The woman who accused Nate Parker of raping her back in 1999, has died. As previously reported, while a student wrestler at Penn State University he and his roommate Jean Celestin (who is also credited as co-writing “The Birth of a Nation”) — were charged with raping a 20-year-old female student. The incident happened in their apartment after a night of drinking. Celestin, was found guilty and sentenced to six months in prison. He later appealed the verdict, and a second trial in 2005 was thrown out due to the victim not wanting to testify again. Parker was acquitted.
The victim passed at the age of 30, in 2012 and according to her brother Johnny, she committed suicide and overdosed on sleeping pills. Her brother says,
She became detached from reality. The progression was very quick and she took her life.
Parker, who recently addressed the controversy, was acquitted in a 2001 trial, but questions about the case persist. Johnny states,
He may have litigated out of any kind of situation. My position is he got off on a technicality.
Her brother says that after the rape, she battled depression. Her death certificate says she suffered from
major depressive disorder with psychotic features, PTSD due to physical and sexual abuse, polysubstance abuse….
If I were to look back at her very short life and point to one moment where I think she changed as a person, it was obviously that point. The trial was pretty tough for her.
He believes that if the trial would have taken place today, the verdict would have been different.
I think by today’s legal standards, a lot has changed with regards to universities and the laws in sexual assault. I feel certain if this were to happen in 2016, the outcome would be different than it was. Courts are a lot stricter about this kind of things. You don’t touch someone who is so intoxicated–period.
His sister left college after the trial and says,
She was trying to find happiness. She moved around frequently and tried to hold a job. She had a boyfriend. She gave birth to a young boy. That brought her a good bit of happiness. I think the ghosts continued to haunt her.
I must admit Penn State has a horrendous record. And Jerry Sandusky is just the tip of the iceberg. The University has a history of protecting [athletes].
On how he now views Parker and Celestin, he says:
His character should be under a microscope because of this incident. If you removed these two people, the project is commendable. But there’s a moral and ethical stance you would expect from someone with regard to this movie.
It’s been 17 years. We certainly as a family forgive them. I don’t know that [the victim] would forgive them. I don’t think that she would.