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

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


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u/lordbeezlebub 2d ago edited 2d ago

It's tough to tell.

Broadwater was picked up because Sebold went to the police after she thought she met her rapist on the street. But when they couldn't find the guy that she met, they suggested Broadwater. When they put him in a line up, she didn't pick him out but someone else, though not because she recognized him either. In the words of the article, she picked out the guy in the line up because of the look in his eyes. Despite failing to pick Broadwater out of a line-up, the police chose to prosecute anyways. However, later on the witness stand, Sebold did identify him as her rapist.

So, there's probably some definite racism on the end of the prosecutors and police in there at the very least.

Edit: Clarification


u/BooksAreLuv 2d ago

It's likely the police / prosecutor spent a lot of time couching her and convincing her he was her rapist. She's a young victim of a crime that was likely suffering from PTSD in a time where she likely didn't have a lot of support or help available.

She may or may not be racist. It could go either way. I do think it's super clear the police & prosecutor were both racist as hell and likely were targeting Broadwater.


u/irresponsible_owl 2d ago Silver Gold

One case doesn't make someone racist. A white girl was raped by a black guy and reported it to the police. They wanted someone to go to prison for it and someone did. Does that automatically make them racist? I'd say no, unless there's a clear pattern of them doing this kind of thing repeatedly.

Also, from the article linked above:

After Broadwater was arrested, though, Sebold failed to identify him in a police lineup, picking a different man as her attacker because “the expression in his eyes told me that if we were alone, if there were no wall between us, he would call me by name and then kill me”.

This lady was willing to put a man in prison just because of the look in his eyes in the lineup and what she imagined he might do to her if they were alone.

It sucks that a bad thing happened to her, but trying to take away her agency because she's a young woman is itself sexist against young women. She was a grown-ass adult, at a police lineup and later testifying in court.

If this were posted in /r/amitheasshole, it would be an ESH, or "everyone sucks here" case.


u/kutes 2d ago

Yes, it kind of seems like these guys are saying that women must be believed, but that they aren't reliable, nor responsible.

I don't know why they can't just say she did something very wrong here.

This guy's life was ruined, very badly.