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May 15th, 2008
12:57 PM ET

Rape victims go on YouTube for help

Abbie Boudreau is a correspondent for CNN Special Investigations Unit.
Abbie Boudreau is a correspondent for CNN Special Investigations Unit.

By Abbie Boudreau
Correspondent, CNN Special Investigations Unit

It was toward the end of the day, and my producer, Scott Zamost and I were scrolling through story tips from CNN viewers.

There was one that jumped out at us.  It read, “Please, help me,” and the subject line said, “YouTube Video of Crying 16-year-old Rape Victim Pleas for Help.”  There was a link to a video posted on YouTube by a Florida girl.

Right away, we watched the video, and the first thing we thought was, "Can this be real?"

Within minutes, we contacted the young girl, Crystal. We talked at length with both Crystal and her father, Dennis. Quickly, we learned this girl was real, and she had a real story she wanted to share.

Two days later, we flew to Florida to meet Crystal and to learn more about why she posted a video about her most private moments, for the world to see and judge.

She told us she felt she had nothing to lose, and she was desperate to find someone who would listen to her story.

Crystal may be one of the first to post a video like this on YouTube, but she is also among a growing number of young girls who talk about their most private experiences online to perfect strangers.
 
Experts say the reason more girls are detailing their lives on the Internet is because they are desperate, and in many cases, they feel it’s the only way to seek justice and make people listen - when most people in their lives don’t seem to care.

The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, or RAINN, says this new trend can be very dangerous, considering potential online predators that could be trolling the Web, looking to re-victimize these young girls.

I wonder how big of a deal it is for people to reveal their deepest, darkest secrets to strangers online. 

I mean, in Crystal's case, her plea for help seemed to work.

She got our attention, and as a result, she is now seeking professional help for her depression and anxiety.

But do these cases always have happy endings? And also, maybe we should ask ourselves what the world is coming to when teenagers resort to posting videos on YouTube to find the help they need.

Read the full story

soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. LILMAMAT

    If only about 17% of all rape case are ever reported and of that small number, only about 3% are falsified, then one can assume that whenever a rare case comes up that goes to court...then most likely she is telling the truth. So with most girls (I am a survivor twice over) with such a fear of coming forward dur to threats and the overwhelming reoutation that victims do not find justice, why would Florida kick a victim when she is down .This only further proves why 83% of victims do NOT report and 83% of perps go free to continue to rape and escalate their crimes??? The odds prove something like one in four girls are victims in their lifetime, which means if I challenged you to name off all the women and girls you have cared about or even met, could you circle (hypathyically) every four names and tell me it would be ok to let a person who raped that loved one ,just go free about this country without a consequence? These are the cold hard facts. Florida needs to step up and join the millions of young girls ,women, and now a growing number of boys/men...and say , "America is sick and tired of sexual assault crimes and something needs to be done to punish these heartless individuals that commmit these acts. ONE IN FOUR is too many. 83% live knowing they never said anything out of fear, fear of the person who hurt them, fear that no one will believe them, fear they will be blamed, and fear that justice will not prevail. 100% are changed forever. ONE IN EVERY FOUR....look in the mirror Florida...those are national facts...your kids, your parents, your spouses, your siblings, your fellow Americans. ONE IN EVERY FOUR.

    May 20, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  2. Christy

    I find it disturbing that some comments here go past victim blaming and call for punishment for this girl. Given my personal experience with being stigmatized after rape and ignored by the justice system... I can tell you that the odds are about 99% that this rape happened.

    No one will ever know what happened (except for her and the rapist) because the justice system refused the process that provides a fair hearing of each story. Sadly, even when the justice system does prosecute, many rapists walk free. What if this rape DID happen? and it probably did... and people are calling for her punishment? Why is everyone so angry at rape victims and so protective of rapists? When you blame the victim and act in anger towards them... you are misplacing the anger. It breaks my heart and I have deep concern for the women of this world.

    I also find it disturbing that people think they can use their self-proclaimed super powers of intuition to deduce she is lying. I think if you can watch this video and be 100% certain she is lying then you have suffered empathy collapse. Also what we have here is a world so steeped in misogyny that we hate women who are outspoken and strong. This hate of women creates myths that say “women lie about rape”. When the facts are they don’t. There may be a tiny tiny percentage of falsely reported, but it pales in comparison to the 700,000 rapes annually in the US. Where is the justice for them?

