comes from the district attorney prosecuting the case, David Sheffield. At a press conference afterward he said, “I’m not surprised by the decision after seeing the evidence I’ve been privy to.”

But what about the evidence that Sheffield did not put in front of the grand jury?

From a recorded conversation between Sheffield and Hillaire’s father, we know that Sheffield did not call as witnesses any of the three young men who heard Hillaire say “stop” and broke through the door. Sheffield also did not offer any witnesses to testify that Hillaire was highly intoxicated–even though Texas law considers it rape to have sex with a person too intoxicated to consent. Witnesses had given statements that Hillaire had two beers, five shots of vodka and a shot of Crown Royal–yet Craig learned (from the daughter of a local attorney to whom Sheffield had confided details of the case) that Silsbee police testified to the grand jury that Hillaire was not impaired by alcohol.

On top of all this, one member of the grand jury was Rakheem Bolton’s family pastor. I confirmed this fact with the pastor in a brief phone conversation on April 7, 2011, about the spiritual guidance he provided to Bolton during this ordeal.

Once the grand jury dismissed the case, Bolton and Christian Rountree–the football player accused of holding Hillaire down–returned to Silsbee High School. Superintendent Richard Bain told The Silsbee Bee that there would be no further punishment for the two young men, in spite of the school district’s policy to investigate and take action when students are accused of crimes, even if they have been cleared in court, as long as there is a “reasonable belief” something occurred.

In addition to being a star football player, Bolton also played basketball, and his return to school and the team led to Hillaire’s refusal to cheer for him and her subsequent dismissal from the cheer squad. Devastated, Hillaire told HLN,

I felt very upset because cheerleading was my high school career. [But] when they told me I had to choose between cheering for him or not cheering at all, for me it was worth giving up cheerleading to not cheer for him.

——

Throughout these events, the case was tried in the court of public opinion.

Hillaire’s story gained widespread attention, especially after stories in the Ms. Blog and on Fox News. Change.org organized an online petition calling for the high school to apologize to Hillaire, receiving more than 70,000 signatures to date–many times the population of Silsbee. Outside of her town, Hillaire was a hero.

The local Silsbee Bee, however, downplayed the national attention. In one article, editor Gerry Dickert writes “The national outrage stems in part from incomplete information being published and broadcast by television, web blogs and magazines.” At the same time, Dickert ran frequent quotes from the accused and their families , but never published an interview with Hillaire or her family. Nor did The Silsbee Bee publish details from witness accounts , although the grand jury file has been publicly accessible for over a year.

In the brief moments I spent in Dickert’s office before he skipped an interview appointment and stopped taking my calls, he laid bare his stance: “Everyone in the case is a victim.”

Recently, The Silsbee Bee published an article titled, “Sexual Assault Prosecutions Cost County Nearly $20,000: Ends with Misdemeanor Plea, Dropped Charges.” It is hard to miss the implication that this was money ill spent.

Justice in Hillaire’s eyes was simple. “I just want somebody to admit they did something wrong.”

Even as the “no bill” was being read in January of 2009, another grand jury had already expressed interest in hearing the case. Since Sheffield was named as a defendant in Hillaire’s civil case for possible ethics violations, a district judge assigned another prosecutor. But the second grand jury was dismissed when jury members received documents in a questionable way.

A third grand jury was then convened. The jurors did not request testimony from the Silsbee police this time, and Bolton and Rountree were finally indicted on November 24, 2009–more than a year after the alleged rape.

——-

A week after the indictment, race took center stage in the ongoing Silsbee saga. Reverend Billy Ray Robinson, president of the local NAACP, staged a press conference challenging the indictment. Hillaire is white and her alleged rapists are black, in a part of the country with longstanding racial tensions.

It’s easy to understand the trepidation surrounding an interracial rape accusation: Older residents can remember a time when black men were lynched in this part of the country for just such an accusation, whether proven or not. A local black reverend in Silsbee told me that if four black men had been accused of raping a white girl in the town 50 years ago, they “would not have made it to trial.” Even today, he added, “This area is very bad with racial tensions. You don’t see the white sheets anymore. They wear three-piece suits now.”

Hillaire’s attorney, Larry Watts, affirms that “Silsbee isn’t the happy valley of race relations,” but some white residents I spoke with want to ignore that reality. As one put it to me, “We don’t have a racial problem. The town is segregated, but that’s not a problem.”

