Texas Cheerleader Forced to Cheer for the Player Who Assaulted Her and Pay For it, Too

To set the stage, here’s the story from ThinkProgress. Pay particular attention to the last line in the paragraph.

Supreme Court Denies Justice To Texas Cheerleader Who Refused To Cheer Her Alleged Rapist

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court declined to review the case of a recent Texas high school student who was kicked off her school’s cheerleading squad after she refused to chant the name of a basketball player who had allegedly raped her. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the most conservative courts in the country, ruled last November that the victim — who is known only as H.S. — had no right to refuse to applaud her attacker because as a cheerleader in uniform, she was an agent of the school. To add insult to injury, the Fifth Circuit dismissed her case as “frivolous” and sanctioned the girl, forcing her family to pay the school district’s $45,000 legal fees.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The Fifth Circuit, one of the most conservative (and activist) courts in the country not only forced this girl to cheer for the man who assaulted her (and why the hell is he still a star player on the high school basketball team after having been convicted of assault…?), but they’re forcing her family to pay $45,000 in legal fees!?  This family stood up for their daughter’s rights, and because of a conservative, activist court, they are facing bankruptcy and financial ruin. The boy is back on the team after a little slap on the wrist and a bit of community service. The court called the family’s lawsuit “frivolous.”

As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing at all frivolous about rape, a crime against all women that is extremely under-prosecuted. In this country, a woman who has been raped is victimized all over again by our court system. As the victim, a woman is often demonized by the defense, painted as a whore and a Jezebel who “asked for it” because she wore a short skirt, showed too much cleavage or went to a party.

As long as that attitude prevails in this country, we all might as well be forced to wear burqas.

This whole story pissed me off. I’m sick of the Republican/conservative/Tea Party attack on women and womens’ rights, so I reached out to the attorney who filed this suit asking if there was any way we could help. His response is below, and yes, we can help.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide what you’d like to do. Paypal is easy. Checks are easy. Thank you for whatever you can do to help.

Dear Kate

 Thank you for your message.I have activated a State Bar IOLTA Trust Account at Bank of Texas to receive donations to Hillaire (pronounced Hillary) and her parents for court assessed costs, her legal fees and expenses.

Contributions should be sent to Watts Associates IOLTA  Routing Number 111014325,   Account No. 2902216304.

Please pass the information along to any who may be interested in helping out.

 The district court ordered that my client(s), Hillaire and her parents pay the Silsbee ISD, Richard Bain, Gaye Lokey, and Sissy McInnis. That order was appealed to the 5th Circuit when  it was assessed last fall. The appeal is still pending, however I expect that it will soon be decided, and based on what the 5th Circ. has said in the main case, my hope of a reversal in the award to the school folks is thin. It will then happen very quickly. The Silsbee District is hardly apologetic or remorseful about their conduct in this matter. To demonstrate the District’s Boards feelings about Bain and lawyer Hunt, Bain has received a 5 year contract and his lawyer has been “re-upped” in his relationship with the District. The costs and fees incurred by Hillaire’s  parents and me have been significant.

You may not have realized that Hillaire’s Dad, a designer in an engineering firm in Beaumont was terminated in 2009 because of the financial downturn. After trying to get a job, he started a “landscaping business” in Silsbee. Hillaire’s Mom is a teacher in the Silsbee District and the family is living on her income as Craig, Hillaire’s Dad, struggles to make a go of his business. Hillaire’s parents have spent personal monies to reimburse me early on for costs, but the case has been carried by me since Spring 2009.

Craig has discussed attempting to take judicial debt relief from the court’s award against the family, if the District persists in collecting the money awarded by the court. The damage to their already fragile credit would be significant. I told the district court about the hardship its order would cause. The district judge was apparently unmoved and still took the position that the case was frivolous. It is my hope that the total costs as assessed by the district judge will be a burden lifted from Craig’s shoulders without the need for seeking bankruptcy relief.

Candidly, I hope that there might be received sufficient funds from some source to reimburse Craig and Christena. It would also be great if I could recover at the end, costs and fees I have expended. That is the situation. Your support is wonderful. Any additional help you could spare would be gratefully received.
 