    People often victim blame, or call the survivor a liar, so they don’t have to face the truth. Rape is the only crime where people assume you are lying.

    We live in a world where if you get robbed; it is perfectly alright to tell people. You may even mention that you were robbed at work the next day. No one doubts you. You are not afraid to tell. No one calls you a liar. No one says you wanted it. The justice system addresses it. We never say that we had better punish the people who were robbed. We never concern ourselves with the poor defenseless robber!

    We need to remove the stigma and sexism from the rape survivor.

    May 17, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  3. Vicki

    This to me is so scary. I have taken many years of psychology classes and women that have been victims once already have a much great chance of being revictimized. Why it is is not really known. It may be the way they come across as a victim or whatever but regardless, it is true. I also would like to know why this girls parents were not there to help. If her Dad met with CNN, he obviously knew about it. This is one sad story to which the only good thing to come out of it is the young girl is now getting much needed counseling. I pray for her that she is able to have somewhat of a normal life after all is said and done.

    May 17, 2008 at 11:49 am |
  4. daniel keating

    CNN should stick to reporting facts and not engage in "advocacy journalism" . Leave that to Fox News , please. I'm sure we all remember the Lacy Peterson case followed by the "runaway bride" . Fox was so sure that the groom was guilty and proceeded to demonize him . Lo & Behold–she's found alive and all the groom hater man bashers had egg on their faces . The followers of these stories scare the crap out of me–sure to be the next crop of psycho vigilantes. Yeah –the case was dropped –but my favorite news source says he's guilty-run away run away (in a monty python voice)

    May 17, 2008 at 11:21 am |
  5. Thomas

    This girl should be punished somehow for her false claims of rape and what she is doing to this man's life.

    May 16, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  6. Shannon

    The true irony of this? The biggest danger that I see for this young woman is not that she posted a youtube video, but rather that CNN picked up this story.

    These comments on this blog are strewn with victim-blaming and victim-doubting statements. I hope she is subjected to these, because I know from experience how that will impact her healing.

    Why do so many survivors tell deep dark secrets online? Because in an online community made up of other rape and sexual abuse survivors, they are believed and listened to. Too often when survivors speak to "friends" they get the same response as in these comments: "You are lying" or "It was your fault." THAT is what is sad.

    May 16, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  7. Shanna

    I would be interested in seeing a human-behavior analysis report on this video. The first time I saw it, I thought "what a drama fest." It just doesn't look genuine – but, I'm no expert.

    What I find odd is the reported fact that this girl did not accuse the man of rape until after her father came on the scene. I'm not saying that she was not psychologically manipulated – which can still indicate rape on some levels – but the fact that she claimed him as her boyfriend, had repeated sex with him (even though she said she would tell him to "stop" every time), and put happy pictures of them as a couple on myspace makes this sound like a story about a typical, sexually active teenager from an unsupportive home. And I was one, so I am not ignorant of the lifestyle.

    Sounds like dad is talking for her now. If you want to call a man who largely abandoned his daughter "dad," that is.

    May 16, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  8. Joseph Caiazzo, Esq

    The prosecutors are analysing this case propely. They are refusing to prosecute the man because the girl was one week shy of legal age...(16 years of age in Florida)
    However, there is another allegation by the girl that they are not following up.
    Crystal states that she was passed out from alchohol and drugs and woke up "to find him inside me". The law is quite clear...a woman who is severly intoxicated by alchohol or drugs is not capable of giving conset to sexual intercourse or any sexual activity, REGARLESS OF HER AGE. It is irrelevant as to how she became intoxicated. If the "boyfriend" gave the minor the drugs or alchohol, this is evidence of premeditation to commit the rape. Also, the giving of drugs or alchohol to a minor is a felony in and of itself.

    May 16, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  9. Tuvi

    The case was done with after the girl ADMITTED it was consentual. I do not understand the problem. What was a 15 year old girl doing dating a 23 year old man anyway?

    She admits it was consentual, then changes her mind and cries rape.

    My hypothesis is that something caused this change of mind (he probably dumped her). Being an emotional 16 year old girly girl, she decides she will get back at him by trying to make him out to be a pedofile and rapist.

    In summary, it was consentual, she admitted it. He dumped her, she decided to get revenge by smearing his reputation.

