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]



August 20th, 2013 at 2:43 PM ^

Another problem is simply the limits of human knowledge.  I fear that sounds glib, but I always think about it in these cases.  I'd like to think of myself as very sympathetic to victims of sexual assault, but I also think that a decision-maker is faced with a very tough choice when met with Person A saying she's a victim, Person B saying otherwise, physical evidence that could go either way, and no witnesses, which is almost always the set of facts. 


August 20th, 2013 at 2:57 PM ^

Good research!  An academic with a grudge against an athletic department is a pretty old story....bitter man who cares more than the alleged "victim".  To those few who find this rehashed allegation "disturbing", I find your passing judgement on a player(s) when no guilt has been charged equally so. 


August 20th, 2013 at 3:22 PM ^

So from a pure story standpoint it would be disturbing.  So would a fictional story about a guy opening fire on the diag or a story about the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man leveling Michigan Stadium.  Each of those three stories have resulted in the same amount of criminal charges.  It may be relevant to a morality forum, but one that focuses on Michigan sports, not at all.  The names are all that made this relevant, and since they aren't under any sort of investigation, the relevance is gone.   


August 20th, 2013 at 2:52 PM ^

This is why a lot of us cringed at his cute 'think about brunette girls' comment after the Sugar Bowl.......................Also, I wonder if Gibbons and Keith Appling know each other


August 20th, 2013 at 2:54 PM ^

Story seems believable but difficult to prove, especially at this point.  Rape is always a complicated case, but seems like whatever happened this girl has been through hell. However, this is old news and she never pressed criminal charges so we can speculate from now until the end of time, but cant really judge the situation.


August 20th, 2013 at 2:56 PM ^

As others point out, the article is a terrible piece of journalism.  It portrays the story according to the alleged victim as fact without giving definite proof.  Look, I don't what happened and without video, nobody knows exactly what happened.  Maybe he's guilty.  Maybe she just totally crazy or vindictive for some reason.  Both scenarios happen ALL the time.  There's the recent story about the football player, Brian Banks, who was falsely accused and convicted of rape.  He was only exonerated since the "victim" was taped admitted to her lie.  Then there was the story just a couple days ago about a girl who lied about an assault by her own father.  He was convicted as well and sits rotting in prison while she now owns up to the truth and tries to free him.  How many more men are imprisoned for similar false accusations?

Unfortunately, there's no good answer here.  Many sexual assaults occur and there's not adequate evidence to convict.  That may happen frequently.  Also unfortunately, innocent people are often charged and convicted of sexual offenses without any solid evidence.  Even if they aren't convicted, their lives are ruined.

It's entirely likely that there was not adequate evidence to charge in this case.  It's best not to spread hearsay which may by itself ruin innocent lives or possibly lead to charges and conviction of an innocent person.

Monocle Smile

August 20th, 2013 at 3:08 PM ^

The OP is a very obvious Buckeye (check his posting history...notably his apologetics concerning Urban Meyer) posting a shitty piece of "journalism" about a story from several years ago that, contrary to "Dr." Smith's allegations, received a fair amount of press in the mainstream media.

If this does indeed get left up, I fully expect a cold, frosty glass of "shut the fuck up" to be served to the next twit who whines about the mods tinfoil-hat style.


August 20th, 2013 at 3:15 PM ^

Just why is this thread still open? Please, Brian, Seth, or whoever, please lock and delete this. 

INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. Witch-hunting based on "public" opinion is despicable.


August 20th, 2013 at 3:23 PM ^

Can we all agree on this statement, and move on with our lives?

Rape is a terrible crime that has terrible consequences for its victims. There is a significant disconnect between the incidence of rape and the progress of rape through the legal system. Far too often, victims of rape don't feel safe or comfortable to report their assault, or to try to press charges. These victims, feeling they are choosing the better of two terrible options, receive no justice, and that is terrible. Less often, but sometimes, false accusations are made against innocent people. This is also a terrible thing, which likewise has the ability to ruin lives.

