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Josh Lueke is a rapist. How often does that bear repeating?

Apr 22, 2014, 4:40 PM EDT

Josh Lueke

Roy Hobbs said that some mistakes you never stop paying for. Maybe it should be that way. In terms of social stigma, at least, if not in terms of actual punishment. That’s what Rays’ reliever Josh Lueke — who plead down sexual assault charges to a false imprisonment with violence conviction — has learned over the years.

He has learned that no matter how long ago you paid the criminal price for your actions — in his case an extremely light 42 days in jail for what were undeniably odious and criminal actions which can only be logically defined as rape even if they were legally characterized as something less — people may still hold you socially accountable for many more years. This we have come to see with websites, with ballpark signs and with chants by fans whenever he comes into games. We have also seen it in the form of responses to those who would ask that we stop talking about Lueke’s history and instead marvel at how he has “persevered” through “adversity.”

Of late, a number of people have taken to pointing out on Twitter, each and every time Lueke comes into a game, that he is, indeed, a rapist. Of late a number of other people have responded that that first group of people should just drop it already and stop mentioning that fact. They do so less as a defense of Lueke’s tender sensibilities — as far as I’ve seen he ignores it and none of those who wish the matter would be dropped online are actually defending Lueke personally — than as an exclamation of the pointlessness of constantly mentioning it or, in some cases, as a matter of mental fatigue at having to discuss it all again.

It’s an interesting little debate, but one which Stacey Mae Fowles — a rape survivor — sees as not so little at all. Today she writes at Deadspin about why it’s necessary to remind baseball fans of Josh Lueke’s past:

Because most survivors never have the opportunity to name their attackers, I have to disagree with the suggestion that tweeting is a futile endeavor—naming Lueke is most certainly accompanied by its own sense of empowerment. My own fear may prevent me from calling out my attacker in a public forum, but at least I can remind the baseball community that we have failed victims every time Lueke comes up to pitch. The fact that others don’t see it as a meaningful action is entirely meaningless to me. You can volunteer and you can donate money, but the most significant acts when it comes to dismantling a culture that forgives rape is to name those who commit it and support those who endure it. The irritation this man faces each time the chorus of condemnation rises is wholly insignificant when held up against the plight of survivors, and it may be wise for those who dismiss the messages as a “waste of time” to think for a moment that rape victims might have different thoughts on what does and doesn’t constitute a waste of time.

Is it unfair to Lueke? Not in any way I can see. He is not subject to any more criminal sanctions nor, per our Constitution, should he be. But nor is he immune from criticism for his past. And more importantly, nor is society immune from reminders of how poorly we have dealt with rape as a crime, treated some rapists as something less than criminals and done grave disservices to rape victims as people suffering from trauma and often forced to endure more after the crime has already taken place.

I don’t beat the Lueke drum that often because there are plenty of people who do so who are more informed and in a better position to do it. But I don’t begrudge Stacey and anyone else who does.

Go read her post. Read it all before commenting. And think about it a bit before you do.

209 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. tfbuckfutter - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    Ok everyone, I have to say I am really happy with how this dumpster fire of a thread turned out.

    Almost everyone turned in really excellent performances.

    I will say I am very disappointed in Godwin for not showing up with a Hitler reference. Not a single one. Really really disappointing. You better bring it in the next A-Rod thread or your days are numbered.

    Also, I feel like someone was supposed to bring up “but what about when women rape men?” I don’t know if someone dropped the ball on that point, or if we’re making progress and everyone agrees how stupid that one is, but either way I was kind of hoping for it to come up.

    All said, 8/10. Really nice work and everyone deserves a round of applause.

    • hateonlyhatred - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:38 AM

      So if a woman sodomizes you against your will it isn’t rape? Interesting thought process you have, tfbuckfutter.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:35 AM

        Why are straight people so obsessed with sodomy?

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:42 PM

        Why on earth would a woman want to sodomize me?

        And why would you assume I wouldn’t welcome that?

      • Kevin S. - Apr 23, 2014 at 8:12 PM

        Hey, some people are in to pegging.

    • hateonlyhatred - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      Hypothetical, tfbuck. You stated women can’t rape and I’m proving that they can.