Larry   
Larry Watts
Watts & Associates
Civil Rights Lawyers
P.O. Box 2214
Missouri City, Texas 77459
Telephone: 281-431-1500
Fax: 877-797-4055

On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 10:10 PM, Kate Mc <wwanniekatz09@ymail.com> wrote:

A lot of my friends would like to help with this family’s legal fees. I am in contact with a large number of people – on ThinkProgress, on Twitter and on Facebook. I’d like to help. 

At the very least, please let HR and her family know there are a lot of people who are on her side. 

Thank you.

Kate


— 

Advertisements

15 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Shadow's Mom on May 8, 2011 at 4:59 am

    Thank you for this! I’ll be sending along a donation. This action by the 5th circuit is yet another in a string of assaults against the health, wellbeing, and safety of women.

    Reply

  2. I actually shared your entry link in my facebook just to spread the word more and a lil More across teh worl – Coming at from from lil old New Zealand.

    Reply

  3. Posted by joel hanes on May 8, 2011 at 6:14 am

    I’m not seeing the PayPal link or URL.
    Someone please reply with a clue for the clueless ?

    Reply

    • Posted by Leftside Annie on May 8, 2011 at 2:33 pm

      I suggest you email Mr. Watt – normally Paypal is through the email address, so I would suggest you email him that you’d like to send him a paypal donation. Include the routing numbers in the memo. Let me know how that works.

      Laurence Watts

      Thank you!

      Reply

    • Posted by Leftside Annie on May 11, 2011 at 1:54 am

      Hi, Joel – Paypal is now set up:

      wattstrial@gmail.com

      :o)

      Reply

  4. Posted by revcat on May 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Is there a facebook page? Putting a page up and tweeting and retweeting a link to it would be a good idea. The word needs to spread.

    Reply

    • Posted by Leftside Annie on May 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm

      I’m ashamed to admit that I’m not very good with this kind of stuff; I don’t know how to put up a FB page – except for my own. I could use some help on that – email me if you like, wwanniekatz09@ymail.com i

      Kate

      Reply

  5. Posted by SarahT on May 8, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Beyond disgusting. I’ll be sending a check tomorrow.

    Reply

    • Posted by Leftside Annie on May 8, 2011 at 10:37 pm

      Thank you, Sarah! This attorney is working on setting up a PayPal account, and when he does, I’ll post the information.

      You’re the best!

      Kate

      Reply

  6. So, I sent my penny to the school superintendent, http://www.susanohanian.org/show_atrocities.php?id=9680 , with the message that they could have hired a teacher with that $45,000 in legal fees. I will now send as much as I can to Hillaire’s trust. This whole situation is shameful! I just finished reading Scott Rose’s article, and I don’t know how the superintendent can hold his head up in public.

    Reply

  7. Posted by John Laton Bowles on June 10, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    This isn’t a woman’s rights issue, it isn’t a racial issue (except that the NAACP took special interest in the case- http://www.aolnews.com/2010/11/22/texas-town-courts-fail-cheerleader/ )… and all who try to use this poor girl for their own political gain or to push their agenda should be ashamed of themselves no matter what camp they’re from. The issue is that a girl was raped and her abuser was not properly brought to justice…in fact I called her lawyer and told him as much. As a proud American, a proud Texan (and a descendent of one of the original three hundred settlers of Texas) , a conservative, a Christian, and a Republican I am appalled at this…as are many others from my background I assure you. Texas is a state built on justice, ethics, principles, and taking care of your fellow man, regardless of what others may say. Fame and fortune have no place in regards to justice being done. As I told her lawyer, I am praying for her, as will be many pastors and congregations in my hometown (since her hometown has turned their back on her) this weekend and beyond… for her, for her family, and that Justice is served…properly.
    On another note I will be circulating links to various stories about this to people I know, and I will also be donating my next payday…as I encourage others to as well.
    -A Disgusted and Infuriated Texan

    Reply

    • Posted by Leftside Annie on June 10, 2011 at 6:31 pm

      John, I’m really glad to hear it. Honestly, I was truly beginning to believe that there were no sane Republicans left in the world. Please do spread the word, and note that Mr. Watts has set up a Paypal account (wattstrial@gmail.com) for those who would like to help this family.

      As a woman, I must respectfully disagree with you about this not being a womens’ issue. Rape is a womens’ issue; as I said, underreported, underprosecuted and women who are raped are almost always blamed for it. This insult-to-injury verdict is just another slap in the face for women.

      Thanks for reading my blog. Come back any time.

      Kate

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: