By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Sexual harassment victims speak up at Jaquith's sentencing

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Comments

Pinotbrie

I find all these words interestingly very sad. This same man, Ben Jaquith, has also put his arm around my back, his hand on my rib cage and hugged me. He has also put his hand on my knee or leg, more than once while sitting next to him. I didn’t ask him to touch me either, he just...did. It didn’t cross my mind to report it to police two, three years later as sexual harassment, because I believe Ben is just a kind, gentle and friendly man. He listens and does make people comfortable, not as a predator as some women want you to believe.
He didn’t grab breasts or sexual parts, so why need these incidents be labeled as sexual contacts versus physical contacts?

Personally I think a man’s career, family and life unnecessarily ruined by these females for perhaps their own needed attention. My opinion this was totally unnecessary and a #MeToo, for some, taken too far. Yes, Ben touched me, physically contacted my body with a hug, patted or rubbed my knee. I was 71 and my husband had just died when Ben came to offer solace and his help.

Bufordthe1st

Pinotbrie...I tend to agree. This #MeToo movement has gotten way out of hand. I myself am a "toucher" and I touch men and women alike as a show of interest in what they are saying or when I am trying to offer comfort if they are upset. If I were a man....I might be in trouble for my behavior, as well.

Trafik

A female millennial I know recently made a declaration: a butt-pinch is as bad as a rape. Knowing this young woman well enough to be certain she’s never experienced the latter, I asked her to clarify: does she truly believe a pinch on the posterior is as bad as a violent rape? Yes, she emphatically answered. The two are equal.

I am delighted to see the success of the #MeToo movement because it’s well past time to demand accountability from piggish men who’ve built careers on the abuse of underlings or spent lifetimes in pursuit of their own hedonistic pleasure. The only way for such a movement to succeed is to believe its participants — to extend the benefit of the doubt to those leveling credible allegations. But we must be careful. When we replace the rule of law with the proverbial court of public opinion — when legal adjudication is supplanted by social media-driven mob vengeance — we risk losing true moral justice entirely.

While both acts are inarguably unacceptable, equating a butt-pinch with a rape brings an enormous risk. If a butt-pincher and a rapist are sentenced to identical penalties because their crimes are equally heinous, then both offenders could get decades in prison. While many folks may applaud such a sentence, the other option is for each offender to get 30 days in the county jail, time suspended.

I might be wrong but I suspect I’m not the only one who’d be disturbed by either option. In my mind, one of the two should receive a far greater sentence than the other.

(Disclaimer: For the record, I’ve met neither Ben Jaquith nor his accusers / victims. He was convicted and sentenced and I respect the court’s rulings. I am not weighing in on this case, only addressing a larger concern.)

Sonny

Ummm...I agree that a butt-pinch is not the same as rape, but Jaquith's behavior is definitely sexual misconduct in my opinion (and the court's) and I am glad he is being held accountable. Thank you to the victims for speaking up.

Lulu

What I don't understand is why someone never hauled off and decked him--in a public place--with many other people present.
Although I never met him, he was my insurance agent with an office in Newberg. On the few occasions I attempted to call him, he was never physically present at the agency. Maybe he did business exclusively in bars.

Colty2

Let me get this straight…Mr. Jaquith, a highly visible community member touched near the ribs, put his hand on knee/thigh of adult women who had every right at that moment to push him away, slap him, punch him, report him to the police yet they waited to come forward (up to 3 years in some cases) coincidentally when many famous people were coming forward in the me too movement, and we’ve seen article after article about this.

On the other hand, we have a different adult man (Kody Fischer) who purposely drugged a 15 year old into near overdose and raped her multiple times. This girl experienced profound unwanted sexual contact but since her offender isn’t highly visible in the community, we’ve heard very little about this case. Where’s the support for this girl and the outrage toward this man?!?!

I personally met Mr. Jaquith once at an event where alcohol was served and his behavior was completely respectable and he chose not to drink alcohol because he was going to his child’s sporting event after the social event. I was at a fundraising event on a different occasion with one of his accusers and the behavior of hers that I witnessed I can only describe as flirtatious. It is very understandable how any man could misinterpret the behavior I witnessed.

Did Mr. Jaquith’s actions truly justify ruining his life professionally, financially, socially, etc.? If so, these women should have come forward immediately and not waited until coming forward was socially popular.

Lulu

I'm stating these women should have made a scene in a populated area. His type of sneaky, stealthy behavior relies on the assumption his target will feel too embarrassed to call attention to the situation: "nice girls don't yell." Perpetrators compare to wiggly creatures living in the darkness under a rock--turn over the rock and let the sun shine in.

Megan

Did none of you commenters actually read this article?

"“You called soon after to apologize,” a victim said. “You promised that nothing like this had happened before. You blamed your alcohol use. You promised that you would never again touch a woman without her consent.

“You begged my grace and forgiveness. You swore the incident was an isolated time and that you would repair yourself and your broken relationships. I would give you the chance to discreetly do so.”

Description, in court, and the court's agreement, every one of you would apparently rather believe that Jaquith's repeated behavior was somehow entirely innocent, EVEN THOUGH HE TOLD THIS WOMAN HIMSELF THAT HE RECOGNIZED IT WAS NOT. I am so shocked and disappointed by you all.

Lulu, they did make a scene. This is that scene. Stop trying to tell women that they're using their power incorrectly just because it hurts a man.

Trafik

Unsure how my remark could be interpreted as support for Jaquith unless it wasn't actually read.

Mudstump

Bufordthe1st - "I myself am a "toucher" and I touch men and women alike as a show of interest in what they are saying or when I am trying to offer comfort if they are upset. If I were a man....I might be in trouble for my behavior, as well."

Man or woman...don't touch people unless you're are invited or you have their permission. Offer comfort with words not hands. It's an invasion of personal space that is most likely not welcome.

Mudstump

Trafik - "I might be wrong but I suspect I’m not the only one who’d be disturbed by either option. In my mind, one of the two should receive a far greater sentence than the other."

A butt pinched is a face slapped or a knee to the groin. A woman raped is a long, long prison sentence.

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