As yet another college semester begins, one less rapist will be returning to St. Louis University – but only for one semester.
At a Take Back the Night event on SLU campus this past Spring, 30 or more people marched through SLU’s campus carrying banners which read “Touch me and I’ll fucking Kill you” and “Rapists: Out of our Schools, Out of our Lives,” accompanied by music blasting to match their rage. This march was in part a response to a serial rapist, Josh Pucheta, being found ‘not guilty’ by the Review Board on campus, and thus folx marched to the rapists fraternity house where eggs were said to have been thrown and some complicit fratboys were confronted. Later, there were sightings of stickers with a photo of Pucheta posted around campus with a link to joshpuchetaisarapist.noblogs.com, as well as a report of some graffiti on the side of the frathouse that said ‘Rape happens here”.
Several weeks after the march, the Review Board found Josh Pucheta guilty of rape when yet another woman reported an incident, and they suspended him for one semester. SLU maintains a culture of silence around sexual assault on every front, one way being that survivors have to sign a confidentiality agreement and not speak of the event or the outcome. Pucheta’s record will show that he was suspended, but not why.
The more commonly accepted norm in this culture is that women’s bodies are here for the taking. We are surrounded at every moment by the potential violence of sexual predators that aren’t necessarily hiding in dark alleys but are among us at a fancy bar having drinks or at a party on campus. But we will not be silent, even as society’s discourse seeks to normalize and quiet this violence used against us. When sexual assault and rape occur in our ever-widening circles of friends, we will respond, and we will continue to make this city as unlivable as possible for rapists and those who defend them.
So be on the lookout because you could be seeing Pucheta again in the Spring.
Here is a flier that circulated before the march.
The same content can also be viewed here.