Good cop vs. slutty stripper

Orange County defense lawyer: Cop above the law, stripper beneath it.



Lynn Harris
February 14, 2007 6:30PM (UTC)

This just in over the Gross on So Many Levels wire: Irvine, Calif., police officer David Park, who admitted to ejaculating on a motorist in a less than routine traffic stop -- while on duty -- has been acquitted of three felony sexual assault charges. Based on news reports about their courtroom tactics, it appears that defense lawyers may have successfully argued that the alleged victim -- a stripper referred to in court as "Lucy A." -- was herself guilty of driving while sexy.

Park maintained that the encounter was consensual. The prosecution disagreed, attempting to bolster their case with what they said was evidence of stalking behavior on his part. But here's where it gets -- perhaps not surprisingly -- really ugly. According to R. Scott Moxley of the Orange County Weekly, defense attorney Al Stokke turned the trial into "The Good Cop versus The Slutty Stripper. He pointed out that she'd once had a violent fight with a boyfriend in San Diego. He mocked her inability to keep a driver's license. He accused her of purposefully 'weakening' Park so that he became 'a man,' not a cop during the traffic stop. He called her a liar angling for easy lawsuit cash. He called her a whore without saying the word."

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And that was just his opening argument. Questions Stokke posed to Lucy reportedly included "You dance around a pole, don't you?" (The judge deemed that irrelevant, though not before Stokke offered this elaboration: "Do you place a pole between your legs and go up and down?" Thanks. Now it's relevant.)

Other Stokke gems: "You do the dancing to get men to do what you what them to do. And the same thing happened out there on that highway [in Laguna Beach]. You wanted [Park] to take some sex!"

("Take some sex?")

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And: "She got what she wanted. She's an overtly sexual person."

I wasn't in the courtroom, nor was I out there on that highway in Laguna Beach. So I'm unable to argue with the verdict itself -- especially given that establishing consent, or lack thereof, is among the trickiest of legal maneuvers. Hey, Stokke had to do what he had to do.

I'm just bummed that that's what he had to do. That that's what he suspected would work. That the old "she dances at Captain Cream Cabaret, therefore, she can't possibly have been assaulted" -- and worse: "... therefore, she's the predator" -- defense can still be put forth at all, regardless of how quick the judge is with the gavel. Yeah, I know it still happens all the time. But can I still call Stokke an ass without saying the word?


Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of BreakupGirl.net. She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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