What do you think about the Mark Chmura case?

OK, we’re now 5 days into the trial, and the prosecution has rested. What is everyone’s opionion on the guilt/innocence of Mr. Chmura, or what do you think really happened that night? Is Chmura guilty of the charges against him, is he not-guilty but still did something wrong, or is he completely innocent? Is it possibe that he was either framed or had some incident greatly exaggerated? Most of the details of the case can be found here.

As for my take on the whole thing, I’ll admit that from the time he was arrested up until the pre-trial proceedings took place, I thought he was guilty. I figured that the events of that night pretty much went as the prosecution and his accuser said. Now I’m not so sure.

If I had to make a guess right now as to what I think happened that night, I’d have to say that either Chmura was completely set-up, or a much more minor incident took place that is now being exageratted greatly. I think Chmura was guilty of poor judgement in that he never should have been drinking with high school kids at a post prom party, but I don’t think he is guilty of the charges against him. I think at the most Chmura may have been “hitting” on his accuser, but I think the whole rape story may have been fabricated by her either for monetary purposes or simply because she didn’t like him.

Well, that’s what I think happened that night, but I’m not sure about it at all. I could just as easily believe that Chmura did rape the girl, but my gut feeling, based on what I’ve seen of the case so far, is that he didn’t. What does everyone else think about this case?

Yeah, it’s a tough call now that you hear more of the story. It definitely would not surprise me if he was guilty though. The thing that I just love about this case is that this die hard Republican (Chmura) has such “high” morals that he wouldn’t even go to the White House when invited by Clinton, because of the Lewinsky thing.

The whole thing reminds me of a plotline in Tom Wolfe’s A Man in Full.

In that vein, my theory is that her friend walks in to see her getting intimate with a ?mid thirties? married man. Rather than fess up, she decides to say he forced himself on her. Still, very bad judgment on his part in the first place, if anything happened at all.

I’m still confused. She was examined very shortly after whatever happened happened. Were there any signs of unwelcome advances and/or rape?

The problem is that it has become a he said/she said case. Chmura is going to walk because there simply is no evidence and no eyewitness. She has people to testify she was extremely upset but that is it. This girl makes no bones about her hatred of Chmura predating the incident if you caught any of the clips on ESPN.
Regardless of whether he is found guilty he is certainly guilty of poor judgement for being in the house with a bunch of underage drinkers.

In the absence of evidence I have to side with Chmura even if he is basically a pompous ass. Whoops…pompous unemployed ass that is!!! He has maintained all along that a trial would clear his name… of course anyone would claim that if they were trying to avoid jail time.

And on previewing… **Lawmill[/b}

As I recall from previous news reports there were no signs of forcible entry/rape, etc…

I agree with Dignan that its pretty ironic that Chmura made such a big deal about morals involving Clinton, and then got into this mess.

I also think that even in the best case scenario for Chmura, he is still guilty of very poor judgement. The facts of the case that are not disputed by the prosecution or defense still have him putting himself in a pretty stupid situation. I do think that having an adult-supervised post-prom party is normally a good idea, but not when the adults are the ones who need the supervision.

As for the accuser, I don’t think she is much different from Chmura as far as personality. Chmurua comes off as an arrogant, cocky, jock. The accuser comes off as arrogant, mean, and self-centered as well.

all of these references to (former president) Clinton really crack me up! Clinto got a complete pass on the whole Lewinsky mess-so why condemn this poor kid (Chmura) for just touching a very drunk 18 year old girl? Sure-he showed poor judgement-but so did the 18 year old!
I think she should just “forget the whole thing”.
Of course, there is the MONEY involved-how far would this farce have gotten, unless there was not a substantial amount of money available?

Blunt, you didn’t say what specifically changed your mind about the case, but I have to say that I’m really sad to see that Mr. Chmura will probably walk without so much as a “watch yourself”.

In talking to people following yesterday’s testimony, I found that a couple of them said, “well, she spread that rumor about him and the illegitimate child and didn’t even know if it was true.”

hello? She was SEVENTEEN. I’ll admit right here that in high school and college I was a VICIOUS gossip. It’s an immature habit for someone who hasn’t had to pay the consequences of it. If I heard a juicy tidbit like that about the GUY I BABYSAT FOR or worked for or was my neighbor or whatever … you can bet I’d be telling everyone.

