There is a considerable amount of controversy regarding the accusation of Mike Tyson raping Desiree Washington. Although, Tyson was found guilty of raping Washington, media has portrayed Washington as fabricating the story to gain money from Tyson. Some of Washington’s beauty pageant contestants said Washington was a “gold digger” and looking for Tyson’s money (Berkow, 1992). However, within certain communities and with media blaming the victim, in this case, I have to agree more with the prosecuting attorney’s argument suggesting that Desiree Washington was blameless in the Mike Tyson trial. According to Alexander (1980), “victim characteristics of no consequence for assigning responsibility to rape victims, such as dress and resistance, do enter into decisions regarding the assailant” (p.30). I believe Washington was simply just stopping at Tyson’s hotel room so he could grab something when the brutal rape took place. Berkow (1992) explained that Washington was very creditable and innocent. In an interview with Barbra Walter’s (20/20), Washington stated “I wasn’t thinking that this man, my father’s hero, a celebrity, would do something like this to me” (Berkow, 1992).
Alexander, C. S. (1980). The responsible victim: Nurses’ perceptions of victims of rape. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 21(1), 22–33.
Berkow, I.(1992, February 25). Sports of the Times; A Champ Named Desiree. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/1992/02/25/sports/sports-of-the-times-a-champ-named-desiree.html
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