The area’s historical and contemporary racism might have made the local NAACP feel compelled to take the stance it did, says Lester Spence, an Africana studies and political science professor at Johns Hopkins. This is not the first time the NAACP has advocated for black men accused of sex crimes. The organization came under fire in 2008 for rallying around a group of black teens who gang-raped a black woman and forced her to have sex with her 12-year-old son at the Dunbar Village apartment complex in South Florida. The NAACP held a rally supporting the accused that included fliers labeling the men “victims.” They were later convicted, and the main assailant received eight life sentences. The state NAACP issued an apology, but the national NAACP stood by its original stance.

There’s a difference between Silsbee and Dunbar Village, however, points out lawyer-turned-blogger Gina McCauley, who led the black feminist critique of the NAACP’s Dunbar Village stance:

[Hillaire], a young White woman, has infrastructure in place to advocate on her behalf, but the majority of the time when the NAACP is running around coddling and defending violent predators, the victims are Black women and girls who don’t have such support.

Indeed, Hillaire had a network of advocates not available to less privileged women. But working against her in Silsbee was the old stigma around interracial sex. As sociologist Lisa Wade explains, “Negative stereotypes about Black men intersect with the imperative that White women obey strict sexual rules; if having sex ‘dirties’ White women, then having sex with a Black man is the most contaminating of all.”

In a new incarnation of that longheld stigma that made a black man accused of raping a white woman vulnerable to violence, now Silsbee residents tend to question Hillaire’s conduct. As Sara, a white student, told me, “A lot of people blame it on [the fact that] he was black and she was white and she got caught having sex with a black person, so she didn’t want her parents to know.”

———-

In September 2010, Rakheem Bolton pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of assault, receiving a $2,500 fine, community service, a requirement to take an anger management course and a suspended one-year jail sentence. When asked how his actions affected Hillaire, Bolton replied only, “I have no hard feelings. I never have and I feel like it was just a misunderstanding.”

Hillaire was satisfied with the plea, believing that at least everyone would finally know Bolton had done everything he was accused of.

On January 26, 2011, the charges against Rountree were quietly dismissed. According to Special Prosecutor Barlow, a conviction would have been difficult. Rountree still maintains that he was not in the pool room during the assault, even though witnesses put him there and Hillaire insists that he fondled her and held her down during the rape.

Meanwhile, Hillaire’s parents sued the school for violating her right to free speech, but an appeals court affirmed a lower courts’ dismissal of her case on September 16, 2010. Her lawyer filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court, but this May it declined to hear the case.

To add insult to the injury Hillaire has sustained from her peers, people in town, the school, the police, the district attorney and the grand jury, the court is now requiring her family to pay more than $35,000 in legal fees from her civil case against the school.

 

——

Two and a half years after the rape, the house at 324 Pinewood where Hillaire was assaulted sits dark. The homeowner is doing jail time for unrelated charges, and neighbors say the pool table was repossessed this past February. Many Silsbee residents just want the case to go away. The detective says it is “like a sore. It’s healing and something comes around and knocks the scab off again.”

Hillaire is no longer the carefree livewire she was once was. She is still harassed by some in town, including students who recently threw ice at her car as she dropped her younger sister off at school. She went from A/B grades to barely passing high school. She received counseling until her therapist passed away from breast cancer last year. In remembrance, she got a tattoo on her right hip of two ribbons–one for sexual-assault prevention and the other for breast-cancer awareness–along with a Bible quotation she heard from her therapist: “Perfect love casts out fear.”

“She’s broken,” says her father.  “I think she’s still fighting on some levels, but I don’t think she has the determination that she used to have. Just don’t see that fire, that ambition in her anymore.”

Craig lost his refinery job last year and spends his time building the family business and working on the case. Larry Watts is working pro bono on the case because Craig can no longer able to afford legal fees. Nonetheless, Craig insists that the case “hasn’t destroyed our business, It hasn’t destroyed the family. We’ve gotten closer as a family.”

The family is divided about whether to leave Silsbee, but, despite everything, Craig and Hillaire both want to stay.

“I live in the best town in the perfect part of Texas,” he says.

Change.org has started a campaign urging the school to “forgive” the legal fees.

Journalist Scott Rose encourages people to mail one penny to the Silsbee School District in protest:

Richard Bain Jr.
Superintendent
Silsbee Independent School District
415 Highway 327 West
Silsbee, TX, 77656

Interested parties can also assist Hillaire and her family with legal fees via a Paypal contribution to the address Wattstrial@gmail.com.

