Patience Perez is a sexual predator.

Over the course of one month, the 24-year-old high school security guard at Virginia’s Renaissance Academy abused her position of trust to inappropriately engage a 15-year-old boy in the halls. She flirted with him, supplied him with alcohol and marijuana. And eventually, she repeatedly raped him.

Perez carried out her crimes at her home — while her husband, a sailor, was away — and at the boy’s home while his mother was at work. She told him that her husband was abusive and that she wanted him dead. She allegedly hinted that he could be the one the save her.

If not for finding nude pictures of Perez on her son’s phone, the sexual assaults would undoubtedly have continued — and a 15-year-old boy may very well be on trial for murder. Instead, his humanity is being tried in a court of public opinion while Perez walks off into the sunset with her husband and a slap on the wrist from the judge.

Two years in prison, with all but seven months suspended, is the price that Perez will have to pay for raping a young boy under the influence of drugs and alcohol. And during those seven months, she is allowed to remain free as long as she undergoes counseling.

The boy, whose face is plastered all over the news yet desires to remain unnamed, told WTKR’s Jessica Larche that his life has been “ruined” by Perez and that though he isn’t physically hurt, “mentally it’s hurt me a lot.”

“She saw me in the middle of the hallway and gave me her number and her email,” he said.

“Like any other teenager, you would think that you’re the man. You got this older female that’s giving you her contact information. Initially it was supposed to like the thing where, we just like, have sex and then like that’s it. But then it turned into something much more. It turned into a relationship,” he said.

He continued: “If it was a dude, if it was an older man and a younger female about my age, that dude would be locked up for rest of his life,” the boy said. “This has basically like ruined me.”

Ruined.

Yet the media doesn’t report it that way. WTKR’s headline states that he was “seduced.” No. The age of consent in Virginia is 18. He wasn’t seduced; he was raped. His mother says the court’s leniency with her son’s rapist is like “an arrow” through her heart and has started a petition to push for stiffer laws in cases like these. But she is facing an uphill battle.

Cases where boys are sexually assaulted are often mocked, their trauma diminished. How can a boy be raped, people scoff. Teen boys are “horny” and this boy, as so many before him, should be bragging that an older woman found them irresistible.

But rape has never been about seduction. It has always been and will always be about power. That’s how male privilege, traditional masculinity norms and rape culture interweave to create an environment where girls can be raped, but boys can only be seduced. These flawed expectations teach men that they can never be victimized by women — which is why this boy, a rape victim, calls his assault a “relationship” while still saying that it caused him pain.

Men are supposed to be too powerful and sexually dominant to ever be raped. Why? Because rape is something that happens to women, according to society. And even then, while many would protest Perez’s light sentence and the way the story is framed, still others would label the victim a “fast-tail girl” who probably asked for it.

The comment sections are overflowing with statements questioning the boy’s character and the authenticity of his despair, even though the research on male sexual assault victims, who account for 10 percent of all cases, is clear:

“Sense of self and concept of ‘reality’ are disrupted.”

“Psychological outcomes can be severe for men because men are socialized to believe that they are immune to sexual assault and because societal reactions to these assaults can be more isolating.”

In other words, their lives can be “ruined.”

Even more troubling, according to a 2008 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance report published by the CDC, 4.5 percent of high-school boys reported being physically forced to have sexual intercourse. Unsurprisingly, Black and Hispanic boys reported much higher rates of forced sex than white boys. Only 3.2 percent of white boys reported forced sexual intercourse, compared to 6.1 percent of Black boys and 5.4 percent of Hispanic boys.

While the racial disparities are considered by some to be “unexplainable,” the devaluation of Black male life in the United States is nothing new. They have throughout history been seen as bucks-in-training. To the court that wiped Perez’s white tears for her before granting her freedom, this boy was Bigger Thomas and she was Mary Dalton, probably lucky to escape with her life. He meant nothing to the court. His pain means nothing.

Even after being repeatedly and unapologetically violated by someone in a position of trust and authority, this system built solely to protect and perpetuate white supremacy did what it does best.

We must start protecting our boys. We chastise, blame, arrest and murder the damaged men they often become, but these men were once children. They were boy children who were beaten, ignored, manipulated. Raped. They were boys like Chris Brown, also from Virginia, who boasted about losing his virginity at the age of 8 as if it made him a better man.

Brown, like this boy, normalized his experience in the context of male privilege. Brown, like this boy, is known to have anger and depression issues. Yet, by the standards society trains them to follow, neither of them consider their “relationships” to be rape even as they admit, through word or deed, to residual trauma that continues to affect their lives.

Having a broader conversation about rape culture that takes Black boys into account is necessary and it is long overdue. Starting now.

 

XOJane

This post originally appeared on XOJane. Republished with permission.Click here for more  on XOJane!

Tags: , ,
Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter
  • Medusa

    I 100000000000% agree- I just wrote about this same thing on my blog last week. But I’m not sure I agree with, or maybe I’m misunderstanding this:

    Unsurprisingly, Black and Hispanic boys reported much higher rates of forced sex than white boys. Only 3.2 percent of white boys reported forced sexual intercourse, compared to 6.1 percent of Black boys and 5.4 percent of Hispanic boys.

    While the racial disparities are considered by some to be “unexplainable,” the devaluation of Black male life in the United States is nothing new.

    I completely agree that the devaluation of non-white people in the US is par for the course, but I think that devaluation is something that white people created, cosign, and perpetuate; while the majority of sexual assaults are intraracial. Is it possible that the disproportionate rape of minority boys is due to something other than the devaluation of black male life? Please let me know if I’m misunderstanding this, or if I’m way off base- but I don’t think that the people who are guilty of devaluing black male humanity in America are the women like Perez- I think she’s just a predatory sociopath.

