‘Black Athletes, White Girl’: How Nate Parker’s Lawyers Argued Racism in Rape Trial

‘Black Athletes, White Girl’: How Nate Parker’s Lawyers Argued Racism in Rape Trial

The victim was white.

Published August 24th

With the premiere of Nate Parker's highly anticipated film Birth of a Nation edging closer to its release, the actor's recently surfaced scandal continues to get nastier. The newest details to emerge show Parker being accused by a prosecutor of using his successful rape defense to label his 18-year-old alleged victim a "drunk, a liar and a slut." Going even further, it is also being claimed that Parker's lawyers argued the alleged victim could not remember having sex with "Black men" and that Parker's treatment by the police were racially motivated.

Both Parker and his college roommate Jean Celestin stood trial in 2001 on charges of rape, sexual assault, indecent assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.

The defense argued that the charges were "absolutely a racial issue," stating that Parker and Celestin's treatment by the police was over the top and threatening, based on the racial make-up of the jury.

According to the Daily Mail, while the specific racial consistency of the jury has not been officially recorded, recent census figures show that the town where the case took place — Bellefonte Courthouse, Pennsylvania — was 96.3 percent white and 1.5 percent Black. The town where the alleged crime occurred, however, is 83.2 percent white and 3.8 percent Black.

The actor also claimed that State College investigating officer C.L. Weaver said to him, "You wrestlers for the past 10 years have raped and battered this whole town. I'm going to get you."

Rugi Kavamahanga, another Penn State student who spoke with the victim the night of the incident, spoke with the publication and revealed he was also drinking with Parker, Celestin and the alleged victim that night. The group had returned to his place prior to Parker, Celestin and the alleged victim leaving to head to Parker's. The alleged victim left her identification at Kavamahanga's place, however. Today, he is speaking out, explaining what he thought of Parker's demeanor and what the alleged victim told him following the alleged attack.

"The next day, she didn't tell me anything. She never told me about being raped," he said. "[Parker was] a pretty boy, a smooth talker. I asked Nate what happened and he said it was consensual. He basically said she's lying... Did race play a part in it all? I don't know. It's an all white town, Black athletes, white girl. There's always going to be the suspicion of racism involved because there's still that element of taboo in a Black man being with a white girl."

Details have recently emerged showing the alleged victim's brother explaining the trauma she experienced as a result of the case and how it led to her apparent suicide. However, the actor seems to have the support of one Hollywood heavyweight, as Harry Belafonte has recently come out in support of him and the movie.

Catch up on the full story with BET Breaks above.

(Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for DGA)

Written by Moriba Cummings

(Photo: Frazer Harrison/WireImage)

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