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The female discount for sexual predators – Nashville News

Posted on: September 29, 2009

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The female discount for sexual predators

By Tracy

Moore

Published on July 08, 2009 at 8:15am

Former Portland High School math teacher Sandy Binkley and husband Doug sit together with

their hands clasped in unity. They are the picture of a thirty-something couple from an outskirt town. Their gold jewelry is modest; their business casual attire freshly pressed.

Gone is the vacant stare, straggly bleached locks and darkened roots from Sandy’s September mug shot, when she was arrested for the statutory rape of a 17-year-old student. (Age of consent in Tennessee is 18.) She now sits comfortably with an almost serene glow, her salon-cut hair a glossy auburn as she prepares to deliver her defense: It was she who was raped.

“No one disputes the encounter that happened in a classroom at Portland High School,” the Channel 5 broadcast begins.

Then it cuts to Binkley in prim pastel, shaking her head. “But I can tell you that there was one incident, and only one incident,” she says with a thick Southern accent, her eyes narrowing on the reporter.

That incident took place in March of last year, when, according to police, Binkley and the student had sex while classes were going on nearby. But Binkley insists the student forced himself on her in the office of the girls’ volleyball locker room.

“There was one incident with one student who was a month away from being 18,” she asserts with quiet calm. “He was bigger than me and he forced himself on me.”

It’s a puzzling assertion from a rape victim, this emphasis on the student’s near-adult status and the insistence that only one interaction took place. Absent is the rage of a victim or the defiance of someone wrongly accused. Instead, Binkley fidgets with her fingernail, answering questions with an embarrassed smirk. “It’s very absurd,” she says with an almost imperceptible laugh. “It’s very hard to believe someone would accuse me of this.”

“Did you resist?” the reporter asks Binkley in the broadcast.

“Yes I did,” she says matter-of-factly. “But he crossed the boundary and there was nothing I could do.”

Since that TV interview, Judge David Gay has placed a gag order on all participants in the Binkley case. But it’s easy to discern from court documents that prosecutors will tell a different story. They will likely portray an educator dubiously popular with students—the sort of hip

teacher who maintained a Facebook page and courted students as friends, even working out with some at a local gym.

They will argue that she had sex with not one, but three different boys—two of whom are brothers. Together, the official complaints describe multiple encounters over nearly two years—sex in storage closets, classrooms, in Binkley’s car on rural roads and even in the driveway of one student’s home—from early 2007 to late 2008.

They will emphasize that she never filed a complaint about the alleged rape at Portland High. “She only reported the encounter as rape when faced with the evidence that we had proving that sexual activity did occur between her and the victim on school campus,” reads a statement from Assistant Police Chief Richard Smith. “Her story is not consistent with a rape victim.”

They will point out that a rape victim doesn’t usually continue to text message, call and hang out with their assailant, as Binkley did. Nor do they typically buy their rapist expensive graduation presents.

Perhaps they will paint her as unhappily married, seeking out the comfort of boys—her bubbly, outgoing persona merely a mask to hide a troubling depression.

If they draw at all from the prosecution of other female sex offenders, they will show her as a dangerous sexual predator who groomed her victims, forming intense friendships with students she fancied until they let their guard down so she could seduce them.

They will point to the words of a 17-year-old, who said he knew Binkley intimately enough to know her tubes were tied, so he didn’t need to wear a condom.

“She laid down on the desk and I began to have intercourse with her,” he said at one hearing. “. . . She said this isn’t what you expected when you signed up for a teacher’s aid.”

Binkley would only be caught after a student’s mother found a confusing text message on her son’s cell phone. “I’ll have to mark you absent,” it said. The mother dialed the number and got Binkley’s voicemail. She wondered why the teacher would text a student rather than call his parents, so she got in touch with administrators and police.

The evidence seems mounted against her as she heads for a September trial on seven counts of statutory rape and two counts of sexual battery by an authority figure. But if the past offers any prediction, she’s almost sure to get the female discount if she’s convicted.

Reported sex offenses by women increased tenfold from the ’80s to the ’90s, yet their prison time remains but a fraction of what men receive. A Kansas State professor found that, on

average, male teachers faced up to 20 years in prison for sex abuse, while female teachers were handed probation,

house arrest or a maximum of three years of jail time.

Nashv

ille News – The female discount for sexual predators – page 1.

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