    May 16, 2008 at 12:08 pm |
  10. Zoe

    I don't mean to sound cruel, and I don't have any proof except that I'm usually pretty intuitive and can tell when people aren't telling the truth, but something about this video seems fake. My sister was raped several years ago and I've seen the kind of pain that rape inflicts on a young woman, but something about this girl's cry doesn't seem genuine to me, nor the pain in her eyes or voice. It seems like a big lie perpetrated by a disturbed teen who is crying out for attention. I'm not one to disregard a woman's cry of rape, but i've seen the video several times now, and each time i see it, it becomes more and more clear to me that she is lying.

    May 16, 2008 at 11:35 am |
  11. Anton

    She is obviously lying – it does not take polygraph to tell that.

    Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

    Yeah, that's some fine reporting there, lou!

    May 16, 2008 at 10:11 am |
  12. Pat M

    1) Sex with a minor 15 yrs of age is an offense.
    2) He knew she was 15 yrs of age. He is the Adult , he knows the law.
    3) Regardless of whether Chrystal consented or not it is still an offense.
    4) This man should be charged for committing an offense.
    5) The Biggest Tradgedy is if an Animal was abused the case would get more attention!
    6) Consent should not be an issue, she was a minor.
    7) Where is her Mother? Her Grandparents? Is there no family this girl can turn to aside from her estranged Father?

    It is way past time that Mothers and Fathers (Parents) receive some kind of judicial punishment for neglecting their responsibility to their children. Too many children in our world have been abandoned emotionally and physically by their parents. And that should be an offense warranting the highest sentence of the law!

    May 16, 2008 at 7:51 am |
  13. brittnay

    happy ending? she is getting help! thats great... but what about the monster who did this to her? ruined her life!!!! she may never be able to sleep in peace again. with all the coverage this is now getting, i hope the monster goes to jail for a long time!!

    May 16, 2008 at 2:59 am |
  14. Jordan

    "Within minutes, we contacted the young girl, Crystal. We talked at length with both Crystal and her father, Dennis. Quickly, we learned this girl was real, and she had a real story she wanted to share."
    Because that gives CLEAR validity to the crime... Also, as many have posted here with similar statements, I find it interesting that no one takes into prospect that she may be lying due to the nature of their "relationship".

    Since when has CNN become a help line? "...the overall award-winning editorial coverage and business strategy for CNN.com, the Web site of the Most Trusted Name in News."

    It's understandable how delicate, and how severe such an issue is... However, being in Canada, based on similar law, I would assume that innocent until proven guilty would apply to this as well? Maybe I'm wrong and have been sleeping for 20 years until today. I think that this "Abbie" woman is doing a fantastic job assuming. You're walking on thin ice...

    May 16, 2008 at 2:17 am |
  15. Christy

    I also speak very openly about my rape and yes it was painful, but it is nothing I (or any victim) should be ashamed of. I did nothing wrong.

    I want people to talk more about rape because it is the only way to eradicate the myths.

    I am not sure though that it is such a personal issue for me. When people tell me they are surprised that I share something “so personal” often times what they are really saying is “I don’t want to hear it. Stop talking”

    I guess I just don’t think it is a personal story anymore when 1 in 6 women are raped in their life. LISTEN to her please. She is the real thing. All too many women (and men too) have suffered. Have you seen the comments on her video? They are sick. Who are those people? Hmmmm…. Maybe they are rapists who never saw justice?

    It is time. There is no more time to theorize. Victims need action and justice.

    May 16, 2008 at 1:25 am |
  16. Christy

    This is sad. The same thing happened to me. Her words could have been mine after my rape. My rapist even made incriminating statements in his statement and I had to fight for prosecution. Falling back on he said/she said is the way they dump cases.
    The REAL sad truth is that our justice system has a habit of dumping rape cases. They don’t have time or money and they worry about the “win”. What ever happened to the right to a fair trial? Where are the victim’s rights? Rape is a crime against the state… and the state continues to slam the door in the face of victims seeking justice. What this leaves is the civil system where you must have money to prosecute. So many people have no access to justice at all.

    People often falsely believe that the system will prosecute if it is real, but that is just not the case. 15 of 16 rapists walk our streets free. Mine plead guilty to a lesser charge 3 days before trial. I did not want a plea, but they never asked me. I had no choice and no voice in THIER justice system.

    He is on probation for a year and has to go to sex offender counseling, but he will do no time and he is not listed as a sex offender. No one in the community is warned. I am tired of the legal system failing. It isn’t just the rape myths that the jurors bring to the courts. It is the justice system that never gives a victim a chance.