Stay tuned to the author’s blog for more details and reporting from her trips to Silsbee.

Photo of Hillaire S. courtesy of her father.

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing the ongoing details of this story. I want the story to feel unbelievable–but it feels all too believable. I really appreciate the resources you included that allow us to take action to support Hillaire, her family, and all other silenced victims of sexual assault.

  2. Excellent article and well worth the wait. The victim and her family are fighters and that is good. Hopefully they realize moving will not make the hurtful memories go away. She has been abused and her abuse has been relegated to nothing more than jay walking as far as those people at the courthouse are concerned. Wherever she goes the memories will also. Leaving the bully does not take away the hurt the bully inflicted. I was once so naive I believed moving overseas would leave the hurt behind but wouldn’t you know it – that old hurt was there with me while I crossed Hyde Park. It just wouldnt go away so quickly or quietly. 20/20 hindsight has proven to be a far wiser teacher. My prayer is Ms. H and her family will weather this storm and realize there are many for them.

    • Christine says:

      I don’t believe that staying in that town is going to help her recovery. If she doesn’t have the support she needs from the people of that town then why stay? True, wherever she goes the pain will go with her, but at least she wont have to be around people who will be a constant reminder of all she’s been through. There is no reason why she should be put in a position to be verbally or physically harassed by the people of Silsbee. By staying there she is put in a position to relive the pain of the events, every time someone shouts out a verbal obscenity towards her or as stated above throws ice in her direction. If I was her parent I would get her as far away from those people as possible.

      • Why should she be the one to have to leave town with her tail tucked between her legs? Why should that town, which values sports over the life and happiness of one of their own, be allowed to forget what she never can?

        • Why ? Because this city doesn’t deserve a courageous girl like that. This city may be beautifull outside but the core is rotten. Because, she did not have to leave with her tail tucked between her legs, but you can be sure a city won’t leave either. It’s not about who’s right or wrong, it’s about her wellbeing. It’s hurting to leave, but it’s hurting more to stay.
          Her role is not to make them remember. Now if you want them to remember it, well write them a letter every month for the rest of your life.

          • Well-stated, she needs to be away from that environment at least for awhile in order to recover. At a later time, with a clear mind, she can then decide where she wants to live.

  3. Excellent journalism. A deeply disturbing story on so many different levels.

  4. Gary Grasmoen says:

    Can it be that grand juries overlook evidence and obvious criminality; that they’re willing to sacrifice a hometown daughter on the altar of football wins? Or, perhaps rape is all right if it’s just cheerleaders being raped and the race card is played. Then, blaming the victim gives “closure”–right? Right–closure to everyone but Hillaire and her family. Clearly, further investigation is needed.

    Has this woman been contacted?– http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/victim/victim-home.ht… Please note the division’s mission statement.

  5. Thank you for this article. The world needs to see this.

    I’m glad you clearly outlined H.S.’s intoxication during the party, because the world needs to understand that whether someone is drunk, whether someone has a record of sexual activity, whether someone is completely naked walking down a dark alley alone, as soon as he or she says “No,” all advances end there, and if it continues, it is sexual assault/rape!

    We live in a society that teaches us “don’t get raped” instead of “don’t rape.”

    Centuries ago, if a woman were raped, it was her fault and she was expected to kill herself.

    It’s 2011 and we’re still sweeping rape under the rug in favor of a victim-blaming culture.

    “Well she shouldn’t have gone home with that man.”

    “She should have been watching her drink.”

    “She shouldn’t have been dressed that way.”

    NO ONE DESERVES TO BE RAPED, AND NO ONE IS TO BLAME FOR A RAPE EXCEPT THE RAPIST.

    How can we keep promoting this archaic, out-dated culture?

  6. Were you able to look at the case file from the second prosecutor and the deposition of the witnesses. Did the police take a blood alcohol? Why did

    she not go to trial? What did he plea down to…?

    I am guessing that the witnesses in the room sided with the offender when push came to shove…..no one wants to get a “friend” in trouble?

    Why were there 4 in the same room….maybe for “pulling a trail”?

  7. So, running from the scene of a crime is no indication of guilt but Flirting at a party is, however, an indication of consent? What the hell is wrong with people?

