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CPRC at Fox News: The facts about Dartmouth student Taylor Woolrich and her stalker

12 Aug , 2014  

The CPRC’s John Lott has a piece up at Fox News to try to correct the record after Geraldo Rivera’s interview on Fox News last week:

It is often very hard for women who have been victims of sexual type crimes to publicly discuss what has happened to them. Last week in Washington, five women came forward to discuss how gun free zones at colleges have prevented them from defending themselves. From rape and sexual assault, to stalkers, to one woman whose stalker killed her husband, to death threats,these women bravely came forward and talked of the traumas — all but one telling their story publicly for the first time.

One woman’s story made national headlines. Taylor Woolrich, a junior at Dartmouth College, has been stalked for four years. Her stalker, Richard Bennett, is now in jail for the third time because he has broken restraining orders.

She has detailed how the stalking has forced her family to move, caused her to be a prisoner in her dorm room, avoid social media sites, and caused numerous other problems.

But as happens so often when crime victims speak out, others second guess their behavior. Unfortunately, last Thursday, Geraldo Rivera did just that on Fox News. Let’s look at a few of his statements:

Geraldo said that the threat against Taylor doesn’t justify her getting a gun for protection: “…he is unable to make his bail, so he is in custody, and he is facing an almost certain four year sentence upon conviction.”

Geraldo also seems to have confused the fact that her stalker has not yet posted bail with his inability to do so. Her stalker has hired one of the very best defense lawyers in San Diego county, and apparently, has been able to post a large retainer of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

His bail is currently set at $300,000, which means that all he has to do is put up $30,000. It appears pretty clear that he has the resources to do that.

Not wanting to depend on the court system to quickly inform her if the stalker posts bail, Taylor calls up every day to make sure that he is still in jail.

There is no way that the stalker is going to spend four years in prison. Indeed, the prosecutor has told Taylor that because of prison overcrowding in California and the possibility that his sentence could be reduced due to good behavior, the stalker won’t be spending more than eight months in jail. The two months he has already been in jail will count towards that total. That means that he will likely be released in the middle of the upcoming school year. . . .

Four of the other quotes by Geraldo is discussed in the piece available here.

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