In the Park Shi Hoo rape investigation, the deluge of information from sources official and unconfirmed have eviscerated the old adage that “no good is good news” when it comes to celebrity scandals. Park Shi Hoo’s attorney has aggressively gone after alleged libel and conspiracy, police and media leaks, and even done its own investigation in this case. The Western Police Department has come off looking inept after a seemingly interminable drag in calling Park Shi Hoo and K in for questioning, and afterwards being the source of internal leaks of information. A has been smeared in public left and right and comes off as dim, shallow, calculating, and confused. Of course, at the center of this media circus remains the core issue – did Park Shi Hoo have non-consensual intercourse with A the night of February 14th. There have been a flurry of news reports last night after the Western Police Department has officially stated that it has completed its investigation and will be handed to the prosecutor as early as April 2nd and no later than April 4th. The police have concluded that there is enough evidence to indict Park Shi Hoo for rape. Their conclusion is based on the questioning of A, Park Shi Hoo, and K, as well as the lie detector tests taken by all three. Park Shi Hoo’s attorney immediately issued a press release after this stunning bombshell statement once again trying to prove A is a liar in other ways – they have apparently obtained more text messages between A and her mom, B, and another man sent after she was allegedly raped. Supposedly these text messages were sent 2 hours before she left Park Shi Hoo’s apartment, and his lawyer claims this contradicts her statement that she was unconscious and woke up at around 1 pm since she left at 2:40 pm. Park Shi Hoo’s lawyer is alleging the police is ignoring this latest evidence in making its decision. But here’s the kicker – the police have officially told the media that Park Shi Hoo and K have indeed failed their lie detector test while A passed.
While the results of lie detector tests are deemed inadmissible in court in many jurisdictions because its inherently unreliable, there is some value in the results as a comparative benchmark. Here the police are not saying their conclusion that Park Shi Hoo raped A was based solely on the results of the lie detector (they are also basing it on the questioning they conducted of all three), they are using it to add to totality of the evidence collected. It’s good to see the police discounting the 95% of junk information out there about alleged conspiracies, friend turning on friend, the sexual history of A, Park Shi Hoo’s fans martyr complex for their perfect actor, and avaricious co-conspirators after the fact. Though the police do not make the prosecutorial decisions and their conclusion will merely be passed on to the prosecutor who will make the decision whether to indict.
I always thought the most compelling evidence made public was the video of an unconscious A being piggybacked into Park Shi Hoo’s apartment (forget her walking out of the restaurant, that was earlier in the night) AND K’s own interview with the news during the latter part of the investigation that A was so drunk she was puking in the elevator and also threw up in Park Shi Hoo’s apartment. K’s account was supposed to bolster his claim that they took A to the apartment because she was not feeling well and it was so close to the restaurant they were at. But it ended up being definitive in my mind that A was so drunk she was sick (in K’s own words), hence all the subsequent allegations that she had consensual sex and decided later to extort Park Shi Hoo not as believable since the probability is low that she had the requisite mental capacity to consent to sex if she was so drunk-sick. She may have wanted a financial settlement from Park Shi Hoo afterwards, but that is not prima facie evidence to refute whether she consented to sex in the first place.
I think this case was from the get go one of those messy he said-she said date rape cases. It’s easier to make a judgement call when its stranger rape, even easier when its a violent case with physical evidence and defensive wounds (think Missing You for dramatic license). But the majority of rape cases are not violent stranger rapes, date rapes or rapes by a familiar person are statistically much higher. In those cases, it really comes down to circumstantial evidence and whether the alleged rape victim consented (or had the requisite mental capacity to consent). Even if Park Shi Hoo is indicted and convicted of rape, there was never a case about him being some sort of rape monster who goes around assaulting women left and right. I’ve always thought it was a case to be viewed on its standalone facts – I don’t know if Park Shi Hoo is a good or bad man, I do think he made a very bad decision on that night to sleep with a very drunk girl and may have to pay the legal and/or financial price for it in the end. Park Shi Hoo fans may believe the worst of A’s character and motivations, but Park Shi Hoo admitted from the very beginning that he liked A and slept with her because they had a man-woman attraction and understanding. I guess the police have enough evidence to show that A may not have agreed to act on any possible attraction that night to have sex.