Does that mean I’d make up a story about being raped? Hell no. It’s sad that these rabid defense attorneys would even suggest it.

Do I think he threw her around, beat her, tore her apart like the movies tell us “real rape” should be? No. I think he scared her to death. I think he coerced her, threatened her, backed her up against the wall and frightened her into doing whatever he wanted, and he should still be punished for it. Just because she doesn’t remember her exact position in the bathroom, doesn’t mean she’s lying.

I haven’t heard or read ALL of the transcripts, but what happened with the fellow party goer who supposedly “warned” her not to go in the bathroom? That’s an interesting witness.

But in the end, he’s a NFL player. He’ll be free to do this again next year, and probably playing on some other team. I’m surprised Carruth got convicted.

jarbaby

Boy, this is a tough one. There has been so much he said/she said, but the nurse from Sinai seemed to know her stuff and concluded that there was penetration. I don’t know, did Allison do it to herself? That’s going pretty far.
[complete hijack] Sledman, you hang out at Partner’s, right? Tell Matt the bartender that Doug Jones says ‘hi’. And I’ll be in Point for ArcticFest Feb. 10-11.[/complete hijack]

Even if this is what happened, he’d still be guilty of the Sexual Assault charge for sex with a minor, and could be guilty of the Enticement charge (which carries a much heavier penalty) if he was the instigator (so to speak) of the intimacy.

He’s a 31 year old, millionaire football player…hardly a ‘poor kid’. He knows his power, his place in WISCONSIN. He knew he’d get away with it.

I don’t know if you are or ever have been an eighteen year old girl, egkelly, but I know for a fact that when I was eighteen, if a man of over three hundred pounds had me pinned against the wall, I’d be terrified for my life, and my judgement would be based solely on staying alive and not being hurt.

ah. yes. Sexual assault is such an easy thing to forget. :rolling eyes: Just put it on the back burner, it’s not such a big deal. She wanted it by the way she was dressed, she was drunk, he’s so handsome…it was a party, things get out of control. Be flattered that the big important football player gave you some attention! Just let it go.

They tried to tell me that too.
As I review this girl’s testimony, I can see that she has an attitude. She’s snotty, she’s immature, she’s like a typical teenager who “doesn’t like” everybody. I don’t really seem to like her myself, except that I assume she’s EXTRA pissed that no one wants to believe her anymore. I still don’t think that this cynical behavior warrants an accusation by some that she’s making the story up.

jarbaby

I’ll admit that one of the major factors that changed my mind about this case was the demeanor of the accuser. She has seemend to me to be very arrogant, and she has been beligerant on the stand. Her snippy remarks towards Gerald Boyle, such as correcting his pronunciation of Habbush, and the fact that she deliberatly broke a court order not to watch media coverage of the testimony of other witnesses, and then seemed not to care at all that she may have jeopardized the integrety of the trial, are just some examples of her general attitude in court. This all being said, its also true that arrogant, stuck-up, and mean people still get raped. The accuser’s attitude and personality is just one of the factors that began to sway my opinion.

I also think that there’s enough inconsisnency between the procesution’s witnesses to cast reasonable doubt as to Chmura’s guilt. Some of the inconsistencies also show the possibilty of some level of conspiricy against Chmura by his accuser and her friends. The accuser herself has changed some of the details of her story several times since her inital statement to police in April.

I also find the accuser and her friend’s actions in the hours immediately following the alleged rape to be somewhat strange. Its surprising that before contacting any authorties regarding this alleged rape the girls did things like go to Starbuck’s for coffee, and discuss a trip to Cancun over the breakfast table at the Lese house.

Also, even though I think Chmura is pretty much an arrogant jerk (the male version of his accuser), I doubt he would persue a young girl like this. Mr. Chmura could walk into any bar in Wisconsin and probably pick up any single girl in there. Why would he be obsessed with a 17 year old babysitter to the point of forcing himself on her?

So there’s my main reasons for siding with Chmura, but I am far from totally convinced that he didn’t do it. The facts of the case could easily add up to Chmura’s guilt, but I think they could just as easily add up to the accuser and her friends conspiring to either make-up or greaatly exaggerate this situation.

