A Mixed Victory in the Texas Cheerleader Rape Case

Texas Cheerleader

The Texas cheerleader who sued her high school for forcing her to cheer for her rapist will not have to pay the school’s entire $35,000 in legal fees, according to a decision yesterday from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  This decision overturns a lower court ruling that deemed the case “frivolous” and required […]

A Recession for White Americans, A Depression for Black and Latino Americans


A new study from the Pew Research Center reports staggering gaps in median wealth–a person’s accumulated assets minus her debt–between whites ($113,149), blacks ($5,677) and Latinos ($6,325). That’s a 20-to-1 white-to-black ratio of wealth and a 18-to-1 white-to-Latino ratio. Essentially, all of the economic gains made by people of color since the Civil Rights Movement […]

Anti-Trafficking Enforcement in U.S. is an Abysmal Failure

Slavery World Map (Courtesy of CNN)

It’s been over a decade since the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) was passed into law, and a new report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics reveals that astonishingly little has been done since. The TVPA defines a human trafficking victim as A person induced to perform labor or a commercial […]

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

Hillaire in the Bayou

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 […]

A Cheerleader’s Rape in a Small Texas Town

Hillaire with Flower

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.”

Newsflash: Cheerleader Denied Justice (Again)


In a Texas case I wrote about on the Ms. Blog in October, Hillaire S. was 16-years-old in October 2008 when she was taken into a dark room at a house party by four high school athletes, one of whom raped her while another held her down. When three students in the hall heard Hillaire’s […]

When the Missing are Prostitutes, Police Let Trails Go Cold


“In my experience working with trafficking victims for the past eight years, the fact that these women are prostitutes has everything to do with the delayed response and their ability to even get help.”

Long Island Murders: Sex Trafficking Ring Involved?


The Real Story on Human Trafficking


What exactly is human trafficking and how can we help stop it? One of the best people in the U.S. to answer such questions is Department of Justice-certified human-trafficking consultant Dottie Laster, who has trained more than 5,000 police officers on recognizing and combating trafficking. She hosts a weekly internet radio show, “Trafficked,” on Here Women […]

Fighting Hate with Hate: Anti-Asian Rant Inspires Misogyny


On March 13, 2011, a UCLA student posted an ignorant rant titled “Asians in the Library” that quickly became a viral video. Comments about the video used nasty gender slurs, replicating the same type of hatred expoused in the video but towards women.