Tale as Old as Time: Blame the Victim

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Earlier this week, Broadway actor James Barbour (pictured at  left) who played the Beast in “Beauty and the Beast”  pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges in lieu of defending against felony sex abuse charges arising out of the actor’s sexual contact with a 15 year-old girl.    The AP reports the story here.   The actor’s counsel is still appealing the denial of his request to publish ads seeking information from anyone “falsely accused” by the complainant in the Barbour case.

According to court opinion (available here), after the  actor’s initial indictment on the felony charges, but before his arraignment,

[T]he District Attorney’s office provided information regarding the matter to the New York Daily News and the New York Post. The tabloid coverage in those two newspapers on December 6, 2006 included a cover page headline in the Post, “Beast of Broadway: Sex rap vs. ‘Beauty’ Star,” and both articles  described charges that [James] Barbour seduced a 15-year-old fan into “groping” him    and allowing him to “grope” or “molest” her, and that on another occasion the following month they engaged in oral sex. Both papers’ articles reported a    hotline telephone number created by the District Attorney’s office for anyone else who might have similar criminal allegations to report against  Barbour. In fact, the next day’s New York Post reported that at the  arraignment, the People had provided information that another girl had come  forward claiming Barbour seduced her seven years earlier, when she was 13,  although the statute of limitations prevented any prosecution of the claimed  crime. *** Barbour’s attorney, petitioner Ronald P. Fischetti, proposed to set up his own hotline, for any men who had been falsely accused by this  complainant.

After the trial court barred Fischetti from setting up the hotline, the attorney objected.   The appeals court agreed with the trial court, however.   The Appellate Division, First Department, reasoned that such a hotline would be inappropriate:
Initially, petitioner’s protestations that it would be unfair and inequitable for him to be denied use of the same investigative procedures used against his client by the police and prosecutors, while understandable, do not form an  appropriate ground for vacating the challenged order.  *** [I]t is hard to imagine many victims of sex crimes being willing to come forward if they found that their names were  subject to being published in newspapers in relation to those crimes, in a  purported effort by defense counsel to conduct investigations into possible  grounds to impeach the victim’s credibility.

The full opinion is here.   According to the AP report, notwithstanding his client’s guilty plea, Mr. Barbour’s attorney has appealed the intermediate court’s decision to the State’s highest court.

Another blogger asks: “How do you feel about a man who sexually gropes a child, blames the child for his actions and then readily admits his confession was offered as the quickest path to get himself back in front of children?”

Hat tip to Ralph Stein.

-Bridget Crawford              

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0 Responses to Tale as Old as Time: Blame the Victim

  1. gerardomora says:

    at his plea bargain hearing last week, while sounding like a little school girl — and we all now know his preferences there — barbour responded to the charges without a trace of sincerity and remorse.

    truly one of his better acting jobs.

    shame there is no award for hoodwinking and mocking the legal process. perhaps he has set the precedent? …”and the winner of the shammy goes to”….

    i am not fooled by his nonchalance in the press, nor that of his beaten — and over-priced — defense team. birds of a feather, indeed.

    sociopaths do not like to lose under any circumstance and will gaslight the world into thinking they have triumphed.

    the fact is, he is an admitted child molester. no denying public record.

    while on the topic of denial…how about his “loving wife” standing by his side…how stupid does this pretentious p***k think people are? will this woman awaken from her stupor someday? it’s bad theater in every sense of the phrase.

    it doesn’t require a background in forensics to know that if he victimized one kid, he has victimized numerous kids. yes, kids. there’s a pathology here.

    if you’ve been following along, you’d know the press has already reported on another girl who won’t come forward. kid was 13 at the time…

    unfortunately, this is the story of the *only* victim who had the courage to come to forward. and no one but a victim can appreciate the gravity of this action. only another victim can know the damage that will never go away..the closure that will never manifest.

    this demon took more than one childhood. and yes, 60 days doesn’t even come close to repaying this, but it’s a start. perhaps there will be more in his future?

    the bloated ego and sociopathic nature of this pathetic animal denies him the ability to self-reflect, and therefore, renders him incapable of remorse.

    he has committed these acts before, and will likely commit them again. the good news here is that he is now being watched.

    his empty bravado and dullness of helmet will surely cause him to slip…

    let’s hope the public recognizes him for what he truly is and refuses to support everything with which he is associated…forever.

    to the jay binders of the world (see the recent ny times article)…i say shame on you…you are just as morally bankrupt as he, if you would hire him for anything ever again.

    i can only hope the theater lovers at rikers clean him out as well as his super star defense team did.

    now let’s see…what skill can he parlay into prison currency during his stay…i know…let’s put on a show…oh yes, nothing like grand broadway show tunes to lift the spirits in the morning showers.

    kinda conjures up the image of zero and gene rehearsing ‘prisoners of love’, eh?

    on second thought, over the next few weeks maybe he should learn to rap…

    in a month or so, the world will have one less piece of trash walking about…if but for a short while…

  2. brat says:

    Eeeeuuuuu! Just eeeeeuuuu!