Innocent flirtation turns into night of debauchery

SYDNEY, AUS. ( an unprecedented case attracting worldwide attention, Tim Howard, a 26-year-old attorney from Sydney, has accused himself of rape.

Howard said he went to Peter's Bar--a local hangout he frequents several times a week--one evening last month.

"It was an evening like most others," Howard reminisced, visibly pained by the memory. "I was playing pool, having a few drinks--just innocent fun. I remember vaguely now some chap staring at me, and then realizing it was me in the mirror. Later, I slipped a little pill into my beer and went to the toilet, and when I returned, I thought the beer looked a bit blue, or maybe green or red-I'm color blind, so I wasn't sure-but I thought maybe it was St Patrick's day or something."

Experts say a drink turning blue is a clear sign of the presence of Rohypnol, otherwise known as the "date rape drug."

Howard continued, whimpering softly: "Then, out of character, I remember flirting with myself, you know, nothing raunchy, just innocent stuff that everyone does when you have a few drinks. You know, the old, 'so, what's a guy like you doing in a place like this,' touching myself on the knee, giggling flirtatiously, throwing back my hair, that sort of thing. Mate, was I smooth, a real Casanova. I was witty as hell, making myself laugh like there was no tomorrow. We were like that, myself and I, until closing time. Then, in the parking lot, came the moment of truth: a little smooch on the cheek, or my place or my place? Well, we went to my place."

"Now, some people will criticize me, I know, saying I shouldn't have gone back to my place, and yes, I may have dressed a bit scantily, but does that give me any right to take advantage of myself? The fact is, I should have known that 'no' means 'no'; I should have taken 'no' for an answer, it's as simple as that. Well, anyway, next thing I remember, I'm lying on the couch in the morning, dressed. Only thing is, the clothes aren't mine. I'm wearing some silly hat, and my rubber ducky, which I usually keep in my bath, is next to me, looking almost, God, I don't know--satisfied. Then I look around: the place is a mess, furniture turned over-maybe I tried to fight myself off, I don't know--clothes everywhere, empty wine bottles, cigarette butts-I don't even smoke, as far as I know--and I'm bit bruised, and certainly very tender in certain areas." Howard broke down and began to weep before recollecting himself. "Why would anyone do such a thing to oneself? What did I do to deserve that? I'm a good guy, I really am, I don't sleep around-believe me, I wish I could, regularly, but I've just never had much luck with women."

Howard has been accused of sexual assault. If convicted, he faces six years to life in prison or 25 years to life on probation.

Howard's attorney, also himself, says his client is innocent of any wrongdoing.

"It's the ole story, I'm afraid," Howard the attorney said. "It's his word against his, and frankly, who's going to believe him?"

Legal experts agree it's going to be a drawn-out and complicated legal battle.

Howard will have to appear as both the accused and the defendant and represent the defendant.

Already Howard, the attorney, is portraying Howard the accuser as emotionally unsteady and unreliable.

"That's complete rubbish," replied the accused Howard indignantly. "A smear campaign of the worst kind."

He did admit, however, that although the experience has been most traumatic, the hardest part lies elsewhere.

"You know the worst thing?" Howard asked. "It's gonna take a long time to trust myself again."

Copyright © 2004, TheShortStraw


TheShortStraw is intended for use by those age 18 and older. All stories are fictional and satirical and should not in any way be construed as fact. All contents Copyright © 2004, TheShortStraw. All rights reserved.

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