  8. Hiqutipie says:

    Great work Carol…In this day & age you would think we were way past this stage of denial about rape & blaming the victim…You sure your in the US & not afghanistan?
    There is no excuse for the perps or the town…

    PS: Post it in the Huffington Post for a wider audience & interaction…

  9. Wednesday says:

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1000005951

    I can’t believe this sicko has so many supporters. Hillaire got raped because a RAPIST RAPED HER, not because of how much she drank, what she was wearing, or who she made out with! Why is this so hard to understand??!! Obviously, there is no changing that small town mentality. I would ABSOLUTELY move somewhere else so that the harassment would stop. If she stays there, she’s setting herself up for a lifetime of depression and abuse from small minded people whose opinions just don’t even matter!

  10. Susan Jonas says:

    My heart breaks for this young woman and for the millions of others who have been violated, abused, humuiliated and abandoned by the justice system. Really? in 2011? Shame on the people of her town for their inexcusable behavior.

    • vickburns says:

      HOW SICK. MY HEART GOES OUT TO THIS YOUNG LADY AND HER FAMILY.
      GOD SEES IT ALL AND KARMA WILL PREVAIL, JUST LIKE A LOT OF OTHER VIOLATORS. GOD BLESS THE YOUNG LADY AND HER FAMILY.

  11. I had read about this incident elsewhere and re-reading it hasn’t lessened my sense of rage. Life can be so incredibly unfair and justice isn’t always so plentiful for those who are most wronged. Maybe that’s why the belief in karma is so strong: a man who is a rapist in this life may be born as a female victim in the next.

    I can’t believe AMERICA of all places is still so tolerant of rapists. The burden of proof always falls on the victim.

  12. I cried reading this. It’s so wrong that anyone should have to suffer through all these horrible things. What’s wrong with this world?

  13. I cannot STAND that we live in a society that not only continues to victim-blame, but tolerates it. Condones it, even. This is just proof that we really haven’t come as far as we think we have. The people who continue to harass her don’t deserve to call themselves human beings. The same goes for her rapists, though I’m sure I don’t have to make that clear…

    My heart breaks for this young girl, but I applaud the incredible strength she maintains throughout her entire ordeal. I hope she will be able to pull through this and find peace and content.

  14. It is a sad case and sadder still if the public acts as it if does not matter. Just wait til it happens to you.

  15. Tom in Oakland says:

    Hearing injustices like this piss me off. What is wrong with the people of Silsbee, Texas? Male athletes, whether in high school, college, or professionally, get special treatment. And I do not know why.

    This young woman was made a victim, and that is a crime. Is this just another example of Texas justice? I admire her for her principles and the guts to fight this system. Her attackers, in the end, probably just view this as “another wild party”.

    It’s so sad.

    • Really Tom? Whats wrong with people in Silsbee Texas? I just so happen to be from Silsbee and I think you need to learn to put your words right. It was a night that ended badley. And yes dislike and talk trash on this comment. But I think that justice has been served and that’s that. There wasnt enough evidence because people that KNOW both of them know their rep. at the school. So before people jump to conclusions if you were in this small town no you would know athletes dont get special treatments in this town

      • Anthony John Woo says:

        Really Molly? Perhaps you need to be reminded what the definition of rape is. From dictionary.com: Rape (noun) 1.the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse. 2.any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.

        and the evidence from the case:
        – A heavily intoxicated Hillaire was was brought into a dark, locked room by four high school athletes
        – Young men outside who heard her repeatedly saying “stop” broke through the locked door

        See that word “stop”? It means that whatever was happening inside was non-consensual. That would meet the definition of rape.

        Now, if you, as a resident of Silsbee happen to have information that the rest of us are lacking, please share it with the rest of us. From our point of view it looks like a young man forced a young woman to have non-consensual sex and was convicted of the lesser charge of assault–and was allowed to continue to play on the local sports team (since when do people who are guilty of violent crimes allowed to continue to play sports?). The young woman in question refused to cheer for her rapist, was kicked off the squad by her school, and sued. Her case was subsequently dismissed as frivolous and her family was forced to pay the bill. Are there some relevant facts that we’re missing? Because upon a cursory glance at the case, it appears to be a complete travesty of justice.

  16. There is going to be a protest at the Silsbee School Board meeting on the 12th of July. Does anyone know if there will be a march thru town? Also what time? We should all be there!

  17. Frankly I’m appalled anybody takes her or her father’s word as gospel, as if she has to be innocent or the guy was out to “rape” her. And if nobody believes her story, blame it on football culture.

