By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
"They preyed on these two girls!" Alley shoots back.
A law-enforcement source who is familiar with the case backs Alley's assertion, adding that "they were both girls of low self-esteem, who wanted to fit in and be part of the group and feel good about themselves.
"Neither of them were the prettiest or smartest girls, so they weren't real popular. Here are these guys who are the star athletes and were popular; the girls just wanted to be a part of that but couldn't in the normal ways most kids fit in. They felt like they needed to do something to show these jocks they were worthy of being around them. These guys exploited that weakness."
Danley, who says frenzied whites are using Georgia's sex-crimes laws to criminalize young blacks, also defended a 12-year-old black boy against charges that he sexually harassed a white female classmate. "He and this girl got into a shouting match, and her parents took him to juvenile court, claiming that he had been sexually harassing her. But she started it and she was nowhere to be found," according to Danley. "I told the judge this just doesn't make sense."
Danley cites another case, in which a 14-year-old white girl allegedly stalked a group of "outstanding black football players" for sex. "The little girl followed these boys to their work at a grocery store and stayed on the job all day, telling them how fine they were, then went home to have sex with them," says Danley. Some of the boys, all of whom were 17 and 18, eventually pleaded guilty to unspecified sex offenses and were sentenced to boot camp. Danley represented one of the 18-year-olds, whom he'd strongly advised not to cop a plea. "My client was the only one who had not pleaded guilty," he says. "The state didn't deny that the girl followed these boys around. The girls are after the boys!" he adds. "For some reason, they seem to like to do it in gangs. The girls like to get a bunch of guys. There is nothing unusual about this. They are being young American teenagers. Some of these parents even let the boys stay overnight in their homes with the girls. It becomes unusual when the parents recognize that the boy is black." Danley says that the black football player's parents eventually fired him "because they wanted their son to plead guilty."
After 10 months of legal wrangling, four of the athletes were sentenced to boot camp and eight years' probation and fined $2000 after pleading guilty to sodomy and statutory rape. As a condition of the sentence, Maxwell, Weddington, and the McGarity brothers were required to testify against two other defendants, who had refused to plead guilty.
The six Georgia athletes had the full support of their parents, but in inner-city neighborhoods, "a lot of these boys are being raised by their homeboys," asserts one of the teenage girls who witnessed the Central Park rampage. In the 'hood, respect is hard to come by. Girls and women are considered cheap and disposable by the wannabe "Slick Willies." A giant billboard next to the Apollo promotes Sisqó's "Thong Song," which, according to Daily Nebraskanreporter Josh Krauter, "has given da butt its most prominent exposure since Sir Mix-A-Lot's 'Baby Got Back.' " A West Coast gangsta rapper takes the name KHOP (Killing Hoes Over Pussy) while his sidekick, Kidub, urges author William Shaw, in his new book, West Side: Young Men and Hip Hop in L.A., "Don't love no hoes because they full of drama." This kind of advicea throwback to the "Big Pimpin' " philosophyis easily followed by troubled youngsters in broken homes.
"You can't expect a male growing up in a household with no father not to listen to his homeboys," the witness to the Central Park attacks emphasizes. "That's all he's ever known."
Additional reporting: Amanda Ward and Associated Press