Friday, November 2, 2012

Angie Epifano's account does not ring true.

Recently, there has been a furor regarding the account of one Angie Epifano's rape by an acquaintance in a dorm room at Amherst College. The account is heartfelt and harrowing describing the trauma she endured at the hands of a heartless Amherst College administration, thus victimizing her a second time, sending her off to the Cooley-Dickinson psychiatric ward and refusing to discipline her alleged rapist later on. She found herself with no recourse but to leave Amherst.

Her account can be found here at the Amherst Student website.

Too bad her account is false.

I'm not saying she wasn't raped at all, but the account she tells in the Amherst Student is demonstrably false, killing any credibility she may have had.

I know I will be given a lot of grief from all quarters about the patriarchy, rape culture, slut shaming and victim blaming. But the fact of the matter is her story contains many untruths and inconsistencies that make me think she is an attention seeking drama queen, not a real victim of rape.

James Herms of the MIT Crime Club was the first one to question her account with the biggest lie of all. She states in her account multiple times that she has no parents. But Mr. Herms had the wherewithal to actually check on that. It turns out that of 2010 at least, her parents were very much alive. In 2010, the Florida Times Union reported that Miss Angie Epifano received an art scholarship and was planning on attending Amherst. Also mentioned was the presence of her parents, Anthony and Angela Epifano, and sister, Anna.

What I did not find was an obituary for either parent when I did a quick online search.

She also asserts that she was poor, growing up South, enduring "seventeen harrowing years of emotional abuse in my backwoods home".

But as James Herms found out, Anthony Epifano was a colonel in the USAF and the Epifano family, like most military families, moved from station to station. As her father was a colonel in the USAF, she was far from poor. Even the retirement pay for a colonel is pretty generous.

And far from being in the same backwoods home for 17 years, an online search shows that Ms. Epifano has lived in Vienna, VA (outside D.C.), St. Petersburg, FL., San Antonio, TX., and in the Jacksonville, FL area. None of those locations count as backwoods.

James Herms' comment can be found in the response thread. However not a single answer to his questions have been given.

As for my part, I noticed that the date of her alleged rape, May 25th, 2011, was very late in the spring semester. She claims to have been raped in Crossett Dormitory however the dorms should have been vacated and closed by then. It may be the case that either she or her alleged attacker and his roommates all received extensions, but I find it unlikely. The dorms are supposed to be vacated soon after commencement. In 2011, Amherst College commencement was held on the 22nd of May. Her alleged rape happened a full three days after commencement and when the dorms should have been closed. Neither she nor her alleged attacker were graduating seniors. Neither of them should have been in the dorms. 

In reading the account, I am struck by how little she writes about the actual rape itself. While I could be accused of prurient interest, the story needs more details about the rape. Her account seems more like a vague recounting meant to set up her later story about how Amherst College failed her. It is possible that was her point, but I have my doubts.

Finally, she doesn't name anyone. Not a single person who has wronged her was named. It could be in the interest of avoiding a charge of libel and/or slander, but one would think at least one person would be named.

Aside form the actual rape, the details of her account can be easily verified. Was she or her alleged rapist actually in the dorms that late in the semester? Are her parents actually dead? Is there a police record of her being taken to Cooley-Dickinson? Is there an admittance record for her there? Is there anyone who can actually corroborate her story? 

But the biggest question of all is why did no one bother to check her story?