The media coverage of this case was and is and will be simply dreadful: sensationalism, melodrama, histrionics, the “news” as an agent of the prosecution, prejudice salient and subtle in favor of the “child” and “victim,” nameless and faceless, and against Abigail, presumed guilty before she was convicted of “first-degree criminal sexual conduct,” depicted as a monster and degenerate, all inducing a climate of mass hysteria, psychosis, fear, loathing, demonization (read the comments!), combined with a dearth of facts to help one know or conclude, rationally and objectively, what really or probably happened.
A sickening plethora of images and videos to anguish and mortify Abigail and her family and friends -Abigail sobbing at trial and sentencing, almost collapsing, imploring the judge for mercy when she knew her fate, a mandatory-minimum sentence of 8-25 years in prison and, possibly, the maximum of 25-years to life, in handcuffs attached to a waist-chain and leg-irons when there was no practical reason for her to be shackled in this fashion or in any fashion to protect anyone or prevent her from escaping, “loved ones” crying at trial and sentencing- while the name of her “victim” is suppressed, his face unseen, as with his parents, presuming guilt before the jury’s verdict. And a paucity of details to inform the public, no specificity much less thoroughness, not only as to the nature of her “crimes” and their intrigue but also in respect to the legal proceedings: her arrest, prosecution, pretrial hearings, the trial, and a sentencing that lasted over two hours when the judge knew he was going to sentence her to 8-25 years in prison the moment he heard the jury’s guilty verdicts: a gratuitously cruel degradation ritual.
As I noted at RSOL (“Whose Afraid of the Boogie Man,” comments): in such cases, the mainstream media is less a source of neutral and objective news than a tendentious agent of CSA victimology propaganda and inculcation in which all critical-dissenting voices are now suppressed, virtually as if under a totalitarian regime, or defamed and derided and demonized. And this has been true, a national obsession and mass hysteria with a few “high-profile” cases, since the late 1990’s, when Mary Letourneau was vilified as a “rapist” and “pedophile” and turned into the most infamous woman sex criminal in American history for “falling in love” and having sex with a biological man of 13 who was pubescent at age 10 and sexually-active at 12 or perhaps even 11, probably had more sexual partners at age 13 than did Mary at 33, and was the aggressor in their sexual union who forced himself on her the first time they had intercourse. And this madness will prevail for many years if not decades bearing a miraculous and unforeseen cultural metamorphosis.