Dear PoPville – Publicly Shaming an Alleged Rapist?


“Dear PoPville,

Discovered this photo at 18/Columbia (on that large four sided community board).

Photos were plastered all over each four sides.”

Has anyone else seen these posters? If so, where? I did a google search on the name but didn’t come up with anything. Has anyone ever seen other posters like this?

69 Comment

  • if they knew who posted the photos could this be a potential defamation lawsuit?

    • Or maybe they could catch a rapist?

      • assuming this is the truth and not a vindictive effort…

      • ah

        If you see this man, shoot him!

      • this definitely isn’t the way of going about it.

      • Yes to both, depending on the truth of the allegations

      • You want to catch a rapist? Go to the police. Vigilantism is not acceptable in a civilized society.

        • You’re assuming that the police actually care enough to build a case. Most times they treat rape survivors horribly and are extremely unhelpful in pursuing prosecution.

          • Right– I’m guessing the victim, if this actually happened, has already tried the police route without success.

          • Preach! I work with victims of rape every day for work, we’ve had pregnant clients miscarry from their attacks or be unable to have children because of the damage done to their bodies and police/prosecutors still don’t give half a care. Very very few even make it to court. I feel bad, if this is a genuine thing that woman is probably desperate and out of options for justice.

      • +5000. I love how so many of the comments assume that the alleged rapist is the innocent in this equation. Like so many women have the time, inclination or energy to plaster the city with posters of men who have done nothing wrong to them.

        • +10,000 for presuming the victim is a woman after lecturing others about not presuming.


        • ah

          I think people are operating from (a) a presumption of innocence we afford all criminal defendants and (b) a presumption that the criminal justice system is superior to the vigilante justice system.

    • something tells me they know who posted the photos

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Another reader writes in saying they saw a number of these on U Street.

  • if you want to see if they were charged with anything in dc, you can look at

    But I agree this is super risky to whoever posted it–
    a) potential libel suit
    b) making a[n alleged] rapist mad at you

  • Mob justice at its worst. We have no idea if this guy actually is a rapist or not, but they are making him a possible target of violence. We have police and courts for a reason.

  • Saw these plastered near 11th & R as well

  • Alleged is the key word here

  • I think I saw this episode of L & O: SVU.

  • Wow, that is crazy – sounds like they are all over the city. If the allegation(s) are true, I would be very nervous. If not, I would be on the phone with the police and a good lawyer ASAP.

  • My guess is it’s some kind of viral marketing campaign

  • What’s the goal?
    If the police and judicial system have not been able to catch him, what will be achieved by this posters?
    Is the goal to shame the alleged rapist into leaving town, or confessing to a crime?
    Is the goal to incite random acts of violence against the alleged rapist?
    Is the goal to cause the police to re-examine the case?
    Is the goal to prove that he is a rapist?
    Seriously – what it the point?

  • If I had to guess, I would bet that a person accused the person of rape and either the evidence wasn’t there or the person got off and now they’re resorting to printing these out.

  • who copied the burn book again? probably calls him a fugly slut too.

  • Maybe it’s a psychology experiment to see whether this kind of poster would even get noticed in an urban environment.
    I lean toward the viral marketing campaign explanation. If google searching the name comes up with nothing at all, I’m thinking this is fictional.

  • Interesting that on the Dog attack thread, many people advocated public shaming for the dog owner… but public shaming a rapist… different reaction.

    Just an interesting thing that popped into my head reading the 2 different threads.

    • maybe the difference is that one is being accused of being a rapist, and the other one is being publicly accused of being bad at owning a dog?

      • 2 accusations are made online.
        One event was presumably submitted by the person involved in the act, one was a photo presumably submitted by a person not involved in the act.
        A dog attacking people is immediately believed and public shame should befall the owner for failure to stop the dog.
        A man raping someone is not immediately believed and people question the public shaming.

        That is interesting to me.

        • The charge of rape is much more serious than the charge of failing to properly restrain one’s dogs — I think that’s why people are reluctant to immediately believe an anonymous flyer with no details.
          The dog attack also had multiple witnesses. Rape, by its nature, generally does not have witnesses.
          The OP in the case of the dog attack had already consulted the relevant authorities (Animal Control) and wasn’t getting anywhere — that’s why (s)he contacted PoPville. It’s entirely possible that the person who posted the flyers reported a rape to MPD, but the flyers provide no context.
          I suspect the reaction might be more sympathetic — although the flyers themselves would be less attention-grabbing — if they described when, how, and where the rape took place; when it was reported (if indeed it was reported); how MPD treated the report etc.; etc.

