Another Day in America

Justice is blind ... is that asking to be raped?

Our Lede of the Day comes from Steven Hoffer at Huffington Post:

An Ohio attorney is accused of raping a woman in a courthouse conference room after she refused to have sex with a judge.

For his part, the accused attorney, Javier Armengau, said last week, “I have not engaged in any wrongful conduct nor have I done anything that should warrant a complaint.” The trial already seems a spectacle as Armengau’s attorneys work to discredit the witness. As John Futty of The Columbus Dispatch reported:

The 48-year-old woman became increasingly frustrated and combative with one of Armengau’s attorneys, who tried to point out inconsistencies between her testimony and statements she made to Columbus police.

Javier Armengau“I don’t know where you’re getting this,” the woman said of her interview with police, “but I’d love to see it” ….

…. The woman is the third accuser to testify against Armengau in his trial on charges of rape, sexual battery, gross sexual imposition, kidnapping and public indecency. The allegations were brought by five women, each of whom had some connection to Armengau’s work as a criminal defense attorney.

If everything else isn’t already a mess here … well, right. Where does one even go with that?

Although Armengau told her that her son would go free if she “did” the man, she refused, she said. She testified that it was the same man who sentenced her son to four years in prison the next day — Aug. 26, 2008.

Under cross-examination by Coriell, the woman said that she had attended all of her son’s court hearings, which were handled by Frye, making it unclear how she failed to recognize the judge if he was in Armengau’s office.

She testified that Armengau told her that Frye was “in his pocket” and that he would arrange for all of her son’s cases to be transferred to the judge.

What’s a girl to do? Or does that seem, well, exactly the point? Meanwhile, attorneys hammer away at the alleged survivors of the alleged rapes, as if some degree of inconsistency in a person who has just undergone a traumatic event is significant enough to ward off the gravity of five accusers. It would be one thing to wait with bated breath for the grand revelation of the conspiracy theory, but that suggests something about it would be entertaining.

Just out of curiosity, how many men get offers from their attorney that their children can get out of trouble if he just goes down on the judge? Or do we really want to know? It is one thing to say the justice system is hostile, but most people expect their defense attorneys to be allies. Women face enough problems reporting rape; if don’t hire a male attorney is something we need to add to the Infinite Protection Advocacy lists … oh, right, it’s already gone too far, hasn’t it?

It is bad enough to leverage sexual favors in exchange or services, but such demands for necessary services really botch up the gears of society. The wheels of justice turn slowly enough; they need not run over the poor and tired and huddled masses yearning to breathe without a penis shoved down their throats. That this is a price for some semblance of justice is sickening; that it’s a woman’s price for that effigy only reminds that de Beuvoir was wrong when she said there were two kinds of people in the world, women and human beings. More and more it seems like there are people, and then there are women. For whatever reasons, this does not sound like a useful transformation.


Hoffer, Steven. “Attorney Allegedly Raped Woman Who Refused Sex With Judge”. The Huffington Post. 18 June 2014.

Futty, John. “Woman testifies that Armengau tried to enlist her for sex with a judge”. The Columbus Dispatch. 17 June 2014.

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