In the present situation, we don't know into which of these injustices we are discussing, or whether this is a situation that falls into the potentially less blameworthy but equally life-altering realm of a difference in understanding between two parties as to the nature of a sexual encounter. At this point, it still very much matters, but it is also not worth continuing to discuss. The authorities did not press charges, which proves nothing about the facts of that night but is indicative of the reason this conversation is moot: there simply isn't enough evidence. Continuing to debate this will not allow us to make any progress. We simply don't have enough information (and will never have enough information) to draw conclusions. Casting stones upon any of the parties involved at this point is irresponsible and has the potential to add insult to injury.  It isn't a satisfying conclusion, but it is the only reasonable one.


August 20th, 2013 at 3:26 PM ^

I'm not saying he was guilty or not but I heard about this story while still on campus and from everything I heard the victim did everything that a rape victim is supposed to do if they want to report and was intimidated by members of the football team.  Nobody ever disuputed he was in the room with the victim, just whether it was rape.  I have no idea what actually happened, but to pretend like he wasn't treated differently by this fanbase because he was a michigan football player is pretty naive.

Nosce Te Ipsum

August 20th, 2013 at 3:35 PM ^

That's the problem I am having. To think that there won't be hypocrisy is naive but the responses are worse than I would have expected. It reminds me of the ND rape case in which the girl ended up killing herself. The more I live the more I believe that man is not worth saving.


August 20th, 2013 at 3:30 PM ^

Would someone bring this up now? I personally believe this was posted purposely for other reasons other than feedback. Rape is terrible, but nothing came of it so what can we do. Please delete!"


August 20th, 2013 at 3:30 PM ^

 I smell BS. First off I remember Gibbons in 2009 most fans would arrest him on sight if we had the power back then. The lady met him at the party per the article but then goes on to say she didn't press charges because she thought of him as a friend......

 Rapes not  something to play with. One reason is because as soon as the charges are filed you're guilty until proven..... well you always have a cloud over your head guilty or not.


August 20th, 2013 at 3:32 PM ^

was reported well or not, it could have run in any newspaper, at the time this originally occurred. But only if the police report on it had become public. The fact that Gibbons was arrested and there is a record of his arrest on some charge, would have been sufficient to at least run that story and subsequent  follow-up on it.  He was apparently arrested for something, which isn't clear. 

So there is that. A police report is a public record but it is not evidence that a crime has been committed or that someone is guilty of an allegation. It is simply a statement that something occurred that could result in a criminal charge if the allegation is found to be supported by corroborating witnesses,  details and evidence or the willingness of a victim to press charges based on that after investigation. 

There are several complications in this story: The two people principally involved were both scholarship athletes, both were friendly, they were on campus when the incident occurred, and the incident itself is clouded by circumstances surrounding their friendship, alchohol consumption and ultimately the question of consent. And, of course, there is the belief that because Gibbons was a Michigan football player that no one wanted to pursue justice on behalf of the victim. This story offers no evidence on that contention. 

Based on this account of what occurred, there is no question the woman involved has suffered emotionally and perhaps otherwise. She has apparently been traumatized and this explains why this author chose to make her story public because she has apparently been denied justice through conventional means, even if any supporting physical evidence from the alleged assault would no longer be available or valid, unless it was somehow preserved. And this would only be evidence supporting her report of sexual contact, not the issue of consent or unwilling participation.

Now, this is not to excuse conduct which again is complicated by the circumstances surrounding the incident itself, and the woman's decision not to press her case, probably because she felt itimidated by the impact of going forward. Unfortunately, that was the only way to make her case meaningful and pursuit-worthy then. Today, it is merely public fodder for the internet grist mill. 

I don't know what the current staff is supposed to do to Gibbons based on this. They were weren't here when this happened. Again, I am not excusing what has been alleged, I am simply trying to look at it from a journalistic or legal standpoint. I'm not sure what Hoke could do about this at this point, if suspension on principal is warranted. 

One thing I do know, now out for good, this story will not go away immediately. 

Monocle Smile

August 20th, 2013 at 3:40 PM ^

Read the goddamn thread. The guy who wrote this crap clearly has an axe to grind and this probably no longer has anything to do with the alleged victim. You come awfully close in your post to assuming guilt.

Furthermore, this story DID receive mainstream news coverage around the time of the incident.