    They said if he does it again... he will be in big trouble. So one woman raped is not enough.... who is next? What unsuspecting woman will have her life shattered? That is if she gets to keep her life.

    Drug facilitated rapes are HUGE too. I am getting a law passed in the State of Missouri that bears my name. It mandates better collection of forensic evidence... so the hospitals will be sure to offer testing for date rape drugs. My evidence was thrown away and that caused another hurdle for prosecution.

    So much silence around this issue; So much violence and pain; So little justice and protection; So much hateful objectification of women; So many myths. WHEN WILL IT STOP?

    This girl is crying out in desperation for help. Her faith in humankind has been shattered. When it feels like there is nothing left to live for... you will see more women reaching out like this in last ditch efforts for help.

    PLEASE TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY! Our system is allowing the crime of rape to flourish and using administrative excuses for not handling it. You can turn your head or call victims liars. You may not think it is that big of a deal until it happens to you. When are we going to make an effort to stop this crime?

    May 16, 2008 at 1:17 am |
  17. Dannyboy

    This reminds me of the lady who used You Tube to embarrass her husband and air the dirty laundry about their divorce . Is this where we're headed in the Internet age?

    May 16, 2008 at 1:06 am |
  18. EJ

    Hmmmm

    I didn't see this as an argument about whether or not this particular girl is lying.

    I thought the point was different.. What is the state of mind of teenagers who feel they have to post such personal info online... Is it putting a potential victim in more danger... The role that YouTube plays in a situation like this... etc etc etc It makes me think of the larger points.

    I am glad that this child could get help no matter what happened...

    May 15, 2008 at 11:33 pm |
  19. Chanel

    As a parent it is hard to see teens feel like they are more likely to get help from a stranger online, rather than from their parents.

    May 15, 2008 at 11:27 pm |
  20. Davis

    Jamie, if you study law you know that in statutory rape cases when the victim is very near the age of consent (sometimes up to 6 months) the case gets thrown out. You want to ruin this man's life for having sex with someone A MONTH younger than the age of consent? I find that very very cruel.

    May 15, 2008 at 11:20 pm |
  21. Jamie

    In my opinion, and in the eye of the law, he broke the law because she's 15. Rape or no rape, if HE admitted he had sex with her, he should be in jail. And yes, he SHOULD be labeled a sexual predator for the rest of his life. HE knew she was 15, and he had sex with her. Black and white concept for me.

    May 15, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  22. pseudonymous_howard

    Has anyone considered that she might be lying? Why has the guy been demonized, especially considering that the relationship was deemed to be consensual?

    May 15, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  23. emt

    When I was 16 a 24 year old man convinced me that if I loved him, I would have sex with him. I believed him and I thought I loved him. I believe I was taken advantage of. I was only 16 and he was much older and I trusted him. I have a close, and healthy relationship with both of my parents. They didn't know I was seeing this man and they still don't know what happened. People don't realize that this can happen to any young girl. I am proud of this young girl for coming forward. I never did that.

    May 15, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  24. Anxheroxonymous

    What about the other side of the coin? The male's point-of-view? Keep in mind, the charges didn't stick when they were initially addressed, and this would be the kind of case any DA would like to address. It's so easy to side with the girl in this case, and the accused is at a disadvantage from the start regarding the court of public opinion.

    CNN, by reporting this story in the way they have, have essentially demonized the accused from the start. It's unbelievably easy for internet trollers to track down the guy's information and ruin his life, and this reporting has opened him up to that abuse. Remember, innocent until PROVEN guilty. CNN should have held off on this report until the facts could be better addressed, I feel, for the protection of the accused. He is entitled to that protection, as he has not been proven guilty yet.

    This sort of thing worries me. Shouldn't the accused be entitled to better protection from the court of public opinion than what they are currently getting? I talked about this sort of thing with my mom the other day, and she got scared and said "You're moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel Air."

    May 15, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  25. Dave

    So she had consensual sex with her boyfriend, who was 23 (She admitted it was consensual to prosecutors). They had a falling out, so she decided to cry rape. She had already had admitted it was consensual, so now she makes up some bogus "drugging". She also heavily pushes the fact that she was under 16 at the time. The prosecutor sees that the case is a complete joke and throws it out (statutory rape cases where the victim is around 6 months younger than the age of consent more than not get thrown out). So now she decides to cry for attention on youtube, hoping for some money. By the way, prosecutors almost always take cases if they think they have ANY chance to win, ESPECIALLY rape case. It is more than obvious that there is no case here. PLEASE do not give this girl any attention.