    Look, its possible this young girl had second thoughts and said “no” or “stop” to a particular act, or “no” and “stop” to the entire situation. I don’t doubt either scenario. But rape is chiefly a matter of intent and I see no reason to believe they either raped her or intended to rape her. And no fleeing a scene after somebody bursts through the door is not evidence they raped her or intended to rape her.

    All the reporting I’ve seen on this story comes across as this repeated “woe is me” narrative where everybody has in their minds this girl was categorically a victim and was not a willing participant. Victimized by the guys, victimized by the school, victimized by her classmates, and so on. Its reached a point where reporters have altogether sullied the trials of proven rape victims.

    “In a new incarnation of that longheld stigma that made a black man accused of raping a white woman vulnerable to violence, now Silsbee residents tend to question Hillaire’s conduct.”

    Gee, ya’ think?

    Reporters haven’t really questioned her conduct. Even the medical reports showing evidence of trauma seem to ignore the fact she was purportedly a virgin. I’m guessing sex for the first time may cause at least some physical trauma. The bottomline is nobody was convicted of rape yet we have reporters running around calling them rapists. Enough.

    • Even if she was consenting at first, but changed her mind and the others still continued? That is rape. The second the willing participant becomes unwilling, and is forced into something against their will, that is still rape.

      But to me, this does not sound like any such thing happened. Why is acting flirtatious a damnable excuse for rape? It is not. Flirting does in no way mean that someone will be okay with having sex. We need to stop blaming the victim for doing completely natural things, like flirting or wearing ‘provocative clothing’ when the blame lays entirely on the fault of the aggressors being unable to control themselves.

  18. Deborah Shaw says:

    This is really a sad situation. My kids went to Silsbee High when this happened, and I remember telling them that they didn’t know what happened, and not to judge either way. They were telling me how this poor girl was treated, and it was NOT right! I saw her in the nurse’s office a few days after it happened ( I didn’t know who she was at the time) but she looked sick…like beaten down. A little later I read in the newspaper where a parent wrote mean things about her…they had to have been black, it was so anti-white. People seem to act on their personal likes and dislike of things. What happened to the golden rule? I read a story years ago about a police officer that always thought of rape as being the woman’s fault; until the fateful day that it happened to his mother! I have sons and daughters, and I know everything isn’t black or white, but we do need to be more understanding of everyone’s feelings. No one wants to be accused of something they didn’t do…but, on the other side no one wants to be victimized, much less treated like dirt because they were victimized. Personally, I think a lot of people need to stop and think about what they ate teaching. And Silsbee High…SHAME! Like Amy of you would make your daughter cheer on her attacker. I could never believe that of a person that loves their child.

  19. Quote from Lauren:

    “What the hell is wrong with people?”

    “This whole society is rotten and godless. The wrath of God is upon America. Mark my word: if God’s Word be true, this nation is headed for the dust.” — Pastor Tom Malone

    “This is Sodom and Gomorrah! All of this, in one day it will burn! It’s sin has reached the Holy One.” — Angel of the LORD speaking to Dumitru Duduman

    Hillaire’s cries for justice have not been in vain and they will NOT go unanswered.

  20. Married a woman from there who was repeatedly raped by her father. Seems to be a normal practice in that town. Very backwoods old school and dont be black and out after dark. I am from Mississipi and these people hate blacks more than anybody I have ever met. Watch your daughters in east Texas and blacks pass on through quickly and come to Austin where you will be treated as humans.

    • Sir, let me be one to inform you that not everyone in silsbee is like that. My heart goes out to your wife, but it is outrageous for you to label everyone in silsbee due to what she went through. I grew up in silsbee, and yes, I am a ‘ white girl’. However, I have dated black men, I know families here in silsbee who are black and white, happily married, and to be honest sir, they do not get looked down upon. Integration in silsbee occurred 45 years ago, and now there is little if any racism in the town. I respectfully ask that you review your facts next time, before slandering an entire population in this manner.

  21. Great article, but why oh why are you working with the nefarious Brandon Darby? Don’t you know that he is an FBI informant that entrapped and goaded two protesters at the 2008 RNC convention? He used very questionable tactics that incited two young men who trusted and looked up to him and got them arrested.

    http://www.bestofneworleans.com/gambit/brandon-da

    And now he is “conservative blogger” who is shamelessly doing his best to undermine the Occupy movement and slander their reputation. WHY OH WHY would you work with someone with such obviously shady credentials?

