CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to reintroduce to you, #WhitePrivilege. For those that have not made its acquaintance, it is the lack of fair punishing of people without color for the same offenses committed by those of color. It is the double standard by which the biased judicial system operates. It is the utter contempt of true fairness and equality. It is the preservation of all that is white. Its most recent manifestation is in Stephen Dalton Baril, the grandson of ex-Virginia governor, John Dalton.
If there ever were a time for #TimesUp, this would be it. Baril is accused of raping a fellow University of Virginia student. Baril was initially charged with felony rape and felony sodomy but had the charges reduced Friday to misdemeanor sexual battery and felony unlawful wounding as part of his Alford plea. The conditions of the plea acknowledges sufficient evidence to secure a guilty conviction without admitting guilt.
Simply put, Master Baril committed a crime, got caught committing the crime, and acknowledges that a crime was committed BUT is still able to avoid taking the blame. Furthermore, the prosecution KNEW they could secure a conviction with a trial by jury BUT chose to offer Baril a plea deal instead. Interestingly enough, prosecutors tend to avoid taking a case to trial if they don’t think they can win it but here was an open and shut case but Baril walks away with a slap on the wrist.
According to KDVR Fox 31, Judge Humes J. Franklin sentenced the 21-year-old grandson to five years’ supervised probation. The judge accepted and agreed with the plea agreement citing the discontent of both parties. In the eyes of the law, or Judge Franklin, the agreement was fair.
The victim condemned the former UVA student’s action claiming the last year and half was “hell”. She only accepted the terms of the plea deal to avoid having to relive the trauma after rebuilding her life over the last 17 months.
“You raped me whether you want to hear it or not,” she said. “You robbed me of feeling safe in a city I called my home.”
Baril’s attorney, Rhonda Quagliana, felt confident about beating the case in court but opted to go with the plea deal. She felt the 10-year minimum sentence if convicted was too big a risk to take and settled on the supervised probation.
“It is hard to predict and in the face of even the possibility he could have been convicted, he chose to enter an Alford plea,” said Quagliana.
In 20 years Baril will be in good company with Donald Trump, Roy Moore, and a host of other Republicans posturing about what’s right while in the shadows doing what’s wrong. Some of the biggest hypocrite professions start with the letter “P”. For example you have politician, pastor, and police officer. Stephen Dalton Baril is already meeting the requirements of being a politician.
Ladies and gentlemen, that is your #WhitePrivilege.