It all started during the night of October 15th, 2016, in Québec city, Canada. Two young black men intruded in a student housing facility, knocked on doors, and allegedly sexually assaulted a few female students. The sexual behaviors were never specified, so we can only speculate about what happened. A week later, the severity of the behaviors has still not been specified (so far, there is only one count of home invasion in court). Considering that there has been at least 15 complaints within a few minutes, it was most likely milder forms of assault.
The absence of details of the ding-dong-ditch incident did not prevent the media from interpreting the event as unambiguous proof that women face daily violence, turning anecdote into politics. Rather than discussing the violence of “urban youth,” the media initiated nationwide discussions about rape and consent. Ministers made promises for new policies. Security guards were placed on the facility. The university rector was blamed for everything and booed. The local media published updates every few hours for a week. Victims were called survivors.
The atmosphere of moral panic about the security of women in society led a university student, Alice Paquet, to speak in front of more than 500 people who gathered in solidarity with the “survivors.” She claimed to have been raped by a liberal politician, Gerry Sklavounos. At the time, Paquet did not reveal who the liberal politician was, so she might not have expected to be held accountable for this accusation.
She said that she already went to the police, but they advised her against legal action, because it would ruin the man, his family, and his career. She said it was so violent that she needed stitches. “On vous croit! On vous croit” (We believe you!) shouted the crowd, which subsequently became a feminist rallying cry.
Within a few hours, politicians of the opposition jumped on the bandwagon to shame Sklavounos and the liberal party. Leaders of the Québec Solidaire party (a feminist woman, a muslim, and a lesbian with her iconic moustache) immediately demanded the resignation of Sklavounos “as a gesture of respect towards women and men [sic!] of [his district]”. An MP from Coalition Avenir Québec also suggested that the alleged perpetrator be removed from the caucus by the prime minister himself. The newly elected leader of the Parti Québécois claimed that the prime minister should be held accountable. Sklavounos was subsequently expelled from the Parti Libéral du Québec. This happened within a day, before the police could even get into the investigation.
The victim, Alice Paquet, then began being interviewed by multiple broadcasters. Her inconsistencies and statement withdrawals tore her credibility to shreds. Not only that, but to this day, after a week of being everywhere on TV and radio, she still has not met police investigators.
Paquet retracted the statement that the police told her to drop the charges. On Radio-Canada, she explained that what she meant was that they asked her if she clearly said “no”… which she did not. After, the police was accused of neglect and many people demanded an internal investigation, the police made a public statement in which they said that on the contrary, they have tried to reach Paquet multiple times to resume the legal process, but she never replied to their calls. Whoops. Looks like she lied. Shortly after the withdrew the claim that she needed stitches after the alleged rape.
Perhaps the most significant strike to her credibility occurred when she admitted to having borderline personality disorder. Girls with a borderline personality are famously known for making false rape allegations. It has also been documented that borderline girls are “especially likely to misinterpret or misremember social interactions, to lie manipulatively and convincingly, and to have voluntarily entered destructive sexual relationships.” More generally, borderline personality disorder is strongly linked to pathological lying.
Then, we were told more about the story. She was working as a waitress in a restaurant. She was instructed to treat Sklavounos well, and that he was a womanizer. Despite that, after a heated discussion about politics, she went to his room to “discuss politics” in more depth, and to have drinks. They were kissing and everything, “but foreplay is not a contract for sex.” Remember earlier when I said that she never said “no” either. Pretty hard to tell you’re raping someone when she is kissing you, and does not voice her wish to stop. Then the alleged rape occurred. Here’s the best part:
She came back to have sex again with him two weeks later. “I’m a little masochist,” she said.
“I can’t say I said no clearly. I don’t remember. But I know very well I didn’t say yes. If a woman doesn’t feel free to say no, she is being raped. If she feels uneasy, it’s rape.” However, a few minutes prior, she also said this: “at that moment, I thought, if I don’t feel like it, and he feels like it, I can pleasure him.”
“Why should we believe you?” asked a reporter. “Because you have to ask,” she replied.
The final blow came when Paul André Beaulieu (a blogger and member of the Roosh V forum) discovered that Paquet led a conference for sex workers. She was introduced to the attendees as an ex-prostitute. So she might have been working as a prostitute rather than a waitress. Many people started to ask how many of her claims will be debunked, and how many details will we uncover as the investigation goes.
Like nearly all media-hyped rape allegations, Paquet’s claims are unfounded. This is exactly why there needs to be proof and a trial before imprisonment. More often than not, public rape accusations are false.