      • tfbuckfutter - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        I didn’t say women can’t rape (and, just so you know….that’s not how a woman would generally go about raping a man). I said it’s a stupid point to make.

        It’s like a baseball manager debating what will happen if the pitcher who is at bat hits a homer.

        It happens so infrequently that only an idiot would try to make the point in an argument.

      • hateonlyhatred - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:05 PM

        Yeah, a much more valid point is to talk about the women who falsely accuse men of rape.

      • sparky1002 - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:37 AM

        A valid point hateonlyhatred…now we let the passionate indignant responses rise to the point a rape charge alone is sufficient to cause a guilty verdict without need for any further evidence, then we can call that “justice”.

  2. chad10 - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    Corey Brown.

  3. blingslade - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    As long as he doesn’t do it again then he’s alright in my book.

    • rrsm53 - Apr 23, 2014 at 7:23 AM

      really your a f’n tool, as long as he doesn’t do it again, would you say it if that was your daughter who was the victim or a relative of yours.

      • babyfarkmcgeezax - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:31 AM

        Lueke is a piece of garbage for raping, but spare us your self-righteousness.

  4. musketmaniac - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    why did BILL Clinton have so much trouble with the Elian Gonzales case. Look what happened the last time he placed a Cuban somewhere!

  5. brewcrewchamps - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:21 AM

    I found it odd that I just got done watching the natural no more than five minutes ago and boom, roy hobbs reference

  6. hateonlyhatred - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    There is lots of “brilliance” burning oh so bright on this post. I’m blinded!! There is also another side that I’ve failed to see mentioned even once on here. I haven’t read every post though, so forgive me if I missed it. However, I see the same suspects opining with the same self-righteousness that usually occurs on such social issues. I’d love to look in some of your closets because I’ll bet there are some of the biggest hypocrites in the world who post on this site. That being said, there are a lot of men falsely accused of rape by vindictive women in this country. Rape is among the easiest of all crimes to falsify. There have been many men who have served prison sentences for rapes they never committed. As with all crimes, there should be overwhelming amount of evidence to take away a man’s freedom. There is no bigger crime than an innocent man going to prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

    • yahmule - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:15 AM


    • historiophiliac - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      You are a fool. There are plenty of crimes worse than being falsely accused of a crime — and I think you know it (and are just stirring the pot here). You are not clever. Stop.

      • nomoreliesfortoday - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:02 PM

        Sorry dude….Rape is vile. But punishing an innocent man is the worst of all crimes because it destroys the validity of the system.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        Yeah, sooooo much worse than murder and rape and slavery and… There are things much more fundamental than the system.

      • drewsylvania - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:16 PM

        I don’t think nomoreliesfortoday has heard of the metaphor “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:25 PM

        They don’t get to pragmatism in his ethics class til next semester.

      • hateonlyhatred - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        The loonies are chiming in. Led by historiophiliac and drewsylvania. Special mention to yahmule but he’s too lazy to type out what he really means. Glad to see one person with common sense responding. Thanks nomoreliesfortoday.

        I’d rather see hundreds of men go free than ONE man wrongly convicted. I would hope that anyone who feels different is the next wrongly accused and convicted person being sent to prison.

        @nomoreliesfortopday: Historiophiliac is a woman even if she comes off as a dude.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        I greatly respect all your work on the Innocence Project, but your comparison is off. It’s not wrongly convicted versus properly convicted. It’s wrongly convicted versus murdered, maimed, raped, etc. It’s much worse to be killed than wrongly convicted — you get no appeal on that.

      • hateonlyhatred - Apr 23, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        @historiophiliac: I’d rather be murdered, maimed and raped than wrongly convicted. You are a fool. You’d give up your liberty? Dying is not the worst thing that can happen to you. You are a selfish, selfish person.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        That doesn’t even make sense. It’s selfish to prefer not dying? Ok, nutty. Have a nice day. Here’s to your martyrdom.

      • hateonlyhatred - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        I forgot that I have to spell everything out for you. It’s a selfish person who would rather send innocent people to prison than defend liberty. It’s a selfish person who infringes on the rights of others in the guise of safety. You are a selfish person.

