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8.26.2003

Truth and Consequence

"You've just seen the largest coincidence you will ever see in your life."

Those were the words of Bill Kephart, the prosecutor in Kirstin Lobato's case, during closing arguments. He went on to invoke the sensationalized Lorena Bobbit, as though to remind the jury that any case involving the violent removal of a man's penis would be so rare that the very idea of it happening twice was ludicrous.

Kirstin Lobato told officials that she cut a would-be rapist in the groin a few month's earlier in self-defense. But the prosecution implied that - because of the unusual nature of the injury - Kirstin must have been speaking about the Bailey murder, and then later concocted a story to save herself from her own confession.

For more on the largest coincidence you will ever see in your life (though I strongly advise against it if you are easily sickened by the stories of sexual violence), people should go here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Or just take my word for it, there's a lot of tales out there about men whose manhood ended up being quite susceptible to people with sharp objects.

I could easily go on, but I'd really rather not. I'm getting overloaded by too many stories about the "largest coincidence I'll ever see in my life," not to mention that researching the topic is not my idea of a good time.

Kirstin Lobato's so-called confession was about a non-lethal injury made in defense of herself, at a different time, in a different place, under different circumstances. Circumstances that are not all that surprising, if you know the darker side of the streets in big cities. I have had considerable personal experience with Seattle's and New York City's underbelly (once upon a time I was a very bad boy), and I have seen it graphically displayed in Chicago and Miami. I have no reason to think Sin City is much different. Given Kirstin's lifestyle at the time, there's not much that is unusual about her having to defend herself from an attack.

The prosecution's argument that Kirstin had confessed was centered on the genital location of the injury. That kind of injury, however, is not some unique occurrence. Though certainly rare compared to walking your dog, it is hardly unheard of, especially in cases of self-defense against rape. In the undercurrent of social thought, the idea is even given moderate support when it comes to sex crimes. Just this morning on the radio I heard the talk show hosts discussing the removal of a man's genitalia (in this case, a pedophile) and all but cheering the idea of sex offenders getting assaulted or murdered in prison.

The male of our species is particularly vulnerable when it comes to that area of the body. It is a weakness everyone knows can be exploited in a physical confrontation. And it often is. There is no coincidence here that is startling.

The shared aspect of the Bailey murder and Kirstin's confession was a groin injury. That does not mean her "confession" of self-defense had anything to do with the Bailey murder. But that is what the prosecutor would have the jury believe, even if the rest of the "confession" didn't exactly fit together right. At all.


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