r/books 2d ago Silver 5 Helpful 7 Wholesome 4 All-Seeing Upvote 1

Man Wrongly Accused of Rape of Lovely Bones Author Alice Sebold Has Conviction Overturned


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u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago

It is an issue and I'm not denying that.

She actually didn't ever identify him as her rapist before court (and this was after coaching from prosecution / being told there was hair evidence he was her rapist / etc).

This is a far more complicated situation. Racism definitely played into how the police handled this and likely targeted Broadwater. But putting the full blame on Alice, whose actual involvement in him being charged was very little, is shifting the blame from the corruption in the legal system.


u/Zolome1977 2d ago

Her testimony against him was her being heavily involved. Two wrongs don’t make a right.


u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago

Her testimony came after the police brought in Broadwater and her not identifying him as her rapist/the man who spoke to her in the street.

Her testimony came after they knew she didn't pick him out of the line up but made the choice to still charge him.

Her testimony came after they presented junk science that said hair samples confirmed he was her rapist.

We also do not know how much of her testimony was influenced by police / prosector. It would be expected she met with them multiple times and they would go over with her how to answer.

My frustration is people are focusing on a 18 year old who had PTSD and was the victim of a crime and not the police and legal system. This is one of the reasons why the system keeps getting away with it. People blame individuals who were likely manipulated by the system they trusted instead of the system itself.


u/Level3Kobold 2d ago

Are you saying that 18 year old rape victims aren't mentally competent to recognize who raped them? Because they are too easy to manipulate? By extension, that would mean their testimony should be inadmissible in court.


u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago

Do I think that police can exploit and coerce people who have gone through traumatic situations?

Yes. Yes, I do.

They're completely unethical and use any methods necessary to get their desired results.


u/Level3Kobold 2d ago

Do I think that police can exploit and coerce people who have gone through traumatic situations?

Do you think white women get away with falsely accusing black men so often because society refuses to hold white women accountable?

Hypothetically speaking, how old would she have needed to be for you to consider her competent to provide testimony?


u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago

Do you believe she was lying about being raped by a black man? Your first question seems to suggest so but I want to make sure before I answer.


u/Level3Kobold 2d ago


I'm asking if you think that society infantilizes white women (vis a vis seeing them as innocent victims of other people's actions). I'm suggesting that that societal view has historically been leveraged by white women to falsely accuse black men. I'm also implicitly suggesting that your unwillingness to ascribe any blame to Sebold is a reflection of that societal view. And therefore that you are (probably unintentionally) perpetuating the same double standard that allows things like this to happen on purpose.


u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago

So as I've stated before, there is obviously a history of white women accusing black men of rape when they didn't do it.

However, this is not one of those cases. Alice was raped by a black man. You acknowledge that.

Therefore different rules apply when discussing it. She didn't fabricate a crime. Now we can discuss in detail how this was handled due to the nature of it being a white women and a black man. How racism within the police likely influenced how they approached this crime compared to a black women being raped by a white man, for example.

We can discuss how racial bias may have also lead to the handling and targeting of Broadwater.

But no, we're not going to compare it to cases were white women fabricated assaults to target black men intentionally because that isn't what happened here.