Thursday, September 20

They Say It's A War

As the Jena 6 case moves further into the spotlight (and, consequently, the details and purposes of events surrounding it become more and more skewed by fast food news coverage), I haven't been able to shake another act of racially-motivated violence from my thoughts.
I've been praying for Megan Williams, the victim of this crime, and her mother, and for all other sexual-battery victims who haven't been able to come forward. My stomach stays in knots over crimes against women of color.

More charges filed in black woman's torture case

The Associated Press
Published: September 18, 2007

CHARLESTON, West Virginia: The graphic details of a black woman's alleged torture were revealed for the first time in court Tuesday as more charges were filed against two of six white people accused in the case.

Carmen Williams, the woman's mother, left the hearing in tears after listening to the allegations. Police say 20-year-old Megan Williams was tortured, sexually assaulted, forced to eat animal feces and taunted with a racial slur.

Police said the woman who owned the trailer where the alleged assault took place told them the six were afraid to let Williams go because she might tell on them. They also talked about killing her.

Magistrate Jeffrey Lane referred the case against Frankie Brewster, 49, to a grand jury for action.

In addition to charges of kidnapping, sexual assault and giving false information to police, the prosecutor filed three counts of misdemeanor battery against Brewster and dropped a charge of unlawful wounding.

Danny J. Combs, 20, now faces a kidnapping charge that carries life in prison. He originally was charged with sexual assault and malicious wounding. Prosecutors added two more sexual assault charges.

The six people charged are accused of assaulting Williams for more than a week at a trailer. The ordeal ended when an anonymous tip led police to the home Sept. 8.

The Associated Press generally does not identify suspected victims of sexual assault, but Williams and her mother agreed to release her name. Carmen Williams said she wanted people to know what her daughter had endured.

Reading from a statement Megan Williams gave deputies that day, Sheriff's Deputy Jeffrey Robinette said Williams was stabbed with what she described as a butcher knife and beaten with wooden sticks and fly swatters.

He said the woman was sexually assaulted, doused with hot water and taunted with racial slurs.

Two of her captors forced her to drink a cup of their urine, Sheriff's Deputy Rick Goodman testified.

Deputies are still trying to determine how long Williams was held.

In a statement to deputies, Brewster detailed her role and implicated others, saying "I just want to come clean." Brewster also is accused of forcing Williams to perform oral sex on her.

Hearings for some of the other defendants were scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

It becomes increasingly more difficult to ignore these stories as I am surrounded by young black girls every day and as I check in daily on my nieces and cousins. I was almost inconsolable last night as I recounted acts of violence against me - for being Black, for being a woman - to K (who I thought would try to find a way out but he stayed with me while I moved through my memories). I may not be a great ELA teacher or teacher at all, but I've become so determined to undo the anti-Black, anti-woman thinking many of the students have been taught.

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