    May 15, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  26. John

    John, you are seriously advising psychotic people to band together more – in the hope of achieving what? All that will achieve is an escalation of what they do from insulting comments to much worse... A poorly thought out comment.

    Anyway, at this stage there is so much information that cannot be trusted yet flying around it is best not to make any judgements. All I will say is that I personally found the video to appear quite superficial and contrived. Whether this is just an unfortunate way in which her pain manifests itself I do not know...

    May 15, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  27. Anonymous

    If she is interested in help and not interested in revenge, why does she post a link detailing the name of the 'rapist' who was found innocent?

    It seems to me like she is just trying to get back at an ex-boyfriend.

    May 15, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  28. anonymous

    She is not real, the case file states that she had admitted they had an ongoing consensual sexual relationship. She was only one month away from the age of consent, and she is not saying in her claim that he forced her to have sex but is pushing the statutory point. It appears to me that something happened between the "victim" and the " perpetrator" that has caused her to regret her decision and this man should not be labeled a sex offender for the rest of his life because she changed her mind.

    Thank you,
    We are Anonymous
    We are legion
    We do not forgive
    We do not forget.

    May 15, 2008 at 10:09 pm |
  29. John

    On youtube.com, and elsewhere, there are many posts that make light of Crystal's video. I don't know if she was raped, or in a situation that went too far. But, it's obvious this young girl is in extreme pain, and those mocking this pain should really look deep within their character and ask themselves: "Am I really the type of person who finds humor in–and mocks–human suffering?" And if that answer is yes, then you should join the KKK, or the Nazi Party, or countless other organizations available so you may be surrounded by people who are as psychotic and anti-social as yourselves. Crystal, I hope you find peace in your young life....

    May 15, 2008 at 9:38 pm |
  30. Jamie

    No adult over the age of 18 that has had ANY sex with a 15 year old should be walking around free and without charges. Rape or not, she is a child.

    May 15, 2008 at 9:00 pm |
  31. SeattleJ

    Many of the comments on this issue are disgusting.

    Enable the abuser, reference the Duke case as short-hand for "rape victims are all liars", come up with pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo about how to "tell" if someone is lying (no one can, not even lie detectors are reliable enough to be admitted in a court of law), claim that the attacker was her "boyfriend" when in fact she claims that he was merely an acquaintence. Disgusting.

    FACT: girls are raped by older men every day in America. FACT: Florida prosecutes less than five percent of the rape cases brought to them by victims. FACT: most girls are raped by someone they already know. MYTH: if you know someone, you must have constented. MYTH: if you agreed to go out on a date or to a party, then you must have consented. MYTH: if you appeared "very drunk" to on-lookers before the rape, then you must have consented. FACT: girls are often slipped drugs or super-strong drinks by plotting rapists, in order to assert control over the girl and to discredit her later.

    GROW UP AMERICA – stop enabling RAPE of younsters.

    May 15, 2008 at 8:57 pm |
  32. Larry

    If what this child says happened the way it did, we the community must rally around her and offer any assistance we can. It is our duty to help children, but, it is also my assertion that consensual sex does not become rape when the circumstances of a relationship does not meet ones specific desires. If there was a "history" between this young "girl" and the adult in question the parent present should have had more input. this should not have been allowed to happen. Now if a parent does not have the ability to observe his or hers daughters social relationships, the blame clearly lies with the custodians. Rape is wrong regardless of the circumstances but crying rape in the event of a breakup is criminal as also parents allowing their child to have a boyfriend or sex partner of 23 years of age. this girl didn't have any help at all, she was failed by parents, teachers and the dog who had sex with her.

    May 15, 2008 at 8:11 pm |
  33. Ratna, New York, NY

    Dear Abbie,

    I have watched the video and believe it or not, I have heard these drug rape confession many times from young girls between age 13 – 23. Most of them who have never told anyone amd are finally opening up. There is something which all these girls have in common: the absence of father (who is still alive and living somewhere else) and they have been raised by a single mother.
    This particular girl is brave enough to express herself on you-tube. Usually the raper is a type of person who poses as a confidant and wins over the girl's trust, even over a time frame of months -year, until he snatches a moment to drug and rape the girl.
    THis girl should know that she is part of a magnificant statistic.

