The news of Dixon’s arrest for rape, statutory rape, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and sexual battery seemed to take those who knew him by surprise. It seemed totally out of character for this near-4.0 student, who scored greater than 1,200 on his SAT and planned to major in education at Vandy. In the end, the jury found no basis for any of the “forcible crimes” charges, and found him not guilty on all of them. They also concluded that, as was Dixon’s claim all along, the sex was completely consensual.
However, John McClellan, the Floyd County District Attorney on the case, also brought the charge of Child Molestation against Dixon. This charge was proven through a technicality, as Dixon was two years and seven months older than the girl, and Dixon had just turned 18. Even though the sex was consensual, under Georgia’s relatively new Child Protection laws, this conviction carries a mandatory 10-year prison sentence without parole. According to Gumbel via the law firm representing Dixon’s appeal, and not disputed by McClellan, this is the first time in Georgia’s history that a high school teen was prosecuted for a felony for having consensual sex with a classmate.
And, in what by the evidence seems another indication that we haven’t yet ended our problem with institutionalized racism, comes this bit:
The conviction — in legalese, for “statutory rape and aggravated child molestation” — at the time received little attention outside of the local media. However, an attorney in Atlanta — David Balser, of McKenna Long and Aldridge — just happened to read a small newspaper report in the Rome News-Tribune on the decision, and it piqued his interest. The deeper Balser dug, the more troubled he became with the case.
Last fall, Balser gathered his facts and called a meeting of a few friends at his firm. When he showed them what he believed had happened — that Dixon had committed a crime that in all previous cases had never resulted in any jail time, and it appeared was prosecuted in large part because Dixon was black and the girl was white — his firm gave him permission to pursue an appeal on a pro bono basis to the Georgia Supreme Court.
Georgia. Makes me wonder how much starch District Attorney McClellan likes when he has his pointy hood drycleaned and pressed.
And I await breathlessly the appearance of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, et. al. I hate those self-aggrandizing rabble-rousing fuckers, but sometimes the rabble needs rousing. And they will point a spotlight at the cockroaches responsible for this travesty.
I just hope they don’t grandstand in the spotlight so much that the cockroaches end up hiding in their shadows.