TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. - The father of a Tarpon Springs teen who accused a 17-year-old boy of raping her released a statement online Tuesday in defense of his daughter.
He says he decided to speak out after his daughter was attacked and ostracized online following her report to police. All the talk on social media ended up catching the attention of the controversial anarchist group Anonymous--the group tried to put a stop to hateful comments being posted.
Choosing not to reveal his identity to protect his daughter, the father posted the following to Twitter:
This has been a very difficult time for us but we are a strong family unit and we will recover and move on from this in time.
I would like to be clear with the public and with all the accusers that have been wrongly calling my daughter out of her name; She is not having "next day" regrets. It wasn't until the accused admitted to her what happened, that she fully realized the horrific reality of what happened that night. And now, since it has been brought to the light, it is in the state's hands.
Contrary to "High School rumors and gossip", my daughter was a virgin before this incident. THIS will be her memory for her 1st time! Unfortunately, this "rape culture" has become common place in the teen & young adult community of the US. This scene plays it's self out over and over again across this country with varying conclusions. Sometimes it never sees the light of day, sometimes it haunts the girl for the rest of her life, but sometimes, like THIS time, the girl figures it out and finds the courage to talk to someone.
We should NOT ostracize these girls because it could stop someone else from coming forward with their story for fear of being ridiculed. With stories out of Ohio, California & Nova Scotia that are eerily similar, the latter resulting in suicide, we as a society have to be more vigilant and recognize situations like this and also teach our children how to react. Our SONS to be more respectful to women, Our DAUGHTERS to have more respect of themselves. But most of all, we need to teach them BOTH to not be BYSTANDERS to it all! Don't be afraid to SPEAK UP, even if it's a stranger!
My initial reaction was anger at my daughter for her deception. She has been raised to know better than to put herself in that position and I am very disappointed in her for the decisions she made leading up to her being violated. As parents, we try our best to give our children the best guidance possible, but ultimately it's up to them to follow thru on it. Her lapse in judgment, however, does not condone the actions of the accused.
I would also like to thank the online community known as Anonymous for coming to the defense of my daughter. When the barrage of messages came flooding in, Anonymous, in it's MANY forms, came to her defense and even created a campaign called #OpStopShaming to stop the harassment of victims in situations like this. I applaud their efforts in bringing attention to this subject and hope to see it aid any future victims.
Lastly I'd like to say "Shame on you" to all the media outlets,major & minor, for publicizing the names of the accused and victim. ALL involved are minors and you have no right to publish ANYONE'S names! Where is your professionalism? What if it was YOUR child? The truth will come to light and I believe justice will be served. That's what all of this is ultimately about.
I ask that everyone please respect our family's privacy and the privacy of all the families involved. We ALL don't want this to haunt our childrens' FUTURES!
ABC Action News did not reveal the boy's identity because he has not been charged as an adult.
According to police, the 15-year-old Tarpon Springs High School freshman became intoxicated at a house party April 13 and was taken to a bedroom to lay down. They say the boy admitted to going into the bedroom and to having consensual sex with the girl. The girl denies she gave consent.
The boy is now facing felony sexual battery charges. If convicted he could spend up to 30 years in prison.
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