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Dear LA Times: You're making a great case for rape culture

Here's a headline for you right now at the L.A. Times: "LAPD Seeks to Fire Officers Over Coerced Sex." The subheadline on the front page read "The officers are ordered to attend disciplinary hearings on charges that they forced several women to have sex in exchange for leniency."

Here are all the euphemisms used in the article:

"Los Angeles police officials are seeking to fire two officers after an internal investigation determined that they pressured women to engage in sex acts with them in their car while on duty, sources said."


"After using the threat of jail to get women into their car, the officers sometimes drove them to secluded areas where one of the officers demanded oral sex or other acts while the other kept watch, the warrant affidavit alleged. In other cases, the men acted alone, the warrant said."

"The woman, who according to the warrant affidavit worked as a confidential informant for the narcotics unit and knew the men, said they were dressed in plain clothes and driving a Volkswagen Jetta. Valenzuela threatened to take the woman to jail if she refused to get in the car, then got into the back seat with her and exposed himself, telling the woman to touch him, the affidavit said."

"Then in July 2012, investigators heard reports from prostitutes that patrol officers in the Northeast Division were picking up prostitutes and letting them go in exchange for oral sex, the warrant affidavit said."

"It is not clear how, but an investigator reportedly identified two more women who reported encounters in which Nichols and Valenzuela sought sexual favors in exchange for leniency. One said Nichols detained her in July 2011, handcuffed her and drove to a quiet location. Removing the restraints, Nichols exposed himself and said, "You don't want to go to jail today, do you?" the woman recalled, according to the affidavit."


Dear LA Times: Why is this never called rape? "Force" and "coercion" are major components in the definition of rape; they mean that consent is absent. The Times even called these crimes "misconduct." Using your power to extort sexual favors from less powerful individuals is rape, a crime, not mere misconduct. These are criminal acts against the bodily autonomy of another person, aided by the officers' real and perceived power over their targeted victims. These two cops are even alleged to have worked as a team to carry out their rapes in secluded areas. Do we have to wait for a conviction before the LA Times will call this crime by its name?

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