Disturbing Indeed

By December 2, 2005

Yesterday, Robert noted the controversy raging at the University of Pennsylvania over a student who was improperly charged with sexual harassment for, as the Philadelphia Inquirer nicely puts it today, having “photographed the bare backside of another student as she and her paramour apparently had sex in full view of the street below.” Not surprisingly, the picture was circulated widely on the Internet, as was Penn’s not-so-bright idea of going after a student for taking a picture of a public event that—again according to the Inquirer—had been taking place for “several days.”
 
Today, we’re happy to hear that Penn has dropped its charges. Here’s more from the Inquirer piece:

The faces of the naked couple are not clear in any of the most infamous images. And because the university disciplinary process is confidential, Penn did not release the names of anyone involved in this case. Nonetheless, the female student’s identity has become well-known on campus.
 
“My client is emotionally shattered from what is an extremely disturbing ordeal,” said Jordan Koko, her attorney. “There has been a public invasion into her personal life.”

Wait, what? Let me get this straight: a student who deliberately chose to have sex in a public place not just once, but repeatedly, is complaining that people saw? Isn’t that, well, the point?
 
Memo to Madam Exhibitionist: what’s “disturbing” about this “ordeal” is not the fact that Penn’s charges have been dropped. It’s that you would even think to file sexual harassment charges (and that a university would actually take them seriously) over something that (a) wasn’t even close to real harassment and (b) was 100 percent your fault. Justice has been served.

Schools: University of Pennsylvania