This is pretty disturbing... [LOCKED]

Submitted by keep_em_honest on August 20th, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Not sure what to think of this...and I can't believe I haven't heard of this before now.

The gist is Brendan Gibbons allegedly raped a girl at a party of few years ago and his roommate (Taylor Lewan) tried to intimidate her.

[Locked pending review. ~BM]

[Unlocked for now. FWIW, this issue is not new. It was vetted years ago. ~BM]

[Locked again. All ground has been covered, and I'm not babysitting this thing all night. Buckeye troll got what he wanted, but now we move on. Others may unlock at their own peril. Also, I remember now why I quit modding. ~BM]


Wisconsin Wolverine

August 20th, 2013 at 1:56 PM ^

I doubt that this is a good place for rumors, particularly such dark ones. It would be better to wait until anything is substantiated before making us worry. My opinion anyway, I guess you can do what you want. I just think it sucks.


August 20th, 2013 at 2:48 PM ^

I'm looking at two threads of significant length that were only eventually unpublished (and not deleted) when the conversation hit "Gibbons is Hitler" vs. "She had it coming" levels: one from when it originally happened, and one from 2011 when Douglas Smith made his comments to the BoR.


August 20th, 2013 at 2:58 PM ^

The posts were unpublished because they were locked, right? How long did it take for that to happened? I wasn't checking Mgoblog every five minutes, but I did watch this unfold pretty closely at the time and never saw the post you refer to.

I'm not faulting the mods for locking the discussion by the way, but you're misleading people in saying this info has already been given full treatment here.


August 20th, 2013 at 2:53 PM ^

There was an at length discussion as to whether Gibbons performance under Rich Rod was so poor (Compared to his resurgence under Hoke) because
A. He was stressed with getting his name cleared
B. He was scared to death of Rich Rod
I am envious of your previous blissful ignorance of the situation.


August 20th, 2013 at 2:02 PM ^

...from someone on good authority awhile back, but I didn't believe him.  I was told it also involved 2 other high profile football players not mentioned in the article.  They have since graduated, but still...not good. 

As much as I love Michigan, if this story is true, I'm glad its finally getting out.  We are NOT PSU and cover up such vile acts.   


August 20th, 2013 at 2:06 PM ^

Beyond disturbing yes, but arrest does not = guilt.  I can only hope this is not a true allegation because the allegations are sickening.

Still, I have defended many people falsely accused of crimes so let us keep this in mind. remember Juwan Howard?  He successfully sued a woman who falsely accused him of sexual assault.

Let us hope this is not true but if it is I am curious as to what the DA thought about the case. From 2009 so it took a while for this to get out and I wonder why.


August 20th, 2013 at 2:07 PM ^

Nice 1 sided story of unsubstantiated SHIT.

As a former victim of rape fraud, knowing how damaging unproven allegations can be I say take this damn thing down ASAP.


August 20th, 2013 at 2:40 PM ^

it is not true.  Truth is a defense to libel and the standard is only a preponderance of evidence. 


People really need to save their indignation and realize that assaults like this happen far too often on college campuses, in military barracks, etc. 


Did an assualt happen here?  I have no idea, but lets not pretend that such a thing is impossible, just because it involves Michigan football.


August 20th, 2013 at 4:28 PM ^

But without charges being filed we have no way of knowing. You seem to forget our illustrious history of falsely accusing people of crimes. That bloodly history ought to matter a lot.

No one here knows what happened. Douglas Smith certainly does not, though he acts as he does.  The only people who do know are Gibbons and the alleged victim.


August 20th, 2013 at 2:18 PM ^

Three things:

First- Rape=terrible.

Second- This article is an embarrassment to journalism.  The pictures they used and the way they cite Gibbons' "Brunette girls" quote serve no other purpose for the story than to increase its inflammatory nature and cast more doubt on Gibbons' character, as if the content of the story wasn't enough.

Third- It sounds to me like the victim was actually treated pretty fairly.  She had the support of the school to as great a degree as they could offer.  She was given access to councelors and support groups, but they told her accurately that they couldn't do anything unless she pressed charges.  She's right in saying there should be laws in place regarding confidentiality in rape cases within the court system, but asking for the school to handle the case behind closed doors and punish Gibbons without a trial just doesn't work.


August 20th, 2013 at 3:13 PM ^

Regarding your last point, if we ever get to confidentiality in trials for sexual crimes I think it would need to apply both ways. Particularly in cases where the alleged criminal is high-profile or the alleged crime is particularly heinous (this applies to many non-sexual crimes as well), the mere accusation and subsequent judging of public opinion is enough to permanently damage a person's reputation (or even safety) in a severe way even if they are ultimately acquitted.

The only fair balance to that, one enshrined in the 6th amendment and going back at least as far as Roman law, is to give the accused the right to face those bearing witness against them.

