In the wake of Dharun Ravi getting convicted of a hate crime for a college prank, we’ve got another situation where a college kid could get into a lot of trouble for acting like a college kid.
The Boston Globe reports that Jaryd Rudolph, a 19-year old football player at Boston College, has been charged with a violation of Massachusetts privacy law. His crime? He allegedly recorded a “sexual encounter” between a teammate and a female graduate student.
And by “recorded,” we don’t mean that he took steamy video of a couple in the act of love making. He’s being charged because he allegedly recorded and shared the woman’s “sexual noises.”
So, we’re now one step closer to putting everybody who acts like a teenager, especially teenagers, in jail…
Is this the kind of thing we should view as a college prank, or should we see this as a violation of law (not that those two are mutually exclusive)? Here’s the CBS News report:
According to CBS Boston, Rudolph, 19, is accused of recording the woman’s “sexual noises” on February 15 and sharing it with others, including members of the football team, the police report said. He was arraigned on charges of illegal recording and unlawful wiretapping on Wednesday.
“She had no knowledge that these recordings were being made. She didn’t give her consent to them being made, and she certainly didn’t give her consent to them being distributed,” said Mitchell Garabedian, the female student’s attorney. “She found out about it by people making fun of her while she was working.”
Rudolph’s attorney, John Seed, says his client denies the allegation and looks forward to all the facts coming out through the criminal process.
Rudolph has been suspended by the football team and the school.
Obviously, we’re don’t know if Rudolph did what he’s accused of. But even if we assume that his accuser is telling the truth, how is this a crime?
The Globe reports that the sexual encounter happened in “a campus suite the players shared.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I think that if I was banging (or sexually something) a football player in a football player suite my expectation of privacy over my “sexual noises” would be low, really freaking low. Does she even have an expectation of privacy if her “noises” traveled beyond the confines of the bedroom? For the love of God, are we really at the point where if your roommate bangs a screamer you’re supposed to cover your ears and pretend like it never happened?
Based on the reports we have at this point, it’s not like Rudolph or anybody else did anything really frat-boy-ish. Right? The other kids didn’t bust into the room while they were naked or steal her bra and put it in the freezer or throw a woodland animal into the room while they were having sex. Right? And those are just three things that have happened in every college dorm everywhere. (Maybe not the woodland animal thing. I’ll never forget when Andy pulled out the bunny rabbit and I was like, “Dude, you’re not going to throw that in there” and he was all, “Hippity-f**king-hop, Leslie and Chris.” Man, college.)
When did doing something that might take place on a high school field trip after the chaperone went to sleep become a crime?
Obviously, the girl didn’t do anything wrong. And I’m sure it’s embarrassing to have your passionate noises passed around the football team. But, and this is really important, not every instance of embarrassment is a crime. Being red in the face does not make you a victim of criminal behavior.
I mean, does anybody remember being in college? I remember I came home one time and my roommate had put a freaking sock on my door. A sock! So I opened my door, interrupted him and his girl, and said that I didn’t need my socks, I needed my robe. Good thing they hadn’t invented camera phones back then, or else I might have recorded the entire event and, you know, gone to freaking jail or some ridiculousness.
People have sex in college. And people who are not having sex make fun of other people who are having sex. That’s just what happens. We’ve got to stop prosecuting every instance of on-campus ball busting.