case work

Is The FBI Accusing a Kidnapping and Rape Victim Of Being Responsible For His Assault?

Kristapher Dale Buchanan, 27, and Daniel Phillip Martinez (pictured), 46, are sitting in a jail on charge of kidnapping and raping an 18-year-old bisexual man in rural Terlingua, in southwest Texas near the Mexican border. So you’d think getting the FBI involved, in one of the first Matthew Shepard Act cases, would be great news. Not so for the survivor.

The Dec. 6 attack where anti-gay epithets were used, and which already victimized the young man, was allegedly followed by FBI investigators insisting he was the one who’s at fault. “My client indicated that your agent suggested that the victim must have misled people, resulting in a violent sexual assault,” the victim’s advocate writes in a letter to the FBI, adding, “the wearing of short pants, any sort of suggestive looks, or having some drinks” are not reasons to be sexually assaulted. … Agents must not re-victimize an already traumatized victim of a sexual assault, by allowing any sort of prejudices to influence the investigation. … A poorly handled investigation can ruin years of community trust that your agency works extremely hard to instill in the public, and that makes your job and mine that much harder the next time someone cries out for help.”

The FBI’s Matt Espenshade, the senior supervisory resident agent in the Midland office, says an internal investigation has been launched to look into claims of misconduct. As for DoJ? “The Department of Justice is monitoring the local investigation and prosecution, and I have no further comment,” says a spokesperson.

[Dallas Voice]

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #assault #danielphillipmartinez #fbi stories and more


  • Sceth

    “Kristapher” is a horrible name. But not as horrible a thing as accidentally titling an article with the word “Suspect” instead of “Victim.”

  • Samwise

    We as a culture are so hopeless when it comes to sexual assault. Why is it that so many people feel the rape victim must have been “asking for it”?

  • Jon (not that one)

    @Sceth: That headline is all kinds of wrong.

  • L.

    @Sceth: I actually read it four times trying to make sense of it. I failed.

  • FluffyInDrag

    You know, it’s funny… it’s been fairly well established that “no means no” regardless of context. At least for women. I think the idea of men being raped is too threatening for a lot of men so it’s still a valid excuse that they’re “asking for it.”
    I even just watched an episode of Law & Order: SVU for the second time… one of the ones that make me MOST ANGRY. In the episode a male exotic dancer is raped and sodomized by three women but it was continually insinuated that either he was asking for it or that women are INCAPABLE of rape. And toward the end it even became an issue of the concept of men being raped is an INSULT to all the women who have been raped. It makes me physically ill to see these incredibly ignorant preconceptions being applied in court.

    Eh,I won’t further my rant as I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir, but I will give a great big wagging finger at that headline. It needs to be fixed post-haste.

  • Gorbeh

    I saw Texas and it all fell into place…

  • Cj Maciejeski

    @Samwise: It’s a way to distance oneself from the possibility of being assaulted. “He was clearly asking for it, and i don’t even OWN a mesh shirt! I couldn’t possibly be raped.”

    Clothing doesn’t matter. Attitude doesn’t matter. Promiscuity doesn’t matter. If a person does not want/consent to a sexual encounter, it is fucking rape. Assault. Physical violation of another person’s body. Nothing bout what a victim does excuses a rapist for crossing that line.

    But people will continue to blame victims because it’s easier than trying to wrap one’s brain around the idea that someone might need to violate another person for their own sexual gratification. It reduces the fear of the rapist by normalizing. The implication is that the victim is SUCH A TEASING WHORE that any normal person would also be tempted to just hold ’em down and do it. That scares me even more than revictimization…rape normalization.

Comments are closed.