When students learned they had a “rapist” in their midst, they were outraged at their college, Loyola University Chicago, for not telling them, protecting them.
For three years, Benjamin Holm walked the Catholic campus at Loyola University in Chicago like any other student, pursuing a double major in finance and economics and playing for the school’s golf team.
But his life in Chicago hid the reality he faced back home in the suburbs of Atlanta.
There, he was being investigated for rape.
Or to put that somewhat differently, Holm was just like any other student at Loyola and did nothing wrong, harmed no one and went about his studies like a typical college student.
Media reports about the rape case published last week — in which the university refused comment — were followed by days of outrage from Holm’s former Loyola classmates, which included a change.org petition signed by more than 1,200 people demanding an explanation from the university.
“Students at Loyola University Chicago are disgusted by the institution’s actions and do not feel safe on campus,” wrote sophomore student Ashley Kennedy. “The administration’s silence is only making things worse.”
One would be hard-pressed to write two paragraphs capturing the disgrace of a generation more than these. But a sophomore co-ed, who suffered not an iota of harm, whether defined by grown-ups as actual harm or by children as the inchoate fear that there was some free-floating potential threat in the air that made her “not feel safe on campus” after the fact, condemns her college’s administration for not burning the witch in advance.
And don’t even get started on the slackoisie’s starting a petition, so they can express their outrage without getting off the couch.
Benjamin Holm pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and statutory rape on December 5th. It appears that the plea came during deliberations. It could be that the deal was too sweet to pass up, but given that he took a 20-year hit, ten in and ten out, probably not.*
But until Holm was convicted of something, whether by plea or verdict, he was an innocent man. Not that anyone at his college gave a damn.
On Dec. 16, 11 days after Holm pleaded guilty to the sexual assault, the university issued a statement from Title IX coordinator Thomas M. Kelly, who oversees sexual assault education and enforcement on campus.
To our knowledge, we neither received information about the crime, nor had any awareness that it occurred until Monday, December 12, when we received a media inquiry. Based on media reports, the individual is in police custody in Georgia. The individual is not registered for classes in the Spring Semester.
Violence of any kind is not tolerated at Loyola, and the safety and security of all members of our campus community remain a top priority.
After the plea, the Title IX coordinator tried to soothe the upset tummies of college sophomores, as if they could suffer fear nunc pro tunc. What is clear, if omitted, is that Holm did absolutely nothing to raise any concerns on campus. If there had been anything, even untoward flatulence within smelling distance of a co-ed, he would have been castigated. But there was nothing.
That meant nothing to the students outraged.
And it seems throughout that lengthy span, nobody at the university knew of Holm’s pending rape trial, not as his charges were upgraded to felony status while he was already on campus or even when he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and statutory rape Dec. 5.
When Holm entered college, he had not yet been charged with a felony. Not until two years later was his misdemeanor statutory rape charge upgraded. And to the extent the fantasy fear that once a sexual predator, he would rape and molest with abandon, it never happened. But he was an “athlete,” if a golfer, and athletes are all inchoate rapists in the mythology of the scared campus feminists.
Critics in the online petition argued that the university should keep closer tabs on its student-athletes, who are often offered additional resources and scholarship money not granted to an average student.
What would these tolerant and caring petition signors have the college do? Run monthly rap sheets on athletes? Have private investigators follow them around campus? The contention is that athletes, apparently even golfers, feel entitled to women’s bodies because of their toxic masculinity. Stereotyping is hated by kidz, except when it’s not.
But even if the college had been aware of the charge, what would it have done? Would these passionate students demand that anyone charged with a crime, presumptively innocent, be banned from campus just in case? It’s not bad enough that ex-cons suffer for their crimes in perpetuity, forced onto registries so the neighbors can shun them, so they can never live or work after they’ve served their sentence and paid their dues?
Beyond this, however, what would other students have done? Light the bonfire and burn him at the stake on the quad for having been accused?
The contrast in faux values, their abiding concerns for immigrants who have committed murder but shouldn’t be deported from their Sanctuary City prisons after their crime, the “ban the box” ideals to allow them to work after conviction. And yet for a young man accused of rape, they can’t wait for a conviction before being outraged at the threat of his being in their midst.
The uproar comes at a critical juncture in the national controversy about sexual assault at America’s college campuses, an issue that in 2016 became more prominent in part because of White House initiatives, publicity about Rolling Stone’s now-retracted article about a gang rape that wasn’t at the University of Virginia and several high profile cases.
There is no “critical juncture.” There is mass hysteria. Nowhere is the danger greater than on college campuses, where irrational intolerance compels the fearful to cry “burn the witch” lest they feel any fear for themselves. And given how the grown-ups in charge of the campus cave in to the most absurd demands of their charges, the witch hunt is on.
*A reported description of the crime suggests that this was very much a serious crime:
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Holm’s case began in April 2013, when during a high school party weeks before his graduation, the then-18-year-old sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl at a playground at the Country Club of the South, Johns Creek police said.
The victim’s friends grew worried when she disappeared, police told the AJC, and eventually found her at the playground. Her pants were down, police said, and Holm was on top of her.
“They observed the sexual assault taking place and heard her clearly saying ‘No, stop,’ ” Capt. Chris Byers of the Johns Creek police told the AJC.