    • Me

      I think it is. If we go back to slavery, the myth of the big black buck. Black men have big d*cks and like animals, always ready to do it. A black boy having sex at a young age is to be expected so no big deal. And men of color, black and latin alike, have this false sense of machismo that tells them that it is okay for a boy to have sex with a women when it clearly is not.

  • Kenan

    Here’s how I feel about topics like this.

    I HATE WHEN WOMEN THINK THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO TELL MEN/BOYS HOW WE SHOULD FEEL ABOUT INSTANCES LIKE THIS!!

    I know plenty of boys his age who were knocking down 25+ women who are totally fine. I also know boys his age who were knocking down 25+ women who are messed up in the head. We have to acknowledge that nothing in this world is really black/white. Of course legally any adult having sex with a minor is a rapist but do we not respect boys enough to allow them to tell us how they feel and RESPECT whatever emotions they have.

    If a 15 year old boy is having sex with an adult woman and he says he wasn’t raped and doesn’t feel like it’s rape, WHO AM I TO JUDGE?? If a High school freshmen is 13 and he’s having sex with a senior who’s 18 and he doesn’t believe or feel it’s rape then what gives women the right to force upon him that he was raped. Women have to realize when you do this it’s the same thing as men telling woman that they have no licensee over there bodies. Men and women are the same yet totally different. So please, allow us men to express how we feel and have this conversation amongst ourselves the same way women have asked us to not have an opinion about what you guys go through.

    In this young man’s case. He says it was an inappropriate relationship and I hope he gets all the counseling and therapy he needs to grow from this.

    • Anthony

      Minors do not get to make those sorts of decisions. I’m sure there are 15 year old girls who have fun with adult men too, but children do not have the legal right to enter into sexual relations, especially with adults!

    • Kenan

      Once again your missing the point. I live in New York City where the legal age of consent is actually 17. If a 15 year old male is having sex with a 17 year old in high school. If he feels it’s not rape what gives you the right to say other wise? Now legally yea she raped him but we all know that many legal laws don’t actually help with societal situations. Plus I’m not even disagreeing with your comment because it’s irrelevant to my point. I’m saying lets not act like 15 year old boys OR girls are the same as 9 and 10 year olds. If we really want to “have this conversation” we have to be able to listen to 15 year old boys when they say it wasn’t rape even if we feel otherwise.

    • Anthony

      I did not miss the point. The kid’s opinion does not matter, he does not legally have the right to make a decision about his body when it comes to sex. Trust me, a long time ago, I was a teenager, and I would have sworn I was the luckiest boy in the world if I were nailing a grown woman, especially if she were cute. As a grown man with children himself, I see the logic behind age consent laws much more clearly. Kids’ sex organs mature a good decade before they have the maturity to handle the impact of using them.

    • Kenan

      But your comment is my point. YOU feel that way. Your not every boy in the world. We’re all different. I have uncles that felt lucky then when it was happening and have no regrets or shame now that they’re 40+. The law is the law but the law doesn’t govern us as individuals. Perfect example. The age of consent is 14 in germany

    • Anthony

      I acknowledge that a boy may be very happy about sleeping with a grown woman. I don’t care about his feelings. I support the law. I think adults should leave kids alone. The case in this article is a good example why. Perez did not need a 15 year old penis, she needed counseling and a psychiatrist. The boy needed to develop relationships with his peers. We men need to stop being blinded by the notion of getting laid as if twenty or thirty minutes of humping cures all ills.

      The bottom line is that there are age limits for consent. They vary, but most societies have them. The argument that the person who is underage enjoys it should not matter because if adults are acting like adults and treating children like children, sex with minors will not be an issue.

    • Me

      I see what you are saying but if a 15 year old girl has sex with a 24 year old man it’s rape. Why have different rules for women? I also think that when an older woman has sex with a younger boy, she takes something from him. He’s not allowed to have that first love. He’s thinking about getting p*ssy and that’s what women become. Every guy I know who had sex at a young age with an older woman has had messed up relationships. It’s like they don’t have respect for women. And in case you couldn’t tell, I’m a woman.

  • Great article, you’re definitely correct. And I’m even embarrassed to say that when I hear cases like this, I don’t get as up in arms as I do when it’s about a young girl being raped. It’s hard for my to understand what the young man might be going through, I does seem like it wouldn’t affect him as much. But again, that’s what’s been ingrained in us, so I need to change my perspective.

  • As I see it

    Fine, I agree with you. However, the rates that women and girls are raped throughout the world in places like Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and America are alarming and cannot compare to the statistics of rape of women. Right now in the Middle East, some child is being sold to a grown men and being raped. I sympathize with men who suffer rape but let’s not forget the plague that is violence against women globally. I am a victim of abuse myself and I just want to say, I did the work with much less than Chris Brown to make sure I am a good person to people around me. He is a millionaire and never took a moment to get help and instead acted cocky. Also the black community tends to support people like Chris Brown and R Kelly for their bad behavior. I have no sympathy for Chris Brown. I have more sympathy for Tyrone around the corner who has no job, no resources and is trying to be a better man. Chris Brown”: please.

    • Anthony

      8 year old Chris Brown was as innocent as any girl being sold in a backwards country today. Brown was male and grew up to act out in ways associated with men, but his victim status as a child was no less than that of any girl who did not have the fortune to grow up to have his wealth.

      That said, I think it is dangerous to assume that money and fame translates into having an easier life.