Blunt, i choose not to talk about it TOO much, but I was raped when I was seventeen, and I didn’t tell anyone for about…oh, six weeks. i never called the police, never went to a doctor, didn’t tell my mother… NOTHING because I was so disgusted, horrified, ashamed, afraid and embarrassed that I preferred to pretend that it never happened. Was that stupid of me to do? YOU BET. We can’t always count on victims of violent crime to act in a by-the-book manner.

That’s precisely why I think he DID do it. Have you ever heard people say that rape isn’t a sexual issue? It’s not. It’s about power. He liked how it felt to frighten her. He liked being bigger and stronger than her and knowing that his fans and the general public would be on his side regarding said act. He liked hurting her and making her cry, making her feel like dirt. That’s what rapists do.

I’m glad to hear that you can still be swayed. One of my big reasons for siding with the accuser, aside from the fact that so rarely are the survivors of rape sided with, is that Mr. Chmura seems quite calm in listening to her story. He doesn’t seem to care at all that she’s crying, scared, or, if indeed it is the case…is lying. For someone who loved flirting with her on a regular basis, trusted her with his children and tipped her extra for “being cute” (disgusting in itself), he just sits there like “yep, whatever”. If someone was making up a story about me forcing myself on them, you can bet I’d be getting a little hot under the collar.

It’s moot. This time next week, she’ll have been dragged through the mud and he’ll be out making big passionate speeches about justice.

jarbaby

That’s spelled Habush.
Sorry, just had to do it. :wink:

Wow didn’t know there was a conclusion of penetration from a nurse. Brings up the question of… where the hell is the DNA evidence.

While I sympathize jarbabyj and you make good points there is no hard evidence to back up her story and you can’t reasonably convict Chmura without that evidence. The nurse says there was penetration… by who?? Her friends say she was upset when they came out of the bathroom… about what?? If you can’t tie him to having intercourse with her how can you convict? It comes down to his word against hers and nothing else barring a confession. If he’s guilty and gets away with it that sucks but we have no proof.

That being said if it was my daughter I would probably kill the son of a bitch!!

[hijack] I can relay the message through friends Wahoo. Partner’s is more of a summer place for me due to Volleyball. [/hijack]
Gazoo

Are you sure it’s not Habush?!? :stuck_out_tongue:

I absolutely understand that. Of course you can’t. But you can’t just write her off because she has a bad attitude either. The problem is, without proof, it IS his word against hers and the man is always going to win that battle…especially when he’s a shiny, pretty famous NFL star who says she doesn’t like the defendant.

I’m just trying to stay on her side as long as I can, because if she WAS raped, it’s like being raped AGAIN to have no one believe you.

jarbaby.

[QUOTE]
*Originally posted by Sledman *
**

Sorry man, you lost me on that one. :confused:

Anyway, I have to say that I think that Chmura is at least guilty of indiscriminate touching of girls who were under the age of 18. This is not the first time such an accusation has been made aginst Mr. Chmura, and while prior accusations don’t prove anything, the fact that he’s been in such a situation more than once does tell you something – he spends way too much of his free time in an inebriated state in the midst of scantily clad underage girls. To me that says he has a problem.

In another thread we discussed Mr. Ray Lewis and his murder trial. I state again, you are a celebrity, and like it or not, a role model, in the eyes of the public, whether in the eyes of the law or not, your actions are going to be more scrutinized than others. Learn from your mistakes. Don’t put yourself in anything that resembles the same situation again! Okay, Mr. Howe?? Mr. Taylor!?? Mr. Strawberry!!?? If you put yourself on a pedestal, don’t be surprised to be knocked off it.

As in Habush, Habush, Davis and Rottier

Pick a Habush. Any Habush.

Oh well maybe it was just funny to me…

Some more info here:

http://espn.go.com/nfl/news/2001/0201/1055081.html

It’s pretty interesting. This is proving to be pretty difficult to get any stories to go together. Since alcohol was present I doubt we can get a real accurate story. As for the gal, looks to me like there isn’t enough evidence, and that’s a damn shame if she’s telling the truth.