  22. I find the comments that the population in Silsbee is very racist to be off the wall. I live 10 miles from Silsbee and don’t find that attitude to be the norm. Intergration occurred 45 years ago. A new generation has grown up with little or no knowledge of the risky and somewhat untested waters of combining the two schools. I can only speak of my experience but have not found this to be the case. Sorry that you have.

  23. The article brings out the dilemma for White Americas. There are two and unfortunately only two choices:

    One, go back to the days when Rakheem Bolton and the other Black attackers would be extralegal summarily hanged by angry White townspeople, or

    Two, continue on the present course where the legal infrastructure favors Black criminals and the violent crimes against White people is escalating.

    President Obama, the NAACP, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and all Black leaders will not do anything to stop Black violence against White men and women.

    • My Perspective says:

      Clearly you believe in lynch mobs, Walter.

      If these young men raped this girl they deserve to be punished. But you are obviously hiding behind some racist agenda in which you see yourself as a victim of Black people.

      This is a new era. What do you expect President Obama to do? He isn’t responsible for what happened to her. He isn’t to blame for the actions of certain individuals.

      Are you aware that many Black men in the past were lynched for crimes they did not commit? All it took was for a white woman to claim that a Black man looked at her the wrong way and his life would be over. Sure, you can say that Crystal Mangum falsely accused the wealthy white boys from Duke University. You can even mention Tawana Brawley’s claim of being raped. But these two Black women don’t compare to the many white women who have lied about Black men raping them.

      I believe that Hillaire is telling the truth and I hope justice is served because whether she was promiscuous or not, whether she was drunk or not, no one deserves to be raped.

      I definitely do not condone rape or violence, because I was also raped. I understand the outrage that people feel over this incident. But I object strongly to your claims of Black on White violence…you are trying to incite racial tensions even more.

  24. OH.MY.GOD.
    Black and White has nothing to do with this!!!
    The fact remains that this Bolton guy RAPED this girl!
    Look I dont kown… mabe she was willing at first and then change her mind but in the end she sill said STOP. And when someone says stop and they person keeps doing whatever thier doing(no matter if the rapeist is a man,women,black,white or has stripes like a zeaba!) \Then IT IS RAPE!!!! I had look over the eveaide and in MY mind beilve that Miss Hillaire is telling the truth and that Bolton shuld sver 20 to life! Part of being non raceist maens who have to laie they balme whereit needs to be lanie!! So Bolton is black and Hillaie is white.So what? Race has nothing to do with this!! Shame on this sad eceassce of a high school! Shame on ths town!
    Dose anyone get what Im saying?

  25. Hillaire and I went to school together since kindergarten…she always has been a kind, outgoing, opinionated, christian girl. She had many friends, was incredibly smart and talented, and has never done anything to deserve this sort of slander….the boys in question, while athletes, have been known to pick on other students…race has nothing to do with what went on. Silsbee may have been a segregated, racist town in the past, but today those behaviors are rarely seen except when used for instances such as this. I believe that if evidence had not been withheld, as the report has stated it was, the case would have had an entirely different outcome…however, due to how things turned out, all I and everyone who knows Hillaire can do is pray that she can find peace, and that justice will eventually win.

  26. I was the victim in a very similar case with no legal ramifications whatsoever. I was 13, they were 15,16,16,19. We filed charges for the 19 yr old and he got off with an acquittal. I have no idea why other charges were never filed against the other boys. I have no idea why an acquittal happened after all, they admitted to having sex with me. But, said it was consensual. I was unconscious from drinking..and when I did wake up in them middle of it, I said for them to stop..but to no avail. During the trial, I was snubbed, ridiculed and harassed by people I had considered to be my friends prior to the incident. I left my small hometown the day after the trial, completely traumatized. I didn’t return for 20+ years. For those 20+ yrs, when I looked in the mirror, my perpetrator was reflected. I despised who I was. I dissociated to a large degree and finally reached out for help when I was 27 and have had incredible healing. Part of my personal recovery has been going back to my hometown and trying to ‘face it’…..I ended up talking with jury members, both lawyers involved, one of the perps brother and other people involved in my case and life at that time..… Now, I see that not one of those people could have restored what had been taken. My identity is only restored through God’s healing power. I am now 46 and have received my justice. Just not the legal kind….My justice is His joy in me. No one can ever take that from me. They tried and probably almost succeeded…but I win. I win by not staying silent. Thank you Hillaire, for being so brave. My prayers are with you that you receive what you need to heal your incredibly brave heart.

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