The Absence of Witnesses Isn't Evidence of Non-Crime


In response to my column of yesterday, Lucinda Marshall of the Feminist Peace Network echoes a good point I've been hearing:

[U]nder normal circumstances, rape is a very underreported crime for many reasons and in this case, who were they going to report it to? There was virtually no security presence in the Superdome and clearly the first priority was things like lack of sanitation, water, etc.

Hard to report rapes and other crimes to MIA cops; hard to interview witnesses when they're thousands of miles away. Rumors are infinitely easier to check up on in well-observed locations like the Astrodome (where, according the Houston Chronicle, there have been "2 reports of sexual assaults; one proven to be false and one still under investigation").