Follow Us On

How accusing a powerful man of rape drove a college student to suicide

Katie J.M. Baker writes, "Megan Rondini’s friends and family remember her as having an ironclad sense of right and wrong. Her childhood nickname was 'Rules Rondini' because she was such a principled board game player. As an honors student at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Megan offered rides to drunk girls walking alone at night, even after one threw up in her backseat.

No one was there to help Megan when she found herself in that very situation one night in July 2015, except for a well-to-do businessman Megan knew only as 'Sweet T.' The 34-year-old later told authorities he offered 20-year-old Megan a ride home because he and a friend saw her leaving downtown Tuscaloosa alone. Megan couldn’t remember how she ended up in Sweet T’s white Mercedes on the way to his ornate mansion, decorated with his choicest hunting conquests, from massive-tusked elephant and wide-mouthed hippo heads to taxidermied lions and leopards. But, Megan later told police, she was sober enough by the time he pointed her toward his bedroom to know she didn’t want to have sex with him — and, she said, Sweet T should’ve known it, too.

There’s no official guide to reporting rape. It’s the most underreported crime, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which means many victims don’t tell anyone at all. But women are generally expected to do two things if they believe they’ve been sexually assaulted: Go to the emergency room and call the police. 'Was it consensual?' Megan's friend asked her when she picked her up that night, the friend told investigators. 'Like, did you want to?' No, Megan told her. She didn’t."

READ MORE>>

Recent Stories
When women bring home a bigger slice of the bacon

Saudi Arabia allows women to travel without male guardian's approval

Repeat auction sales of art by women on the rise