Now that the defense is almost done presenting its case, its becoming obvious to me that Chmura should be aquitted. There isn’t nearly enough evidence to convict him, and there is much more than a “reasonable doubt” of his guilt. If the Kleeber testimony is to be believed, it all but eliminates the chance of Chmura being convicted on the enticement charge, and I think that the his accuser has damaged her own credibility enough that if it is just her word versus Chmura’s I’d believe Chmura. Several key parts of Allison’s testimony have either been contradicted by other witness’ testimony or she has contradicted her own testimony by changing her story over the course of this case. Allison’s own testimony is the only thing holding together the sexual assault charge, and with her lack of credibility it would be hard to convict Chmura on that one either. The fact that Chmura won’t be testifying just reinforces the fact that the defense basically has this case won, and therefore has no reason to risk blowing it by putting him on the stand (even though he could very likely just stengthen his own case). Of course I don’t really know what happened that night, but I’m becomming more and more convinced that Chmura is truly innocent, and not just innocent in the eyes of the law.

I still wonder exactly what went on between Chmura and Allison on that night (obviously). It seems like there was some level of flirting going on between the two, but I’m sure either one could argue that they were just trying to be nice to the other and didn’t mean anything by it. For Chmura to flirt with a 17 year old girl is disgusting, but probably not illegal. There was then, some kind of encounter between the two in the bathroom at the end of the night. I don’t know what kind of encounter took place in the bathroom, but I highly doubt it resulted in sexual intercourse. At the worst I think Chmura may have tried to “make out” with Allison and was rebuffed (disgusting and probably illegal), maybe they began to “make out” consentually and quickly decided it was a bad idea, at the least I think maybe Allison just accidentally walked in on Chmura in the bathroom and nothing really happened. Either way no rape in my opinion.

ok… I always try to support the victim in a case like this, but there are several aspects that deeply disturb me…

first off… I want to address the post by blunt answered by jarbabyj…

there is a big difference between dealing with the personal demons of shame, fear, and self loathing for a few weeks or months and then finally admitting the horrible thing we suffered… — versus — the next morning having coffee with friends, talking about vacations, then calmly going to the police later that morning and saying ‘I was raped’

also… there were several defense witnesses that testified under oath that what the ‘victim’ said was incorrect…

Mike Cleber (I think that was his name) gave some strong testimony, and the character support of his line coach ‘uncle eddie’ or ‘uncle willie’ <something like that> was pretty damning to the procescution… he said he saw something completely different at the party, with the whole entrance to the bathroom…

also when the officer that took the statement was on the stand several of the offical statements made were very different (close to perjerious) to what that ‘victim’ said on the stand

and the fact that the ‘victim’ couldn’t place herself in the replica of the bathroom in the same manner that her attacker did… that was somewhat damning… and when the ‘victim’ said that the replica was nothing close to the real bath room, but the master carpenter said it was identical to the real bath room… again, if it’s the same floor plan, but you can’t describe how you were in that room becuase it’s not accurate, but a professional carpenter says it’s identical… that’s really damning…

one more comment on jarbabyj’s comments

first off, “the fact that so rarely are the survivors of rape sided with” is a horrible reason to side with any one particular supposed sufferer of rape…
if that were a logical argument you’d have to side with me when I said <insert random mammal here> raped me…

and about the whole, “mr. chmura seems quite calm in listening to her story”… what do you expect? he has to remain calm, he’s in court… if he stands up and screams “THAT’S A LIE!!!” he’s in contempt of court… if he even shakes his head that can be mis-interpreted by the jury…

and also… I sat there calmly listening to her testimony (as did the judge, and the jury, and the attorneys) does that mean I/the judge/the jury raped her?

I guess you don’t watch court-tv, or check their website, or read the N.Y.Times. but…

it’s somewhat common knowledge that when she was breaking up on the mics or stuttering… she wasn’t crying… she was choked up with anger, she was pissed at the defense attorney… (atleast on cross exam.)

I always try to side with fellow sufferers of this atrocity… but this bitch is only in it for attention and money… (see also, all the defense witnesses that testified about how the ‘victim’ was going to sue)

it’s almost a worse crime that someone would abuse the word ‘rape’ for monetary gain… I’m personally sickened…