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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How the Hell Did USF Undergrad Allegedly Rape FOUR Pals Before Getting Caught? Psychologists Weigh In

Posted By on Tue, Feb 17, 2009 at 12:01 AM

click to enlarge USF undergrad Ryan Caskey, left, seen here with his ROTC colleagues, is accused of four campus rapes
  • USF undergrad Ryan Caskey, left, seen here with his ROTC colleagues, is accused of four campus rapes
One of George Carlin's lesser-known jokes was a fake news item about a tollbooth collector being arrested after years of systematically pouring boiling oil on drivers' hands. It seems he was tracked down with the aid of witnesses.

On a similar -- and less funny -- note, The Snitch was dumbfounded that USF undergraduate Ryan Caskey, 21, allegedly raped four -- four! -- of his female "acquaintances" over the course of a few short months before finally being arrested late last week. Now, USF is not a big campus. And that's a lot of raping. How the hell does this go on for so long? Is this normal?

According to one psychologist with an expertise in date rape drugs, it's more normal than most folks would like to think. Even among a peer group population in the hundreds -- say one dormitory -- Dr. Shannon Miller thought it'd be relatively easy for a rapist to victimize his acquaintances for quite some time without being caught.

"Folks might be wondering how this could happen. But in this population, at this age, with this issue, and this kind of perpetrator, I find it believable," said Miller, a psychologist with the Cincinnati District Attorney's office and University of Cincinnati. "We're not talking about burglary here. That's something people report. This is rape. Among all crimes it's one of the hardest to self-report. Add another layer to that when it's an acquaintance who perpetrates this. That makes it even harder."

Details about this case are scarce, but it really does seem that a misplaced sense of guilt appears to have kept the alleged victims quiet -- and enabled the accused predator.

"The stigma in regard to sex crimes -- it's a difficult, complicated issue," said San Francisco psychologist Dr. Ginger Rhodes. "It seems to me that we continue to struggle in the right direction toward making it easier for people to come forward. It's a shame that sexual violence is stigmatized, but it is."

Universities know this. Students know this. Rapists know this. So, with that in mind, are institutions of higher learning doing all they can to enable women to come forward? That's our question. Later this week: Hopefully we get some answers.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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