          • So I have tried replyng to you and well…. my replies never stay.

            All I meant by this was that I found the different reactions interesting.

    • The dog attack was witnessed several times by several people. The rape was not.
      This could be retaliation for an actual crime, or an act of vengeance by a spurned lover. Either way, I find it chilling and the person posting deserves punishment.

      • Woah. I find you response far more chilling. Your assumption of a spurned lover seems entirely incorrect.

  • I know the folks who made these flyers. It is not an art project or a marketing stunt. The flyer maker has said that they are aware of multiple women the person has raped. The person on the flyer also knows the maker of the flyer.

    I know nothing of the allegations, but the flyer has been floating around facebook since the weekend along with a few paragraphs explaining the motivation.

  • People are more afraid of lawsuits and how that will effect them or the man on the flyer than the women who have been raped???? And you all wonder why this is on the streets and not sitting next to the other thousands of untested rape kits in DC. Women are no protected by the police or by society, at least these folks are brave enough to warn others and to send a message to the rapist. Fucking cowards hide from attorneys, a community stand together. Which side are you on?

  • If your daughter or wife was raped would you be more concerned about getting sued or doing whatever needs to be done to stop the monster from doing it to anyone else? People need to be more aware of how often this sort of thing happens and the community needs to stop turning a bling eye to this kind of behavior.

    • clevelanddave

      You know in a different time and place (and often race) this leads to a hanging tree. Or a stoning. Or a cut to the forehead with an A or an R on it. It isn’t an exaggeration. It starts with someone saying they’ve been raped by someone. Then someone like a parent or a sibling says to others that some person raped my daughter/mother/sister/friend/wife/other. Often the accused is someone with a mixed or bad reputation. Then friends and family of the victim get a group together, go to the persons house, drag them out and see that “justice” is done. Today, here, in this country, if you’ve been raped, go to the police. Go to the press. Sue the person. Don’t start putting up flyers calling someone a rapist. Yea, be concerned for the victim, but this kind of vigilatism does not serve the interest of a civil society at large and frankly, that trumps the accusations of the accuser, even if true. What other standard could you use in society without having anarchy and mob rule?

      • Innocent people in the UK (and other countries) have been murdered by vigilante mobs because they were falsely identified as pedophiles. This is never a good idea.

        • clevelanddave

          Innocent people in the United States have been murdered by vigilante mobs that have been falsely identified as rapists, pedophiles and other similar crimes. You don’t need to go to the UK or elsewhere to find examples.

    • You don’t really read much do you? The whole concept of “innocent until proven guilty” doesn’t register?

      • Rapists are almost never convicted. Read about it sometime.

      • You’re operating under the presumption that the legal system actually works in this country for all people. Newsflash: it doesn’t.
        The U.S. legal system works well at only a few things: (1.) enforcing contracts and other corporate matters, (2.) systematically putting minorities and other socially “undesireables” in jail, (3.) acting as a “jobs program” for white people with only a high school degree or a law degree, and (4.) providing a launching pad for political careers.
        If it’s not a slam dunk case, a prosecutor isn’t interested in it. If professionals working in the “legal system” can’t make money off of it, no one is interested.
        I can’t blame the victim for going to these lengths. Strength to him or her.

        • clevelanddave

          Ok, so your solution is that this is the way all crimes should be treated? I agree the justice system is far, far from perfect, but your way would result in anarchy, mob rule and an end to democracy and civilization as we know it. Sounds like an exaggeration, but it really is where your “solution” leads.

  • For anyone reading this post that needs resources, please call the Network for Victim Recovery of DC for advocacy and legal assistance or DCRCC for 24/7 support.

    Network for Victim Recovery of DC
    (202) 742-1720

    DC Rape Crisis Center
    (202) 333-7273

  • The comments here are a great example of the reason so many women don’t feel like they should tell anyone when they have been assaulted. If you want to continue the cycle of women being raped and doing nothing about it until years later when they simply can’t take keeping it to themselves any longer then you are on the right track.

    Seems to me that the person(s) who posted this bulletin were trying to do what they could to actually stop a rapist from continuing to stalk the DC community. Is that really such a bad thing to do?

  • I’m trying to figure out what this has to do with Adams Morgan? Doesn’t appear to have a connection. If these posters were seen all over the city, why is this placed under Adams Morgan?

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