Epstein Victim Likely Was Willing, MIT Scientist Says

Richard Stallman defended the accused on university listserv
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2019 8:54 AM CDT
MIT Scientist Figures Epstein Victim Was 'Entirely Willing'
Jeffrey Epstein, shown in court, died last month.   (Uma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post via AP, File)

MIT's Jeffrey Epstein awkwardness isn't going away yet. Days after the director of the MIT Media Lab resigned after being accused of accepting and covering up donations from Epstein, emails have surfaced that show a famed computer scientist excusing sexual assault. Richard Stallman wrote that it's likely that a woman who says she was recruited for sex at age 16 was "entirely willing," the Daily Beast reports, logic that would excuse the late Marvin Minsky, who founded MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab. Virginia Giuffre has said Minsky was one of the men she was recruited to have sex with. "It is morally absurd to define 'rape' in a way that depends on minor details such as which country it was in or whether the victim was 18 years old or 17," Stallman wrote. A campus website lists him as a visiting scientist at MIT.

The discussion took place on a university listserv, per Vice. Stallman was answering a female student's post about a protest over Epstein's contributions. It was made public by Selam Jie Gano, an engineering graduate, who posted, "Remove men like Richard Stallman." Gano also posted a photo of Stallman's office door, which has a sign on it reading: "Knight for Justice (Also hot ladies)." He dug up past comments from Stallman that include his skepticism that "pedophilia harms children." Stallman has appeared to condone "voluntary" pedophilia, a concept that's outside the law. In 2006, he discussed the case of a government employee who was accused of propositioning a 14-year-old girl. "Supposing she had voluntarily had sex with him, presuming that they used a condom and suitable contraception, it would have done no harm to either of them," Stallman wrote. (Read more Jeffrey Epstein stories.)

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