Thre current staff should do exactly nothing about this piece of garbage from what appears to be a tinfoil-hat blog.


August 20th, 2013 at 4:27 PM ^

but I assume it is what you claim. Taking that into account, he has made the story public regardless of the veractiy of the allegations supporting the rape contention. Is it rape? Should it have been investigated, did campus authorities avoid the issue and conveniently cover-up, was an overzealous and high profile Michigan football player involved in a campaign of intimidation against the alleged victim, that cemented her decision not to press charges, this is what is being alleged in this story. 

I've followed Michigan football for a long time. Longer than the background of this story. And I don't recall this being published anywhere before. And if examining something from the standpoint of its relevance then and now based on the framework of the facts and how I structure my thoughts, seems to bother your sense of conviction about this matter, I don't give a shit. This is about public relations at this point, how it plays among the rival fan bases, and how it will be churned into negativity whether the facts are true or not. For the sake of debate, it matters not one iota. 

But pulling apart the story, shredding its detail into morsels of fact and fiction, is the only way  I know how to parse accounts like this, and hold them up to light, and see if they have merit or not. This is, in fact, the way it's done in court. 

So, if you don't like it, too bad. Your POV is no more relevant than mine. 


August 20th, 2013 at 4:36 PM ^

It's come up several times over the last few years, largely at the behest of this same individual.

From the best we can tell, all of these things were evaluated nearly four years ago by the proper authorities. Records exist that indicate that the police took and filed several reports. Gibbons was arrested. Charges were never filed, to some extent because the alleged victim didn't press charges.

People aren't upset because this is being discussed. They're upset because it's already been discussed numerous times.

Monocle Smile

August 20th, 2013 at 4:39 PM ^

My POV is that none of us, including the OP, know shit about this and Douglas Smith doesn't know much more. You seem to act as if you know something more than the rest of us. You don't, and actually you know less. I don't give a fuck if you "don't recall." There's a link IN THIS THREAD posted on about this.

In other words, this appears to be a heavy helping of mental masturbation on your part with a side of sheer laziness.

This story by itself has very little relevance now. I don't give a shit what rival fan bases think. Why do you assume more than like 50 people will find this story? It was posted on a backwater bitchy blog by someone no one cares about.

Nosce Te Ipsum

August 20th, 2013 at 3:44 PM ^

The court of public opinion is always the biggest issue. One part of your post which stuck out to me was the way in which you are looking at it. Wouldn't an ethical standpoint be just as important? If it is, then should this not be brought back to the surface and reexamined as to finally clear the air. Perhaps that has been done but the way the supposed victim spoke that seems contradictory. 


August 20th, 2013 at 3:32 PM ^

*Meaning, Gibbons and the girl were in the fraternity house together.

It was the night following the 2009 Ohio game where anyone attending the game could hear the O-H-I-O going around the stadium.

Not going to conjecture about whether it was rape or not.  For those of you who are totally rejecting the entire story ... Gibbons did say that he was with the girl.

The fraternity (that Gibbons was not a member of) that it happened in was put on probation by its national organization.  


August 20th, 2013 at 3:33 PM ^

Digging up shit from 3 years ago.  Fortunately, us Michigan fans dont need an R&D program to expose the cesspool of criminal activity that has long existed at the OSU program, and continues to flourish under the great disciplinarian-father figure Urban Meyer. We just need to read the daily sports news...usually a coin flip whether or not a Buckeye was arrested. Keep up the good work Urban.


August 20th, 2013 at 3:41 PM ^

We'll never know what happened and I feel bad for everyone involved but it seem pretty clear that the "author" has an agenda.  Not the same guy but one of the top hits on Douglas Smith reveals that he's "quite simply, the finest short-story writer Canada has ever produced in the science fiction and fantasy genres."  Seems appropriate.




August 20th, 2013 at 3:51 PM ^

The fact that mgoblog is giving this guy more traction is absurd! If you follow his tracks, he has written an article about a 4 year old matter and is pasting it in every empty comment field he can find on the internet. Maybe I'll go write an "expose" about Barry Bonds using steroids and paste my link on every baseball message board. mgoblog is better than giving this guy more hits...that is all he wants.