    For girls in this age range: Education!!! Education!!! About how to find warning signs, what type of date rape drugs are out there, what is a rape kit: how to collect evidence, what are proscecution procedures in the state they live in, etc, etc!!!

    It would be nice to put a special together to educate these girls and other potential victims and their parents.

    May 15, 2008 at 8:07 pm |
  34. sas

    Minnie Me, it is not CNN's role as a news reporter to help this alleged victim. It simply is neither practical nor beneficial to put everyone in jail who has consensual sex with a 15-year old girlfriend (or boyfriend). Our jails would be full of people who are not truy criminals. Like it or not, the sexual revolution has given us a generation of sexually active youngsters. Our laws have not kept up with changing times, and that is why over and over our courts have recognized a doctrine called prosecutorial discretion. The prosecutor looked at this and saw no evidence of any crime. If you want, go elect someone else, but dont make this into another Duke University.

    May 15, 2008 at 7:43 pm |
  35. MinnieMe

    Thank you, CNN and Abbie, for bringing this to our attention. Please do not stop here. PLEASE HELP THIS CHILD!!!!

    1. According to your articles, FLORIDA LAW STATES A CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF SIXTEEN CANNOT CONSENT TO SEX. The prosecutor chose to drop the charges because Crystal was "a mere month away from being 16". THIS PROSECUTOR IS NOT UPHOLDING THE LAW. A JUDGE, not a prosecuting attorney, is the only individual that has that authority. If Crystal and her father were not satisfied with a judge's decision, then they would have the opportunity to appeal. This is the due process of law.

    There is no question that Crystal is traumatized by this failure by the legal system of Florida.

    2. The courts of the state of Texas have taken 464 children from their homes and their mothers, with as yet unsubstantiated suspicions that an undisclosed number (could possibly be as few as 3-5) of underage girls had sex with older men prior to turning 16 years old. While there are bold assertions that thirty or more "teenager girls" were pregnant – no attorney, DCFS official, nor guardian ad litem, has provided the information to document exactly how many underage girls were impregnated. In addition, noone has made the distinction for the court, nor for those that are concerned about the actions in Texas, how many of those underage girls were impregnated prior to the Texas law of legal consent being changed from 14 to 16.

    No one would condone the rape of young girls by older men. This issue must be addressed. Those young girls must be protected.

    Who is concerned about the trauma the court has inflicted on approximately 400 children that, according to press reports, by the state's own admission in court, were not abused, nor in danger of being abused?

    How can this happen?

    THE TRAUMA TO CHILDREN IN THE UNITED STATES CAUSED BY SEXUAL ABUSE, AND BY THE LEGAL SYSTEM'S HORRENDOUS MISHANDLING OF ABUSE VICTIMS (OR POTENTIAL ABUSE VICTIMS) MUST BE ADDRESSED.

    May 15, 2008 at 7:28 pm |
  36. Brian Martin

    They all seem to be dancing around the issue of being 16. Under 16 has a totally different set of rules (not that one is any better than the other, but it is a fact), and she is stated as being "almost 16". There is no "almost". You can not be "almost", you have a very specific birthdate. It is a convenient use of specifics where needed.

    May 15, 2008 at 7:24 pm |
  37. sas

    Keep in mind the prosecutor concluded the sex was consensual... he didnt say we dont have enough evidence to prosecute a rape claim, he said it was consensual. this could be another duke university situation where everyone gets outraged based on something that never happened

    May 15, 2008 at 6:46 pm |
  38. Jennifer

    It's difficult for someone at that age to talk to parents about anything, do you really think she was wanting to open up to her folks about something like this?

    I know the motivation behind opening up to those online, I was raped too and I found it easier to cope online (to certain support forums) than to talk to a therapist or a psychiatrist.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  39. sas

    this video is troubling, but who knows if the girl was truly raped? I notice she didnt name her attacker, and after all, he was her former boyfriend.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  40. Al

    I agree with Cindy, is just to wrong for this kids to post everything on UTUBE were is this world going to is just awful and wrong.

    Were are the parents?

    May 15, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  41. Berl

    I am very concerned about this video for several reasons.
    As a former law enforcement officer this scares me for several reasons.

    I do not wish to sound cruel but I think that this girl is lying for several reasons.
    1 When she tells the story of her situation you will notice that when it comes to the pertinent allegations that she looks up and to the left. Trained officers know that when a female subject does this that she is accessing the "creative" lobe of the brain which is a sign that the subject is lying, specific to females "males are opposite"

    2 The supposed vicitm is not getting the response that she wants from the local authorities so she is playing to the media to sensationalize the situation.

