“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leap fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” Maya Angelou
I consider myself to be a pretty strong writer, but for the life of me I can’t figure out a better way to start this post than by simply sharing the first lines of the news article I’m reacting to.
A Monroe County, Pennsylvania, jury found a man accused of allegedly sexually assaulting a bridesmaid in his and his now-wife’s wedding party ahead of their 2019 nuptials guilty on four out of five charges.
He was found not guilty of attempt to rape an unconscious victim.
First of all, rape aside (I realize that’s a big aside, but play along for the sake of this thought experiment), if you’re of a mind where you want to bang one of your future wife’s bridesmaids – especially if the urge is so powerful that you feel compelled to do it during wedding weekend at a pre-wedding event – why are you even getting married?
Carney allegedly forced himself on one of his wife’s bridesmaids on August 30, 2019, following a pre-wedding celebration that involved drinking and rafting on the Delaware River.
Fucking Caucasians just love day drinking at wedding events. One of the most observable side effects of the soul crushing monotony of suburban life is that it makes white people in their late 20s through mid 40s go hog wild for a weekend of wedding related day drinking. In addition to being a recipe for a fun 72 hours with old friends, this combination of booze, sunshine, and unaddressed emotional issues is also the exact blend of toxic ingredients needed to foment an upper middle class, millennial sex assault.
Police began investigating after the victim, then 29, went to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono and told hospital staff that she had been sexually assaulted, court records said according to The Morning Call.
According to the probable cause affidavit obtained by PEOPLE at the time, Carney insisted to police he did nothing wrong, and that he “felt like he was taken advantage of by the victim.”
I don’t condone sexual violence and I certainly don’t condone victim blaming, but if we are going to have a case where a privileged white male is accused of having his way with one of his wife’s unconscious friends then “blame the victim” is probably a box that’s going to be checked at some point. I can see him formulating the defense right now, “She was drunk, she was in my wife’s wedding party, it would have been rude if I didn’t do it.”
However, he later amended his account, allegedly admitting he grabbed the victim by the arm and pulled her into the men’s locker room at the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort in Shawnee on Delaware, where the alleged assault occurred.
Investigators were able to obtain surveillance footage that allegedly corroborates aspects of the victim’s account, which was shown to the jury during Tuesday’s testimony, according to WFMZ.
The woman said she lost consciousness because of her intoxication and woke up to a sharp pain as Carney allegedly bit her and groped her. She said she lost consciousness again, and alleged she woke up to find Carney on top of her.
Carney’s wife allegedly found him and the victim in the shower, the maid of honor said, per WNEP. His wife, Nicole Norris, defended him in court, claiming the bridesmaid was “conscious” during the incident.
I’m stunned that this guy somehow managed to beat the actual rape charge in this case because it sounds like as straight forward of a rape as could possibly be committed. Despite that however, the crime still defies logic. From a criminal perspective the “dark parking garage at night” style rape at least makes sense in a sick, awful, but logical way. It’s dark, nobody is around except the rapist and the victim, commit the crime, get the hell out of there. We can call it a sick act and still understand the logic behind it. This wedding rape business on the other hand is so absurd that it defies logic. Raping someone you know well enough that she’s in your wife’s wedding party, and doing it in a locker room at the venue seems like a very haphazard approach to forcible intercourse. That his now wife went through with the wedding and is sticking by him even after conviction garnishes the whole thing with an extra degree of ridiculous.
Carney allegedly texted the bridesmaid after the alleged assault, saying he made a mistake and he’s happy to marry his wife, a state police forensic investigator told the jury, per WFMZ.
In an affidavit obtained by PEOPLE in 2019, detectives reviewed the text messages allegedly sent from Carney to the victim, which read, “I wanted to apologize again for everything. Can we please just be as happy as possible for [the bride] today? Mistakes are behind us and I just need total closure before I do this [that is] why I’m sending this. I’m as happy as ever to marry [the bride] and I know this is terrible as well but my d— was out in the shower.”
“We never did do it but would you consider taking plan b to make damn certain just in case? There is almost no chance but still. Please tell me yes I’m begging you,” the text continued.
Of course it’s generally not a good thing when you have to text a woman and tell her that you didn’t have penetrative intercourse, but that she should still take a morning after pill — it’s an awkwardness compounded by the fact that this woman is close enough to your betrothed that she is a member of your wedding party.
Frankly, I don’t get why she was marrying this guy to begin with. The pictures I’ve seen of him in the press are less than flattering and do nothing to detract from the image in my head of an alcoholic with a penchant for sexual assault, or at the very least infidelity; probably not the kind of guy you want to arrive with arm in arm at a PTA meeting or little league game.
Based purely on anecdotal evidence and my own observations of other people my age, I think a large chunk of the population are so desperate to get married and check the boxes of life that they just settle down with the first person they meet at happy hour and don’t put much thought into it beyond making sure they have a couple of shared interests. I see portions of pit playing out in real life around Hoboken all the time; they get drunk one Thursday night at the bar with a few coworkers, meet someone in a similar line of work, go home for an hour or so of less than satisfying, half erect, drunk stranger sex, wakeup with pangs of hungover anxiety running through their brains, spend a day wrapped in a blanket trembling in fear over the possibility of dying alone, and decide to make a life of it with someone who has stable finances and also happens to enjoy drinking White Claw in the middle of the afternoon. Fast forward a few years, a Christmas together here, brunch with the parents there, a wedding or two where the idea of marriage shifts to the forefront of your, and a ticking biological clock, and next thing you know you’re testifying in your husband’s defense as he’s tried for raping one of your oldest friends the day before your wedding. It truly is a wild ride this life of ours.