Nate Parker Addresses College Rape Charges
Birth Of A Nation’s Nate Parker sat down with Variety and addressed some really sensitive questions regarding a rape allegation he faced in college. The interesting part of it is that his writing partner on the film was also his college roommate and also charged but convicted of rape. Nate was a little luckier, we guess. Yikes!
In 1999, as a student and wrestler at Penn State University, Parker and his roommate Jean Celestin were charged with raping a 20-year-old female student in their apartment after a night of drinking.
“Seventeen years ago, I experienced a very painful moment in my life,” Parker told Variety. “It resulted in it being litigated. I was cleared of it. That’s that. Seventeen years later, I’m a filmmaker. I have a family. I have five beautiful daughters. I have a lovely wife. I get it. The reality is” — he took a long silence — “I can’t relive 17 years ago. All I can do is be the best man I can be now.”
Are you satisfied with his explanation?
Here’s more details:
At the time, Parker admitted he had sex but claimed it was consensual. The woman said that she was unconscious, and did not consent to having sex with Parker or Celestin. She also claimed that she was stalked and harassed by Parker and Celestin after she reported the incident to the police.
Parker was suspended from the wrestling team, and later transferred to a different college in Oklahoma. In a 2001 trial, he was acquitted, based on testimony that he had previously had consensual sexual relations with his accuser. But his roommate was found guilty and sentenced to six months in prison. Celestin appealed the verdict, and a second trial in 2005 was thrown out due to the victim not wanting to testify again. (She sued the university and was awarded a $17,500 settlement out of court.)
Sounds SUPER messy and reminds us of another high profile rape case currently in the news.
SMH @ the irony of a wrestler being accused of tag teaming a woman BUT we do think the fact that Parker was an athlete may have played a role in how this whole thing played out.
The question is — how does this change (or not change) how we look at him now? People can change and 17 years is quite some time but time hasn’t made that much difference when it comes to the crimes allegedly committed by Woody Allen and Roman Polanski, or even R.Kelly. Granted the victims in those cases were children.
Do you think Parker has already paid dearly enough for this incident or should he still have to answer for it?
Interesting that he mentions being a father to five daughters now.