    3 The custodial parent allowed an underage minor to have a consensual relationship with a legal adult.

    My instincts tell me that this is an attention grab from a "supposidly emprovished" child that has the ware with all to own a personal computer, digital camera and internet access to get a public response from to a "supposed" crime that was commited against her.
    I would suppose that the video is an attempt to get even with some one that this troubled girl thinks has done her wrong, rather than a plea for help.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  42. Irish Gram

    Posting this story on YouTube showed very poor judgment on this girl's part. She should have gone to a hospital emergency room or the police station. By posting her tale on line simply opened her up to more danger.
    People who post too much personnal info on line are not very smart.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  43. Sarah

    this is very bizarre.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  44. Mike

    I had a roomate that was found through a friend – bad idea. Turned out he had major mental health problems. I called his parents to come get him after about 6 months of living with his crazy antics and bizarre behavior. Did his parents seek help – no. They made a room for him in the basement and let him stay secluded at home. I had come to know his parents before he was sent home, and I asked why they didn't get him help. They said they were concerned what people would think if their child was in therapy. I think that the US has a perception that if kids have mental problems it is the parents fault., maybe they did drugs while they were pregnant, etc. So rather than face the "shame" from the community, parents prefer to hide any such problems.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  45. Christina, Windber, PA

    I don't think I would worry about "nuts" in the world; after being raped you've already experienced the worst.

    Did they ever catch the man who did it? Maybe that's what they need help with?

    No matter what, it's terrible what this girl must have gone through and how she is still suffering. I hope she gets justice, but more importantly finds peace and way to live with this horrific experience and go on with her life.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  46. John

    How does this case have a happy ending? Yes she is getting professional help now, but her rapist is still free. The case is not going to be prosecuted. With a DA that rarely pursues rape charges, changes must be made.

    I don't care if she was almost 16 or almost 21. They don't let you drink if your almost 21. How can being almost 16 be acceptable as age of consent?

    What the hell is going on in Florida were this type of behavior is accepted as the norm?

    May 15, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  47. EJ

    If she was raped she probably isn't considering all the rational or logical steps – especially if she is only 16. It would be hard enough for a woman in her 20's.

    Sounds like a cry for help, a last resort perhaps.

    Not that girls should do this, but I can understand the psychology of it.

    And also, maybe we should ask ourselves what the world is coming to when teenagers resort to posting videos on YouTube to find the help they need.

    I think that girls in the past just ended up keeping quiet, hurting themselves in some way, or simply pretending it didn't happen. The internet age gives people more options to try everything – even in asking for help.

    People (including teenagers) being victimized, depressed, & miserable is not anything new.

    Overall I think the internet provides more benefits to teens (in terms of seeking different kinds of help) than risks. I know we're always talking about the dangers of online predators – but many kids do seek help responsibly.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  48. Chris

    Cindy ... very good questions. There's always more to the story than what we can see through the narrow window of information provided by the media. It's possible the parents _wanted_ her to make a YouTube appeal as a way to put pressure on the prosecutor. Crystal's language is _very_ specific ... "Why won't the state prosecutor bring charges?" That's unusual phraseology for a 15 year old. The prosecutor's reasoning ... this was statutory rape, and a weak case at that ... suggests an ongoing consensual relationship that went bad. Prosecutors hate spending scarce resources on weak cases unlikely to secure convictions. The 22-year old "boyfriend" should be prosecuted, ideally, but the parents and the girl herself should also explain their roles and why they permitted the relationship in the first place. Their roles don't excuse rape; they might explain why she was _susceptible_ to rape in the first place. Since most rape is by an acquaintance, you can protect your children by exerting influence on their acquaintances.

    Clearly, the failures here shouldn't all be heaped at the prosecutor's feet. Maybe not even the most _important_ failures can be attributed to the prosecutor ... I tend to think those belong to the parents.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  49. Cindy

    I think that it is very, extremely dangerous for these young girls to be telling everything about themselves on line to complete strangers. There are a lot of nuts out in this world now.

    And on the Crystal story...why didn't her mom and dad get help for her? Why did she have to go to YouTube, post a video, and hope someone would help! I don't get that at all!! You can go to any health department in any state and they can get you any pshyc help that you need for free. Why didn't they do that?

    May 15, 2008 at 1:11 pm |