      • sparky1002 - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:44 AM

        You are aware there are people advocating the “death penalty” for rape…right?

    • kspence1025 - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      Seriously! Our legal system is predicated on the theory that its better for an innocent man to go to jail than it is for a guilty man to go free. And…there are MANY bigger crimes than an innocent man being wrongly convicted.

  7. yahmule - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    Maj. Gen. Michael T. Harrison Sr., the commander of U.S. Army forces in Japan, who ignored and mishandled sexual misconduct cases under his watch, leading to his dismissal…gets a better job in the Pentagon.

    • drewsylvania - Apr 23, 2014 at 1:12 PM

      First rule of patriarchy is….

  8. drewsylvania - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    My default reply to any post here will now be “Are you serious?”

  9. drewsylvania - Apr 23, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    Also: Why do we scream at Lueke yet give Mike Freaking Tyson speaking opportunities, movie roles, and ceremonial first pitches?

    • yahmule - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:31 PM

      Because nobody ever heard of Josh Lueke and Mike Tyson, who had countless ugly incidents with young females prior to his rape conviction, was an international superstar during his peak. Very easy for people to compartmentalize their emotions when they choose. Ask the Woody Allen defenders.

      • hateonlyhatred - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        There is no proof that Woody Allen raped anyone.

      • jimeejohnson - Apr 26, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        Mia Farrow is a dumb, scorned bitch. You got suckered right into her bitch.

  10. musketmaniac - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:14 PM

    Woody allen justs looks like a pedophile, I wouldn’t let that p.o.s. anywhere near my home.

    • hateonlyhatred - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:20 PM

      I wonder what you like through the eyes of others?

      • jimeejohnson - Apr 26, 2014 at 12:10 PM

        Like a dumb shmuck PeaBrain.

  11. musketmaniac - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    Woody Allen just looks like a pedophile, I wouldn’t allow that p.o.s. anywhere near my home

    • blingslade - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:26 PM

      True dat.

      • jimeejohnson - Apr 26, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        Two dumb shmuck peabrains.

  12. blingslade - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:30 PM

    Luke was with his teammates at a bar and the girl was very, very flirty with all of them. Obviously some of them were young, stupid, horny, and drunk. Luke did wrong and he was punished for it. There are a lot of sexual predators out there, some even class 3, but Luke doesn’t fit that category. He fits the category of young, stupid, horny, drunk guy. He shouldn’t have done what he did, this does happen a lot in situations like this. Nobody asked for it and Luke has been criminally prosecuted..went to jail, paid a fine. and he hasn’t done and most probably won’t do this again which is what we demand in our society. He’s now a professional ballplayer and he doesn’t deserve to be constantly harassed by what he did forever ago. He should be allowed to live his life.

    • agg2596 - Apr 26, 2014 at 8:29 PM

      Oh, and I’m sure the victim of his rape is just going on with her life and forgetting about it? No, I bet it haunts her to this day that somebody could take advantage of her like that. She’ll never forget it so why should he? Why should we?

  13. southernballhawk1 - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:09 AM

    So sick of hearing about this subject.

  14. byjiminy - Apr 26, 2014 at 12:02 AM

    Sorry, southernballhawk1, but I’m more concerned about how she feels.

    “More than a year after the investigation began, the victim gave her consent for prosecutors to offer a plea deal because she was worried about the stress of a trial. Sources close to the case say that after her ordeal, she could no longer sleep in the dark, went through extensive therapy and bouts of depression and eventually lost her job.”

    Lueke needs to be publicly shamed and reviled until he stops lying about it.

    “Court documents show Lueke lied to police during the summer of 2008, saying he’d had no physical contact with the victim, who said she passed out drunk on a bathroom floor and woke up the next morning disheveled, feeling violated and not knowing what happened.

    But DNA tests came back in March 2009, linking Lueke to semen found inside the woman. He was arrested April 29, 2009. That’s when he changed his story and said they’d had consensual sex.”

  15. jimeejohnson - Apr 26, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    Had it been my sister, Luke would be pushing up daisies. Rapists need to be castrated, now!

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