I met Chris through a mutual acquaintance. We met on a night out and hit it off.  Chris and I went on a few dates, he would take me to fancy restaurants I hadn’t heard of and ordered bottles of wine I couldn’t afford.

The first time Chris crossed the line was when we were in a car going home after a night out, he tried to stick his fingers in me while two friends were inches away. He had a hard time taking no for an answer, and even then got further than I wanted him to.  The next time he crossed the line was at his home. He had picked me up for a date, mind you this was before Uber, and when I was ready to go he refused to take me home, demanding I stay the night. I had to plead with him to let me leave for over an hour, which he eventually did. I didn’t speak to him the entire way home, he spent the drive begging me to forgive him. I didn’t. That was the last time I intentionally was around him. I ran into him at a party once a few months later, I didn’t speak to him, he left angry.

The next time I saw him was while I was out with friends on the night before Thanksgiving. We walked into a packed bar, the acquaintance who initially introduced Chris and me was coincidentally there as well. I gave him a small wave. He gestured to Chris who I hadn’t seen until that moment, but I pretended not to notice and kept walking.

My girlfriends and I went upstairs and hung out there for a while. When I came down the stairs to use the bathroom I felt Chris before I saw him.  He grabbed my arm before my foot made it to the bottom of the stairs and pulled me outside. The rush of cold air alerted me that this wasn’t a dream. Immediately he pulled me around the corner, and immediately I started kicking and screaming. He wasn’t bothered one bit, just threw me over his shoulders and into the first hidden spot he saw. It was a tiny space, just a walkway between two houses. He pushed me against the brick wall, telling me he enjoyed the sounds I was making, those sounds being cries for him to stop.  At some point he threw me on the ground and continued raping me. By dumb luck a drunk guy stopped to pee, not yet having seen us. Chris hesitated for just a moment, and I ran.

I took him to court, which extended my nightmare into months of headache and horror, but the jury didn’t want to believe a clean-cut white boy could do such a horrendous thing. They decided that in about ten minutes.  

What he did was not an act of sex, but a crime of hatred and violence.