While I can understand how it would be humiliating to recount being victimized in a public forum, being on trial for that crime and having to be the target of those accusations would be equally humiliating. I don't see how we could extend confidentiality to one party but not the other fairly without presuming the outcome of the trial (that is, obviously if the accusations are true it would be better if the victim could remain anonymous, but obviously if the accusations are false (or simply incorrect, as eyewitness reports often are) it would be better if the accused could remain anonymous).


August 20th, 2013 at 4:43 PM ^

Considering I had to double check my recollection of the legal history against Wikipedia, you should not feel at all bad about handing the best post award to the laser-dog vs. balls gif.

But in seriousness, thank you. The topic is one that we rightly have a very visceral reaction to, and it's often hard to separate that reaction when we want to talk about how a fair and neutral legal system should behave. Particularly when "justice" can only provide a "least bad" resolution to a terrible situation. The aphorism "tough cases make for bad law" is frequently proven true, and it's worth remembering that (bringing it back On Topic to appease the No Politics gods, that aphorism can actually be applied to a lot of our criticism of coaching decisions and so forth).


August 20th, 2013 at 4:24 PM ^

The girl was a student athlete at Michigan as well. I wonder why anybody on here would assume she would just lie and make up a false rape report? I feel bad for the girl that some people on here would question a honor's student and Michigan athlete on rather they were raped cause the accused is a Football player. This is what is wrong with some in our fan base.


August 20th, 2013 at 2:08 PM ^

Definitely disturbing. I wouldn't be surprised if the post is removed, because the account isn't "confirmed." But the link indicates a terrible catch 22:  short of pressing criminal charges, there is very little that the alleged victim can do, and nothing is "proven." Therefore, the incident goes away, and it never happened. I hate reading things like this, but I also hate the idea that such incidents are swept under the carpet. If it happened, I'd want the player suspended. If it didn't happen, I'd want the player exonerated. It appears neither will happen, because, again, the alleged victim isn't willing to press charges.


August 20th, 2013 at 2:11 PM ^

Wasn't this discussed like years ago? If police investigated, and nothing happened, and all you have is one person saying something, what else is supposed to happen. Pretty filthy for someone to drag two people's name through the mud with unsubstantiated vile accusations.


August 20th, 2013 at 2:11 PM ^

I have a problem with "trial by public opinion."  If you are assaulted, press charges.  Our legal system may not be perfect, but it does provide closure.  Instead, this will be an open wound this woman will continue to scratch for the rest of her life.  I feel bad for her in more ways than one.


August 20th, 2013 at 2:12 PM ^

I don't ever want to dismiss an accusation, but without a legal investigation this is libel. Accusing a person of something without taking measures to prove that accusation is an unethical act in of itself.

If this did occur that the girl ought to have

press charges. Accusing someone of an atrocious act like rape without pressing charges is to condemn the accused without a fair trial.

This Douglas Smith is a crap journalist. You don't take a side in thus type if situation. You present the known facts and leave it at that. Without a trial to test the veracity of this woman's statement we have no way if getting to the truth.


August 20th, 2013 at 3:25 PM ^

haven't been brought on charges is not libel? Hmm.


Per the dictionary: 1) n. to publish in print (including pictures), writing or broadcast through radio, television or film, an untruth about another which will do harm to that person or his/her reputation, by tending to bring the target into ridicule, hatred, scorn or contempt of others. Libel is the written or broadcast form of defamation, distinguished from slander which is oral defamation. It is a tort (civil wrong) making the person or entity (like a newspaper, magazine or political organization) open to a lawsuit for damages by the person who can prove the statement about him/her was a lie. Publication need only be to one person, but it must be a statement which claims to be fact, and is not clearly identified as an opinion.


Okay, Oliver Wendell Holmes, explain to me how writing an article that affirmatively states Gibbons guilt despite lacking entirely physical evidence(thought he says without attribution that semen was on her dress.) other than an arrest record and complaint. That only shows that Gibbons was arrested and that someone made out a complaint about Lewan.  That is proof of exactly nothing. Yet, Douglas Smith unequivocally states that Gibbons is guilty of rape. That, my friend, would get a journalist fired from their job even at the Saline Reporter.




August 20th, 2013 at 4:21 PM ^

Douglas Smith definitively accuses  Brendon Gibbons of rape. How does that not fit that definition? Instead of offering up snarky statements, how about you explain to me  how Mr. Smith's actions do not at least approach libel? I cannot accuse Brian of being a Buckeye-lover without evidence to support that accusation.

It appears to me that Smith is accusing Gibbons of rape without offering up physical evidence to prove that. He cites--unattributed mind you--evidence(semen on dress, two players filing a report) without offering anything conclusive to prove his assertion. Since Gibbons was never charged we are left to conclude that what happened that night was not deemed worthy of a jury trial by the people involved.




August 20th, 2013 at 4:27 PM ^

To be successfully sued for libel, an allegedly defamed public figure must demonstrate that the person published a false statement knowing that statement to be false, and that he did so with the intention of maliciously harming the defamed person.

Short answer: no way in hell would he have a winnable case for libel here. Public figures basically never win those types of suits.