Sunday, August 3, 2008

Another Raw Deal?

Earlier this week a Boca Raton woman sued two University of Florida fraternity brothers for secretly videotaping a sexual encounter she had with one of them. The complaint alleges that fraternity brothers Ben Farias and Kyle Kraft conspired to videotape the encounter without her consent when she went to Farias's room at the fraternity house and engaged in "consensual sexual foreplay and were in a state of complete undress." The complaint is brought on the grounds of invasion of privacy, fraud, and negligence.

Another case of oversexed and entrepeneuring fraternity brothers, right? Not so fast.

You may recall the story of Lisa G, the exotic dancer who claimed rape at a 1999 Delta Chi fraternity party. The nights events were chronicled in Cocaine Cowboys director Billy Corben's Raw Deal: A Question of Consent which shows a lot of the events surrounding the time Lisa G was back at the fraternity house through the two home videos made by the fraternity members. Police relied on the two tapes in reaching their determination that the sexual encounter was consentual and not worthy of a criminal charge.

Perhaps Farias and Kraft had learned from their Delta Chi predecessors and the video tapes were intended to be used to rebut bogus rape allegations like those above. Under such a scenario, the tapes would help Farias disprove any claims that the sexual encounter was not cosentual and would not be intended for release to third parties. Such an argument, if supported by the appropriate factual evidence, could help the fraternity brothers defend forthcoming claims for punitive damages. Used properly, this theory could help negate the plaintiff's likely claim that Farias and Kraft acted maliciously and as such she is entitled to recovery of punitive damages.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Benjamin Gomez-Farias, as he goes by now, is an attorney in Austin with Kemp Smith. I guess Texas will give a license to someone convicted of Video Voyerism and Kemp Smith will hire them.

Anonymous said...

He was "let go" by Kemp Smith but has been hired by a startup Educational Software company, Atlas Learning, Inc., as General Counsel! So he was convicted for video voyeurism in Florida, considered a Sexual Offender in that state, yet in Texas he his hired to oversee K-12 kids!! Wow...Texas.