It is estimated that 1 in 10 rape victims are men and that almost 94% of these sexual assault cases are perpetrated by men. That leaves a small 6% of rapes committed by women against men. Men face many social and legal double standards when it comes to cases in which the woman is the aggressor. Recently, actor Shia LaBeouf came forward to tell his side of things with regards to being raped by a female visitor during an art exhibit he was participating in. This case has caused much debate on the topic of women rapists. But what does the public think about sexual assault cases where attractive women are accused of harming an individual who “would be lucky to have them”? This is the question that is currently being asked in a case involving a former Ravens Cheerleader and an underage boy.
Molly Shattuck, former Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader had a modest upbringing and was brought into a lavish life after marrying her now ex-husband Mayo Shattuck, former CEO of Baltimore-based Constellation Energy Nuclear Group and current chairman of Chicago-based Exelon Corp. After their second child, Shattuck expressed interest in auditioning to be a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader, and with her husbands support, flew to do just that. Shattuck was thrown into the spotlight when she became the NFL’s oldest cheerleader. She has since received awards for her involvement in philanthropy and has published books and magazines on her story and on maintaining a happy healthy home. Unfortunately that is where the positives in Shattuck’s life stop. On November 5th, she was arrested and charged with rape and unlawful sexual contact with a 15 year old boy.
The 47 year old mother was brought up on several charges including two counts of third-degree rape, which carries a potential sentence of two to 25 years in prison on each count; four counts of unlawful sexual contact in the second degree, with a penalty of up to three years in prison, and three counts of providing alcohol to a minor, which carries a fine of $100 to $500 and could lead to an order of community service or imprisonment of up to 60 days. She appeared for an arraignment in Sussex County Superior Court in Georgetown and was released on $84,000 secured bond. According to the boy, Shattuck began flirtatious messaging with the boy through an Instagram account and later received the boys phone number through her son who attended school with him. The two eventually decided to meet in person and “hooked up” in her car parked in various parking lots. These interactions led to the young boy vacationing with Shattuck and her family over Labor Day Weekend. During that time, Shattuck purchased alcohol for the young boy and her son. While the boys were drinking, Shattuck called aside the young boy and allegedly performed oral sex and argued for more before she was stopped.
Since news of this event was released, the public has responded in very unsympathetic ways. Through media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, people have expressed “jealousy” and “frustration” towards the boy’s rejection of the attractive older woman. These responses can be seen on Reddit posts as well. These responses are examples of sexist stereotypes which are not often directed towards men. Falsehoods such as, no man would turn down sex, and, a young boy would be eager to have the chance to be with an older woman, are fueling the public opinion of this case.
Where do we draw the lines in court cases such as this? Do we deem the accusations of a young boy who may be regretful of his decisions? Do we blame a grown woman who should have known better than to make sexual advances towards a child? Regardless of the outcome, I find this to be a terrible event and hope that some justice comes to the young boy. It is an important way to remind everyone that anyone can be a victim of sexual assault and even males and children can be victims.