Here’s a rule of thumb: When someone who is pretty sketchy, kinda scuzzy, utterly ignorant of personal space boundaries and who has an uncontrollable and socially awkward fixation on young, good looking women says, “Just so you know…I’m not a Rapist”… he’s probably a rapist.
Last night during our Conversational ESL class this was one of the conversations I had. There was a young African guy either loitering or waiting for a bus out front of the building. I noticed that every time one of our young, beautiful female ESL students or volunteers entered the building he would take particular interest in them. Eventually he entered the building and asked me what was going on this evening.
I quickly discerned that “Hey, even though this guy has an accent – he speaks English quite well.” This is my first criteria for “why someone really shouldn’t be at ESL and probably has an ulterior motive.” I did my “sniff test” to check his soberity (he was not drinking). I did my regular questioning and physical reaction checks to discern if he was using – he wasn’t.
He was giving me some long story about enrolling at a local college for ESL – but not actually taking any courses and that he was waiting for his wife. Yet, during this 10 minute conversation, every woman who entered the building caused a derailment in his train of thought and he then proceeded to ogle them for as long as he could.
Eventually a very attractive young woman arrived who was interested in volunteering. She was a trained ESL teacher and wanted to know if we needed any help. The second he heard she was a teacher he tried to cozy right up to her and request, “One on One Tutoring”. This naive, sweet thing didn’t realize what was going on and was completely welcoming and almost even gave him her number. I quickly interjected and said that he’d be more than welcome to attend the conversational class and that we could pass on some contact info for “all our tutors” (we don’t have any).
I escorted this young woman downstairs, introduced her around and got her out of ear shot of this dude (which was not as easy as expected). When I could, I told her about my reservations and that she should be very careful. She thanked me but I don’t think really understood the cause for concern. I walked her out of the building (she had to leave) and I proceeded to chat this dude’s ear off while she put some distance between herself and the building.
I could tell he was agitated and wanted to leave. I asked him questions about his wife, his schooling, his home. Eventually he tired of me and abruptly said he had to leave. I gave him a long, firm handshake and told him that I hope to see him next week (kind of a lie). As he looked down the block (in the direction of the woman) he blurted out, “Hey…just so know…I’m not some kind of rapist. I’m mean…really…I’m not a rapist. I’ll show you. You’ll see. Once you get to know me you’ll know I’m not a rapist.”
Now…I never accused him of “rapery” or any other inappropriate sexual conduct and in all my years of dealing with people – defending your character by claiming “you’re not a rapist” is not one of the most common statements to make. I didn’t bother mentioning to him that you cannot prove a “not” statement nor did I acknowledge with him that even though his is currently not raping anyone that doesn’t make him “not a rapist”. Maybe he was a “future rapist”, or a “once upon a time rapist”, or an “aspiring rapist”.
Personally, I found it interesting how many of our volunteers didn’t get the same bad voodoo from this guy. I know that I’m the “expert” in street activity and in this neighbourhood. I know that I’m generally more skeptical about people and have a very sensitive bullshit metre…but come on!! This dude was practically pulling his dick out at the ladies and not a single one of them noticed. When one of our more attractive volunteers said that she’d didn’t know who I was talking about – despite chatting with me less than 2 feet away from the guy – all I could say was, “Well…he really noticed you and he liked what he saw. Let’s be more aware next week.”
Updated: I spoke with the volunteer in this story. She arrived home safely and didn’t have any additional encounters with the dude.
Updated 2: The following week – the “not rapist” showed up again looking for tutoring. The volunteer was not here. The rapist left early. He continues to be a “not rapist” as he didn’t actually rape anyone that evening.”